The oil and gas industry has a rich history and one that is deeply intertwined with regulation -- with Federal and State rules that regulate everything from exploration to production and transportation to workplace safety. As a result, our latest customer had amassed millions of paper documents to ensure its ability to prove compliance. It also maintained files with vast amounts of geological data, that served as the backbone of its intellectual property.
The Uptime Institute announced findings of its ninth annual Data Center Survey, unveiling several interesting -- and important -- data points. Underscoring what many in the industry are feeling about the skill gap, the survey found that 61% of respondents said they had difficulty retaining or recruiting staff — up from 55% a year earlier. And, according to the synopsis, “while the lack of women working in data centers is well-known, the extent of the imbalance is notable” with one-quarter of respondents saying they had no women at all on their design, build or operations teams.
According to the World Economic Forum, digital transformation could unlock approximately $1.6 trillion of value for the Oil and Gas industry, its customers and society. This value is derived from greater productivity, better system efficiency, savings from reduced resource usage, and fewer spills and emissions. Yet, the journey to these digital transformation benefits begins with a proverbial first step which can be elusive for large oil and gas enterprises who have vast legacy technologies and complicated organizational structures to navigate.
This article originally appeared on Forbes
According to CareerBuilder's Mid Year Job Forecast, 63% of U.S. employers planned to hire full-time, permanent workers in the second half of 2018. This growing demand coupled with low unemployment is driving a real talent shortage. The technology field, in particular, is experiencing acute pain when it comes to finding skilled talent. Indeed, more than five million IT jobs are expected to be added globally by 2027, reports BusinessInsider.
Palo Alto Networks made the most of a short week by announcing its plan to acquire container security company Twistlock for $410 million. It also announced plans to acquire serverless security company PureSec and launched Prisma, its new cloud security service. With cloud and container security top of mind for many, the acquisitions will prove to be valuable assets as enterprises seek to build security in.
Growjo is on a mission to identify the top growing companies across regions of the US and we’re excited to announce that Flux7 has been ranked among the fastest growing companies in the Austin area. Flux7’s rank of #88 is based on growth indicators and a predictive analysis algorithm unique to Growjo that not only creates the most complete list of the fastest growing companies, but it is also a great predictor of future growth.
This article originally appeared on Medium.
The other day I decided to re-watch Jurassic Park, the pop-classic from 1993 in which a theme park suffers a major power breakdown that allows its cloned dinosaurs to rampage freely throughout the park. If you are one of the few that haven’t seen it yet, I definitely recommend you do -- if nothing else for the realization I had as I watched it again. While the film steers us toward Chaos Theory and the Butterfly Effect, the big a-ha moment I had as I re-watched the film is that Jurassic Park is actually an IT failure that would have benefited from DevOps best practices.
At its ChefConf 2019 held last week in Seattle, Chef announced several enhancements to its Chef Enterprise Automation Stack (EAS). New features include comprehensive Application Operations Dashboards which Chef describes as providing end-to-end visibility of the application lifecycle; new Migration Accelerators; and new versions of Chef Infra and Chef InSpec that use Chef Habitat to make it even easier to deploy, update and manage the EAS regardless of environment.
Companies that want to increase their ability to deploy faster and increase uptime are using Landing Zones in AWS with Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD). With benefits for security, operations, development and the business, CI/CD helps developers deliver code more frequently and more reliably with the help of DevOps automation. In today’s article, we’ll take a look at the benefits of pairing a Landing Zone with CI/CD. Spoiler alert: together they multiply the business’s ability to grow efficiency, productivity, security and time to market.
Fresh off the presses this week is Mark Schwartz’s newest title, War and Peace and IT. Published by IT Revolution Press, the book is available in paperback, as an e-book and audio book. The author of The Art of Business Value and A Seat at the Table, Schwartz has crafted in War and Peace and IT a must-read for C-level executives and all IT leaders looking to effectively execute digital transformation that crosses barriers into the fray of competition and disruption. Despite digital transformation and innovation efforts, enterprises feel that their troops are not advancing. As a result, Schwartz’s latest book focuses on how non-IT leaders can work with IT to succeed in advancing their business goals amidst rapid change and innovation.
At KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe this past week, data from a new Codefresh survey finds that four of five developers cite a lack of DevOps automation as an obstacle to delivering code in a timely manner. Indeed, 32% said that they were not using any CI/CD tools at all, and about 60% reported that their organization is “not using the right amount of automation to enable individual developers to increase velocity.”
Join Kelly Loony, AWS Practice Lead-DevOps, and Erik Larson, Flux7 Solutions Architect, as they present a one day workshop on how Serverless Technology is impacting business now (and what you need to get started). IT leaders are challenged to increase their teams’ speed of productivity and manage data centers while building and nurturing hardware and software expertise that may not provide tangible business impact. Serverless technology on AWS is enabling companies to address these challenges by building modern applications with increased agility and lower total cost of ownership.
The Red Hat Summit held last week brought several pieces of noteworthy news, including the announcement of RHEL 8, OpenShift 4 and a new Red Hat offering for developers, technology partners, and users called the Red Hat Universal Base Image (UBI). With it, operators can now build a containerized application on UBI, push it to a container registry server of your choosing, and share it with Red Hat customers and non-customers alike.
DockerCon took place this past week in San Francisco. The key announcement from Docker at the show was the unveiling of its New Docker Enterprise 3.0 platform which includes, according to the company, a new integrated Docker Desktop Enterprise to increase developer productivity and automate application delivery; Docker Kubernetes Services to simplify application scaling and deployment; and Docker Applications for high-velocity innovation. Docker also announced at the event it has created a foundation to help educate under served communities about modern technologies.
Earlier we wrote about accelerating cloud success with factories that support DevOps. Today we’re going to zoom out a little and explore how DevOps automation has become a lynchpin to IT modernization and a competitive position in today’s marketplace. Just as the assembly line gave automakers an incredible advantage in the market, DevOps automation creates efficiencies of scale that bring serious competitive advantage to today’s early adopters.
Just days ahead of DockerCon, Docker announced a partnership with Arm to enable cloud developers to build applications for the cloud, edge, and IoT environments on the Arm architecture. In a press release, the companies state that they are working together to provide the first frictionless cloud-native unified software development and delivery model for cloud, edge, and IoT devices. The collaboration includes a common software pipeline and delivery and production frameworks.
Keeping in line with the principals of a Well Architected Review (WAR), we are constantly challenged by our customers to help evolve their requirements into repeatable and automated patterns deployed in their AWS environment, using the latest AWS has to offer in its growing list of managed services. In this case, a research wing of a global industrial firm wanted a solution to replace their current VPN and bastion host solution with access control topping the list. The answer: AWS Client site VPN.
The big buzz this week (pun intended) was from #CloudBeesDays where CloudBees announced the acquisition of Electric Cloud. The goal, according to a release by the company is to establish CloudBees as the first provider of DevOps continuous integration, continuous delivery, continuous deployment and ARA. Sacha Labourey, CEO and co-founder, was quoted as saying, “By combining the strength of CloudBees, Electric Cloud, Jenkins and Jenkins X, CloudBees offers the best CI/CD solution for any application, from classic to Kubernetes, on-premise to cloud, self-managed to self-service.”
Today Flux7 announced it has closed a round of funding from NewWave Partners, LLC. This is truly exciting news for us, and a significant milestone as we continue to expand our DevOps consulting services to speed our customer’s time to results. The news just gets better as we are also announcing today that Sagar Lagisetti, a NewWave partner and executive director for Magnum Opus IT, an SAP Service Partner, will join the Flux7 Board of Directors. We are truly honored to have Mr. Lagisetti join our Board, bringing a breadth and depth of experience in shaping how companies do business.
An important tool provider to DevOps companies, Atlassian made several announcements at the annual Atlassian Summit, held last week in Las Vegas. Opsgenie, the incident management software Atlassian acquired last September, was updated to integrate more deeply with the Atlassian platform. Other new features include anew incident timeline, actions that automatically trigger repeatable tasks, Slack integration, and edge encryption. Confluence, Atlassian’s content collaboration tool, also saw feature updates this week, with new content organization tools, added visual editing and most notably new analytics with the acquisition of Good Software, which makes analytics tools for Confluence users and admins.
Join us at the IDC CIO Perspectives conference in New York as Flux7 CEO, Dr. Aater Suleman, presents on “Managing your IT Platform Transition to the Agile Enterprise.” In his presentation, Dr. Suleman will share a practical framework for enterprise digital transformation, illustrated with customer stories and digital transformation examples that highlight common patterns of success and failure.
According to a report released by Cloud Foundry at its Cloud Foundry Summit last week, for the first time, a majority of companies are putting mission critical apps in the cloud. Moreover, the study found that 74% of companies think of digital transformation as “perpetual shifts and constant adaption of new technology” rather than a one-time fix. And, 62% report they expect containers to be mainstreamed at their organization within a year with 48% using a combination of PaaS, containers and serverless technologies together.
When we started Flux7 in 2013, Aater and I were first-time entrepreneurs. While we knew we wanted to create a workplace that everyone enjoys coming to and being a part of, we weren’t versed on the best steps to take to get there. So, we started reading. (Actually, it started with Aater reading books and m listening to his summaries, but soon I started reading, too). Reading books really helped me learn and improve. So much so that I wanted to discuss every book I read with my coworkers, (now I understand why Aater shared all those book summaries) which led to the creation of the Flux7 Library.
Technology leaders are increasingly being asked to help their companies use technology as a competitive platform to help further engage and serve customers. Yet, as customer needs -- and expectations -- change and grow, so too does the technology landscape. Navigating these changes creates complex challenges, especially as transforming technology portfolios does not happen overnight.
Amazon was busy at its #AWSSummit in Santa Clara last week, announcing several new service offerings (or the general availability of solutions previously announced), including Deep Learning Containers, Concurrency Scaling for Amazon Redshift, Amazon S3 Glacier Deep Archive, AWS App Mesh, and AMD-powered Amazon EC2 M5ad and R5ad instances.
According to research by Aberdeen, business data is growing exponentially, with the average company seeing the volume of their data grow at a rate that exceeds 50% per year. A customer of ours who provides specialized healthcare services approached us to help with their data growth challenges. With rapid expansion and complexity in the volume of its data, the firm sought to implement a data lake solution in the AWS cloud space.
At #DWS19, the DataWorks Summit in Barcelona, Cloudera introduced its strategy for bringing together Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) and Cloudera Distribution Hadoop (CDH) following its merger. According to Cloudera’s Hollison, the CDP will have four primary elements: support for multi-function analytics; support every possible means of cloud delivery with a common metadata catalog and schema; a common security and governance model across both; and it shall be open platform.
This article originally appeared on Forbes
It’s frequently said that Kubernetes is one of the fastest-growing projects in open-source history (paywall). Along with containers and microservices, Kubernetes is gaining traction within more and more enterprises as it helps expedite time to market, more quickly meeting evolving customer demands while providing greater return on investment with less total cost of ownership. Yet, amid all the enthusiasm for increased productivity, it’s important not to forget about security controls in the process.
‘Meet customers where they are.’ This advice is simultaneously sage and as helpful as “buy low, sell high”. To meet evolving customer needs and expectations requires a technology foundation that engages people along the customer journey, engaging them across digital channels. Delivering on such a strategy requires advanced insight into emerging technologies, development models that link technology and business teams, and infrastructure improvements that will accelerate innovation to match the ever-evolving speed of the market.
This week a new DevOps initiative was launched to create a next generation of continuous delivery collaboration. Designed to be a new foundation for the diverse continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) space, the Continuous Delivery Foundation (CDF) shall serve as a vendor-neutral home for open source continuous delivery projects. The Linux Foundation reports that the CDF aspires to foster collaboration among the industry’s top developers, end users, and vendors to evangelize CI/CD and DevOps methodologies, define/document best practices, provide guidelines, and create training materials to enable any software development team around the world to implement CI/CD best practices.
In our last blog, we discussed the role of knowledge transfer (KT) in ensuring ongoing DevOps success. (In case you missed it, you can read it here) As promised, today we’re going to take a closer look at the specific KT offerings the Flux7 DevOps consulting team brings to bear to help customers achieve their DevOps adoption goals.
“Na hee gnanena sadrusham” - Nothing is comparable to knowledge. As this Sanskrit proverb implies, nothing is as crucial as knowledge transfer (KT) for DevOps success. More than simple DevOps training, KT is the process of creating, capturing, organizing, sharing and/or distributing knowledge to ensure its availability. Importantly, KT provides inputs to problem-solving for future users and use cases. It is through KT offerings that the Flux7 DevOps consulting team empowers its customers, teaching them how to fish and helping them build an Agile enterprise. (For more information, refer to our blog, Why We Teach Our Customers How to Fish.)
RSA took place last week and as a result, cloud security is in the news. According to the 6th annual DevSecOps Community Survey by Sonatype, CloudBees, Carnegie Mellon’s Software Engineering Institute and several other partners, corporate application security initiatives are only gradually gaining traction. For example, they find that only 54% of responding organizations have cybersecurity incident response plans in place, a figure that held steady from last year. And, 26% reported that they have no protections for confidential information like passwords and API keys. Notably, security tools are still not well integrated with the DevOps pipeline. Only 11% report a fully integrated and automated security.
