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How to develop, build, and deploy Node.js microservices with Pulumi and Azure DevOps

The workshop gives a practical perspective of key principles needed to develop, build, and maintain a set of microservices in the Node.js stack. It covers specifics of creating isolated TypeScript dockerized services using the monorepo approach with lerna and yarn workspaces. The workshop includes an overview and a live exercise to create cloud environment with Pulumi framework and Azure services. The sessions fits the best developers who want to learn and practice build and deploy techniques using Azure stack and Pulumi, Docker for Node.js.




Alex Korzhikov & Andrew Reddikh


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Workshop Begins!



Who are we?

Alex Korzhikov

alex korzhikov

Software Engineer, Netherlands

My primary interest is self development and craftsmanship. I enjoy exploring technologies, coding open source and enterprise projects, teaching, speaking and writing about programming - JavaScript, Node.js, TypeScript, Go, Java, Docker, Kubernetes, JSON Schema, DevOps, Web Components, Algorithms 👋 ⚽️ 🧑‍💻 🎧

Andrew Reddikh

andrew reddikh

Software Engineer, United Kingdom

Passionate software engineer with expertise in software development, microservice architecture, and cloud infrastructure. On daily basis, I use Node.js, TypeScript, Golang, and DevOps best practices to build a better tech world by contributing to open source projects.

What are we going to do today?

⬆️ About

Which technologies are we going to use?

⬇️ Tags

Crypto 🦄 Currency Converter - Node.js

What we’re building

We’re building a currency converter, which can be used over gRPC calls.

currency convertor schema

Our intention is to send a request similar to convert 0.345 ETH to CAD and as a result we want to know the final amount in CAD and conversion rate. We also assume that, it could be more than one currency provider, e.g.

  1. Europe Central Bank rates
  2. Bank of England rates
  3. Crypto Rates

Here is how it works:


1. Checkout demo project

Let’s get started from cloning demo monorepo

git clone git@github.com:x-technology/micro-services-infrastructure-pulumi-azure-devops.git

2. Install protoc

For efficient work with .proto format, and to be able to generate TypeScript-based representation of protocol buffers we need to install protoc library.

If you’re a MacOS user and have brew package manager, the following command is the easiest way for installation:

brew install protobuf
# Ensure it's installed and the compiler version at least 3+
protoc --version

For Linux users

Run the following commands:

curl -OL https://github.com/protocolbuffers/protobuf/releases/download/v3.14.0/$PROTOC_ZIP
sudo unzip -o $PROTOC_ZIP -d /usr/local bin/protoc
sudo unzip -o $PROTOC_ZIP -d /usr/local 'include/*'

Alternately, manually download and install protoc from here.

3. Prepare environment

Make sure we have Node.js v14+ installed. If not, nvm is a very good tool to install multiple node versions locally and easily switch between them.

Then we need to install dependencies and bootstrap lerna within the monorepo.

yarn install
yarn lerna bootstrap

Yay! 🎉 Now we’re ready to go with the project.

Monorepo structure

For better monorepo project management we used Lerna & Yarn Workspaces

The project shapes into the following structure:

project structure

  "workspaces": [

Let’s move on 🚚

Using Lerna

Lerna brings to the table few commands which can be easily executed across all/or filtered packages.

We use our common modules compiled to JavaScript, so before using it in services we need to build it first.

Following command executed build command against all common packages filtered with flag --scope=@common/*

yarn lerna run build --scope=@common/*

What is GRPC?

grpc logo aka pancakes

gRPC Remote Procedure Calls, of course! obvious reaction

gRPC is a modern, open source remote procedure call (RPC) framework that can run anywhere. It enables client and server applications to communicate transparently, and makes it easier to build connected systems

microservices graph


// http://protobuf-compiler.herokuapp.com/
syntax = "proto3";

package hello;

service HelloService {
  rpc JustHello (HelloRequest) returns (HelloResponse);

  rpc ServerStream(HelloRequest) returns (stream HelloResponse);

  rpc ClientStream(stream HelloRequest) returns (HelloResponse);

  rpc BothStreams(stream HelloRequest) returns (stream HelloResponse);

message HelloRequest {
  string greeting = 1;

message HelloResponse {
  string reply = 1;

client server communication

What are Protocol Buffers?

