preload
Sep 17

Microservices present challenges of coordination, SSL termination and socket connection among others. Looking to different cloud providers to assist with their load-balancers leaves you wanting as features socket connection support, SSL termination and geo-distributed load-balancing are often absent.

Presented at Nginx Conference 2016 on Sept. 8th, 2016.

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Sep 16

glen-canyon

Originally published on The New Stack on Sept. 4th, 2016.

There are two proposed standards for configuring network interfaces for Linux containers: the container network model (CNM) and the container network interface (CNI). Networking is complex, and there are many ways to deliver functionality. Arguments can be made as to which one is easier to adopt than the next, or which one is less tethered to their benefactor’s technology.

When evaluating any technology, some important considerations are community adoption and support. Some perspectives have been formed on which model has a lower barrier to entry. Finding the right metrics to determine the velocity of a project is tricky. Plugin vendors also need to consider the relative ease by which plugins may be written for either of these two models. Continue reading »

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Sep 14

container-rope

Originally published on The New Stack on Sept. 4th, 2016.

While many gravitate toward network overlays as a popular approach to addressing container networking across hosts, the functions and types of container networking vary greatly and are worth better understanding as you consider the right type for your environment. Some types are container engine-agnostic, and others are locked into a specific vendor or engine. Some focus on simplicity, while others on breadth of functionality or on being IPv6-friendly and multicast-capable. Which one is right for you depends on your application needs, performance requirements, workload placement (private or public cloud), etc. Let’s review the more commonly available types of container networking.

There are various ways in which container-to-container and container-to-host connectivity are provided. This article focuses primarily on a breakdown of current container networking types, including:

  • None
  • Bridge
  • Overlay
  • Underlay

Continue reading »

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Sep 02

100804-N-5483N-026 LIBSON, Portugal (Aug. 4, 2010) Capt. Karl Thomas, commanding officer of the amphibious command ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC/JCC 20) greets U.S. ambassador to Portugal Allan J. Katz before a reception highlighting the partnership between Portugal and the United States. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sylvia Nealy/Released)

Originally posted on Network World on Sept. 6th, 2016.

Navigating the container ecosystem can be confusing. Deciding where to dip your toes is challenging for those stepping into container and microservices waters. Even those who have already ventured knee-deep still wade through many questions as they progress in their cloud native journey. To help them guide them through the ecosystem, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) recently launched a Cloud Native Ambassadors program at its inaugural CloudNativeDay in Toronto.

Recognized for their expertise, Cloud Native Ambassadors are individuals who belong to a CNCF member organization and are selected based on their passion for cloud native technology and willingness to help others learn. Most ambassadors also organize or are involved in community meetups oriented toward technologies and projects governed by the CNCF. Forty-one meetups worldwide have joined the program to date (disclaimer: I’m a CNCF Ambassador  and an organizer of the Microservices and Containers Austin meetup in Austin, TX.). Continue reading »

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Sep 01

Presented at LinuxCon+ContainerCon, August 2016. Includes Swarm 1.12, Kubernetes, Mesos+Marathon.

(slides)

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Jul 31

Headquartered in what has become my hometown, SolarWinds shares a campus with AMD in the southwestern corner of Austin. The majority of the existing, product suite is comprised of componentized, enterprise-architected, Windows-oriented network, systems, security, database management software. Many (not all) of these offerings were from one of ~18 acquisitions, with the latest (LogicNow) in early June of this year. These acquisitions include three SaaS offerings, LibratoPapertrail and Pingdom, giving SolarWinds continuous-delivery known-how and a splash of DevOps culture. Continue reading »

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Jun 12

photo-1460804198264-011ca89eaa43Recently adopted by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, Prometheus is an open-source systems monitoring and alerting toolkit, focused on supporting the operation of microservices and containers. Like any open source project, it can be augmented with additional capabilities.

Contributing to Prometheus is no different than most other open source endeavors, which, like many projects, welcomes community contributions. Let’s gain better familiarity with the process by augmenting Prometheus’ Alert Manager with a new “history” view. The first step, naturally, is to check out the contributing guidelines for the specific repository (in this case, Alert Manager‘s).

When electing to contribute to any open source project, you’ll want to ensure that you are capable of wielding the technologies used with the project — in this case, those are Go, AngularJS, SQL, etc.  Continue reading »

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Apr 26

Running a few containers? No problem. Running hundreds or thousands? Enter the container orchestrator. Let’s take a look at the characteristics of the three most popular container orchestrators and what makes them alike, yet unique.

Relax and Recharge at the Rackspace Cantina During OpenStack Summit Austin

Look for more detail in my upcoming book Developer Defined Infrastructure using Tectonic and Kubernetes.

The slides from my talk have been posted.

OpenStack Summit Austin: Container Day

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Apr 15

CIS-Docker-BenchmarkArticle originally appeared on Network World on April 15th, 2016.

Security has and continues to be an impediment to container adoption. Whether containers are less or more secure than their virtual machine counterparts is a topic of continued debate.

Like any debate, there are merits to arguments on both sides with a bit of FUD interlaced. Many efforts have been undertaken within the container ecosystem to educate adopters and improve their comprehension of available tooling and security postures within platforms and offerings—be that in the form of static analysis (image scanning), runtime vulnerability detection, provenance (image signing), fine-grained authorization, cryptographic verification, etc.
Continue reading »

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Mar 24

DSC_0008

Originally posted on Network World on March 24th, 2016.

For the uninitiated, Kubernetes is an opinionated framework for building distributed systems or as its tagline states “an open source system for automating deployment, scaling, and operations of applications.” While a hot topic at various conferences, Kubernetes is the sole technological focus at KubeCon. KubeCon is a conference dedicated to education and community engagement of Kubernauts (Kubernetes enthusiasts). Continue reading »

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