The technology field is experiencing a real pinch when it comes to finding skilled talent. In fact, over five million IT jobs will be added to the global economy in the next 8 years, according to BusinessInsider. With companies already struggling to fill these positions, many teams find themselves in need of extra man hours to achieve their team goals and business objectives.
We are often asked by prospective customers about our remote approach to providing AWS DevOps consulting services as many enterprises are accustomed to working with service providers onsite. At Flux7, we believe that remote consulting provides distinct advantages that are important to pass along to the customer.
This week the annual RSA conference kicks off in San Francisco. The theme of this year’s Conference is “Better” with the intention of sparking discussion among enterprises about what it means to get better when it comes to security. The RSAC Advisory Board has identified a few key challenges facing cybersecurity, the top two of which are DevSecOps and Cloud Security. What lessons can be learned from these two areas of practice to help improve security across the organization will be a leading area of discussion that we look forward to this week.
Traditional IT is being put under increasing pressure by the business to do more with less, simultaneously driving innovation, growing customer satisfaction, and maintaining system security and compliance—all while increasing scalability, reliability and uptime. In no other business are these pressures being felt more than in financial services where customer https://www.flux7.com/aws-security-with-agility/expectations for availability and the security of their data remain extremely high. Recently, a large privately held regional bank reached out to the AWS experts at Flux7 to ask for help creating a secure foundation in AWS for a new customer-facing application.
What do factories have to do with DevOps? Consider that the introduction of factories vastly improved society’s ability to manufacture goods, replacing a system where each component of a product needed to be individually created by a craftsman. In contrast, factories introduced parts that were machine-created to such precise specifications that they became interchangeable and as a result ushered in an era of mass production. In much the same way, factories replace the individual craftsmanship of our Operations and Development employees, replacing their time-consuming construction of individual cloud components with a factory that can quickly create precise and secure IT artifacts.
Wonder how your DevOps efforts compare to others in the industry? Atlassian recently surveyed 500 software development and IT professionals about their tools and practices and released seven key findings from their research. Namely, the average respondee uses 3.3 different tools to unearth the status of a project (the company notes that for Jira users, it’s a mere 2.3); a full three-fourths of dev teams face bugs, defects, or delays at release; 71% of teams who use microservices report that it’s easier to test or deploy features; and 47% of teams ship changes and receive customer feedback faster with a CI/CD cloud solution.
The customer in today’s DevOps Case Study is a global supplier of financial service technology who was challenged by this organizational tension and other internal factors that constrained growth. It turned to the DevOps consulting team at Flux7 to help it bridge the gap with DevOps automation that would help it streamline its delivery processes, ensuring faster times to market with security built in for operational stability.
With the fast pace of evolving technology, new engineering approaches are necessary. From smart cities to green engineering, the opportunities in front of engineering firms are both large and exciting. Yet, to take advantage of these opportunities, engineering design firms must be agile in their collaboration with each other and their customers. With advanced approaches to integrated engineering and design, our newest customer is a rapidly growing engineering firm whose fast expansion is bringing these challenges to the fore. Wanting to move to the cloud to expand its agility, ensure security and continue its industry-leading levels of customer satisfaction, the design firm called the AWS consulting partner, Flux7.
A few weeks ago we wrote about the growing demand for DevOps skills and this month’s Index by TIOBE affirms the greater thrust with Python now ranking third in its index of most popularly searched for programming languages. According to reporting by DevOps.com, 43% of developers are using Python for DevOps projects, as well as system administration and writing automation scripts--an 8% increase from 2017. Both Java and C remain more popular than Python, with C++ moving down a spot to make room for Python.
In a recent survey of over 70,000 developers, HackerRank found that professional growth and work-life balance are the two most important workplace considerations for developers, closely followed by interesting projects to work on. Curious by nature, and in an industry where ongoing learning is a career imperative, at Flux7 we have taken a unique approach to professional development, empowering our employees to grow personally and professionally through mentorship, ongoing team training, and the Flux7 library.
Join us at the IDC CIO Perspectives conference in Ft. Worth as G6 Hospitality CIO, Jessie Burgess, and Flux7 CEO, Aater Suleman, present at CIO Perspectives on “How G6 Hospitality Leads Business Transformation through IT Agility”. As a recognized leader in the economy lodging segment for more than 55 years, G6 Hospitality is in the midst of a major transformation of its technology platform that aims to keep its competitive edge while building on the iconic heritage of its Motel 6 and Studio 6 brands.
A new report from Synergy Research Group reveals that Q4 2018 spending on cloud infrastructure services grew 45% over the year prior, resulting in a full-year growth rate of 48% for 2018. Synergy notes that Amazon continues to move its market share upwards and remains equivalent in size to its next four competitors combined.
In our DevOps consulting services, we work daily with AWS architectures on behalf of a wide variety of large enterprises. As a result, we were excited to see that Amazon announced AWS Transit Gateway at re:Invent. Indeed, one of the most talked about launches of the show, AWS Transit Gateway addresses pent-up demand for a simplified solution to connectivity across multiple Amazon Virtual Private Clouds (VPCs) and on-premise networks. Having had a little time to explore the new solution, in today’s blog we’ll walk through what the service entails, our impressions of the new service, and how we hope to see it evolve.
Challenged with increased competitive pressure, many organizations turn to DevOps methodologies to increase agility, speed their time to market, access additional markets, and more. Helping address these pressures, DevOps process improvements both speed developer and operations productivity while increasing the quality and security of output. According to Forrester, with half of enterprises now implementing DevOps, the conversation has moved from “What is DevOps?” to “How do I implement at scale?”.
Happy Data Privacy Day! An international effort to promote privacy, data protection best practices, and to empower individuals and business to safeguard data, the day is celebrated across the United States, 47 European countries, Canada, and India. It marks the signing in 1981 of the first legally binding, international treaty to deal with data protection and privacy. Technology has only served to underscore the importance of this decades-old treaty.
We recently had the opportunity to work with a publicly traded media organization to enable blue/green and rolling restart deployment pipelines for its customer-facing website. Part of a larger effort to replatform its entire data center with hundreds of applications, the website is moving from on-premise to the public cloud. (See our blog, DevOps Adoption Case Study: Developing an AWS Cloud Migration Path for additional background.) Running Amazon EKS in AWS, the overarching goal of the project is to increase this organization’s agility, assuring uptime and high availability of the website as it is the company’s revenue engine.
This article originally appeared on Forbes.
As businesses increasingly realize that they are technology companies that happen to make a product or service, the line of business (LOB) often becomes more involved in technology processes. A natural evolution of this is that the LOB will look to find ways to help a development team deploy and scale faster, bringing solutions to market as quickly and competitively as possible. Many organizations are turning to containerization to easily and efficiently achieve these goals.
A new year is a time for new beginnings; yet many organizations are kicking off the year with an ongoing search for talent that will aid them in their cloud migration. According to a recent survey by OpsRamp, 94% of polled IT organizations have experienced challenges finding candidates with the right skills and experience, noting that it can often take longer than a month to find suitable candidates. And the skills gap had 25% waiting three months or more to find skilled candidates. The most sought after skills in 2018 are likely no surprise...
As we greet the new year, we are taking a look back at the best of 2018, sharing those blog topics that gave our readers the most inspiration in their DevOps and IT modernization journeys. Last week we shared our most popular analysis and expert commentary on AWS Migration and DevOps transformation. As promised, today we’ll delve into CI/CD, DevOps security and specific AWS tools that are sure to remain just as popular in 2019 as they were last year.
According to research by IDG, 2018 saw a continued investment in the cloud by organizations big and small, with 73% of enterprises running at least one application, or a portion of their computing infrastructure, in the cloud. Another 17% say they plan to do so within the next 12 months. Moreover, more than one-third of IDG’s surveyed executive technology leaders feel pressure from the business to execute a complete cloud migration. The overarching goals of such a cloud migration: speed IT service delivery, increase agility, enable business continuity, and improve the customer experience.
Developing games is much like the movies, novels, or any other business that relies on the ever-changing taste of popular culture. While not every game, (or book or film for that matter) will be a hit, which one will ultimately skyrocket in popularity remains more art than science. However, that doesn’t mean that the infrastructure supporting them needs to be an artistic production. Drawing another kind of aesthetic, the development team at our customer, who creates and markets video games, has applied the latest developments in DevOps automation to streamline its infrastructure, optimizing the technology and HR resources needed to support each of its games.
Our DevOps consulting team at Flux7 works with dozens of enterprises to help mature their IT programs and improve their operational excellence. In the process of moving from traditional IT to starting and scaling DevOps in the enterprise, we begin the process of moving to “everything as code” including infrastructure, configuration, pipeline, and security as code. While this approach may be applied to modern apps designed as microservices, or legacy monolithic apps, in either case, failures and incidents will happen. There should be a plan to handle them and that is where Game Days come in.
For scalable, secure AWS DevOps, it’s important to start on the right foot. For this reason, we were recently contacted by our client, a marketing solutions provider to more than 500,000 small businesses across America, to help them with their cloud-based DevOps transition. The company wanted to bring Development, IT and Security under one umbrella, gain AWS skills and enhance security with its new AWS DevOps initiative.
On the heels of AWS releasing a slew of new service features at its re:Invent show last week, DevOps tools providers are wrapping up the year with a few DevOps news announcements worth note. As 2018 begins to wind itself down, end of year surveys are begin to appear. Portworx shared the results of its recent survey, the 2018 Annual Container Adoption Survey in which it found that, “four out of five enterprises are now
As a DevOps consulting group, we are increasingly asked about achieving DevOps at scale. Indeed, we recently published a blog series on the topic, outlining a seven step process for achieving enterprise DevOps. You can check that out here. Today we’d like to share the story of how a global manufacturer of heavy duty machinery adopted a DevOps onboarding model with the assistance of the Flux7 Enterprise DevOps Framework in the process establishing a scalable, secure infrastructure for its digital business platforms.
Consumers increasingly expect digital offerings from companies they do business with. Both B2B and B2C customers are placing increasing pressure on organizations to digitize and modernize their offerings. Yet, knowing where and how to begin can be a challenge, especially for large enterprises who face these pressures across product lines and must be able to answer ongoing questions of security, compliance and risk management in their cloud computing migration strategy.
Last week we shared with you the thoughts of the AWS Premier Consulting Partner engineering team at Flux7 on AWS re:Invent announcements around EC2, AppDev, Archiving and Databases. And, as promised, today we’ll delve into our remaining thoughts on which re:Invent announcements we’re most excited about and why.
As AWS Premier Consulting Partners, the engineering team here at Flux7 works day-in and day-out with a wide variety of AWS services. Whether we’re helping our enterprise customers speed time to market, grow security, or leverage high performance computing for competitive advantage, our goal is to use the right tool for the right job. Ironically, that was the theme of this year’s re:Invent keynotes, in which Andy Jassy and Werner Vogels (true to form) announced many new AWS products and services. In today’s blog, our engineers are weighing in on which announcements they’re most excited about and why.
We have the pleasure of working with a research group staffed with hundreds of brilliant researchers tasked with developing innovative new materials and technologies. This talented team of scientists is eager to test their ideas. Yet, the group had inherited infrastructure that got in the way of continuous innovation.
On the eve of re:Invent, which we will cover as the week progresses, there are several interesting AWS news announcements that apparently didn’t make the cut for this week’s keynotes. In addition, Q3 data by Synergy Research Group find that AWS is still the global leader in the public cloud services market, as measured by revenue across North and Latin America, EMEA, and APAC regions. Follow our IT Modernization blog for ongoing AWS news analysis from our CTO, Ali Hussain, over the course of re:Invent.
We’re pleased to announce that Mr. Jessie Burgess, CIO at G6 will join Flux7 CEO, Aater Suleman, on stage at this year’s CIO Perspectives in Houston, TX on December 5th. Together they will share How G6 Hospitality Leads Business Transformation through IT Agility.
Infrastructure as Code has revolutionized how we manage infrastructure and AWS CloudFormation has played a foundational role in this process. As AWS Premier Consulting Partners, at Flux7 we have many customers using AWS CloudFormation to deploy their infrastructure. Yet, the benefits of AWS CloudFormation aren’t just about deploying, as it is instrumental in maintaining and providing future
This article originally appeared at Forbes.
Containers are a hot topic, yet production usage remains low, according to Gartner, with most enterprise container adoptions in an early phase. A recent survey by Diamanti backs this up, finding that while almost half (47%) of the IT leaders it surveyed plan to deploy containers in a production environment, only 12% have already done so.
Underscoring a rapid shift in DevOps automation and IT Modernization, Cisco Systems released findings this week of a new survey in which IT Leaders reported that within two years more than two-thirds expect their approach to become either predictive (33%) or preemptive (33%). Indeed, 42% of respondents said they
We are honored to share that the DevOps team at Flux7 was named to the CRN Magazine 2018 Next-Gen 250 list for the second consecutive year. In case you are unfamiliar, this annual list identifies IT solution providers who have embraced emerging technologies and are setting the pace for the rest of the channel in their adoption. Those on the list have been identified by experts at The Channel Company as meeting their customers’ ever-changing IT needs in areas such as cloud based technologies, IoT, virtualization, mobility, business analytics and business intelligence.
At Flux7, we have extensive experience as a DevOps sherpa to organizations and in the process have learned a lot, including creating a DevOps model for success -- called the Enterprise DevOps Framework, or EDF -- a key element of which is the Landing Zone.
