Updated: Sep 7
MuleSoft is so flexible and modern in such a way, that for deployment models where the customer needs to have control over the infrastructure, and CloudHub is not an option (maybe regulations concerns) it offers on premise deployments such as:
MuleSoft Runtime Fabric
MuleSoft Private Cloud Edition
The first two are a hybrid model, where the control plane remains in the cloud (MuleSoft) and the runtime plane is deployed on premise or in a computer on top of a cloud provider (Google, AWS, Oracle, Microsoft, Digital Ocean, etc).
For Standalone, it’s the common MuleSoft runtime running directly at the OS level, which supports clustering, grouping of runtimes, etc. There is nothing extra on this type of deployment, it is basically to download the software, unzip it and run it. I am being practical right here, but in essence that is what you have to do in order to have it running on your own hardware. In this case the responsibility to maintain, patch, upgrade, operate the runtime is at the customer end; the control plane remains a MuleSoft responsibility, but ultimately where the workloads are running (runtime plane) is all at customer’s.
Private Cloud Edition, is the option where you have both the Runtime Plane and the Control Plane at your end; you are in charge of maintaining everything. You install it, you patch it, you upgrade it, you monitor it, etc. But you have most of the capabilities at your disposal, similar to CloudHub; there are some differences, but in general it is very compatible with what you get in CloudHub. You can decide how much compute to assign to a specific MuleSoft application, or the amount of replicas, in a very similar CloudHub fashion.
Then you have MuleSoft Runtime Fabric (RTF), which is the option we want to elaborate through this article. Runtime Fabric, as previously mentioned, is a hybrid deployment model. You still have the Control Plane in the cloud but the workloads (runtime plane) are running at the customer end.
The main thing here with RTF is that the infrastructure that is behind the scenes running the fabric is a Kubernetes-based implementation (Kubernetes https://kubernetes.io).
But before thinking that this may be very complicated, continue reading this article where you will realize that some of the complexity that is coming to your mind right now, is going to get reduced.
Let us start with the installation process, which is always time consuming because of the pre-requisites that we need to fulfill every time we install something on premise. With RTF is no exception, you need to have all the pre-requisites in place in order to start installing. But the good news is that it is very well documented.
You will identify two ways of installing RTF:
1. On top of an existent Kubernetes cluster that you already have. For example, on top of AWS, GKE, AKE. This option is the best one if you want to leverage from what you already have in terms of Kubernetes. The installation documentation is here https://docs.MuleSoft.com/runtime-fabric/latest/install-self-managed.
2. Manual Installation. This option is where you want to install RTF on top of your hardware, either if it is at your datacenter or on the compute at your cloud provider. This article is based on the manual installation and can be useful for you in case you do not have an existent Kubernetes cluster and want to test RTF.
This manual installation is also useful to understand the dynamics behind RTF and is a very good option for customers who don't have a current Kubernetes cluster, but want to have a flexible/dynamic deployment model.
The official documentation is this one: https://docs.MuleSoft.com/runtime-fabric/1.9/install-manual.
I am going to use Oracle Cloud Infrastructure to explain the pre-requisites and part of the installation process. Why Oracle Cloud Infrastructure? I think it is a very good option for this demo and very simple to use.