0 comments on “Podcast: Nic Jackson on HashiCorp Product Philosophy in Open Source and Feature Minimization”

Podcast: Nic Jackson on HashiCorp Product Philosophy in Open Source and Feature Minimization

 

 

 

In this week’s podcast, we speak with Nic Jackson, Developer Advocate, HashiCorp (@sheriffjackson). Nic provides insight into the product and development philosophy of HashiCorp and how it impacts their products and open source components. The last section of the podcast on product feature limitations and how companies go too far is very interesting.

  • HashiCorp Overview and Design Philosophy of their Solutions
  • Company vs Community Open Source Comparison in Terraform
  • Abstractions and Portability Failings
  • Product Features and Doing Too Much

Topic                                                                     Time (Minutes.Seconds)

Introduction                                                         0.0 – 0.53
HashiCorp Overview                                          0.53 – 3.20 (Started with Vagrant)
Design Philosophy of HashiCorp Tools           3.20 – 5.28 (Isolated Tooling)
Neutral Ground w/ Tools                                  5.28 – 7.46 (Open, Integrated Environments)
Engagement Model                                           7.46 – 10.28
Open Source Community Model                     10.28 – 12.56 (Tightly Controlled)
Software for Operators                                      12.56 – 16.30
Terraform De-Coupling                                     16.30 – 25.25 (Company Open Source)
Terraform – Awesome & Horrible                    25.25 – 29.15 (Edges around Terraform)
Portability & Abstraction                                    29.15 – 33.29 (Partial Abstractions Fail)
Industry Moving Fast & Tools are too Young  33.29 – 37.17
Build Set of Tools for Single Purpose               37.17 – 39.55 (Not All Tools Solve Every Problem)
Adopt Tool Knowing It’s Role                             39.55 – 41.45
Constant Workflow Across Platforms               41.45 – 43.25
Wrap-Up                                                                43.25 – END

Podcast Guest
Nic Jackson, Developer Advocate, HashiCorp

Nic Jackson is a developer advocate and polyglot programmer working for HashiCorp, and the author of “Building Microservices in Go” a book which examines the best patterns and practices for building microservices with the Go programming language. In his spare time, Nic coaches and mentors at Coder Dojo, teaches at Women Who Go and GoBridge, speaks and evangelizes good coding practice, process, and technique.

Follow Nic here: Nic’s Blog

0 comments on “RackN talks Cloud Native Landscape on Rishidot.TV”

RackN talks Cloud Native Landscape on Rishidot.TV

Rob Hirschfeld speaks on Rishidot.TV  as part of the Cloud Native Landscape video interview series. Questions asked:

  • Background on RackN
  • Cloud Native Ecosystem Fit – embracing DevOps and Site Reliability Engineering
    • Running “Cloud” in their existing data centers
  •  Differentiation – Build on open source Digital Rebar replacing Cobbler, Maas, and other provisioning tools
    • API driven, Infrastructure as Code feel
  • Use Cases –  Immutable Infrastructure & API driven design
    • Image-based Deployments direct to Metal
    • CI/CD infrastructure, zero-touch automation

 

0 comments on “Podcast: Gina Rosenthal (Minks) on Ops Challenges, Day 2 Ops Support, and Dev Ops Communication”

Podcast: Gina Rosenthal (Minks) on Ops Challenges, Day 2 Ops Support, and Dev Ops Communication

In this week’s podcast, we speak with Gina Rosenthal (Minks), Product Marketing Manager, VMware and experienced sys-admin/operator. She also hosts the Wide World of Tech podcast.

  • Cloud debate on virtualization and hypervisors as requirement
  • What makes Ops so hard?
  • Technical Communities for Day 2 Ops
  • Community Support for Vendors and Open Source
  • Is DevOps different than 5 years ago?
  • Devs and Operators Communication and Working Together

Topic                                                   Time (Minutes.Seconds)