With half of enterprises reporting that they have implemented and are looking to expand DevOps within the enterprise--according to Forrester Research’s Global DevOps Benchmark--it’s important to follow those steps sure to lead to success. We’ve been sharing details behind a proven seven step process, and today we’ll highlight how an organization which has set the foundation for transformation operates in the world of DevOps at scale.
Flux7 never set out to be a traditional company. From its inception, founders Aater Suleman and Ali Hussain knew they wanted to place a priority on corporate culture. Their goal: to create an environment where innovation, transparency, and humbleness would be key drivers in how everyone went about their work, regardless of role. Five years later, corporate culture remains a driving force at Flux7, and the company focuses on reinforcing these values with each new hire.
Moving to DevOps can be difficult and every organization faces its own particular set of challenges. Join us in Dallas, TX on Tuesday, November 6th as top DevOps experts from AWS, New Relic, and Flux7 present a free, half-day workshop on proven and practical steps you can take today to accelerate your DevOps transformation.
We recently had the opportunity to work with a global communications company that shapes how consumers, businesses, governments and militaries around the world communicate. As part of our work with them, we were establishing a new AWS Disaster Recovery (DR) process, part of which had a Jenkins backup in another AWS Availability Zone (AZ). In helping the firm with its cross-AZ DR process, we were challenged with the Jenkins job status which impacted the AZ status. AWS Disaster Recovery blog is the story of how we approached the situation, creating a unique solution that solved the customer’s needs all in one place.
We kick off this week’s IT Modernization and DevOps News with Puppet who held its global conference, Puppetize Live, this past week. At the show, Puppet introduced a new product, Puppet Insights, that helps customers measure their software delivery performance and benchmark progress with a goal to help measure DevOps like you would any other part of the business.
At G6 Hospitality, it is their mission is to build on the iconic heritage of their brands — Motel 6 and Studio 6 — to become the universally recognized leader in economy lodging. G6 Hospitality operates its business with the drive and creativity of an entrepreneur, guided by a heart that’s dedicated to hospitality and service.
Last week we introduced the idea of enterprise DevOps at scale, and the seven step process that has emerged to effectively achieve this goal, helping organizations effectively reap economies of scale and address the complexities inherent to a large enterprise. While our last blog series on DevOps adoption focused heavily on the first two steps -- plan and assess, and pilot -- today’s article will dive more deeply into the third step of the process: pattern identification.
Risk management is an integral part of any IT modernization conversation, especially among the C-suite. As financial services organizations embrace DevOps and Agile processes and move more and more of their infrastructure to the cloud to facilitate DevOps automation, we’ve seen an increase in conversation around GRC in the cloud.
Print is the new digital and no one proves that more than one of our most recent customers who is a brand-name publishing house. Embracing a digital-first business model, this publisher’s IT, development and security teams sought to significantly reduce their on-premise footprint, moving to Docker and AWS. As part of its move, the need for a secret management solution was identified and we were happy to get the call to help address the company’s need with the Flux7 SmartStart for HashiCorp Vault.
Challenged with increased competitive pressure, many organizations turn to Agile and DevOps methodologies to speed their time to market, access additional markets, and more. DevOps ushers in process improvements through automation that speeds developer and operations productivity and efficiency. While these benefits are alluring, many large enterprises don’t know where or how to begin their foray into DevOps.
Underscoring the ever-evolving nature of IT modernization in our industry, 451 Research released findings from its latest Voice of the Enterprise survey on AI & Machine Learning. It notes that most organizations are adopting or considering adopting machine learning due to its benefits. (Increased competitive advantage and enhanced customer experience were listed as the #1 and #2 benefits.) Indeed, almost 50% of 451 survey respondents have deployed or plan to deploy machine learning in their organizations within the next 12 months.
In other IT modernization news:
It’s not an understatement to say that uptime for this provider’s emergency communications services, can spell the difference between life and death. Communicating with people during critical events to keep them safe, informed and connected, this company had a need to maintain its 100 percent up time, security and availability as it grew. The DevOps team here at Flux7 were glad to take the call to give them a hand.
DevOps ushers in new processes, new teams and new technology, so how does one define success? In this final article in our DevOps adoption series, we’ll share our thoughts on a few concrete DevOps metrics your team can use to measure positive change, and just as importantly, why they matter. As the old adage goes, what gets measured gets done and when it comes to DevOps, the overarching impact we should be making is to Time to Business Value.
With competitive pressures demanding organizations innovate and bring new products and services to market faster, we’re seeing more and more enterprises moving to the cloud for IT modernization that maximizes the benefits of DevOps automation. Interestingly, Chef this week shared results of a recent survey it conducted finding a dramatic shift to the cloud among its survey respondents.
The idea of the trading floor conjures images of people in funny jackets gesticulating wildly and madly scribbling on notepads when they aren’t shouting orders. Yet, this hectic vision of a trading floor is slowly becoming a relic of the past as trading goes virtual and traders handle more and more business through the Internet. In this new paradigm, those trading firms who are primed for speed have a clear advantage. As a result, we recently had the opportunity to work with an investment firm who was looking to gain competitive advantage by migrating its on-premise systems to AWS with a goal to grow the robustness of its trading, analysis and financial management functions while maintaining a secure posture -- all without breaking the bank. Read on for this AWS migration case study.
Kicking off our review of IT Modernization news this week, is a new report by DORA, the DevOps Research and Assessment group, illustrating how DevOps practices pay off for organizations in terms of performance and quality outcomes. In its annual report, DORA adds a new measure, SDO, software delivery and operational performance that measures availability, finding that SDO performance helps organizations achieve competitive advantages like increased profitability, productivity, market share, customer satisfaction, and the ability to achieve organization and mission goals.
VMWorld took center stage last week, with the company highlighting how it is moving beyond server virtualization to “accelerate your journey to a software-defined business—from mobile devices to the data center and the cloud.” Indeed, Amazon's announcement of Amazon RDS on VMware made a big splash this past week with our AWS consulting group.
We are thrilled and humbled to announce today that Flux7 has been named the winner of the 2018 Stratus Award for Cloud Integrator, Small Company from The Business Intelligence Group. The Stratus Awards honor companies, products and people that offer unique solutions that take advantage of cloud technologies.
Your IT modernization news kicks off this week with VMWorld. At the show VMware previewed a variety of new technologies, the furtherment of its multi-cloud support, and launched a new solution that will help VMware Cloud Provider partners transition to multi-cloud. The new solutions are designed to help its partners deliver a VMware-based software-defined data center.
Companies have ‘life events’ and we often get the opportunity to work with them at these times as they spur the need for change. In the case of the customer we’re highlighting today, they reached out to the AWS Premier Consulting Partners at Flux7 as they had recently acquired a Canadian-based company for whom they needed to complete a full Disaster Recovery (DR) build out. The firm is subject to Canadian regulations that state that data created in Canada needs to remain stored in Canada. As a result, this audit firm needed a Canadian DR facility that would store all data in country.
We are excited to unveil for you today our newest solution, Flux7 Renovate™. Digital disruption, rising customer expectations and the need to reduce IT costs place immense pressure on enterprises to modernize and gain competitive advantage. Flux7 Renovate is designed to help enterprises increase their rate of IT modernization by simplifying and accelerating the deployment of common business applications on AWS.
Inc. magazine today ranked Flux7 906 on its 37th annual Inc. 5000, the most prestigious ranking of the nation's fastest-growing private companies. We are excited to be amongst great company as the Inc. list represents a unique look at some of the most successful companies within the American economy--with past winners including companies such as Microsoft, Dell, LinkedIn, Zillow, and many others.
Join the Flux7 DevOps team as we host HashiCorp co-founder and CTO, Armon Dadgar, on Thursday, August 30th in Austin, TX. Armon will present how to use Consul Connect to secure service-to-service communication.
This week saw cloud security in the headlines again with yet another public disclosure of a misconfigured Amazon S3 bucket that left data wide open to the public. With Black Hat in Vegas this week, it may be little wonder that we also saw several news items of organizations bringing more security tools to DevOps and container-based environments.
We start this week’s DevOps News with an update on the size of the cloud market. In what may be more confirmation than news, we learn that AWS is still the market leader -- but we’ll share just how its business is growing and why that may be important. And, this week we saw several product enhancement announcements -- from Red Hat to Git. Read on for this week’s news in review.
Last week we shared with you the story of an enterprise media group’s IT modernization project in which it had determined an AWS cloud migration was the ideal path. While we previously shared the company’s overarching migration strategy (and the approach it took to develop that strategy), today we’ll dive into one specific set of applications, sharing how the Center of Excellence (COE) addressed the technical challenge of migrating over 100+ Java applications to AWS.
Last week we shared several interesting reports on trends in the industry and tools to use to take advantage of them. This week, Forrester issued an intriguing report on high-performing DevOps organizations, what commonalities they share and what low performing organizations have in common. Commissioned by Tricentis, you can download the report here, gratis.
Flux7 had the opportunity to work with an enterprise media group on its IT modernization project in which it had determined an AWS cloud migration was the ideal path. The challenge faced by the customer and Flux7 DevOps team was that the customer was under pressure to move these applications, which numbered into the hundreds, to AWS within one year. Today’s blog is the story of how we partnered with the customer to develop a migration approach for its ongoing AWS DevOps adoption.
As we settle into the dog days of summer, it can be a good time to take a step back and examine some of the bigger trends in the industry and examine how we can take advantage of emerging technologies to gain new advantage. Doing just that this week was SDXcentral who released the findings of two separate studies on Containers and Cloud Security and Forrester research who issued its list of The Top Emerging Technologies To Watch in 2018.
There is a lot to be said for working remotely. From less stress and lower commuting costs, to greater employee productivity and reduced turnover, remote workforces offer a true win-win. Yet, to ensure that everyone transitions as seamlessly as possible into an 100% remote workforce, onboarding is a critical step. At Flux7 we feel that onboarding and even pre-onboarding help set the stage to ensure that every new employee feels welcome and has a good understanding of the lay of the land. While a lot goes into achieving this goal, we thought we’d share today the Flux7 onboarding process.
As part of our ongoing blog series on DevOps adoption, we’ve touched on the topic of migrating systems to the cloud as it helps codify DevOps best practices via an ecosystem of tools steeped in IT process automation. Today we’ll dive a little deeper into the topic of cloud migration, exploring in greater depth the topics of replatforming, refactoring, how the two compare, and when you might favor one approach over the other.
At DockerCon this past week, Docker announced new capabilities for Docker Enterprise Edition and we also saw Splunk announce the acquisition of VictorOps. With this and Amazon news to boot, let’s dive into this week’s DevOps News.
As part of our ongoing blog series on DevOps adoption motivators and best practices, we recently shared Seven Lessons for a Successful DevOps Pilot in which we touched on the criticality of choosing the right team to staff your DevOps pilot. In today’s blog, we will dive deeper into our recommendations for the ideal team size, composition, and the roles each team member should play.
Fun Fact: Four years ago this past week -- on June 6, 2014 to be exact -- the first commit of what would become the public repository for Kubernetes was checked in. And with that, we kick off our DevOps news coverage this week with the announcement that Amazon EKS is now generally available.
As an AWS Premier Consulting Partner, we’re excited to share with you today that we are now conducting AWS Well-Architected Reviews for one workload in your IT infrastructure, at no cost. Flux7 will help apply the new AWS Well-Architected framework to ensure your cloud architects are building the most secure, high-performing, resilient and efficient workload as possible, as based on AWS best practices and our experience with over 300 enterprise AWS DevOps projects.
The cloud is changing the way we talk and think about IT and the leading cloud proviers are consistently transforming cloud computing to bring even greater depth and maturity of services to IT organizations in their pursuit of IT modernization. Each year Gartner takes a step back from this cycle to look at the cloud infrastructure market, helping organizations who are both new and existing cloud users analyze the state of the market and vendors therein.
Moving to DevOps can be difficult and every organization faces its own particular set of challenges. Join us in Aurora, CO on Tuesday, June 12th as top DevOps experts from AWS, New Relic, and Flux7 present a free, half-day workshop on proven and practical steps you can take today to accelerate your DevOps transformation.
This article originally appeared on Forbes.
With more and more infrastructure and applications moving to the cloud in support of digital transformation, one of the decisions enterprises must confront is the best approach to cloud migration for long-term success. While some favor a lift and shift model, others come down on the side of replatforming or even a refactoring approach. However, there is no single path to success. And, indeed, a hybrid approach is often the ideal answer.
In a constantly-changing industry, standing still is not an option. Advancing automation to help organizations further their IT modernization and goals was on full display at ChefConf this week. In this week’s DevOps News, we take a look at Chef Automate 2.0, updates to Habitat, and the new Chef Workstation, all introduced this week at ChefConf.
In our last article we discussed how to smartly select a pilot project to prove out the benefits of a DevOps organization. As you begin to put your DevOps adoption plan in place, one thing that should be included -- regardless of the project chosen -- is a Landing Zone. As you transition from a traditional Development - IT Operations framework, the Landing Zone is important as it provides needed efficiency, standardization, and governance.
Join us Wednesday, June 13th in Austin, TX as Flux7 hosts a dynamic discussion with HashiCorp Solutions Engineer Sean Carolan, who will share how to use Vault to reduce risk, gain visibility, and secure your data.
