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Custom ASP.NET MVC app running in a Container on Service Fabric

In an earlier post, I talked about how to create a Docker container on Windows that housed a custom ASP.Net MVC app. What I want to show now is how you can get this container running in Service Fabric.

I created 3 identical virtual machines all capable of running Docker as in my earlier post. Now I needed to make my three VMs into a Service fabric cluster. These two posts explain how:

My 3 VMs are called sf0, sf1 & sf2 and I needed to  put these into my cluster config. I picked the ClusterConfig.Unsecure.MultiMachine config file that comes with the Service Fabric files and changed it to include my 3 VMs, so my nodes look like this:

"nodes": [
      "nodeName": "sf0",
      "iPAddress": "sf0",
      "nodeTypeRef": "NodeType0",
      "faultDomain": "fd:/dc1/r0",
      "upgradeDomain": "UD0"
      "nodeName": "sf1",
      "iPAddress": "sf1",
      "nodeTypeRef": "NodeType0",
      "faultDomain": "fd:/dc2/r0",
      "upgradeDomain": "UD1"
      "nodeName": "sf2",
      "iPAddress": "sf2",
      "nodeTypeRef": "NodeType0",
      "faultDomain": "fd:/dc3/r0",
      "upgradeDomain": "UD2"

I then remoted onto one of the machines and ran the following PowerShell:

.\TestConfiguration.ps1 -ClusterConfigFilePath .\ClusterConfig.json

This will check all the machines in the ClusterConfig.json file to see if they are configured correctly and report any errors. I got the following error:

Machine 'sf2' is not reachable on port 445. Check connectivity/open ports. Error: A connection attempt failed because the connected party did not properly respond after a period of time, or established connection failed because connected host has failed to respond

This meant I needed to open the correct firewall ports on my VM. I got this error for all the machines in the cluster. Once I fixed this and reran the PowerShell, the tests passed which meant I could install Service Fabric on each of the machines as follows:

.\CreateServiceFabricCluster.ps1 -ClusterConfigFilePath .\ClusterConfig.json –AcceptEULA

When this completes successfully you should see something like this:

Your cluster is successfully created! You can connect and manage your cluster using Microsoft Azure Service Fabric Explorer or Powershell. To connect through Powershell, run 'Connect-ServiceFabricCluster

I could connect to Service Fabric Explorer using: http://sf0:19080

Now I have my cluster running I needed to create a Service Fabric App and deploy it to the cluster. Make sure that you have installed the Service Fabric SDK, then run Visual Studio. Create a new Service Fabric project. When the project is created, right click on the services node, Select Add->New Service Fabric Service


Then pick Guest Container and enter the name in your Docker Hub repository where your Docker image resides.


This will add in the necessary files to your service fabric project. If you remember from my earlier post, the website was hosted on port 8000 of the container. We need to tell service fabric about this and also we may want to map this to a different port.

If you open the containers ServiceManifest file


Add an endpoint with the endpoint you want Service Fabric to use to publish the website out


In this example I’m using the same port. If you want to map the port to a different one then changes this to something else e.g. If I wanted to use http://sf0:8080 as the website then I would change the Service Manifest to this:


You also need to tell service fabric about the Container port that is published. This is done in the application manifest file:


This is set to 8000 as that is the port exposed by the Docker container

Now deploy your application to service fabric. It may take a while to initialise your container as it will need to be downloaded from Docker Hub before it will run. Once it is running you should see it as Ready in the Service Fabric Explorer


Migrating Azure WebJobs to Azure Service Fabric

As part of a proof of concept for Azure Service Fabric one of the challenges was to migrate backend services from a variety of different places. I had a number of services running as Azure Webjobs on the same platform as my web site. The WebJobs were hosted as triggered services meaning that they were using the WebJobs SDK and this has the advantage that the WebJob will run as a console application outside of the Azure Web site it is currently hosted in.

Azure Service Fabric has the capability to run any Windows application that can be run from a command line as a guest executable. This means that I could host my WebJob in Service Fabric as a guest executable.

Once I had Visual Studio setup with the Service Fabric SDK & Tools. It was relatively straight forward to add the WebJob.

