Small development lab setup

I am part of a small development firm (8 developers) that is involved mainly in WordPress development.

Our current environment utilizes an pfSense box with (HAProxy) and an HP Microserver Gen8 (G1610T/2.3GHz, 16GB, 500GB SSD in RAID10) running VMWare ESXi with the following 5 VMs based on Debian Linux:

  1. OpenLDAP as authentication backent.
  2. MySQL Server with multiple DBs (mostly WordPress)
  3. Apache as Staging Server with multiple VHOSTs.
  4. GitLab Server with some CI runners for testing.
  5. OwnCloud Server for shared storage and document management.

I have been looking into Rancher and RancherOS as a docker container solution to better utilize our limited resources while easing maintenance/os upgrades and perhaps maximize performance.

I don’t have a DevOps background and have limited knowledge on docker/containers and I would appreciate you feedback on:

  1. Will moving into a dockerized environment benefit our use case.
  2. How would one set up the server for this use case ie.
    • VMWare ESXi as host os with small RancherOS VMs hosting the services as containers.
    • RancherOS bare metal hosting all containers.

This is quite the old topic, but, let me reply:

I’m also setting up rancher on bare metal, even though there seems to be a lack of docs for these cases.
Moving to a dockerized environment will cut the OS overhead of your VMs, most likely. I would say yes.
I’m setting up some RancherOS vms here myself; some configuration issues arrived here and there. If you have the time to handle those, during first deployment, it might be worth it. If not, go with a more usual distro.
I like the idea of using baremetal but you’ll have the hassle of setting up all of your support services, like logging, traffic analysis, shared volumes, etc. That is a big downside I would advise if you have better option.
If you manage to do it, please, share the results here. Thanks.