With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) set to go live this Friday, we thought we’d focus this week’s DevOps news in review on using the cloud to help ensure compliance. If you aren’t already familiar with the upcoming GDPR, you should be. While it’s an EU regulation, it serves to protect the personal data of all EU citizens. As such, if you control or process data of EU citizens, the rule applies to you, squarely setting responsibility for protection of that data on your shoulders. It's noteworthy that fines are hefty for the regulation, reaching up to 20 Million Euro or 4% of annual turnover.
For organizations facing competitive pressures that drive them to DevOps adoption, it is critical that they correctly choose, scope and evangelize a ‘right-sized’ pilot project to start their IT transformation. As sherpas for many organizations who travel this path, at Flux7 we’ve learned many DevOps best practices -- as well as things to avoid along the way. As you look to create a successful DevOps pilot with sustaining impact, please join us as we share seven important lessons learned.
Join us Thursday, May 24th in Dallas, TX for a DevOps workshop as our guest, a leading US airline joins us and AWS to share how to remove barriers and optimize IT processes to accelerate innovation. Specifically, we will share the story of how this carrier applied DevOps strategy and tactics for IT modernization, followed by hands-on lab activities that demonstrate these strategies in action.
It is spring and that means it’s conference season. Two events this week that caught our attention were the ServiceNow Knowledge Conference and Red Hat Summit, both of which, like clockwork, had several DevOps news announcements worth sharing.
We recently shared with you the results of our customer survey in which we asked our customer base what motivated them to DevOps adoption. What we found was that in more than half the cases, business put pressure on IT to evolve and address a specific business challenge. Those challenges varied from customer-driven pressures to deadlines like an upcoming data center lease expiring.
With KubeCon and CloudNativeCon in Copenhagen this week, we saw several container-related news announcements--from management to deployment and adoption to monitoring. As more and more organizations look to adopt containers for greater development efficiency and faster application deployment as part of a larger DevOps or IT modernization initiative, the hype and tools surrounding the ecosystem continue to grow. This week was certainly no exception.
At Flux7, we ask every customer their motivation for DevOps adoption and a potential move to the cloud. Curious if the pundits’ thoughts on the topic resonated with our customers’ experience, we recently analyzed the answer to this question across our customer base, which consists of Fortune enterprises as well as mid-enterprises in a wide variety of industries. What we found was fascinating and informative. The majority of organizations were motivated to DevOps adoption as a result of pressure on the business from customers, competitors or other outside forces.
When it comes to the most popular tools and technologies for IT Modernization and cloud computing, this week’s news rules them all. As you’ll see, this week saw the announcement of Linux Ubuntu 18.04, by far the most popular cloud OS, according to research by The Cloud Market. In fact, it’s so popular that it is chosen at a rate of almost 2:1 of the next four OSs combined. AWS also continued to prove its rank as the leading cloud provider as it released its Q1 earnings.
A cloud migration, and the ability to take advantage of cloud benefits such as greater agility, scalability and enhanced security, is often seen as a primary way that organizations can positively affect change and create greater productivity at optimized cost. Yet, there are many approaches to large-scale cloud migration, which can be overwhelming, especially for large enterprises with a myriad of business-critical applications. As a result, Flux7 has created a series of short papers designed to walk readers through creating a custom approach to their own cloud migration strategy, in support of strategic business change.
Read the full paper here, and read on for highlights of what’s to come.
Thanks to everyone who reached out following last week’s inaugural IT Modernization Week in Review blog. Containers and container orchestration were in the news this week and that should come as little surprise as container adoption continues to grow. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2020, more than 50% of global organizations will be running containerized applications in production, up from less than 20% today.
Over the years I’ve found myself saying that any given job is comprised of two things: what you do and who you do it with. And, at Flux7, we’ve been able to incorporate the best of each of these into our corporate culture. We are privileged to do challenging and rewarding work alongside some of the brightest, most team-oriented people in the business. How do we achieve this mix? Through a communicative, proactive and collaborative culture starting with this tone being set from the top.
In a constantly-changing industry, standing still is not an option -- for your business or your career. And the same is true for the Flux7 blog, where we aim to provide you with valuable content that builds your personal knowledge and transforms your business. It is in this vein that we launch today the first of what we intend to be a regular series of DevOps news blogs, featuring highlights from the week that help keep you in the know, and driving your IT modernization forward.
Every year Built in Austin compiles a list of 50 Austin, TX-based Startups to Watch in which they highlight local companies founded in the last five years that they think are poised to make a real impression. How do they define an impression? As companies that have “got the ideas, the talent and the tech to usher Austin’s startup ecosystem into new levels of success.” We are thrilled to be included in this year’s list.
Automation. It’s a word that can mean so many things depending on your context. For CIOs looking to spearhead their organization’s digital transformation, it increasingly means creating agility for their organizations through IT process automation. The implications of this are vast for enterprises, as automation touches everything from technology, to IT processes and even the corporate culture. As a result, Flux7 CEO, Dr. Aater Suleman, has written a paper discussing how CIOs can use automation to be the driving force behind tomorrow’s innovation engine.Download it here or read on for highlights from his piece.
We recently had the opportunity to work with a popular quick serve restaurant (QSR) who reached out asking if Flux7 could help speed its developer outcomes for faster time to market. For this global enterprise, the goal manifested itself in a project where Flux7 helped the QSR create one-click automated installations of various products, including Amazon Redshift, through AWS Service Catalog which helped make development more efficient and productive-- through automation that minimized process overhead. Today we’d like to share the story of this AWS case study project.
Many developers steeped in the world of agile startups view continuous delivery (CD) pipelines as an accepted standard requirement for software development. Yet many companies, particularly large enterprises with traditional infrastructure, still struggle to make this approach a standard part of their development process. Whether you are an enterprise looking to make CD pipelines a standard project element to increase agility and speed time to market, or if you are looking to simply implement code delivery pipeline best practices, Flux7 CEO, Dr. Aater Suleman, has written a paper that illustrates how to deliver business value through DevOps-based automation that grows developer output and strategic contributions. Download it here or read on for highlights from his piece.
One of the key business drivers of cloud based DevOps is greater scalability, which the DevOps team here at Flux7 sees quite often -- especially for eCommerce and digital business. So, as more and more organizations move to AWS for its scalability, availability, and reliability, it makes sense we’d get more and more questions about moving to new solutions like AWS Web Application Firewall (WAF). In today’s blog, we will address why such a move is a good choice for companies migrating their digital business to the cloud. Let’s kick-off the discussion with a little background on AWS WAF.
In few industries is innovation more important than in the rapidly changing, highly competitive retail market. Tasked with servicing the organization’s eCommerce site and in-store systems, today’s AWS case study is about a well-known household name retailer who approached the DevOps team at Flux7 about enabling their in-house development team to stay nimble and one step ahead of the competition.
We recently had the opportunity to work with a privately-held clinical research organization that was interested in updating the systems that its internal team of research scientists uses for data analysis. It was interested in moving to the AWS cloud as the team’s large data-related demands had outgrown its on-premise system and needed the benefit of a highly secure, elastic, high performance computing environment.
For four years in a row, Flux7 has been named a finalist for the Modern Infrastructure Impact Awards for its AWS DevOps expertise. We are truly wowed and honored to be named for a fourth year the Best AWS Consultant or Integration Partner Impact Award winner.
In 2018, the number of connected IoT devices is projected to grow to over 23 billion, according to Statista. And these devices will create a volume of 400 zettabytes of data by the end of the year, as reported by Datastax. With such an explosion in device-driven data, it’s important to have a strategy for maximizing the business impact of IoT big data, transforming it into actionable intelligence.
In a recent blog, we shared the AWS case study of a major US airline and how we used the Kubernetes project for managing production-grade Kubernetes (K8) clusters, KOPS, to run its AWS-based K8 clusters. The goal was to host the company’s applications in an AWS-enabled framework, which the team at Flux7 helped implement in the form of its Enterprise DevOps Framework (EDF). As promised, today we will share the second part of their story, illustrating how we used Ubuntu CIS benchmarked images to help proactively safeguard against security threats.
Join us at the IDC CIO Perspectives conference as Flux7 CEO, Aater Suleman, shares technology-based strategies for successful digital business transformation. in a “fireside chat” format with CIO Programs Executive Director, Mary Fran Johnson, he will share examples of enterprise IT transformation projects, and how businesses are able to use DevOps process improvement as a means to effectively balance the needs of operations, security and development to achieve specific business goals -- from faster time to market to improved code quality, optimized security and more.
Today we’d like to share the story of how the DevOps team at Flux7 worked with a Fortune enterprise customer to help them automate their AWS VPC creation, which reduced several days of manual, repetitive tasks into a simple user interface, concluding with a single click. Saving this firm days of manpower has meant that these resources can now be used for more strategic, business-impacting activities. Read on as we share a business view into this AWS case study.
Earlier we shared our analysis of the new AWS Systems Manager as a stand-alone service to manage AWS. If you missed that story, you can find ourwalk through of the announcement here. As promised, in today’s blog we will illustrate how the new features of AWS Systems Manager can benefit existing SSM users. While Flux7’s DevOps consulting teams are heavy users of SSM, we’d like to call out two enterprise AWS case study stories for you today that effectively illustrate how the new AWS Systems Manager can streamline and improve operations and compliance for SSM users moving forward.
In a constantly-changing industry, standing still is not an option -- for your business or your career. And the same is true for the Flux7 DevOps blog where we aim to provide you with valuable content that propels you forward, building your personal knowledge and transforming your business.
Join us Wednesday, February 7th in Austin, TX as Flux7 hosts a dynamic discussion with Consul HashiCorp Engineer Preetha Appan, who will share how Consul can solve several specific infrastructure and distributed systems problems.
As heavy users of Amazon’s EC2 Systems Manager (often referred to as SSM), to manage AWS environments, we were very interested in the recent announcement of AWS Systems Manager as a stand-alone service. Given the management tool’s prolific use across AWS accounts, we thought we’d walk you through the announcement, clarifying some of the confusion around AWS’s nomenclature, and in a second, follow-up blog, illustrate how its new features can benefit SSM users.
At re:Invent just a few weeks ago, AWS announced Amazon GuardDuty, to enable secure monitoring. At the time, we lauded the announcement for its ability to grow security in AWS with a more holistic view of security in the cloud. In the past few weeks, we’ve fielded inquiries from several customers asking about the service, its features, and potential fit for their organization. Knowing that their questions may be indicative of a wider interest in the new managed service that monitors and detects malicious or unauthorized behavior across an organization’s AWS infrastructure, we are sharing today our analysis of Amazon GuardDuty.
Building a continuous integration and continuous delivery pipeline is a goal of many enterprises as they look to increase their agility and speed time to market. More to the point, as part of a healthy DevOps environment, CI/CD pipelines deliver business value through automation that grows developer output and strategic contributions. For AWS-based DevOps environments, many enterprises look to AWS CodePipeline to help facilitate their CI/CD as it integrates easily with other AWS services -- and a broad set of ecosystem tools -- and provides a consistent set of quality checks for code.
Flux7 was founded in 2013 by Aater Suleman and Ali Hussain with the intent of creating a workplace that everyone enjoys coming to and being a part of. As such, they have focused on building our culture and firmly believe that it is critical to our success. While a company is so much more than its benefits or time-off policy, today we are taking a deeper dive into the Flux7 culture and what it really means to be a Flux7 employee. To take us on that journey, we interviewed several employees and have shared their combined thoughts here:
According to eMarketer, ecommerce in 2017 increased 23%, continuing to surpass traditional retail growth rates; total retail sales -- including ecommerce gains -- were 5.8% in 2017. Yet, as we look into a competitive retail landscape for 2018, and begin to field calls from retailers looking to parlay 2017 gains into 2018 advantages, one discussion point is often around what role AWS best practices can play in ecommerce insurance. That is, through the process of digital transformation, building in consistency and availability for retail customers regardless of the channel they choose.
As the New Year rings in, we’ve been hearing more from companies whose resolutions focus on deepening automation to further streamline their AWS configuration management efforts. One way that organizations are achieving this goal is through the use of AWS OpsWorks for Chef Automate. So, to get you started toward this goal, we have collected for your today a few resources and ideas of how to start 2018 with a more automated configuration management process.
At Flux7 we work with a wide variety of customers and regardless of their level of IT maturity we are passionate about helping them apply DevOps processes in their pursuit of continuous improvement. In doing so, we naturally find ourselves moving from simple application driven problems to layers deeper in the technology stack where DevOps automation can play a significant role in growing efficiency and productivity. Today we’d like to share the story of how we deployed AWS Step Functions to help drive DevOps automation in pursuit of continuous improvement for a Flux7 customer.
Moving to the cloud allows you to manage infrastructure in new and incredibly powerful ways. Unlike traditional, manually managed infrastructure, the cloud empowers Infrastructure as Code(IaC) in which entire infrastructures can be implemented and managed with automation. While IaC offers real benefits in ensuring environmental consistency, growing the pace of innovation, and increasing overall quality, to effectively manage your code, it is important to codify and version it, which is best done through a source code repository. Yet, that is often easier said than done with teams in agile DevOps environments needing to effectively navigate, retrieve and collaborate on code. At Flux7, we have implemented several DevOps best practices for organizing source code repositories which makes this collaboration easier, in turn saving time and potential rework.