As an example, my WebJob is triggered when a message is placed onto an Azure Storage Queue and it then passes the message into an Azure Service Bus Topic. The WebJob project was added to my Service Fabric application


To add this as a Guest Executable, right click on your service node in the Service Fabric application and select “New Service Fabric Service”


When the “New Service Fabric Service” dialog appears, select “Guest Executable”


Click Browse and select your WebJob executable folder. The WebJob executable should now appear in the Program drop down. Select this, change the service name and click OK.

This should add your WebJob as a guest executable to your application package root


Once deployed to a Service Fabric cluster, your WebJob should run as normal. If you leave the connection string settings the same as they are in the WebJob then your diagnostic traces will appear in the same blob container as they are now.

Service Fabric: Resolving External Service Address

I am using Azure Service Fabric to host my application but I’ve deployed it on premises using a 3 machine cluster (running version Microsoft.Azure.ServiceFabric.WindowsServer. It was easy to deploy and I only needed to run PowerShell on 1 of the nodes to configure up all 3. I followed the instructions here.

From Visual Studio I deployed my application which consisted of a number of stateless services and a WCF service. When everything is running in the cluster it all works fine but I wanted to access the WCF service from outside of the cluster. The first issue was that the actual address of the service is not known but you can see the address if you look at the Service Fabric Explorer of the cluster. Navigating through to the application on one of the nodes returns the url of the service e.g.


You don’t want to use this url directly as it could change depending upon the configuration of your cluster and the health of each of the nodes. Service Fabric provides a mechanism for discovering the address of the end point using the Service Resolver. If you are running in the cluster then you can use the default resolver and this will return the url of the end point which you can connect to. However, when you are outside of the cluster you need to tell the resolver where to look for the cluster.

Again if you look at the Service Fabric Explorer you can find out the ports used in the cluster e.g.

<ClientConnectionEndpoint Port="19000" />
<LeaseDriverEndpoint Port="9026" />
<ClusterConnectionEndpoint Port="19001" />
<HttpGatewayEndpoint Port="19080" Protocol="http" />
<ServiceConnectionEndpoint Port="9027" />
<ApplicationEndpoints StartPort="20001" EndPort="20031" />
<EphemeralEndpoints StartPort="20032" EndPort="20062" />

The example here shows how to connect to the resolver in an Azure hosted environment.

ServicePartitionResolver resolver = new  ServicePartitionResolver("", "");

This example provides a list of endpoints to try on both ports 19000 & 19001. Mapping this to my environment I used the ip address of the node on which I ran the PowerShell which also is the node that displays the Service Fabric Explorer. I also needed to know the application name in order for the resolver to find the end point I was after. The code below is part of a console application that attempts to call a WCF service from outside of the cluster. I’ve highlighted the service name and addresses I’ve used

string uri = "fabric:/ServiceFabricApp/FileStoreServiceStateless";
Binding binding = WcfUtility.CreateTcpClientBinding();
// Create a partition resolver
var serviceResolver = new ServicePartitionResolver(new string[] { "" , "" });
// create a  WcfCommunicationClientFactory object.
var clientFactory = new WcfCommunicationClientFactory
                    (clientBinding: binding, servicePartitionResolver: serviceResolver);
var client = new ServicePartitionClient>(
                    new Uri(uri), partitionKey: Microsoft.ServiceFabric.Services.Client.ServicePartitionKey.Singleton);
var result = client.InvokeWithRetry(svc => svc.Channel.GetDocuments("Document", "1000848776", null));
However, when the code ran it always locked up on the call to InvokeWithRetry. On further investigation by calling ResolveAsyc first, I determined that may application was locking up when trying to resolve the address of the service. This took me a long time to figure out what was wrong and I tried a number of different addresses and ports with no luck. It was only after trying to run the code here, which lists all the services in a cluster, in the Visual Studio debugger that things started to work. This was confusing because I’d already tried loads of different things. The only difference was that the Development Service Fabric was running. I then ran my console app and no lock up occurred. Turning off the development service fabric and the console app locked up again. I moved the console app on to another computer that didn’t have the development service fabric installed and everything worked fine.

The good thing about this is that everything seems to be working and and I’ve learnt more about service fabric now Smile