Autoscaling Docker Swarm with the TICK Stack

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TICK Stack and Docker

With each successive release of the TICK Stack, InfluxData is improving the ease of use, depth of metrics, and level of control we provide in maintaining and monitoring Docker installations. InfluxDB has been an integral part of most Docker monitoring solutions.

From its use as a primary sink for CAdvisor, to our native Telegraf plugin for gathering container level metrics, InfluxDB and the TICK stack have a part to play in monitoring any Docker setup. It can also scale from a single host to a complex multi-host cluster.

Docker Background

Docker has also been moving forward. In their last two releases they have added support for orchestration with their Swarm feature in the core Docker daemon. Docker 1.12 was released in June 2016 and many Docker users began using this version. For Docker 1.13, they focused on feedback from the community and added features such as secret manager and the new CLI re-design.

Now that Docker has solved the orchestration problem and you can manage a cluster of Docker hosts without other tools or frameworks, however, you need to have a solid environment. This means that you need to be able to trust how your system behaves and have visibility into each part. This makes logging and monitoring skills mandatory for any Docker Swarm administrator.

That might leave you asking questions like: “How can I scale application components when my queue backs up or my cache fills up?”


Enter Orbiter, an open source tool to scale Docker Swarm clusters. You can use this piece of infrastructure along with Kapacitor to scale services on your Swarm cluster based on any of your monitoring metrics. The README on Orbiter contains the information needed to spin the system up or down. There is also a webinar with a demo showing how to use Orbiter to scale your Docker Swarm.

What are you waiting for? Go try it out!