Flux7 DevOps Blog

Game Maker Pairs AWS, Docker & Kubernetes for Scalability, Efficiency

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.

IT Modernization and DevOps News in Review

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 

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.  

Financial Publisher Adopts HashiCorp Vault with Flux7 SmartStart

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.

IT Modernization and DevOps News Week in Review

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.

IT Modernization and DevOps News Week in Review

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.  

AWS Case Study: Specialty Retailer Adopts Docker-Based Microservices

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.

AWS Case Study: Using KOPS to Run Kubernetes with CIS Benchmark AMIs

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.

Inspect Docker Images with Anchore for DevOps Security

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.

AWS, Flux7 Present Workshop on Microservices Architecture and Amazon ECS

Join us Thursday, August 24th in Austin, TX for a dynamic one-day microservices architecture and Amazon ECS workshop session.  

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

Design, Build and Operate Docker-based Microservices

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.

DevOps West: Docker Fundamentals Jumpstart

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.

DevOps Days 2017: Design, Build and Operate Docker-Based Microservices

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


Related Resources:
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

AWS Case Studies: CRM Provider Speeds Time to Market with Microservices

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.

Best Blogs 2016: Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery

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: 

Container Technology: Stateful Applications Docker Acquires Infinit

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.

AWS re:Invent 2016 and Container-Powered Migrations

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.

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.

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.

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.

Join us at DockerCon 16

 

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).

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 

Docker Security, Hardened Containers and a Layered Strategy


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.”

Setting Up an Efficient CI/CD Pipeline

CICDBlog

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.

Flux7 Talks Building a Learning Lab Solution at Austin Docker Meetup

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”.

Use Desktop as a Service to Create a Push-button Learning Lab

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.

Container Days Austin Recap: Docker and microservices architectures are hitting mainstream

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.

re:Invent 2014: What AWS Users Must Know to Plan for Agile Infrastructure

Last week was AWS re:Invent 2014, the annual Amazon Web Services conference. Every year, the event brings with it the newest announcements in Amazon cloud products, services and strategies.

3 Strategies to Fail Fast, Fail Cheap & Get Agile

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said: “The only thing that is constant is change.” No truer words have ever been spoken, And, your business is no exception here.

New technologies are constantly replacing older ones. We are in the era of technology advancements. And, this defines the existence of businesses.

Startups … It’s Time to Embrace Docker!

The buzz about Docker has risen to a roar during the past year. Irrespective of the size of the organization, it has attracted a lot of interest.

10 Docker Remote API Commands for Images - Flux7 Blog

In the last post of this series, we discussed Docker Remote API and explored the commands specific to containers. In this post, let’s discuss commands specific to images.

Docker Tutorial Series, Part 8: Docker Remote API

In the last post, as part of our on-going Docker Tutorial Series, we discussed Docker Hub and Docker Registry API. In today’s post, let’s delve into Docker Remote API.

8 Ways to Use Docker in the Real World - Flux7 Blog

Docker Tutorial Series, Part 7: Ultimate Guide for Docker APIs

Throughout our Docker Tutorial Series, we have discussed many significant Docker components and commands. In today’s series installment, we dig deeper into Docker and uncover Docker APIs.

10 Steps Deploying Docker Containers on AWS Elastic Beanstalk - Flux7

Docker Tutorials: The Next 15 Docker Commands

DockerCon, Part 1: Looking Forward to This First-Ever Docker-Centric Event

Next week, the Flux7 team is attending the first annual DockerCon, a two-day Docker-centric event that is being organized by Docker Inc. By far the most exciting part for us will be presenting our developing productivity workflow with our client Auto.com, a Chicago-based online portal that delivers information and services for finding new and used vehicles, and a subsidiary of Classified Ventures.

Docker Tutorial Series, Part 5: Docker Security

Docker Tutorial Series, Part 4: Registry & Workflows

Docker Tutorial | DockerFile Commands for Ease of Automation - Flux7

DevOpsDays Austin Wrapped Up: Talks About DevOps [of course], Docker & the Cloud

DevOpsDays Austin 2014 came to an end earlier this week, on Tuesday. It was a great event; one of the best I have been to during the past year. The event was well organized by Ernest Mueller and other volunteers.

Docker Tutorial Series, Part 2: The 15 Commands

Docker Tutorial Series, Part 1: An Introduction | Docker Components

DevOpsDays Austin 2014: Talking Docker to Improve Web Developer Productivity

#DevOpsDays Austin is approaching fast. Today, I was awoken by an email about the attendee information for the event. The Flux7 team will be attending the event, and we are looking forward to networking with the #DevOps community in Austin.

Preview of Docker Benchmarking at Flux7

At Flux7, we have been working closely with the Docker team to do performance benchmarking of Docker. Right now, we’ve been trying experiments with native, Docker and KVM with virtualized hardware. We’ve tried a mixture of both micro and macro benchmarks to get a general feel for Docker.

Austin Docker Meetup Focuses on Developer Workflows

At Flux7 we are very interested in Docker as a technology and the new capabilities it can add to the DevOps world. To further explore what Docker can do in the hands of brilliant programmers we started a Meetup in Austin to discuss Docker.

Docker Trivia Quiz 1 - Basic Concepts, Commands and Trivia!

The following Docker Trivia quiz is a set of ten questions to test how well you know Docker basics including basic docker concepts, commands and trivia. Take this challenge and analyze how well you know Docker! Now, dive into the test and give your best.

Docker in Austin — Before the Docker Austin March meet up

54 signups so far and still increasing. We have the Docker Austin meet up coming up this Thursday and the Flux7 team is excited to be playing a key role in it.

Docker saves the day at Flux7!

Our website, flux7.com, runs inside a Docker container and last weekend we learned that Flux7’s investment in Docker is really starting to pay off. Using Docker we were quickly able to recover the website from a buggy code change, quickly reproduce and fix the bug. Here’s what happened.

The Great Debate: Should you use Docker or not?

We had a very interesting discussion with a client yesterday about the use of Docker and where it fits within their environment. The client’s representative was pushing back on us for using Docker and, as always, I enjoyed the constructive argument. As it turned out, we pretty much fought to a conclusion that Docker does have some clear advantages in an Dev environment. Our debate challenged me to crystallize my thoughts and to clearly articulate why we use Docker at Flux7, hence, this article.

How to: Handle multiple AWS accounts conveniently using AWSma

At Flux7, we believe in high productivity, so each of our engineers handle multiple AWS client accounts, and sometimes multiple engineers handle one client. As a team leader who manages 10s of client accounts, I need to switch in and out of each account several times an hour, which is a real challenge because so much customer-specific information must be loaded into files and environments that we call “customer profiles”. Each includes the following:

Docker vs VMs: How is Docker different from VMs?

Docker Introduction

Build once, configure once and run anywhere….” That’s Docker summarized in one line. When trying to choose from the great number of available software application-development technologies, a key concern is the ability to deploy applications typically in any environment without overhead. Deploying services or applications across multiple environments can lead to conflicting communications between services, so one must address issues such as quick migration, scaling and performance.

Using Docker Containers for Complex IoT Application - Flux7 Blog

Recently at Flux7 Labs we developed an end-to-end Internet of Things project that received sensor data to provide reports to service-provider end users. Our client asked us to support multiple service providers for his new business venture. We knew that rearchitecting the application to incorporate major changes would prove to be both time-consuming and expensive for our client. It also would have required a far more complicated, rigid and difficult-to-maintain codebase.

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