An efficient technology to serialize structured data

message Person {
  string name = 1;
  int32 id = 2;
  bool has_ponycopter = 3;

Does anyone know what numbers on the right side mean?

syntax = "proto3";

package hello;

service HelloService {
  rpc SayHello (HelloRequest) returns (HelloResponse);

message HelloRequest {
  string greeting = 1;

message HelloResponse {
  string reply = 1;

Demo - Run Microservices Locally

npm start
const all = require('@common/go-grpc')
const client = new all.ecbProvider.EcbProviderClient('', all.createInsecure());
const response = await client.GetRates(new all.currencyProvider.GetRatesRequest())
// inside converter container
const all = require('@common/go-grpc')
const client = new all.currencyConverter.CurrencyConverterClient('', all.createInsecure());
const response = await client.Convert(new all.currencyConverter.ConvertRequest({ sellAmount: 100, sellCurrency: 'USD', buyCurrency: 'GBP' }));

Build Microservices - Docker

Docker Logo


Toolset to develop, declare, deliver and run applications

docker version
docker run hello-world

Linux Containers (LXC)

Powered by Linux Containers - virtualization method to run multiple isolated Linux systems (containers) on a control host


Docker Running Services Diagram


Instructions to declare an application


docker build -t tmp-base1 . # build image from Dockerfile
docker run hello-world # create a container from image
# docker run = docker create + docker start
# docker run -it tmp-base2:latest bash
docker ps # --all - list of running containers
docker kill # also stop
docker system prune
docker logs
# step into running container
docker exec -it $DOCKER_CONTAINER_HASH /bin/sh
# also ports, mount -v


To start all components at once in configured network

# docker-compose.yaml
  image: 'redislabs/redismod'
    - '6379:6379'
  restart: on-failure
  build: ./web
  hostname: web1
    - '81:5000'
  restart: on-failure
  build: ./web
  hostname: web2
    - '82:5000'
  build: ./nginx
  - '80:80'
  - web1
  - web2


COPY package.json yarn.lock /usr/src/main

# Install runtime dependencies
RUN yarn install

COPY . /usr/src/main

Infrastructure - Azure

Introduction to Azure

Microsoft Azure is a enourmous cloud ecosystem that enables to organize, develop, publish applications worldwide

Demo - Migrate to Azure

docker login xtechnology.azurecr.io
docker image tag tmp-base2:latest xtechnology.azurecr.io/microservices-united:latest
docker push xtechnology.azurecr.io/microservices-united:latest



Pulumi - Developer-First Infrastructure as Code

Compared to Terraform?

Terraform is an open-source infrastructure as code software tool that provides a consistent CLI workflow to manage hundreds of cloud services.

Terraform resources

Pulumi and Azure setup

Let’s get started from pulumi installation and initial infrastructure repo setup.

  1. Let’s first install azure-cli with a command. If you’re a MacOS user follow the brew command.
    brew install azure-cli
  2. Next, we need to get pulumi cli installed.
    brew install pulumi
  3. Now it’s time to create infrastructure project in infra folder with the following command.
    pulumi new azure-typescript
  4. Let’s get authorized registered at Azure and Pulumi
    • https://portal.azure.com
    • https://app.pulumi.com
  5. Get authorized in cli commands:
    az login
    pulumi login
  6. Get dependencies installed in infrastructure folder
    yarn install
  7. Yay! Now we’re ready to start coding our infrastructure straight away.

Kubernetes Cluster

Let’s get started with Kubernetes Cluster in Azure, and for this purpose we’re going to use Pulumi to start.