As we look back on 2017, it was a year full of transition. And, one in which many organizations began -- or continued to -- invest in their transition to cloud computing. According to research by IDC, public cloud services spending was expected to reach $128 billion in 2017, a 25% increase over 2016. Much of this was driven, according to polling by TechTarget, by senior IT executives looking to increase innovation, and reap cost efficiencies from the cloud. Indeed, those among this audience who grew their 2017 budgets, 64% said they would increase their budget for cloud services, including computing, storage and applications -- more than any other area TechTarget asked about.
As 2017 draws to an end, we are taking a moment to look back on the year that was and share some of the most popular insights from the Flux7 DevOps blog. Industry-wide, interest in DevOps soared in 2017, and that was reflected in our readers’ blog choices as well. More and more companies are undergoing digital transformation and embracing the idea that technology is core to their business and provides them with an advantage in the marketplace. These companies are increasingly insourcing their technology and adopting a DevOps methodology as a way to become more agile and speed their time-to-market, proving the adage that “every company is a technology company.” Helping these organizations on the path to DevOps success were several very popular blogs.
As an AWS Premier Consulting Partner, we are often asked about using the Kubernetes container management system within AWS. While Google created Kubernetes (K8s), Google’s Cloud Platform is generally seen as a better fit for running K8s clusters. However, until the recent re:Invent announcement of EKS, KOPS, the Kubernetes project for managing production-grade K8s clusters, was the best tool to deploy and manage K8s clusters in AWS. Which brings us to the topic of today’s blog, a customer story of how we used KOPS to run AWS-based K8s clusters. Stay tuned for the second part of today’s AWS case study in which we discuss the details of doing so with Ubuntu CIS benchmark images.
In the middle ages Byzantine emperors and European monarchs issued decrees with a golden seal that was testament to the origin of the decree. Fast forward to today and we can see how the idea of a golden seal -- or golden copy-- is used in technology to express that something is the official or master version. Taking the idea of a golden copy one step further, today we will discuss the concept of the golden Amazon Machine Image (AMI), its role in supporting a successful DevOps model, and how it can generate greater agility and stability.
For the past seven years, Talkin’ Cloud has recognized the leading cloud services providers in its annual Top 100 report. We are proud to report that Flux7 has been named to this year’s Talkin’ Cloud Top 100 Cloud Services Providers list, based on user feedback from the organization's’ online survey, as well as Flux7’s annual cloud services revenue growth, and input from Channel Futures editors.
We embrace the transformative opportunities DevOps provides and when coupled with agile practices, enables us and our customers to move quickly and drive innovation. One of the ways our team embodies agility is through remote service delivery. While this practice runs counter to how consultants have traditionally worked, we are often asked about the advantages of remote delivery and thought we’d share today the upsides of this approach and how it supports the agile DevOps model.
As more organizations move to cloud computing, the ability to deploy with a blue-green deployment scenario is gaining popularity as a proven strategy to reduce downtime and risk. As this agile approach is one we are being asked about more often, today we will discuss the benefits of blue-green deployments, specifically within AWS hosted infrastructure, and how it can be even more easily facilitated now that Amazon CloudWatch events support AWS CodePipeline as a target.
At Flux7, we are passionate about sharing the power of DevOps. In that vein, we recently gave a workshop introducing developers to the power, ease of use, and governance that comes with moving to a DevOps model reinforced with well-architected tooling. The goal of the workshop was to teach developers more about AWS and Docker-based microservices architecture. And, how using Amazon services like EC2 Container Service, CodePipeline, and CodeBuild can come together to create a platform for developer teams to focus on their application. We highlighted the Anchore solution as part of our microservices architecture for security and will share in today’s blog why we deployed Anchore, how we used it to ensure DevOps security and policy compliance, and our overall experience with the tool.
We recently worked with a data analytics organization who specializes in data-based decision support within the insurance and financial services industries. Their goal was to migrate their Chef community server to an AWS OpsWorks for Chef Automate (OWCA) server in order to reduce management overhead and accelerate high velocity apps. This project was a step in the company’s larger plan to create a DevOps highway in which it sought orchestration automation, configuration management, and CI/CD with AWS services and Chef.
Recently our CEO, Aater Suleman, gave a Webcast presentation, “DevOps Adoption: Framework for IT Modernization” in what was a far-reaching discussion that shared everything from a DevOps definition to examples of successful enterprise DevOps adoption such as Rent-A-Center and Verifone. Based on his experience working on more than 100 enterprise DevOps initiatives, Dr. Suleman was asked how to kick-start a conversation about DevOps adoption within an organization. Today we’ll share his best practices and tips to get the proverbial ball rolling on a DevOps implementation within your organization.
Recently Aater Suleman, Flux7’s CEO, presented an “An Introduction to DevOps with AWS: How to Design, Deploy, and Manage a DevOps Workflow in AWS” as part of the O’Reilly live, online training series. In it, he was asked this pivotal question from one of the attendees: What future-looking skills should sysadmins have to ensure long-term competitiveness in DevOps environments and we thought we’d share his answer here with you today.
At Flux7, we often work with organizations whose teams are interested in playing with AWS as a way to help them determine where to start with their AWS adoption. While their end goal is to introduce DevOps concepts like infrastructure as code, their initial goal is to enable development teams to start using AWS in a meaningful, quick, and secure manner.
We are excited to announce that Flux7 CEO, Aater Suleman, will present at this year’s AWS reInvent. If your plans take you to AWS reInvent this year, we’d encourage you to attend this session in which Dr. Suleman will be joined by AWS’ Tom Witman, Head of BD, Edge/Security, and Shawn Marck, Systems Development Manager, to present “Living on the Edge, It’s Safer Than You Think! Building Strong with Amazon CloudFront, AWS Shield and AWS WAF.”
IT Roadmap is a series of one-day events held across the country to encourage IT leaders to discuss technologies and strategies to manage and digitize the enterprise. Specifically, IDG has established this road show to encourage technology leaders to discover the latest in dynamic infrastructure, cloud, data, agile methods, security, DevOps methodology and more.
The Austin Business Journal recently unveiled its annual Fast 50 Awards, naming Flux7 the third fastest-growing company in Central Texas in the small company category. In what has come to be an influential ranking of large and small companies in the Austin region, the ABJ Fast 50 ranking recognizes Flux7 for its 338% revenue growth rate over the last three years, a testament to the hard work of the incredible Flux7 DevOps consulting team and dedication to customer success.
We are thrilled and humbled to be named for the fourth year running, a finalist in the TechTarget Modern Infrastructure Impact awards for Best AWS Consulting Partner. This category recognizes the top consultants and integration partners in the field, those that consistently excel at creatively solving customer challenges through AWS services.
Any journey begins with a first step and that’s exactly the approach this financial service firm had in mind when they asked the AWS experts at Flux7 to come in and help. Specifically, the IT team wanted to start with a small project that would set them up for future success. Using Flux7’s Enterprise DevOps Framework, we were able to help them focus on an achievable first step, the migration of their Atlassian stack to AWS, with a longer term roadmap. Read on as we share this AWS case study.
At the recent HashiConf 2017 here in Austin, HashiCorp announced several updates and new features that we are pretty excited about. If you are a regular follower of this blog, you know that we’ve become heavy users of many HashiCorp tools of the past few years as they excel at helping further DevOps automation for greater efficiency, security and productivity. Today we’re going to share with you which new announcements we’re most excited about and why.
Over the past few months, the DevOps team here at Flux7 has noticed a growing trend among our projects. An increasing number of client assessments result in the use of Terraform by HashiCorp in support of DevOps automation and more specifically, infrastructure as code (IaC). We thought we’d devote today’s blog to why we are becoming heavier Terraform users and its benefits. And, we’ll also share the situations in which we recommend its use to clients, as well as situations where we might recommend the use of both AWS CloudFormation and Terraform.
For assured success, it is important to monitor your systems for ongoing operational efficiency, security and compliance to internal policies. In June we shared with you our Enterprise DevOps Framework in which inspectors, like logs, play a critical role in analyzing services in the pipeline and landing zone to ensure compliance with operational, security, and regulatory requirements. At Flux7 we universally recommend customers use Amazon CloudWatch Logs for this purpose -- even if you are using Splunk or another log solution, we recommend CloudWatch Logs as a first stop for your logs as it is a more robust solution as we will discuss. First, let’s review Amazon CloudWatch, and CloudWatch Logs and then we’ll discuss why they should be the first stop for your AWS system logs.
As AWS experts, we often get asked how different technologies can work with AWS. Most recently we had a customer ask us how to use Azure Active Directory (AD) to manage user authentication to access the AWS console. While we don’t often discuss hybrid cloud technologies in this blog, we thought we’d share with you how we configured Azure AD to manage access to the AWS console.
What’s the difference between stable and stale? It sounds like the intro to a good joke, but trust us, the slippery slope between the two can be no laughing matter. Read on as we explain why it’s important to strive for and embrace the role that agility, and a DevOps methodology can play in keeping your environment agile and moving forward in pursuit of continuous improvement.
There are two kinds of rogue websites: one created by external organizations looking to subvert a legitimate website by appearing to replace it and the second is a website created by an internal team without obtaining proper approvals. Today we will discuss the latter and how AWS DevOps best practices can remediate the issue--as told through the story of a technology organization we recently worked with.
This article originally appeared on Forbes.
High in the mountains of Pakistan lie some of the most dangerous roads in the world. With sheer cliff faces that abruptly meet raging rivers thousands of feet below, these roads offer no guardrails to keep vehicles from sliding off, nor protection from falling rocks above. Torrential rains often cascade across the unpaved roadways, eroding gullies out of the dirt, making the paths among the most feared stretches of road in the world.
CFO magazine recently released results of a survey it conducted of mid-market CFOs which found that almost half (49%) were experiencing adverse impacts from the inability to attract and retain qualified technology talent. To address this gap, many are outsourcing IT services, and finding pros and cons to the situation. In today’s article, we will share which of these positives to take advantage of, the negatives to watch out for, and how to balance them with your company’s specific needs and business goals.
Amazon DynamoDB is a very popular NoSQL database service. Among AWS databases, the Flux7 AWS consultants like DynamoDB for its fast, reliable performance, especially for real time apps where we need faster access of data e.g. commerce, big data analytics, and IoT applications. Moreover, as a managed service, AWS takes care of the administrative burden (e.g. hardware provisioning, setup and configuration, replication, software patching, etc.) for you. While this database is well-loved, one feature that has been in high-demand--and we are happy to say was just released by AWS--is Auto Scaling for DynamoDB. We are really excited to see AWS deliver Auto Scaling to DynamoDB customers as it will make administration and managing capacity of data even easier, will help maximize availability for applications, all of which will positively impact cost savings.
Amazon Web Services users have been eager to find a simpler method for deploying serverless applications, built using Lambda functions, API gateways, and AWS DynamoDB. As a result, AWS released a new model called the AWS Serverless Application Model (SAM) which makes it easier for customers to deploy their serverless applications using AWS CloudFormation. With this announcement, there are now two serverless frameworks for building serverless architectures -- deploying serverless applications using AWS CloudFormation and using the AWS SAM. However, the new AWS SAM uses CloudFormation natively to deploy, which is a definite plus for AWS users.
In just four short years since Aater Suleman and Ali Hussain began Flux7, the company has blossomed from two innovators to a significant team of talented professionals. Founded with the vision of creating a virtual workplace that everyone enjoys being a part of, Aater and Ali have focused on building a company culture centered in humility, innovation and transparency.
We recently had the opportunity to work with a pharmaceutical company that is breaking new ground when it comes to treatments for life-threatening ailments like cancer. Seeking to innovate across the organization -- from R&D to IT -- this company reached out to the DevOps team at Flux7 to help it migrate its Cloudera Hadoop-based analytics systems to AWS. Specifically, the vision was to take all of its diverse data sets to the cloud, establishing a highly available and secure environment where the firm could conduct data modeling and data analysis while protecting sensitive data and ensuring GxP and HIPAA compliance. Read on for the full AWS case study.
This article originally appeared on Forbes
Most companies understand that if they want to increase their competitiveness in today’s swiftly changing world they can’t ignore Digital transformation. DevOps and cloud computing are oft-touted as vital ways companies can achieve this needed transformation, though the relationship between the two is often confusing as DevOps is about process and process improvement whereas cloud computing is about technology and services. Not mutually exclusive, it’s important to understand how cloud and DevOps work together to help businesses achieve their transformation goals.
In April, Gartner issued its annual CEO Survey report which found that technology-related business change is the number two priority among CEOs, following profit growth. Specifically, Gartner finds that CEOs are pursuing a digital business strategy focused on product innovation (not just innovating how products are marketed and sold), to drive growth and profits. At Flux7, we’ve worked with handfuls of companies looking to apply automation within a DevOps model to achieve product innovation and digital business transformation. In doing so, we’ve unearthed seven common business drivers that when paired with DevOps can drive sustained gains.
We are truly excited to announce today that Flux7 has been named a Premier Consulting Partner in the AWS Partner Network. Premier tier Consulting partners in the APN have invested significantly in their AWS practice, have extensive experience in deploying customer solutions on AWS, a strong bench of trained and certified technical consultants, at least one AWS Competency achievement, expertise in project management, and have a healthy revenue-generating consulting business on AWS.
