AWS kicked off November with the announcement of a new Amazon Linux container image for cloud and on-premises workloads. As power users of AWS, EC2 and Docker, our AWS consultants are excited at this news; it will greatly ease the upfront planning process for clients, eliminating a dimension from the complex decision matrix we navigate designing a Docker-based setup in AWS.
According to IT Revolution press (hat tip to Gene Kim for the great article on this), there are three principles underpinning DevOps: an emphasis on the performance of the entire system over silos; creating tight, right to left feedback loops; and fostering a culture of continual experimentation, learning, and the understanding that practice is prerequisite to mastery. Today we’re going to examine how these underpinnings apply when it comes to Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) generally and AWS WorkSpaces specifically.
AWS launched EC2 Run Command in October 2015 to provide a simple way of automating common administrative tasks like installing software or patches, running shell commands, performing operating system changes, managing local groups and users, altering configuration files and more in Windows instances. AWS quickly followed the launch with the same feature for Linux instances, and in May 2016, they added the power to Manage & Share Commands, and the ability to use additional predefined commands along with any custom commands that users have created for their accounts.
In addition to the announced AWS CloudFormation YAML support, AWS also announced cross-stack references for CloudFormation. (For Flux7 commentary on YAML support, please see our blog post earlier this week here.) As our AWS experts work daily with CloudFormation, we were very interested in this news and couldn’t wait to roll up our sleeves and take a look for ourselves.
In our blog last week we told you that AWS CloudFormation has grown its support beyond JSON to include YAML. Prior to the announcement, our AWS consultants had been writing in YAML and used an in-house YAML CloudFormation generator to help us avoid the typical pain points associated with JSON. We promised in that article to share with you instructions on how to convert existing JSON CloudFormation templates into YAML and are delivering on that promise today.
Today AWS announced that CloudFormation will now support YAML. As big fans of YAML, we have been testing this new feature and are not disappointed in the results. Prior to this announcement, JSON specifications were used to write CloudFormation templates. However, we had been writing in YAML and using an in-house YAML CloudFormation generator which helped us avoid the typical pain points associated with JSON.
Amazon Web Services (AWS), the largest public cloud currently available, has added the ability to use the Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)’s powerful “Run Command” feature with a single log-in to execute commands in multiple locations, including EC2 instances, on-premises servers or virtual machines (VMs) from other cloud providers. Prior to this, it was necessary to log into each instance, server or VM separately.
Self-service IT is an important goal for many of our clients. They are looking for ways to increase their repeatability and speed the rate at which internal customers are serviced. Service Catalog effectively addresses each of these goals by providing automated infrastructure provisioning through easy buttons. Ops teams create these buttons and make them available to internal customers such as developers, engineers, or QA to easily request, receive and provision pre-approved infrastructure.
I had a friend ask me the other day how many meals I make at dinner time. One, I replied. But, you have kids, she stated incredulously. Yes, but I don’t run a restaurant. And neither does IT. However, IT has been treated like a restaurant for decades, with different people and departments placing their orders for specific technologies, with a dash of speedy service on the side.
Automating common administrative tasks to improve workload reliability and decrease potential risk is a common theme our consultants at Flux7 help our clients with. Doing so simplifies administration, encourages security through consistency and helps improve control over users and permissions. Amazon launched EC2 Run Command in October 2015 to help attain these benefits.