Introduction                                             0.0 – 0.55
Background and Current Work            0.55 – 2.05
Wide World of Tech Podcast                2.05 – 4.00
Sys-Admin and Operators                     4.00 – 4.50
vSphere & Hypervisors for Cloud         4.50 – 5.28 (Hypervisors are a MUST for Cloud?)
What is a Cloud? Virtualization              5.28 – 7.33 (Building Blocks are Virtual?)
OpenStack Experience                           7.33 – 8.16 (Didn’t Fix Metal Part)
What makes Ops so hard?                     8.16 – 12.25
Devs want latest and Ops has old        12.25 – 16.03 (Demos and Stories)
Demo Day 2 for Ops                                16.03 – 19.10 (Maintaining product post install issues)
Community Vendor vs Open Source    19.10 – 25.03 (Vendors not accepted in open source)
Choosing Multiple Vendors/Tech         25.03 – 27.18 (Innovations and Stability)
2 Classes of Operators                            27.18 – 30.00 (Tension b/w new and stable is good)
DevOps is Dead                                        30.00 – 37.44 (VMware covered over Ops issues)
Too Much Abstraction for Devs?            37.44 – 49.55 (Key to Ops and Devs Communication)
Wrap Up                                                     49.55 – END

Podcast Guest
Gina Rosenthal (Minks), Product Marketing Manager, VMware

I have a varied background: technical trainer, *nix sysadmin, technical training developer, community manager, social media marketing manager, and now product marketing manager.

Those are just my paid gigs, I also have a social justice background, and have been blogging for 12 years. All these threads weave together in interesting and powerful ways.

At my core, I’m a storyteller and educator. I’m interested in telling the story of technology in simple, clear terms.

0 comments on “February 2 – Weekly Review Of Digital Rebar And RackN With DevOps And Edge News”

February 2 – Weekly Review Of Digital Rebar And RackN With DevOps And Edge News

Welcome to the weekly post of the RackN blog recap of all things Digital Rebar, RackN, Edge Computing, and DevOps. If you have any ideas for this recap or would like to include content please contact us at info@rackn.com or tweet RackN (@rackngo)

News Items of the Week

Imagine you’re an organisation that is looking to implement a DevOps approach to applications and services, or perhaps you’ve already started, but you’re worried about security.

DevOps is all about rapid iteration and continuous delivery, but your security folks still want to be able to do checks to ensure systems are as bulletproof as possible. They likely to make sure your organisation is meeting regulatory requirements like GDPR, which comes into force very soon. How do you fit in security while staying agile?

Edge computing has moved to the forefront of digital manufacturing and Industrial Internet of Things discussions over the past few years because of its ability to bring the data storage and analysis capabilities of the cloud into the facility. In many cases, edge computing devices can be co-located with the equipment whose data it is responsible for managing.

At first, you might say “really, is that all?” but let’s be clear on what we (and the industry) means by ‘open source’.

It’s not to do with copyright either. US law didn’t allow software to be copyrighted until 1974, but that’s still 24 years in the wilderness. Open source software still has a copyright. Somewhere. Lots of them in fact.

Open source is not free. Well, it usually is, but that’s not the point. Open source means literally, that – the source code is open and editable and anyone can have it and modify it under the terms of a set licence. It’s free to the end user, providing you don’t profit from it yourself, and (in most cases) you contribute any changes you make back to the community.

Digital Rebar

Digital Rebar Provision is a community-based solution for an open PXE provisioning solution for infrastructure including bare metal,  clouds, and edge.

RackN

Internal business units continue to bypass traditional IT in many organizations creating shadow IT leaving corporate data unsecured, networks exposed through unknown entry points, and the possibility of wasting IT resources by paying for services already provided by the company. CIOs must regain control of their IT sprawl to ensure security, resource allocation, and operational control of the business.

RackN offers IT leaders a new way forward to take back control of their services by establishing a solid foundation capable of managing internal data centers, external hosting services, public clouds, and even the upcoming edge infrastructure opportunity.

In this video, Rob Hirschfeld and Greg Althaus provide operators real-world examples of how best to migrate your provisioning platform to Digital Rebar Provision. This blog highlights one of these migration ideas.

L8ist Sh9y Podcast

Coming direct from Cambodia is a rare podcast with Jim Plamondon, the creator of how software platforms were built at Microsoft via APIs and developer evangelism. In this podcast, he talks about the early history of developer evangelism at Apple and Microsoft, the current state of open source, and the upcoming competitive industry coming from China and its roots in the third world.

Highlights
* Soviet Agriculture and Technology Market Comparison
* Why NeXT and Apple Failed with Software Industry but iPhone Succeeded
* China Industry Takeover is Coming: Product Price Points

UPCOMING EVENTS

Follow the latest info on RackN and Digital Rebar events at www.rackn.com/events

0 comments on “Migration Best Practices from Cobbler to Digital Rebar Provision”

Migration Best Practices from Cobbler to Digital Rebar Provision

In this video, Rob Hirschfeld and Greg Althaus provide operators real-world examples of how best to migrate your provisioning platform to Digital Rebar Provision. This blog highlights one of these migration ideas.

