Today: June 13, 2024 9:23 am
A collection of Software and Cloud patterns with a focus on the Enterprise

Software Engineering


I found this article on serverwatch today: http://www.serverwatch.com/server-trends/why-kubernetes-is-all-conquering.html It’s not technically deep, but it does highlight the groundswell of interest for and adoption of kubernetes. It’s also worth noting that GCE and Azure will now both have a native, fully managed kubernetes offering. I haven’t found a fully managed docker datacenter offering, but I’m sure there is one. It would be interesting to compare the two from a public cloud offering perspective. I’ve worked a lot with OpenStack for on premises clouds. This naturally leads to the idea of using OpenStack as a......

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May applications require authentication to secure protected resources. While standards like oAuth accommodate sharing resources between applications, more variance exists in implementations of securing the app in the first place. A recent standard, JWT, provides a mechanism for creating tokens with embedded data, signing these tokens and even encrypting them when warranted. This post explores how individual resource functions can be protected using JWT. The solution involves first creating a function decorator to perform the authentication step. Each protected resource call is then decorated with the authentication function and subsequent authorization can be......

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Container orchestration is at the heart of a successful container architecture. Orchestration takes as input a definition of how a deployed application should look. This usually includes how many containers for a certain image are needed, volumes for persistent data, networking for communication between containers and awareness of various discovery mechanisms. Discovery may include such things as identifying other containers which are also participating with the application or how to access services required by the running containers. Here’s a high level view. Infrastructure Containers need infrastructure to run. Both virtual and physical infrastructure......

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I’m interested in allowing a user to register on my site/app using their social account credentials (e.g. Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.). It should also be possible to register using an email address. Since the site/app will be composed of a handful of microservices, I would want to provide my own identity service, which might includes profile information and roles. This should be possible with oAuth. I found plenty of examples of how to use oAuth against someone’s social accounts. What I didn’t find were any examples of how to manage user registration and......

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Infrastructure as a Service, like OpenStack and AWS, have made it possible to consume infrastructure on demand. It’s important to understand the ways in which both humans and machines interact with IaaS offerings in order to design optimal systems that leverage all possible automation opportunities. I drew the diagram below to help illustrate. Everything is an API At the heart of IaaS are REST APIs that provide granular access to every resource type, such as compute, storage and network. These APIs provide clarity about which resources are being managed and accommodate the type......

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Someone asked me today whether he should use HEAT or Ansible to automate his OpenStack deployment. My answer is that he should use both! It’s helpful to understand the original design decisions for each tool in order to use each effectively. OpenStack HEAT and Ansible were designed to do different things, although in the opensource tradition, they have been extended to accommodate some overlapping functionalities. Cloud Native In my post on What is Cloud Native, I show the five elements of application life cycle that can be automated in the cloud (image shown......

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Deploy MongoDB using Ansible

I’ve recently had some people ask how I deploy MongoDB. For a while I used their excellent online tool to deploy and monitor my clusters. Unfortunately they changed direction and I couldn’t afford their new tools, so I turned to Ansible. In order more easily share the process, I posted a simple example that you can run locally using Vagrant to deploy MongoDB using Ansible. https://github.com/dwatrous/ansible-mongodb As soon as you finish running the Ansible script, you can immediately connect to MongoDB and start working with Data. If you’re looking to learn more about......

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Today I read an article on the Wall Street Journal about the benefits of taking handwritten notes over taking notes electronically. It’s a great article and I have seen parallels in my own professional work. For years I have trained computer programmers and others in various technology roles. I have observed a similar effect which has led me to make a case for starting with what I call a “blank canvas”. I try to explain that one of the reasons it is ineffective to start with technology, rather than a blank sheet of......

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What is Cloud Native?

I hear a lot of people talking about cloud native applications these days. This includes technologists and business managers. I have found that there really is a spectrum of meaning for the term cloud native and that two people rarely mean the same thing when they say cloud native. At one end of the spectrum would be running a traditional workload on a virtual machine. In this scenario the virtual host may have been manually provisioned, manually configured, manually deployed, etc. It’s cloudiness comes from the fact that it’s a virtual machine running......

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All around me architects and business managers are beginning to mandate that internal software applications be built (and sometimes rebuilt) as microservices so that we can reuse them and compose applications more quickly. I do admit that the idea of a curated catalog of well designed microservices is attractive. Contrary to all the buzz that this is a new approach and will produce huge efficiencies, there is a lot of history that points to serious barriers to a microservice economy. Microservices are Not New What is being referred to as microservices today is......

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