Five minute quickstart

In this section, we'll get Ambassador running locally with a demo configuration. In the next section, we'll then walk through how to deploy Ambassador in Kubernetes with a custom configuration.

1. Running the Demo Configuration

By default, Ambassador uses a demo configuration to show some of its basic features. Get it running with Docker, and expose Ambassador on port 8080:

docker run -it -p 8080:8080 --name=ambassador --rm quay.io/datawire/ambassador:0.85.0 --demo

2. Ambassador's Diagnostics

Ambassador provides live diagnostics viewable with a web browser. While this would normally not be exposed to the public network, the Docker demo publishes the diagnostics service at the following URL:

http://localhost:8080/ambassador/v0/diag/

You'll have to authenticate to view this page: use username admin, password admin (obviously this would be a poor choice in the real world!). We'll talk more about authentication shortly.

Some of the most important information - your Ambassador version, how recently Ambassador's configuration was updated, and how recently Envoy last reported status to Ambassador - is right at the top. The diagnostics overview can show you what it sees in your configuration map, and which Envoy objects were created based on your configuration.

3. The Quote of the Moment Service

Since Ambassador is an API gateway, its primary purpose is to provide access to microservices. The demo is preconfigured with a mapping that connects the /qotm/ resource to the "Quote of the Moment" service -- a demo service that supplies quotations. You can try it out by opening

http://localhost:8080/qotm/

in your browser, or from the command line as

curl 'http://localhost:8080/qotm/?json=true'

This request will route to the qotm service at demo.getambassador.io, and return a random quote for this very moment.

You can see details of the mapping by clicking the blue http://localhost:8080/qotm/ link at the very bottom of theAmbassador Route Table` in the diagnostics overview.

4. Authentication

On the diagnostic overview, you can also see that Ambassador is configured to do authentication -- in the middle fo the overview page, you'll see the Ambassador Services In Use section, and you can click the tcp://127.0.0.1:5050 link for details on the AuthService configuration. This demo auth service is running inside the Docker container with Ambassador and the Quote of the Moment service, and Ambassador uses it to mediate access to everything behind the Ambassador.

You saw above that access to the diagnostic overview required you to authenticate as an administrator. Getting a random Quote of the Moment does not require authentication, but to get a specific quote, you'll have to authenticate as a demo user. To see this in action, open

http://localhost:8080/qotm/quote/5

in your brower. From the command line, you can see that

curl -v 'http://localhost:8080/qotm/quote/5?json=true'

will return a 401, but

curl -v -u username:password 'http://localhost:8080/qotm/quote/5?json=true'

will succeed. (Note that that's literally "username" and "password" -- the demo auth service is deliberately not very secure!)

Note that it's up to the auth service to decide what needs authentication -- teaming Ambassador with an authentication service can be as flexible or strict as you need it to be.

Next steps

We've just walked through some of the core features of Ambassador in a local configuration. To see Ambassador in action on Kubernetes, check out the Kubernetes intall guide.