Introduction

Where do I start?

On this page you’ll find an introduction to Blimp that describes what it is and why we built it in detail. Or, if you prefer you can just dive into the example:

git clone https://github.com/kelda/node-todo && cd node-todo

brew install kelda/tools/blimp
# curl -fsSL 'https://kelda.io/get-blimp.sh' | sh

blimp login

blimp up

For more detail, check out the Node.js Example Docs.

What is Blimp?

Blimp is a tool for running Docker Compose in the cloud. It’s intended for developers working on large resource hungry applications that make developing locally slow and cumbersome. Blimp makes it easy to get heavy containers off your laptop and into the cloud without changing your development workflow.

Blimp works with your existing docker-compose.yml out of the box, so there is no need to learn a new configuration file format or change your workflow.

For those using Kubernetes in production, as long as you use Docker Compose for local development Blimp can fit right into your existing setup. No need to learn a new tool, write new configuration files, or change your workflow.

Blimp is intended for development, if you’re interested in Blimp for production, join our slack and let us know.

Why Blimp?

Even with just a few containers, Docker can use a lot of RAM and CPU (see how much). As the number of containers you need for development grows, developer laptops can become extremely sluggish making basic tasks like compiling, testing, and even checking email laborious. Blimp solves this problem by getting those containers off your laptop and into the cloud.

Who is it for?

If you are a developer who regularly runs containers on your laptop, Blimp will speed things up without requiring you to change your workflow

If you are a DevOps, SRE, or Developer Productivity Engineer, and have responsibility for providing a development experience to your team, Blimp makes it easy to to provide every developer at your company a light and fast development environment, either hosted at Kelda, or on your own Kubernetes cluster.

Is Blimp Secure?

At Kelda we understand that you place great trust in us to run your containers. We take the security of Blimp extremely seriously and work hard to make sure our infrastructure is safe and secure. Learn more

If security is of particular concern, we offer (by invite only) a self-hosted version of Blimp that runs on your infrastructure. If this is of interest, let us know on slack or email.

Design Principles

Blimp is built with three key design principles guiding every major engineering decision.

Light & Fast

Every moment a developer spends waiting on a slow tool is an opportunity for them to lose concentration. That’s why we built Blimp to be as fast and light-weight as possible.

Zero Setup & Configuration

Moving containers to the cloud shouldn’t require learning a whole new config file format or some wonky DSL. Blimp works with your existing docker-compose.yml so you can get up and running without having to learn a new tool. Simply blimp up and you’re running.

Zero Workflow Changes

It’s not enough to boot your containers in the cloud. They also must be easy to interact with once there. Blimp allows you to work with your containers just like you did locally. Access ports over localhost, and mount host volumes in the same way you do with docker-compose.

Next Steps