Flux7 DevOps Blog

AWS Case Studies: Serverless Monitoring and Notification Pipeline

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.)

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.

Ease of Use, Hybrid Cloud are Banner Themes at AWS re:Invent 2016

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.

Re:Invent Review: Deploying Scalable SAP Hybris Clusters using Docker

 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. 

New Amazon Linux Container Image Removes Branch from Decision Tree

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.

Flux7 CEO, Aater Suleman, Presents at re:Invent!

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.

Skip the Downtime with the New AWS Server Migration Service

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.

Is the New US East Ohio AWS Region a Fit for You

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.

Rent-A-Center SAP Hybris Solution Enabled by Amazon ECS Service Auto Scaling

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.

Monitoring AWS EC2 Run Command Execution

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.

AWS EC2 Run Command Expands to On-Premises & Multi-Cloud Support

 

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.

AWS EC2 Run Command Enhancements for Greater Control and Reliability through Automation

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.

AWS Service Discovery: Facilitating Connections in a Dynamic World

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.

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.

Microservices Security: AWS Increases Container-Enabled App Security

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.

Docker Security Scanning: Deep Visibility to Container-Based Vulnerabilities

 

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 

AWS Case Studies: Autoscaling:  A Multi-region High Availability Website

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.

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.

High Performance Cloud Infrastructure Supports Healthcare Analytics

AWS Database services

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.

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.

Web Apps: WebSockets with AWS Elastic Load Balancing

Amazon Web Service (AWS) Elastic Load Balancing (ELB) is widely used to build highly available and highly scalable architectures. Nowadays, ELB is as common as EC2 is for many customers using AWS. And, Elastic Load Balancing supports the following protocols: HTTP, HTTPs, TCP and TCPs.

Analyzing AWS m3 Instances for Performance & Bandwidth - Flux7 Blog

Amazon Web Services (AWS) EC2 offers a variety of instance families and types, each serving specific use cases. The instance families include:

MySQL Benchmarking: A Matchup of AWS SSD Drives

Recently, Amazon Web Services [AWS] began offering different types of EBS drives. Apart from the magnetic EBS drive, there are now  two types of Amazon AWS SSD drives: an EBS General Purpose SSD drive and a Provisioned IOPS SSD drive.

Benchmarking: Network Performance Analysis of r3 Instances

Before now, we have shared a few posts that explore benchmarking and the analysis of the r3 instance family, as well as other instances. You can find any number of those posts here.

10 Steps Deploying Docker Containers on AWS Elastic Beanstalk - Flux7

Network Performance Analysis of C3 instances using Iperf tool

In our previous posts, we talked about CPU and disk I/O performance of c3 instances. In this post, we will focus on network performance. Amazon offers an Enhanced Networking feature for ‘c3’ instances running with hvm AMIs with the right drivers. In all our tests, we have used an HVM AMI with enhanced networking enabled.

OpenStack Multi-Node Installation | Control, Network & Compute - Flux7

In a previous blog article, we discussed how to install and use a single node in OpenStack. In this post, we will discuss how to install multi nodes in OpenStack. Here we go

Behind the Scenes with Amazon’s Elastic Load Balancer (ELB)

What the AWS price cuts mean to Startups, Mid-Size and Enterprise Companies

Amazon is the undoubted leader in the public cloud space today. They offer more features than any other provider today have reached a level maturity that is making them the top choice for Enterprise and the government. Their competitors are looking for ways to differentiate from them. IBM for example is touting their Enterprise experience. Rackspace is using their customer intimacy. Microsoft is using their muscle giving away tens of thousands in free credits for trying Azure. And then we have Google, who are using their performance, usability, and lastly price. Google Computer engine is a great bang for the money. Google has some very interesting features that people had desired Amazon to add for a while, and higher network performance too. At a lower price, Google does become a very compelling option. Undoubtedly, we are not the only ones who find Google a viable alternative -- so does Amazon Web Services themselves. They showed this by responding to Google’s price cuts at the AWS Summit last Wednesday.

How is Flux7 leveraging the AWS price cuts

At Flux7, we are hosting all our large multi-GB files on S3 already so we are seeing the benefit. Additionally, we use c3 instances wherever possible thus allowing us to leverage these new cuts. In this post, we'll discuss what you need to do for leveraging the AWS price cuts.

AWS Summit in San Fran: A Bevy of Breakout Sessions that Excites Our Flux7 Team: Security, HPC & Certifications

After my post last week about using AWS in the cloud, I thought I’d share the sessions at the upcoming AWS Summit in San Francisco that have us excited. These sessions are heavily influenced by my own interest coming from my role within Flux7 and the technology development I work on both internally at Flux7 and for our professional services clients.

Glance & Its Installation | OpenStack's Image Service - Flux7 Blog

[Tweet "This tutorial is on OpenStack's Image Service Glance"]

Benchmarking: iPerf Benchmark Run on ‘m1’ and ‘m3’ Instances - Flux7

In our previous post, we ran benchmark to measure network performance of ‘i’ instances using iperf tool. In this post we will talk about iperf benchmark run on ‘m1’ and ‘m3’ instances. Unlike ‘i’ instances, ‘m1’ and ‘m3’ instances does not support ‘enhanced networking’ which led us to have both the client and the server running in ‘ec2-classic’. However, we have ensured that the machines under test (client and server ) are in the same availability zone.

What is Keystone | Installing Keystone in OpenStack - Flux7 Blog

Introduction

Keystone is an OpenStack identity service that manages user databases and OpenStack service catalogs and their API endpoints. It integrates with existing backend directory services like LDAP and supports multiple authentication mechanisms, such as username-and-password, token-based systems and AWS-style logins.