Scenario

  • 10 Servers running in multiple subnets
  • DHCP Server
  • Cobbler Provisioning Tool

Migration Process

  • Setup Digital Rebar Provision (DRP) in the Network
    • Create a new subnet with DHCP server installed
    • Operate the DHCP in reservation mode
  • Run DRP to discover the entire network across subnets without DHCP access
    • Create a mapping of infrastructure including MAC address to IP address
  • Migrate DRP control server by server
    • Turn off old DHCP server control for a specific MAC address and turn it on for new DHCP server
    • Reboot the specific MAC address node and DRP will manage the provisioning for that specific server
    • Confirm reset server and continue to manage the changeover server by server
  • Other Options
    • Continue to manage Cobbler for existing infrastructure and use DRP for all new nodes
    • Split provisioning services based on application being deployed

Watch the full video below to hear other scenarios presented for migration options.

Video Participants:

Rob Hirschfeld, Co-Founder/ CEO, RackN   Twitter: @zehicle
Greg Althaus, Co-Founder / CTO, RackN      Twitter: @galthaus

Get started with Digital Rebar today:

0 comments on “Podcast – Jim Plamondon tells history of developer evangelism and so much more”

Podcast – Jim Plamondon tells history of developer evangelism and so much more

Coming direct from Cambodia is a rare podcast with Jim Plamondon, the creator of how software platforms were built at Microsoft via APIs and developer evangelism. In this podcast, he talks about the early history of developer evangelism at Apple and Microsoft, the current state of open source, and the upcoming competitive industry coming from China and its roots in the third world.

Highlights

  • Soviet Agriculture and Technology Market Comparison
  • Why NeXT and Apple Failed with Software Industry but iPhone Succeeded
  • China Industry Takeover is Coming: Product Price Points

Books referenced in the podcast (links to Amazon, we have no agreement with them based on your click/purchase):

Note – If you are easily offended by language please consider skipping this podcast J

Topic                                                       Time (Minutes.Seconds)

Introduction                                           0.0 –  0.33
Creator of Developer Evangelism      0.33 – 4.58
Plamondon Files                                   4.58 – 5.53
Working with Hostile Community      5.53 – 7.02
Android vs iOS Platform                       7.02 – 7.46
Study: Apple vs Windows                    7.46 – 9.13
PC Industry – Mostly All Alive            9.13 – 10.00
Open Source has same Struggles     10.00 – 12.21 (Focus on individual not yechnology)
Cargo Cult & Hype Cycle                     12.21 – 16.11 (VR and AI are on version 3; not new at all)
Security Breach                                     16.11 – 17.01
Back to Hype Cycle                              17.01 – 19.03 (Markets find a solution that makes profits)
Latest thoughts on Open Source       19.03 – 23.25 (Zipf’s Law)
Time Buying Strategy                           23.25 – 25.07 (e.g. IBM Server response to Amazon S3)
Microsoft Anti-Trust & Apple Mgmt    25.07 – 28.45 (NeXT Failure)
iPhone walled Garden Worked           28.45 – 31.10
Android will defeat iPhone                   31.10 – 32.33
Internet Competition dead?                 32.33 – 36.07 (Here comes China)
Alibaba moves West                              36.07 – 39.45 (Take over 3rd world then US/Europe)
Per Capita Income Averages                39.45 – 43.55 (Own tiny consumer market than move up)
China and Open Source                        43.55 –  47.18
Western vs Asian Gov’ts                       47.18 – 49.50 (Go learn Mandarin)
Wrap Up                                                  49.50 – END

 

Podcast Guest: Jim Plamondon
Jim Plamondon is a retired Technology Evangelist, noted for formalizing Microsoft’s Technology Evangelism practices in the 1990’s.