We are excited to bring you news today that we at Flux7 have achieved our fifth AWS Service Delivery Partner status, this time as an AWS Management Tools launch partner. (Others include AWS Web Application Firewall (WAF), AWS Service Catalog, Amazon CloudFront and Amazon Aurora.) This is an important recognition as the AWS Service Delivery Program only highlights AWS Consulting Partners who have a track record of success delivering verified customer solutions with specific AWS services. Comprised of AWS CloudFormation, Amazon EC2 Systems Manager, AWS CloudTrail and AWS Config, the AWS management tools collectively enable effective and efficient cloud operations management.
We are delighted to announce our recognition today as having achieved AWS Service Delivery Distinction for Amazon Cloudfront. AWS CloudFront is a preferred service by our DevOps consulting team for its help in improving the user experience. By using the native AWS service as part of an integrated solution, we can design and build solutions that provide fast, stable and secure content delivery.
At the recent AWS Summit in Chicago, Amazon introduced CloudFormation StackSets, a new feature to CloudFormation. As heavy users of AWS CloudFormation for implementing infrastructure as code in an automated, consistent way, we are dedicating today’s blog to reviewing the new CloudFormation StackSets. As proponents of DevOps automation,
Join us Thursday, August 24th in Austin, TX for a dynamic one-day microservices architecture and Amazon ECS workshop session.
In our experience working with hundreds of organizations on compliance projects ranging from AWS PCI compliance and AWS HIPAA compliance to internal risk management initiatives, it’s clear that achieving and maintaining compliance is a delicate balance. Too many rules can slow progress and sometimes even cause teams to avoid complying at all. And too few guidelines can obviously result in unwanted fines, or in a worst case scenario, a security vulnerability that causes the business serious harm. Central to establishing and ensuring AWS risk and compliance efforts is the well-known practice of AWS configuration management. It plays a central role in keeping systems in a known, good state and with the application of automation can help organizations strike an optimal balance.
In 2013 Gene Kim, Kevin Behr and George Spafford published The Phoenix Project, a book that marries the concepts of manufacturing agility from Eliyahu Goldratt’s The Goal and relates them to IT. As they elucidate in the story, a new approach to IT is clearly needed and many organizations are embracing that change through the DevOps methodology. However, DevOps can be a very broad term making it difficult for people to know where to begin. As a result, we have narrowed the DevOps model
A misconfigured data bucket in AWS Simple Storage Service (S3) led to a Republican contractor’s database of nearly every voter being left exposed on the Internet for 12 days, according to CRN. This news presents an unfortunate reminder of why good AWS security hygiene is important to designing, building and managing AWS environments. In this spirit, we’d like to explore two basic AWS best practices that when built-in can help stave off extreme events like this.
High availability has become a key requirement of every layer in today’s technology stack. And, message queuing or message brokering software is no exception. In the past we’ve relied, like many of you, on RabbitMQ to create highly available message queues when FIFO (First-In, First-Out) was required. (Indeed, our RabbitMQ tutorial is one of our most-oft read blogs.) Often this is for ecommerce, financial services and other applications where it is important to strictly process messages only once and in the order they are published.
Berry Christ, Chef CEO predicted at Chef Conference 2017 that Web and mobile will eventually become table stakes, the lowest bar to market entry. Taking his prediction one step further, we see a day where DevOps will be the minimum entry requirement needed to become and remain market competitive. That may sound aggressive given the fact that only 20% of businesses have adopted DevOps, according to research last October by Gartner. Yet, for organizations that have implemented DevOps, 66% saw faster realization of business value. And, according to McKinsey, firms with high performing IT organizations were twice as likely to exceed their profitability, market share, and productivity goals.
At the recent Austin DevOps Days Conference, Flux7 CEO Aater Suleman gave a talk on the "Top Ten Considerations When Planning Docker-based Microservices”. For those of you unable to attend the conference, you can listen to a replay of the presentation here. Or, read on as we share part of his talk focused on the synergy between DevOps, Docker and building microservices.
Flux7 DevOps consultants have worked with more than 150 companies over the years as they have gone through the DevOps transformation process. And, we’ve learned a lot along the way, including the patterns that emerge in the DevOps journey and where most people land and/or have the vision to land. We’d like to share that journey with you today and more importantly, how we’d encourage you to think about the DevOps framework that helps gets your organization there.
AWS automation recently got a boost: the company introduced the ability to build an end-to-end release automation workflow that can deploy changes across multiple regions or different AWS accounts. And they subsequently featured an article on their blog on the steps to create a cross region CodePipeline. Today, however, we want to address the other half of this equation -- building cross account pipelines -- and thought it worthwhile to share with you here when and why we would recommend the benefits of this approach.
Where does code end and configuration begin? It’s a perennial question. And, as the lines continue to blur between the two we here at Flux7 have begun defining new terminology and ways of thinking of the issue that we’d like to propose in our blog today. As part of a community of developers whose work often entrenches them in these issues, we greatly appreciate your feedback and help in fine-tuning these definitions for the betterment of our collective work.
Continuing with our recent theme of Flux7’s DevOps approach and best practices, today we will discuss the Flux7 microservices philosophy. While we’ve previously defined microservices and their benefits, we are taking a step back today to look at the bigger picture and how one might view and approach microservices for best results.
As systems become more complex, it’s more important than ever to ensure you have a strategy for effective and efficient secrets management. While we will dive into the technical aspects of doing just this within AWS, let’s first review what exactly secrets are and why you need to manage them.
At re:Invent 2016, AWS announced Organizations, the ability to have and easily manage multiple accounts. Flux7 consultants have long recommended multiple accounts to clients as a best practice for maintaining separation of roles and applications to address security and compliance policies and now it’s even easier with the AWS Organizations Service. Let’s first walk through what makes it so easy and then we’ll share AWS and Flux7 best practices.
We work with a variety of healthcare companies and recently had the opportunity to work with one who brings the fun of fitness to customers. This firm pairs motivational workouts with gamification elements to ensure that its customers attain health and fitness.
We are excited to announce that one of our customers, TechnipFMC, a world leader in project management, engineering, and construction for the energy industry, has been featured as an AWS case study. TechnipFMC had a specific challenge they were looking for help with when they called the AWS consultants at Flux7. Specifically, they were looking to ensure security and compliance for its global sites and the perimeter networks that support its client-facing applications.
At Flux7, our big, hairy, audacious goal is to keep our customers exceedingly happy -- falling over themselves happy. And, that doesn’t start by forcing them into a mold or a pre-defined box. As a DevOps consulting company, we sit in the enviable position of getting to focus wholly on helping our customers address their specific business needs.
Docker is becoming a cornerstone of DevOps architectures with its lightweight, portable, “build once, configure once, and run anywhere” containers. And, for all those who would like to get a jumpstart on building their Docker skills, Flux7 CTO Ali Hussain will be presenting a half-day tutorial workshop on Docker fundamentals on Tuesday, June 6th at the DevOps West Conference.
We are happy to bring you this article by Flux7 CEO, Aater Suleman, that was originally published by Sys-Con Media.
While the benefits are many, the DevOps journey for an established organization can be a long one filled with surprises and challenges. To avoid as many of both as possible, learning from those who have gone before you can help you apply best practices to ensure a smoother path to success. As a result, in this article, I will outline the seven steps to an AWS DevOps transformation as learned through working hands-on with more than 100 leading enterprise organizations to establish and sustain successful DevOps and IT modernization.
I recently read an article asking, “will IoT save retail”? Indeed, there are several ways IoT can help address issues that keep many retailers up at night. From RFID to help with supply chain cost efficiencies to Beacons that serve to increase marketing and sales outcomes, IoT initiatives are being heavily invested in across retail segments. Moreover, IoT is just one example of an area where digital transformation can help retailers become more competitive and better match their products and services to evolving customer expectations.
Flux7 CEO Aater Suleman will be speaking at DevOps Days Austin 2017, taking place May 4-5, 2017 Aater’s talk, titled "Top Ten Considerations When Planning Docker-based Microservices” is on Friday May 5th, starting at 4:50 pm. See the full program here.
Microservices are being adopted widely across organizations of all sizes and all industries for their ability to increase service delivery and speed time to market while decreasing team overhead. Replacing monolithic apps -- or building greenfield ones -- with microservices makes some applications easier to build and maintain, making it easier to deliver technology quickly in today’s competitive landscapes.
Docker containers are a natural fit for microservices as they inherently features autonomy, automation, and portability. Docker is known for its ability to encapsulate a particular application component and all its dependencies thus enabling teams to work independently without requiring underlying infrastructure or the underlying substrate to support every single one of the components they are using. In addition, Docker makes it easy to create lightweight, isolated containers that can work with each other while being very portable.
However, before jumping head first into a container-based microservice strategy, careful planning and implementation is needed. Doing so will help avoid costly rework and other headaches down the road.
Based on proven success using Docker, Flux7’s Aater Suleman shares essential tips and requirements for building, deploying and operating successful microservices on Docker-ized infrastructure.
If you're attending DevOps Days Austin, please join Aater for his talk or drop us a line to say hello. And, if your organization is interested in learning more about microservices and container strategy, please access our articles on the topic here, or subscribe to our blog below for ongoing analysis, case studies, and tips & tricks.
Join Flux7’s Aater Suleman at DevOp Days Austin
Friday, May 5 • 4:50pm - 5:25pm, Centennial Room Right
Top Ten Considerations When Planning Docker-based Microservices
- Watch Aater and Cars.com co-present at DockerCon
- Watch Aater and Fugro co-present at DockerCon
- Watch “Container Based Migrations” from AWS re:Invent
We are so excited to share with you all that April marks the fourth anniversary of the founding of Flux7. In this time, we have seen significant demand for our DevOps consulting expertise and have greatly enjoyed working on a wide variety of engaging, challenging projects over the years. Part of our business growth means that we get the opportunity to expand and further support our clients. In that vein, we are happy to announce that we have opened offices in Chennai, India, joining our presence in Australasia and our Austin, TX headquarters.
Controlling access to sensitive information, or secrets, required by your applications is a ubiquitous architectural requirement. Your applications need information like passwords, API keys, and certificates, and as the application owner you need to ensure this information is only accessed by the correct application. You also need to know when this information was accessed and by which entity.
We are excited to announce today that we have achieved our third AWS Service Delivery Partner status, this time for AWS Service Catalog. (You can view the news release here.) This is an important recognition for the Flux7 team of DevOps consultants as the AWS Service Delivery Program only highlights AWS Consulting Partners who have a track record of success delivering verified customer solutions for specific Amazon Web Services (AWS) products.
Companies call Flux7 with a variety of business needs and balancing agility and security is chief among them. This is really no surprise as we often work with organizations that must simultaneously meet regulatory and risk management goals while successfully launching new services to market. Today’s story of a digital financial services provider whose clientele consists of many of the largest U.S. banks is a prime example.
At Flux7, we get the opportunity to work with organizations across many industries and with a variety of challenges. As a result, we often get asked how other companies approach and solve different challenges. One challenge we are frequently asked about is website performance, security and elasticity, especially as it relates to eCommerce. As such, we’re happy to share with you today the story of a customer who was looking to balance these goals and how with the help of Flux7 consultants they were able to do so.
We recently had the opportunity to work with a quick serve restaurant (QSR) to help it achieve security with agility, effectively balancing IT governance with their workload reduction and wait time elimination goals. This household name reached out to the AWS experts at Flux7 as they looked for solutions that would allow the development team to quickly build a new digital platform that would support this organization's digital evolution.
Whether you are serving consumers visiting your website or internal customers accessing infrastructure services, customers want the ability to access what they want when they want it. As a result, scalable architecture is top of mind for many organizations -- especially those who face peaks in traffic and must be able to effectively service it. Designing for scalability, the ability to handle large amounts of traffic and service it gracefully, without degradation of performance or downtime, is an essential component of successful service delivery.
Is there a role for serverless computing in IT Operations? Beth Pariseau of TechTarget recently published an article, “Serverless deployment spells fresh opportunities for IT ops” in which she effectively argued the answer is yes, even when no servers are directly managed. As a trusted advisor on this and related topics to enterprises across industries, our very own Aater Suleman was asked to weigh in on the subject. We’d like to share his insights here with you as well as expand a little on our view of the near-term future for serverless computing.
Our DevOps consultants often get asked about the use of specific technologies and if they would make a good fit for the inquirer’s organization. One of those technologies that we frequently field questions about is HashiCorp Vault. As a result, we think you’ll be interested in this short story of a financial services organization who moved to Vault to improve its secret management system. (For a fuller version of this story, please access the case study here.)
We recently worked with a Fortune 500 manufacturer of heavy equipment that is focused on quality, productivity, and effectively connecting its customers with data-driven insights via technology. As an international, publicly traded organization, it is also careful about managing security, risk and compliance. So, when this manufacturer asked if we could set up an audit and notification system, we were happy to roll up our sleeves and begin work. (You can read here the full case study of this Fortune 100 customer.)
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and, that’s exactly what this SaaS sales application provider asked for the AWS experts at Flux7 to come in and provide. Knowing our deep background and knowledge of the ins and outs of AWS services -- and the ecosystem of technologies that work with it -- they asked if we could validate their AWS roadmap and help them take full advantage of the benefits AWS provides.
Today we are delighted to be recognized as having achieved AWS Service Delivery Partner status for Amazon Aurora. As you can see from thenews release we issued, the AWS Service Delivery Program is designed to highlight AWS Consulting Partners who have a track record of delivering verified customer success for specific Amazon Web Services (AWS) products.