Single Node OpenStack Installation | Cloud Computing - Flux7 Blog

OpenStack is highly configurable meeting different needs by providing numerous storage and networking options. The first step to design your own architecture is to choose whether to use a single node or multi-node configuration.

AWS Network Performance With iPerf On High IO Instance i2.8xlarge

Those migrating to the cloud are often confused by performance on AWS. With so many metrics, they’re not sure which ones pertain to their application needs. The biggest questions seem to center on network performance characterized as “low,” “medium,” and “high,” which is why we’ve focused on network performance for this series on AWS performance benchmarking. To measure network performance we chose the industry-standard benchmark Iperf and used i2.8xlarge instances.

(Tutorial) An Introduction to Openstack Project | Part 1

Introduction to OpenStack

The OpenStack project is an open source cloud-computing platform for private, public and hybrid clouds that’s simple to implement, massively scalable, and feature rich. OpenStack provides an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solution through a set of interrelated services.

CAP Theorem: Its importance in distributed systems

CAP Theorem

Five years ago, Amazon found that every 100ms of latency cost them 1% of sales. Google discovered that a half-second increase in search latency dropped traffic by 20%.

Benchmarking: CPU Performance analysis of i instances| Part 1 Coremark

Amazon recently introduced new types of storage-optimized instances. This new generation of instances is available within the I2 and HI1 families. All provide high storage and better IO performance compared to other instance families in AWS. Flux7 Labs decided to benchmark these new instances to better understand the tradeoffs between them that our customers face.

Amazon I2 Instances Features, Price and Availability

The Amazon I2 Instance Type

Amazon has announced immediate availability of the I2 instance type, the next generation of Amazon EC2 High I/O instance and the best solution for transactional systems and high performance NoSQL databases such as Cassandra and MongoDB. I2 instances feature the latest generation of Intel Ivy Bridge processors, the Intel Xeon E5-2670 v2. Each virtual CPU (vCPU) is a hardware hyperthread from an Intel Xeon E5-2670 v2 (Ivy Bridge) processor. Its features, price and availability can be combined to derive a performance-oriented usage and to explore new use cases.

A Deep Dive into AWS Reserved Instances

One of our primary goals at Flux7 Labs is to help our clients reduce their AWS costs. In fact, our product VyScale is based entirely on cost optimization using Spot instances. We inform our clients when it makes economic sense for them to buy instance reservations because reservations for periods of unexpected minimum usage can be beneficial. Reserved instances function exactly like on-demand instances, except that you pay an upfront fee to gain cheaper hourly rates.

Flux7’s VyScale Application Earns Honorable Mention at re:Invent 2013

Press Release

Autoscaling for LAMP on AWS | Choosing an instance type: Part 4

As mentioned in part 1 of this series (Creating a LAMP Stack AMI), a common concern among most customers is to choose the right instance type.

Autoscaling for LAMP on AWS | Load Test the Environment: Part 3

In part 3 of the Autoscaling for LAMP on AWS series,

Autoscaling for LAMP on AWS | Setting Up Austoscaling Groups : Part 2

In part 2 of the Autoscaling LAMP in AWS series, let's discuss how to create autoscaling launch configuration, autoscaling groups and how to verify the setup autoscaling.

Autoscaling for LAMP on AWS |Creating a LAMP Stack AMI : Part 1

This is part 1 of the AWS Autoscaling Tutorial for LAMP in AWS series. This autoscaling step-by-step guide would walk you through:

Flux7 Labs Spot Virtual Meetup

At Flux7 Labs, as part of our consulting, we found ourselves solving the same problems in cost and performance optimization for our clients. We have productized some of these learnings into our product VyScale. A major feature of VyScale is its management of spot instances. We have been working closely with users of spot instances and Amazon to come up with strategies to use spot instances. As part of that, today, we hosted a Hangout on spot instances. The idea was to get people out from working in silos and offering a platform to share knowledge and ideas.

AWS Route 53 - A walk through

Amazon Route 53 is a highly scalable Domain Name System (DNS) web service that converts word-based website addresses like www.example.com into IP addresses like 11.22.33.44.

Must-know Facts About AWS Elastic Load Balancing

AWS elastic load balancing

AWS Elastic Load Balancing automatically distributes incoming application traffic across multiple Amazon EC2 instances. It helps to achieve better fault tolerance in applications by seamlessly providing the amount of load balancing capacity needed in response to incoming application traffic.

Elastic Load Balancing - Amazon Compute Services - Glossary

Based on the incoming application traffic, Elastic Load Balancing automatically distributes traffic across EC2 instances. Elastic Load Balancing detects unhealthy instances and moves traffic to healthy instances till the unhealthy instances are restored back.

Elastic Load Balancing - Amazon Compute Services - Glossary

Based on the incoming application traffic, Elastic Load Balancing automatically distributes traffic across EC2 instances. Elastic Load Balancing detects unhealthy instances and moves traffic to healthy instances till the unhealthy instances are restored back.

Auto Scaling - Amazon Compute Services - Glossary

Auto Scaling allows scaling of Amazon EC2. This feature of Amazon EC2 allows automatic allocation or removal of resources based on the actual needs at any given time. The number of instances increases during demand hikes and reduces when the demand falls.

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) - AWS Compute Services - Glossary

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) is one of the Compute Services of Amazon Web Service. It is a web service that provides users with the resources to run applications by renting virtual computers. It provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud.

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