 

 

 

0 comments on “Don’t Fear the Reboot – Safe Patterns for Automating Metal”

Don’t Fear the Reboot – Safe Patterns for Automating Metal

Author: Greg Althaus, CTO/Co-Founder RackN

Over the past few years we spent time with a wide variety of IT organizations to better understand the challenges they face deploying and enabling solutions. Two key themes emerged from these conversations:

  1. Zero-Touch (or as close as possible) Infrastructure
  2. Manual Inventory and Processes Don’t Scale and are Error Prone

With these two fundamental concepts in mind, we developed a highly targeted solution built on technology from the Digital Rebar open source community:

  • Digital Rebar Provision(DRP) provides a light-weight and easy to deploy API driven system to drive machines though a complete life-cycle.
  • DRP is designed around the concept of composition; the ability to build units of function that can be added to workflows so that infrastructure can be built and rebuilt consistently with fast error paths to discover problems.
  • RackN and the community offer content packages built for DRP to meet the needs of operators.

DRP operation follows a workflow pattern for machines from discovery to provisioned to decommission. This workflow approach allows operators to stage infrastructure provisioning with checks at critical stages of the process. There are 5 common workflows built into the tool; however additional workflows can be created and customized:

  •      Workflow 1 : DISCOVERY
  •      Workflow 2 : INSTALL
  •      Workflow 3 : DECOMMISSION
  •      Workflow 4 : MAINTENANCE
  •      Workflow 5 : RESTART

Over the next few weeks, I will be posting detailed blogs about each workflow stage providing insight into why this architecture was chosen and the benefits to operators. If you are interested in learning more about the Digital Rebar community or getting started with our RackN technology built on Digital Rebar I encourage you to click below:

0 comments on “It’s past time to give Cobbler the boot! Don’t PXE like it’s 1999”

It’s past time to give Cobbler the boot! Don’t PXE like it’s 1999

An interesting paradox in technology is our desire to obsess over the latest shiny (Note our L8istSh9y Podcast) object promising the moon; however, we tend to hold on to our reliable, dependable solutions that become outdated.  A great example of this reliance on outdated technology is the well-known Linux provisioning tool Cobbler.

Cobbler was built specially for Linux in the pre-cloud days with version 2.2.3-1 released in June 2012. The product continues on a schedule of 2 releases a year with the last update in September 2017. There is no commercial support, minimal development and hardly anyone keeping the lights on.  In today’s security landscape, that’s not a safe place for a critical infrastructure service.

The Digital Rebar community has taken the learnings from the Cobbler community.

We’ve built a modern PXE provisioning tool to handle today’s heterogeneous data centers and clouds as well architecting future provisioning needs for the upcoming edge computing rollouts. We believe that our new provisioning utility offers Cobbler users an easy path forward from their existing provisioning to modernize with an active, growing community focused on security, scalability, bare metal, heterogeneous infrastructure, etc.

Here are some key concepts around Digital Rebar that substantially enhance your Cobbler solution:

    • A small stand-alone Golang binary with no external dependencies – this provides operators the flexibility to place the provisioning tool anywhere including a network switch, Raspberry Pi or server as well as processor independence such as ARM or Intel.
    • API first approach based on 12-Factor App methodology – making the API a first-class citizen allows the CLI to be dynamically generated from the API ensuring 100% coverage of API implementations within the CLI
    • Composable content – Digital Rebar is architected with the concept of small, simple modules being assembled quickly to customize a unique and complex solution. This approach permeates of all the “Content” components that create the foundational building blocks for composable provisioning activities.
    • Flexible and Integrated DHCP – automating provisioning requires managing next boot instructions in a way to coordinates with install workflow.  It’s time to stop maintaining MAC tables and spreadsheets.
    • Secure and Auditable – The Digital Rebar API was built with security in mind with key features like limited use and duration tokens.  We’ve also built a comprehensive logging and event system so you can finally bring your provisioning into your operational processes.
    • Easy Migration / Complete Coverage – Built with Cobbler users in mind, the template system for Digital Rebar is intuitive with fixes where Cobbler needed them.  Check out our Cobbler vs Digital Rebar Feature Comparison Table.

We encourage Cobbler users to visit the Digital Rebar community home page and learn more about our technology. You can immediately get started with our technology or visit our YouTube page to see recent demonstrations of Digital Rebar including our Kubernetes deployment demonstration.