We need to import a file, containing description of our cluster.

import * as cluster from "./cluster";
import * as resourceGroup from "./resourceGroup";

export let clusterName = cluster.k8sCluster.name;
export let groupName = resourceGroup.resourceGroup.name;

Now, let’s try to do a simple command to build our infrastructure in the cloud:

pulumi up

Let’s check our cluster at the Azure website. Great! It’s there, just in few lines of TypeScript code.


Now we’re good to add docker registry, where we’re going to put our application code as a Docker image.

Let’s add the following lines into our index.ts:

import { registry } from "./registry";

export let registryName = registry.loginServer;

Once again pulumi up to see it’s deployed.

Now we can see our new registry created and here is the name of the registry in the output of pulumi command. So, let’s build our application code into a docker image and push it to newly created registry by the following commands:

Replace registry-name with real registry name from pulumi output.

az acr login --name registry-name
docker build -t registry-name.azurecr.io/grpc:latest .
docker push registry-name.azurecr.io/grpc:latest

Great the image is there in the cloud! It’s ready to be installed from the cluster, or not yet?

We need to give reading permissions to our cluster, so it’s allowed to pull images from registry.

import * as azure from "@pulumi/azure";

const principalId = cluster.k8sCluster.identityProfile.apply(p => p!["kubeletidentity"].objectId!);
const assignment = new azure.authorization.Assignment("workshop-assignment", {
  principalId: principalId,
  roleDefinitionName: "AcrPull",
  scope: registry.id,
  skipServicePrincipalAadCheck: true,

Install ingress into kubernetes cluster

What is Ingress? Ingress exposes HTTP and HTTPS routes from outside the cluster to services within the cluster. Traffic routing is controlled by rules defined on the Ingress resource.

Ingress chart

Let’s add it with the following code:

import * as k8s_system from "./k8s/system";

export let ingressServiceIP = k8s_system.ingressServiceIP;

Right after applying this code, we can see ingressServiceIP it’s our public IP of the cluster. Now let’s attach DNS to this IP.


We’re going to use CloudFlare for DNS as it provides very rich api and also an extra features like Anti-Ddos and more.

import * as dns from "./dns";

export let dnsRecord = dns.mainRecord.hostname;

Once again pulumi up to see the changes applied.

Deploy Microservices

import * as apps from "./k8s/apps";

export let currencyConverter = apps.currencyConverter.urn;
export let appNamespace = apps.appNamespace.metadata.name;

Get credentials for using kubectl

az aks get-credentials --admin --name workshop-cluster1437dadd -g workshop-group5e64df12

Let’s create a proxy forwarding to our service inside the kubernetes cluster

kubectl port-forward -n apps-q0fg8ahd svc/currency-converter-grpc 50051:50051

Now it’s the moment to call our currency-converter:

echo '{"sellCurrency": "GBP", "buyCurrency": "USD", "sellAmount": 150}' | grpcurl -plaintext -import-path ./proto -proto currency-converter.proto -d @ currencyConverter.CurrencyConverter.Convert

Great 🎉!

We’ve just created the full infrastructure and deployed our microservices into the Kubernetes cluster using Helm charts and pulumi.


Helm is a package manager for Kubernetes. Helm is the K8s equivalent of yum or apt. Helm deploys charts, which you can think of as a packaged application.

We store our helm charts inside the ./infrastructure/charts folder.

By running a command we can create a new helm chart:

helm create grpc

Helm also provides an ability to easily template our package, so we can provide multiple values into the chart, when we deploy it.

Following command will show us rendered a yaml definition of the helm chart

helm template grpc


It’s time to have some practice and evolve our services even more!

Let’s grab a task based on the things you’d like to do 👇



Please share your feedback on our workshop. Thank you and have a great coding!

If you like the workshop, you can become our patron, yay! 🙏


microservices pulumi azure devops node.js javascript protobuf grpc typescript lerna npm yarn docker git architecture crypto currency