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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For several years, that’s been the challenge for both developers and businesses. And the pressure to condense the dev and test life cycle has only increased.
It’s well known that the Agile movement proposes alternatives to traditional project management. You likely are aware that Agile approaches are typically used in software development to help businesses respond to unpredictability. The results of this approach to development greatly reduces both costs and time to market. Because teams can develop software at the same time they’re gathering requirements, it’s less likely to impede a team from making progress.
This is part 4 of our series on Netflix open source tools.
This is Part 2 of our series on Netflix opensource tools. You can find Part 1 here.