More Community Links:

0 comments on “January 12: Weekly Recap of Digital Rebar, RackN and Latest Industry News”

January 12: Weekly Recap of Digital Rebar, RackN and Latest Industry News

Welcome to the weekly post of the RackN blog recap of all things Digital Rebar, RackN, Edge Computing, and DevOps. If you have any ideas for this recap or would like to include content please contact us at info@rackn.com or tweet RackN (@rackngo)

Items of the Week

Industry News

According to a recent report from Forrester, executives and DevOps practitioners are on very different pages when it comes to strategy, customer experience, and progress. Consider this: more than 60 percent of executives believe their organization’s DevOps plans have been implemented and will even expand in the new year. However, more than 50 percent of DevOps pros who are in the weeds and working through their pipelines every day disagree.

What’s leading to this disconnect?

Open source has officially been a thing for 20 years now. Did anyone notice?

No, really. For something as revolutionary as open source, you’d think it would have changed the way all software is developed, sold, and distributed. Unfortunately for those party planners looking to celebrate the 20-year anniversary of open source, it hasn’t—changed software, that is. For most developers, most of the time, software remains stubbornly proprietary.

A lot of tomorrow’s analytics will be done locally at the “edge,” or in a public or private cloud. Here’s what will drive where your analysis will happen.

Some say everything — all data and applications — will go to the cloud. Others, such as market research firm IDC, say that around 40 percent of data will be stored, managed, analyzed and kept right where it was produced, at the edge. So where’s the truth? Everywhere, actually. Analytics will be done locally at the edge of the data center, or in a public, private, or hybrid cloud.

Digital Rebar

RackN

Re-defining physical automation to make it highly repeatable and widely consumable while also meeting the necessarily complex and evolving heterogeneous data center environment is the challenge the RackN team is solving. To meet this challenge, we have developed a unique philosophy in how we build our technology; both open source Digital Rebar and the additional RackN packages.

  • Stand-alone Provisioning
  • Building Software from the API
  • Single Golang Executable
  • Modular Components – Composable Content
  • Operator Defined Workflows
  • Immutable Infrastructure
  • Distributed or Consolidated Architectures

L8ist Sh9y Podcast

In this week’s podcast, we speak with Stephen O’Donnell, Senior Analyst for Global Hive and author of What Every CIO Wants. He focuses on several interesting topics:

  • Building Massively Scalable Datacenters
  • What is the Edge? Complete 25 Use Case Definition
  • Enterprise Datacenters Move to Edge
  • Layering Solutions on Edge Services

UPCOMING EVENTS

Follow the latest info on RackN and Digital Rebar events at www.rackn.com/events

 

0 comments on “Podcast: Digital Rebar Tech Discussion on Patch APIs, Swagger, and Integrations”

Podcast: Digital Rebar Tech Discussion on Patch APIs, Swagger, and Integrations

In this week’s L8ist Sh9y Podcast, we bring on the Digital Rebar team at RackN to discuss several issues they have working on over the past few months:

  • Patch Rest APIs and CLI : Scaling Challenges Require Patch
  • Swagger API History and Changes : No CLI Generation
  • Integrations to Existing Tools up the Stack

Topic                                                   Time (Minutes.Seconds)

Introduction                                              0.0 – 0.42
Intro to Digital Rebar Project                 0.42 – 1.58
Patch in Rest APIs                                    1.58 – 4.02  (Reference: JsonPatch.com)
Why not use PUT?                                  4.02 – 4.53
CLI use Reference Objects                    4.53 – 6.28
Examples of How Use This                    6.28 – 10.55
Patch Synchronous Question                10.55 – 12.32
Swagger Built into API                            12.32 – 15.44  (Reference: https://swagger.io/)
Operator view of CLI w/out Swagger  15.44 – 18.30
2 Key Points on Swagger Change         18.30 – 20.22
Integration to Other Systems                 20.22 – 28.13   (Grumpy Operators Syndrome)
Learn More About Digital Rebar            28.13 – END      (Digital Rebar Online Meetup Community)

Guest Podcast Attendees

  • Greg Althaus, Co-Founder, CTO RackN
  • Victor Lowther, Sr. Software Engineering, RackN
  • Shane Gibson, Sr. Architect and Community Evangelist, RackN

Digital Rebar is the open, fast and simple data center provisioning and control scaffolding designed with a cloud native architecture. Sponsored by RackN, this community is building an extensible stand-alone DCHP/PXE/IPXE service with minimal overhead offering a quick 5 minutes to provisioning solution.

Community Mission: Embrace the Heterogeneous Nature of Data Center Operations while Eliminating Complexity and Manual Steps.

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