Getting Started with Consul Training Course

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Course Code



7 hours (usually 1 day including breaks)


  • System administration experience
  • General understanding of clusters and distributed computing
  • Familiarity with datacenter architecture


  • Developers
  • Operators


HashiCorp is an open-source software company that provides tools for provisioning, securing and running infrastructure for distributed applications. Their DevOps suite includes:

  • Vault - for securing distributed applications
  • Terraform - for provisioning infrastructure and application resources across public cloud, private cloud, and external services
  • Nomad - a distributed, highly available, datacenter-aware cluster manager and scheduler for deploying applications on any infrastructure, at any scale.
  • Consul - for discovering and configuring services in your infrastructure.

This course focuses on Consul. We go over the Consul's architecture and features and carry out a live implementation and deployment of a Consul server.

Format of the Course

  • Part lecture, part discussion, heavy hands-on practice and implementation, occasional quizzing to measure progress

Course Outline


  • Why Consul?
  • Consul vs ZooKeeper, Chef, Puppet, SkyDNS, SmartStack, Serf, Custom Solutions

Installation and Setup

Consul Architectural Overview

  • Server and agents
  • Consensus protocol, Gossip protocol, Network coordinates, Sessions, Anti-entropy, Security model, Jepsen testing

Using the Consul CLI

Using the Consul Web UI

Running the Agents

Creating a Cluster

Service Discovery

  • Setting up Consul clients to discover services and databases

Health Checking

  • Setting up Consul clients to provide health checks (webserver availability, memory utilization, etc.)

KV Store

  • Setting up Consul's hierarchical key/value store


  • Configuring Consul to support multiple datacenters

Consul's Access Control List (ACL)

  • Controlling access to Consul resources


  • Setting up automatic management of Consul servers

Adding and Removing Consul Servers

Bootstrapping a New Datacenter

DNS Forwarding

Outage Recovery

Performance Tuning

Upgrading Consul

Summary and Conclusion



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