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IBM Cloud Container Service – Simplified Region Switching

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The IBM Cloud Container Service combines Docker and Kubernetes to deliver powerful tools, an intuitive user experiences, and built-in security and isolation to enable rapid delivery of applications all while leveraging Cloud Services including cognitive capabilities from Watson.

Today we are proud to announce we have launched a new global url providing seamless access to all 6 of our availability regions! This blog post will go through how to take advantage of this new global URL and how you can take advantage of it!

How to get started

First you need to upgrade your CLI (command line interface). To make sure you are on the latest run the following:

bx plugin update container-service -r Bluemix

First you will notice there a couple new commands:

  • bx cs region-set
  • bx cs regions
  • bx cs region

Before we jump into each of these commands I wanted to call out something important, you no longer have to run bx login -a api.region.bluemix.net to switch between the IBM Cloud Container Service region’s anymore!!! Long gone are those days. It is also really important to note that we have ditched the concept of organizations and spaces (more on that in another blog post) and have aligned on a higher level term called “accounts”.

What does this mean for you???? Well basically you can login to any Bluemix endpoint and then switch regions without logging back in again!!!

Let’s go through each of these commands and how the new streamlined region switch works now.
First, let’s go through the new streamlined login flow. You can log into any of the Bluemix endpoints now, I would chose the closest endpoint to you, for example since I am based in North Carolina in the USA I want to login to us-south. To do that I would do the following:

bx login -a https://api.ng.bluemix.net

For a list of additional Bluemix endpoints please visit our docs for a full list.

Next you will enter your username and password as normal and select your account. You will notice something new, you are not prompted to choose an organization and space. After you login you are targeting by default the region associated with the Bluemix endpoint you logged into, for me that is us-south. That brings us to our first command bx cs region, this will list our currently targeted region. Let’s go ahead and run it. For me when I run the command it outputs the following:
bx cs region
Region: us-south

The bx cs region outputs the currently targeted region the CLI is pointing to. If you would like to switch your region you can run bx cs regions to display a list of regions. For me the output at the time of this writing is the following:

bx cs regions
Region Name  Region Alias
us-south     us-south
us-east      us-east
uk-south     eu-gb
eu-central   eu-de
ap-south     au-syd
ap-north     jp-tok

To switch regions all you need to do is run bx cs region-set regionname replacing “regionname” with the either the region name of the region alias from the bx cs regions command. So let’s go ahead and switch to the ap-north region.

jsloyer@jeffs-mbp ~ bx cs region-set ap-south
jsloyer@jeffs-mbp ~ bx cs region

Region: ap-south

Let’s go over our last command, bx cs region-set, we actually already talked about this but we it will give us a picker list as well, let’s go through that to change our region.

bx cs region-set
Choose a region:
1. ap-north
2. ap-south
3. eu-central
4. uk-south
5. us-east
6. us-south
Enter a number> 5
jsloyer@jeffs-mbp ~ bx cs region

Region:   us-east

What this means for you?

In our UI you will notice that we support easily switching between these regions as well so if you are a UI user you will enjoy the same benefits as the CLI users as well!

Since we have went through all the new commands, what does this mean for you? Well for starts it means an improved workflow! You can now seamlessly move between regions in the CLI without having to log back in and out of Bluemix endpoints to view your clusters around the world.

Additionally, we have removed the organization and space requirement as well. This means you are no longer tied to Cloud Foundry resources in one particular region, you can use services worldwide in your Kubernetes clusters!

Questions or comments?

Please join us on our public Slack channel at https://ibm-container-service.slack.com.

IBM Cloud Containers Service - Core Dev Lead

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