As an Austin, TX based DevOps consulting firm, we work often with organizations in the energy space, empowering them to directly address business drivers and see their ideas come to life with the application of modern technology. So it was in this vein, that we were approached by a publicly traded, global solar company who wanted to use a cloud migration as an opportunity to overhaul its business processes. (You can read the full case study here.) Specifically, they were looking to use the opportunity to grow developer agility, gain global access for their workers and to save on capital expenses while maintaining compliance and building-in standardization.
While microservices benefit a variety of organizations on multiple fronts, (for a deeper discussion on this, please check out our blog, “Microservices Trend as IT Competes on their Respective Strengths”) today we are examining how one startup used a microservice architecture to give developers greater agility and add automation to gain a competitive advantage in its industry.
Struggling to find and keep skilled resources? Or, interested in helping your team become AWS experts? Our very own Aater Suleman was recently interviewed by SearchAWS on the topic of getting the AWS skills you need this year. As Flux7’s primary goal is to help its customers fill an internal skills gap by educating them as we shepherd them through their DevOps and IT modernization projects, we were honored to weigh in on this important topic. While there were two primary recommendations made in the article, we have several others we’d like to add for a deeper look at this topic.
To support the business as best as possible, it’s important for Development to issue new features -- or greenfield solutions -- to market as quickly as possible. It’s not a stretch to say that many organizations’ ability to compete successfully depends on their speedy delivery of new products to customer. And in some cases first mover status is the difference between owning a market or bowing out of one.
One of the approaches our AWS Consultants consistently take is Security by Design. By building security in from the beginning--rather than as an afterthought--security rules, processes and controls are inherent to the system. We like to think of it as a race car with the roll cage built into the frame vs. a race car built and the roll cage added afterward. Truthfully, which car would you feel safer helming?
We have been working closely with a customer who is undergoing a business transformation. As a multimedia equipment manufacturer, the organization has a loyal following of its high quality devices. However, like many companies facing the convergence of markets and new customer demands, the company has embarked on a metamorphosis. Traditionally very focused on hardware, their software was largely ignored even though it offered customers real value. Part of the company’s transformation was a move to treat their software like a full-fledged offering, rather than a free supplement. An upcoming product release marked the first (and biggest steps), in cementing this change in company direction.
There are many reasons an organization might choose Amazon Aurora over the Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS). Superior performance, greater scalability, and the ability to restart without losing cache are just a few. However, for those organizations who are already running an important application or Website on top of the RDS managed service, it can be a challenge to migrate from it to Aurora, despite the latter’s obvious benefits. After all, you can’t just take down a service that customers expect access to 24x7.
AWS recently announced that Amazon ECS now supports a state for container instances that can be used to drain a container instance in preparation for maintenance or cluster scale down. AWS reports that the draining state prevents new tasks from being started on the container instance and notifies the service scheduler to move tasks that are running on the instance to other instances in the cluster. This is great news that we expect to save a lot of time and scripting when it comes to updating or removing containers from a cluster.
Last fall we asked if you would consider voting for Flux7 in Modern Infrastructure magazine’s annual Impact Awards. We truly value this award as it is given by the community to the companies that they value most in their journey to DevOps and IT modernization. Thank you for voting and naming Flux7 as the winner in the 2017 Best AWS Partner/Consultant Category.
How Flux7 Helped Increase Developer Productivity with AWS Service Catalog
At Flux7, we are expert at helping healthcare organizations gain a competitive advantage in the market through IT modernization projects that amplify their inherent business strengths. So when were approached by this healthcare organization who sees technology as a competitive advantage, we were quite excited to dive in.
For the past few days we’ve been reviewing the most widely read themes of 2016 here on the Flux7 blog. In case you are just joining us, we’ve already discussed the benefits and challenges of containers, configuration management, and Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) in an AWS DevOps environment. Wrapping it all together, we end our Best of 2016 series with our most talked about articles on Amazon cloud computing.
Container technology was a well-read topic on the Flux7 blog in 2016, joining our blog on Continuous Integration Best Practices(CI/CD) and AWS Configuration Management as subject areas that received the most attention from our readers. From hardening containers to container based cloud migration frameworks and Docker-based microservices architecture, our DevOps consultants published a great deal of analysis, advice and best-practice approaches to help our readers achieve success with containers in AWS.
In our last year in review blog, we took a look at how to best use new features and tools to streamline DevOps processes like Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD). Today we are turning our attention to another topic that garnered a lot of interest this year, Configuration Management.
This week we are highlighting the most talked about issues from the Flux7 blog in 2016. While new AWS services are always being announced, sometimes making it hard to keep up, we found that a lot of discussion revolved around process management and how to best use new features and tools to streamline DevOps processes like continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD).
As we all know CI/CD is a key tenet of successful DevOps with automation playing a starring role. Whether you are getting features to internal customers faster or bringing new products to market before the competition, a continuous delivery pipeline helps speed time to delivery, generating greater value to the business. And when it came to delivering the greatest value to our readers on the topics of CI pipelines and deployment pipelines, these posts scored:
At re:Invent 2016 Werner Vogels, AWS CTO, donned a Transformer shirt to tell us we can be Transformers. And, Andy Jassy, AWS CEO, emphasized in his presentation that we can all be superheroes, with superpowers. This emphasis on the ability to easily control, manage and even transform your AWS environment -- from x-ray vision to immortality -- was a great way to frame the two themes of the show which boiled down to increased ease of use and a greater acceptance for the hybrid cloud model.
Now that the first wave of innovators and early adopters have moved their workloads to the cloud, we are seeing majority, more pragmatist organizations, migrating to the cloud. However, unlike early movers who were willing to navigate the complexity of AWS tools and technology, this second wave of organizations puts a higher premium on ease-of-use. Given that, let’s look at how AWS has done just this through our lens of operations, DevOps and Security.
At this year’s re:Invent, Flux7’s CEO, Aater Suleman, had the great pleasure of presenting with Hemanth Jayaraman, Rent-A-Center’s director of DevOps. (You can watch the full presentation here.) We shared with the audience the story of how we worked with Rent-A-Center to help them address their challenge to architect, deploy, and manage a mission-critical SAP Hybris ecommerce platform that could scale to 6+ million users a month.
AWS recently announced the expansion of the AWS Web Application Firewall (WAF) to include coverage for application load balancers. Working with a wide variety of organizations to design and build secure applications within the AWS cloud, we frequently call upon WAF as a critical component of our solution. In fact, we were recently recognized for having achieved AWS Service Delivery Partner Status for AWS WAF.
This month’s re:Invent in Las Vegas drew over 32,000 attendees and the show did not disappoint as AWS delivered on its precedent to unveil a number of new features and products at the show. With numerous announcements, AWS news was peppered throughout two days of lengthy keynote sessions, we’ve asked Ali Hussain, Flux7 co-founder and CTO, to weigh in on what caught his attention and where he thinks the most impact will be seen to enterprise organizations like those that Flux7 serves.
When you look at Docker adoption today, it’s almost hard to believe that it was only a little over three years ago that the open source project was launched. In that time, there have been more than 5.4 billion Docker downloads. We are proud to say that we were early adopters of Docker containers, using them first in a project in early 2013 as a multi-tenant solution. Since then we’ve been big advocates and our solutions have been featured twice at DockerCon, Docker’s annual user conference.
At the re:Invent conference in Las Vegas last week, we had the opportunity to present a Flux7-powered case study of a successful containerized migration to AWS. As part of the session, “Getting Technically Inspired by Container Powered Migrations”, Flux7 CEO, Aater Suleman, shared Flux 7’s recent work with Rent-A-Center to perform a Hybris migration from their datacenter to AWS.
Yesterday at re:Invent, we were delighted to be recognized as having achieved AWS Service Delivery Partner status for AWS Web Application Firewall (WAF). As you can see from the news release we issued, the AWS Service Delivery Program is designed to highlight AWS Partner Network (APN) Partners who have a track record of delivering verified customer success for specific Amazon Web Services (AWS) products.
Continuous Delivery (CD) is a core facet of successful DevOps and as a result, a core Flux7 strategy for implementing DevOps-based IT modernization. At Flux7, we always view DevOps as streamlining the delivery of not just Code but also the delivery of Infrastructure (networking, firewalls, VMs), Server Configuration (software packages such as Apache or JAVA), and Security Rules (policies for AWS Config Rules or HashiCorp Vault). Among these, efficient delivery of infrastructure and configuration are both very critical for full stack agility. For our customers in AWS, our typical choice for infrastructure delivery is CloudFormation. We like AWS CloudFormation because it is native to AWS, follows a simple YAML or JSON syntax, and has deep integration with other AWS Services such as the AWS Service Catalog.
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.
This year’s re:Invent is bound to be bigger and better than ever. With over 400 sessions designed to tackle topics as varied as how the cloud impacts your business, deep dives into specific areas like IoT, and new perspectives on cloud issues, there will certainly be a lot to learn.
We’d like to encourage you to attend the re:Invent session that Hemanth Jayaraman, Sr. Director, DevOps at Rent-A-Center will present with our very own Flux7 CEO, Aater Suleman. In this session they’ll be sharing how to deploy scalable SAP Hybris Clusters using Docker.
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.
We are honored to be named for a third year running, a finalist in the TechTarget Modern Infrastructure Impact awards for Best AWS Consultant/Partner. This category recognizes the top consultants and integration partners in the field, those that consistently excel at creatively solving customer challenges through AWS services.
AWS has announced a new service that simplifies and streamlines the process of migrating existing virtualized applications to Amazon EC2. Joining AWS’s Database Migration Service and Service Discovery, AWS Server Migration Service simplifies the migration process by allowing users to incrementally replicate live VMs to the cloud, in the process removing the need for lengthy maintenance periods that previously may have taken critical systems offline longer than the business has tolerance for. In the process, AWS makes its service that much more attractive -- and sticky -- by allowing users to quickly and easily migrate to AWS for free.
AWS has announced the arrival of a new US East Region in Ohio. This invokes two important questions for AWS users, namely is the new Ohio Region a better choice for my organization? And, if so, should I switch over to it? The answer to both questions really depends on where your organization is located. Let’s take a look at how you can practically examine the fit of the new Ohio Region given your specific location.
Enterprises are investing heavily in their IoT efforts, so much so that the total IoT market is expected to grow to $1.7 trillion by 2020, compared to its $656 billion in 2014, according to research firm IDC. The research firm Gartner estimates that there will be 8 billion business-connected IoT devices by 2020. With so many devices coming online, enterprises can expect a lot of changes and incremental demand on their infrastructure.
Those that do it right will be able to drive innovative solutions for themselves and their businesses. But what does such an innovative friendly IoT infrastructure look like? For that answer, we turned to Flux7 co-founder, Aater Suleman.
In our last article , we took a look at why Docker is a natural fit for microservices and the top five process design points to consider when planning for a Docker-based microservices deployment. Today we will dive into the top five technology design points that should be considered in the planning stages. Doing so will help you avoid potential stumbling blocks that when not thought through in advance can really cause headaches down the road.
We are excited to see that today our customer, Rent-A-Center, has been featured on the AWS Blog. Rent-A-Center was interested in quickly introducing a new ecommerce platform that was secure, PCI compliant, and highly scalable to ensure it would cater to online web based demand.
As AWS consultants steeped in DevOps best practices, Docker, and the forward edge of new technologies and architectures, we often get asked about microservices. One of the most common questions we field is around potential stumbling blocks to a Docker-based microservices approach. This is a really smart question as there are several considerations that when not thought through in advance can really cause headaches down the road.
Before we talk through these top considerations, however, let’s first review why so many organizations are considering microservices in the first place. As you likely know, the idea behind microservices is that instead of writing an application as a single monolithic code base, developers can break it into smaller, autonomous services. This allows for more agility and greater autonomy amongst different teams, allowing them to work in parallel accomplishing more in less time.
Despite many of the valid concerns surrounding enterprise Internet of Things (IoT) deployments, there’s no slowing its momentum now. By some estimates there will be more than 50 billion intelligent and connected devices by the year 2020, and within a decade, according to a McKinsey study, these devices will spark $11 trillion in economic value. Despite uncertainty around return on investment, regulations, or the ability to execute because of technological barriers, the move to connect and add intelligences to disparate and distributed devices remains strong.
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.
In our last article, we took a look at how marrying Ansible and AWS makes a great deal of sense for DevOps enterprises and discussed eight specific ways Ansible helps create greater efficiency and effectiveness for AWS deployments. Today we will dive into the recently refactored Ansible to discuss its newest features and how they can further help bolster your AWS efforts. In addition, Ansible likes to bill itself as “batteries included”. As a result, we will also review the new "batteries" or modules that are available with the release of Ansible 2.0.
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.
Before diving straight into the new Ansible 2.0 updates (which we will do in Part 2 of this short blog series), let’s take a step back and look at why Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Ansible make such a terrific match for DevOps enterprises. As you likely know, AWS is a collection of cloud computing services that make up the on-demand computing platform offered by Amazon.com. These services operate from 12 geographical regions across the world. The most central and best-known of these services arguably include Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, also known as "EC2", and Amazon Simple Storage Service, also known as "S3". AWS now has more than 70 services that range from compute, storage, networking, database, analytics, application services, deployment, management and mobile.
