Flux7 DevOps Blog

Docker & Kubernetes: Furthering The Goals Of DevOps Automation

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.  

Introducing Flux7 Renovate: A Simple Way to Modernize Common Business Apps

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.

Flux7 and AWS Present DevOps Workshop

 

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 Modernization and DevOps Week in Review

 

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.

Driving Agility through IT Process Automation

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.

AWS Configuration Management with AWS OpsWorks for Chef Automate

AWS OpsWorks for Chef Automate, Automated Configuration Management

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.

Automating AWS Account and Amazon VPC creation with AWS Step Functions

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.

How to Organize Infrastructure as Code in your Source Code Repository

 

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.

AWS Case Study: AWS OpsWorks for Chef Automate Migration

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.

Seven Recommended SysAdmin Skills to Join a DevOps Team

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.

Flux7 CEO, Aater Suleman, to Present at IT Roadmap

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.

Infrastructure Provisioning Update: Terraform and CloudFormation

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.

Balance IT Talent Gaps and Core Business IP with DevOps Automation

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.

Seven Business-Impacting Reasons to Adopt a DevOps Model

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.

A Review of AWS CloudFormation StackSets

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,

A Primer: What is DevOps? And how do Code, Config, CI/CD & Containers Relate

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

Why We Teach Our Customers How to Fish

Will IoT Save Retail? No, But a Balanced IT Modernization Approach Can

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.  

Two Strategies to Ensure Website & Infrastructure Scalability

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.

Setting the Stage for SaaS Provider’s Microservices Architecture

 

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.

Mass AWS Migration Grows Developer Efficiency & Productivity with Self-Serve IT

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.

AWS Case Studies: Building Microservices Speed Time to Market

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.

Container Instance Draining in Amazon ECS

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.

2016 Year in Review: Container Technology

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.

AWS CodePipeline, CloudFormation & Continuous Delivery

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.

Furthering Elasticity with Automatic Scaling for Amazon ECS

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.

AWS Case Studies- DevOps: Creating Scalable IOT Infrastructure

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.

DevOps Automation enabling self-service, secure IT

DevOps Days: IT Process Orchestration with Jenkins

Flux7 CEO Aater Suleman will be speaking at DevOps Days Austin Monday and Tuesday May 4-5, 2015. Aater's presentation, titled "IT Process Orchestration with Jenkins" is during the Ignite block on May 5th, starting at 12:45. See the full program here

Achieving Automated Infrastructure: A Refresher Course for High Scalability Architecture

It’s been a busy and eye-opening week at Amazon Web Services re:Invent 2014 for the Flux7 team. Keynotes. New products and services. Lots of discussion about strategies and tools to include DevOps for enterprises and DevOps for small businesses in your infrastructure plans. Even some fun and excitement. The Venetian in Las Vegas has been very inviting.

Like much of the industry, we have been making the rounds at re:Invent and discussing best practices as well as new ways to build efficient, self-managing cloud infrastructure and create business agility. We’ve been keeping a keen eye on “what’s next” at this annual confab for AWS partners and customers.

DevOps Glossary: Open source tools for automation, configuration management and CI

And some Glossary treat for the weekend. Check out how well you know DevOps terms!

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