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When the Hashicorp's website was checked it seems that there is another tool, i.e. Serf. Back in the day there was another tool called otto, but that was deprecated at a certain moment.

After reading the use cases I wonder whether it is an added value to use serf when a container orchestration platform like kubernetes is used.

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Serf is gossip protocol implementation and has absolutely nothing to do with orchestration tools like k8s. Even if such protocol is used internally, then in most cases it isn't available for you applications running in given orchestrator.

So if your app or workflow depends on gossip protocol, then you will have use out of Serf, otherwise there is no point.


Gossip protocol is way of messaging to all nodes without:

  • Centralized point of knowledge
  • Single point of failure
  • Using whole network capability of any of the nodes

In simple words it works like "message chains" ("If you do not send this to N people you will never find your love" or something like that).

  1. One node send notification to N out of M of its fellows
  2. If you receive message that you have already received, then do nothing.
  3. Otherwise go to step 1.

Given such simple protocol you can calculate probability when all your nodes will receive message with 99% chance.

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