Behind the scenes of the DCOS demo video

Jun 10, 2015

Achim Nierbeck


4 min read

Alongside our recent public GA announcement, Mesosphere also produced a short teaser video displaying the capabilities of its flagship Datacenter Operating System (DCOS). The video available on YouTube, and also is embedded in this post.
I was tasked with scripting, programming and recording this video. There were several requirements, some of which initially seemed at odds with each other: to describe the core functionality of DCOS; to convey its business value; to impress non-technical viewers; and to never leave the DCOS dashboard. Lastly, the video had to be real-time and less than 10 minutes long.
Not only did we meet the requirements, but we met them in only 7 minutes. You can watch the result below -- but keep reading to find out how we made it.
Complex datacenter infrastructure software such as Apache Mesos is a challenge to represent on a screen, let alone to a non-technical audience. Our team went through several iterations, until finally settling on a series of hard-hitting topics: analytics, scalability and bin-packing. All of these topics are entire worlds unto themselves, but the 10-minute limit meant we had to cut many of the exciting technical details that bring these concepts to life.
From the outset, our team wanted to show off a database, a file-system and a data-processing tool. We settled on Cassandra, HDFS and Spark, three industry-leading tools that are notoriously complicated to set up.
In order to present them instantaneously for the sake of the demo, we created a local cache of Docker images so that pull operations would be done in a split second. Normally, it would still take just a few minutes. Secondly, we invented a Spark job that spanned out through the datacenter, launching hundreds of tasks quickly.
We were able to present integrations for a variety of container-management platforms, some of which -- such as Docker Swarm (set to debut at this summer's DockerCon) -- are still experimental. Kubernetes landed into our GA at the last minute, only days before the release. These Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) frameworks are, or will be, key parts of any enterprise datacenter because they allow developers to quickly deploy, scale, and manage their microservices and cloud-native applications.
Making the video happen required a marriage of several efforts and involved members of our marketing, front-end and back-end teams. We invented several tools to help convey our message and created a straightforward routine that can explain the Mesosphere DCOS to just about anybody. The whole process is a testament to how closely the Mesosphere team works, and how well integrated its technologies are.
We hope you enjoyed the video and learned something from it, and that you'll give the DCOS a try.

Ready to get started?