As we discussed recently, AWS microservices are being adopted widely across organizations and industries for their ability to increase service delivery and speed time to market while decreasing team overhead. As organizations begin traveling down the path to a microservices architecture, one hurdle that they often run into is enterprise password management or secret management. For, as the number of microservices increase, so too do the number of credentials—often exponentially so—creating a need for effective and efficient management.
As DevOps consultants, at Flux7 we believe that Continuous Delivery (CD) is a key tenet of successful DevOps. And as heavy users of Amazon Web Services (AWS), we have a keen interest in any tools or features that streamline CD for our clients within AWS. For this reason, we are pretty excited to dive into the Amazon Pipeline Starter Kit. Now, you may be familiar with two services that Amazon has traditionally offered to help facilitate CD: AWS CodePipeline and AWS CodeDeploy.
Pundits have declared that 2016 is the year microservices graduate from early adopter to early mainstream adoption. The aggregate predictions are certainly right if the call volume here at Flux7 is any indication. We’ve been seeing this trend in full force as we field call after call from organizations across industries, from enterprises to startups, all looking for advice and expertise in building their own microservices architecture.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly moving from niche use cases to normal business. According to research firm IDC, about three-quarters of respondents have IoT deployment plans, or already have efforts underway. Most enterprises don’t view IoT as a sideshow or something that will provide peripheral benefit, but see these efforts as strategic to the business.
According to Innovative Retail Technologies, 52% of surveyed retailers plan to actively move applications to the cloud this year. The initially tepid response to cloud is waning as retailers learn more about its strengths for availability and innovation. Yet, one question our AWS consultants frequently field from retailers is about achieving AWS PCI Compliance in the cloud. As most readers of this blog know, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, otherwise known as PCI DSS, is an information security standard requiring organizations to incorporate controls around customer data to prevent credit card fraud. There are several ways that AWS helps its retail clients build a foundation for PCI compliance and they’ve recently announced one more in the form of a Quick Start.
While we write frequently about backend technologies, as AWS consultants, we also work with businesses on client systems and as the hype around AWS WorkSpaces grows, we have been fielding an increasing number of inquiries about it. A managed desktop computing service in the cloud, AWS WorkSpaces enable users to access their files, applications, and other resources through a supported device, regardless of their physical location.
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.
Service discovery is not new. The idea of a tool that can discover how processes and services talk to each other and help facilitate connections has been around for some time. However, with the rise of increasingly dynamic environments, the important role service discovery plays continues to grow. Indeed, since the beginning of the year at Flux7 we have seen a surge of customers looking for container-based microservices architectures that highlights the need for service discovery due to its dynamic nature.
Creating a healthy security posture is one of the key factors in achieving PCI DSS certification, especially for enterprises. Truly, when it comes to security, even the smallest of details are important and can cause huge troubles. As a result, in this post we'll talk about how to achieve better security outcomes with help of version control and automation and how this can help you with your PCI DSS certification.
Amazon announced its Elastic Container Service (ECS) at re:Invent 2014 using Pristine as a case study. Given Flux7’s Amazon expertise, it’s likely no surprise to frequent readers of this blog that Pristine is a Flux7 customer who we have been working with for some time now.
As AWS experts we work closely with organizations who handle a wide variety of sensitive information – from patient health records to credit card data and more. Resultantly, we are always on the look-out for technology and best practice-based improvements to ensuring cloud-based security. With more and more of our clients looking to embrace a microservices architecture, cloud security and compliance naturally didn’t stop being a focus which is why we are happy at the news from AWS today that they’ve addressed how to help secure container-enabled applications with IAM Roles for ECS tasks.
It’s rare to find the business that isn’t grappling with growing business pressures, whether it’s business competitors becoming more effective through the use of emerging technologies, growing global competition, and even the increased effectiveness of machine learning and artificial intelligence. Those organizations that learn how to not only embrace emerging technologies, but master them, are going to be the victors in the immediate years ahead.
As AWS consultants, we have helped a wide variety of clients make the transition to Amazon Web Services (AWS) through a migration. Inevitably, one of the more complex and time consuming phases of AWS cloud architecture planning is helping the enterprise get its arms around the assets it intends to migrate and making a plan based upon that data. Luckily, Amazon recently announced a new service called Application Discovery that helps expedite the process and make it much easier to dig in and begin planning.
We are really looking forward to DockerCon next week and hope to see you there. It will be our second time co-presenting a customer solution on stage and think you’ll be fascinated to hear what Jay Blanchard of Fugro and our very own Aater Suleman have to share. They’ll present the story of how Fugro and Flux7 brought a new Internet of Things (IoT) based service to market with high uptime and portability, based on Docker containers and Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Enterprises are migrating critical infrastructure to AWS at increasingly rapid rates and seeking to partner with experts to help speed migrations and reduce the risks of adopting this new technology. Late last week AWS announced its official migration competency partners and Flux7 is on the list, chosen for our deep experience and proven ability in helping businesses move successfully to AWS.
Just last month we wrote about Docker upping the security ante with a number of new security controls built into Docker 1.10 and here we are yet again. Dockercon 16 is coming up fast - June 19-21, 2016 in Seattle - and we're looking forward to sharing the Dockercon stage for second time with a customer - Fugro this time - to talk about how enterprises can use Docker and AWS to address common challenges. Check out the speaker list here.
Amazon Simple Systems Manager or SSM as we’ll refer to it throughout this article, is a great example of an important feature in the Amazon Web Services toolset that we try to highlight for our clients because of its DevOps, compliance and security benefits. As AWS partners recognized for our customer service and expertise, we are often asked about the implications of specific AWS features and their benefits.
Cross Accounts Access Set-Up and Benefits
AWS CodeCommit is a fully managed version control management service offered by Amazon Web Services. It is a highly scalable and fully managed hosted service. It is compatible with Git and hence all of the git commands work with AWS CodeCommit. AWS Codecommit is highly secure in the sense that the data is encrypted both at rest and in transit. The repositories offered under this service are private by default. AWS Codecommit supports both HTTPS and SSH protocols.
Docker recently unveiled version 1.10 of its popular container technology. Security was a major focus of the release with several features designed to strengthen the security of Docker containers. According to the Docker blog,
“All the big features you’ve been asking for are now available to use: user namespacing for isolating system users, seccomp profiles for filtering syscalls, and an authorization plugin system for restricting access to Engine features. Another big security enhancement is that image IDs now represent the content that is inside an image, in a similar way to how Git commits represent the content inside commits.”
On March 29, 2016, Amazon released Change Sets for AWS CloudFormation, an important new update with far reaching benefits. Anyone using CloudFormation templates, anyone pursuing an infrastructure as code strategy on AWS, should pay attention.
AWS CloudFormation gives developers and systems administrators an easy way to create and manage a collection of related AWS resources, allowing them to provision and update them in an orderly and predictable fashion.
Flux 7 Helps HomeAway Save Christmas in the Nick of Time
As the world’s leading online marketplace for the vacation rental industry, HomeAway aims to help families and friends find the perfect vacation rental to create unforgettable travel experiences together.
And while many families like to get away for the holidays, two-thirds of kids worry that Santa won’t find them if they aren’t home on Christmas. As a result, this past holiday season HomeAway launched a marketing campaign to proactively address the issue.
A Fortune 1000 Retailer Transforms IT with DevOps in the Cloud Increases Global Agility, Availability and Market Competitiveness while Maintaining PCI Compliance
This leading retailer decided that the creation of a new portal was just the proof of concept it needed for a larger initiative to transform its IT function, addressing the weaknesses in its traditional on-premises infrastructure and lengthy, manual IT processes. The IT team’s goals to help the business deliver more quickly to market in a secure, highly available, agile fashion fell in lockstep with the DevOps approach and as a result, they quickly set a path to use Amazon Web Services (AWS) as a platform to launch both the new portal and DevOps initiative.
In our last blog post, we discussed how Ansible’s configuration management tools can benefit Amazon Web Services (AWS) environments – especially for DevOps focused organizations. Today we’d like to share how to realize those benefits with Ansible Playbooks.
Playbooks are Ansible’s configuration, deployment, and orchestration language. Keeping in line with Ansible’s focus on simplicity without sacrificing security and reliability, Playbooks purposefully have a minimum of syntax because they aren’t meant to be a programming language or script, but rather a model of a configuration or a process.
AWS Case Studies: DevOps
A Fortune 500 manufacturer was using Hadoop, internal data centers, Rackspace and CenturyLink to facilitate services that connected its customers with data insights using an Internet of Things model. The overarching goal: to facilitate continuous data-driven improvement within its customers’ operations. To help achieve this goal and overcome its Hadoop scaling issues, the company engaged with Flux7, DevOps consulting group and AWS partners. Additionally, the manufacturer sought a global solution that would comply with EU data privacy laws.
One of the key benefits of cloud computing is the opportunity to replace up-front capital infrastructure expenses with low variable costs that scale with your business. And, while it is easy to quickly spin up hundreds or thousands of new servers in minutes with Amazon Web Services (AWS), it’s much more difficult to ensure that those new machines are configured appropriately. Enter the marriage of configuration management tools and AWS.
As DevOps adoption grows, the demand for DevOps engineers grows with it and a field of highly diverse applicants. Here at Flux7, we are frequently asked for best practices and tips when sourcing and hiring a DevOps Engineer. While we highly recommend “breeding” DevOps experts in-house, when our customers do feel the need to hire a DevOps resource, the following are our top five recommendations:
Many developers born in the world of agile startups view continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) as accepted standard requirements for software development. Yet many companies, particularly large enterprses with traditional infrastructure, still struggle to make this approach part of their development process.
According toGartner, DevOps tools in general will be a $2.3 billion market in 2015, yet current DevOps solutions remain mired in complexity. That’s because simplifying and standardizing the process of deploying infrastructure is a complex, time consuming task. Luckily, that can be greatly improved by using configuration management tools like Ansible.
Part 2: How to Make AWS Config Work for You
One of the biggest fears that CIOs of the digital age have is not only server crashes, but the inability to recover the system to its last-known state. This is particularly painful in compliance-heavy industries that are subject to external audits to make sure everything is being performed to industry standards and within federal compliance. AWS Config is a service which picks out a detailed account of what happens with your AWS configuration while giving you the critical ability to go back in time and verify or check the state your AWS resources were at a given point of time.
Part 1: Why AWS Config Serves as a Backbone to Your Existing AWS Architecture
What keeps CIOs in compliance-heavy industries up at night? Audits. AWS Config is helping them sleep better by providing an easier way to confirm and return to the last known state. We show you how it works in practice in this fictional example.
The Austin Docker Meetup for August is right around the corner, and we’re excited to be hosting it! Taking place on Thursday, August 6 at 6 p.m., Flux7 CEO Aater Suleman will be speaking about “Building a Learning Lab Solution Using Docker”.
Furthering our mission of helping customers confidently manage their own cloud infrastructures, we’re excited to announce that our collaboration withCloudamize is helping us offer the cloud lifecycle information that our customers need to effectively administer their workloads.
On Demand Desktops Help Reduce Costs of Training
Leverage cloud infrastructure to support learning labs
Desktop as a Service (DaaS), or desktop virtualization, is catching on as a way to further save on CAPEX. The reality for most large organizations is that many DaaS offerings are limited as their ability to handle workloads and the strategy must be considered on a case-by-case basis. We found just such a case: on-demand learning labs for training departments or organizations.
The future of pharmaceutical companies is changing. From new ways to develop and extend the use of drugs, to direct patient communication, digital pharma is coming. Many industries have seen a surge in digital business models, but pharma has generally been seen as lagging, burdened by regulation, economic factors and traditional processes.
Flux7 engineer Ahsan Ali and CTO Ali Hussain collaborated on this post
The rise of IoT has given rise to a new generation of needs in the world of big data processing. Now we need to handle data ingress from many sensors around the world, and make real-time decisions to be executed by these devices. As such it is no surprise we see new services to handle processing of streaming data, such as Amazon Kinesis.
How does the Internet of Things (IoT) change the way we develop, test and release software? Always-on connectivity introduces a new set of risks and challenges for development and operations teams.
As Docker containers picks up steam, the last weekend in March, Austin enjoyed the first Container Days #cdatx. This event was modeled after the highly successful DevOps days. It was a great event and credit goes to Boyd Hemphill from Stack Engine for spear-heading the effort.
Last week, our life sciences and healthcare solution practice was officially recognized as a Life Sciences Competency Partner by Amazon Web Services. We share this recognition with the seven original systems integration partners, announced with the launch of the program in October 2014. However, the small size of this expert group is not reflective of the amount of innovation in the health sector, but rather the complexity of issues subject matter expertise relevant for success with cloud infrastructure in this area.
Last week, Amazon Web Services announced the availability of larger and faster Elastic Block Storage Volumes, something we’ve been looking forward to since the original announcement at re:Invent 2014. AWS continues to add rich features to their platform and it can be difficult to stay on top of them, and understand which new capabilities are going to impact an individual business, and how.
Healthcare providers, pharmaceutical manufacturers and biotechnology companies are spawning their own health tech start-up ecosystems to solve some of the most complex health problems. Often, this is accomplished through the use of high performance computing (HPC) and Big Data analytics. Patient-derived data, such as genomics, can now be compared against very large data sets to identify patterns, matches and other indicators that can provide new treatment plans and essentially better health outcomes.