Author Archives: mralcadmin

Admin Admin Podcast #093 Show Notes – Coding up a storm

Al talks about the change from working for an MSP to working directly with teams of developers, and being part of a DevOps team. Al mentions helping them deploying code to Azure Functions (among other Azure technologies), using Azure DevOps.

Al also talks about using version control (using Git), and their Branching Strategy.

Stu mentions other stages of CI/CD to look at like Integration Testing and Feature Flags. He also mentions Canary Releases, related to Testing in production. Jon also mentions Blue/Green Deployments.

Jon mentions Observability of your applications and infrastructure.

Al mentions a Youtube channel that has interviews with DevOps/SRE professionals.

Al asks about tracing, and Stu explains why tracing and telemetry is becoming more important now that applications are being split into containers ("Microservices architecture").

Al asks about Jenkins, Stu mentions about the popularity of Jenkins. Jerry mentions how Jenkins being central to your deployments can be a problem, given how much access it often has to your estate.

Stu also mentions about the Jenkins plugin architecture, and how that there is almost always a plugin available for Jenkins to achieve a task, but it can make managing Jenkins a problem (dependencies can become an issue). He also mentions his preference on how to use Jenkins.

Stu mentions ArgoCD for managing Kubernetes deployments.

Jerry mentions the Groovy language, which is used to configure Jenkins jobs and pipelines.

Al mentions getting into coding as part of his job, and learning Python as well.

Jon mentions that he has started learning is NodeJS. He has worked with PHP in the past.

Jerry mentions Data Structures and Control Flow statements like for loops, while loops and more.

Stuart mentions the Binary Search (incorrectly referred to as a Binary Tree), which is more generally known as the Divide-and-conquer algorithm.

Stuart mentions learning Go, coming from using Python previously. He mentions the initial struggles with Types, but appreciating them eventually. He also mentions the advantages of Golang producing single binaries, and how prevalent Golang is in the industry.

Jon mentions "Duck Typing", as well as Hack, a typed version of PHP.

Jon also mentions how Javascript deals with "Duck Typing", shown a video called Wat.

Stu mentions Python now having Type Hints, which gives Python a more comprehensive type system.

Stu mentions Syntax Highlighting and Intelligent code completion. Editors/IDEs like Visual Studio Code or IntelliJ have this inbuilt, Stu mentions using coc.nvim with ViM and NeoVim for this.

Jerry talks about client side and server side rendering for applications. Stu makes reference to a Bad Voltage episode that mentions this too.

Jon mentions that you can open up the JavaScript console in web browsers, and potentially opens up security issues. Jon also mentions a talk from Stuart Langridge about client-side rendering and Javascript in general.

Jon also mentions Unhosted applications.

Al asks about Domain-Specific Languages. Jerry mentions tools like Terraform and Ansible that use them for declaring resources/tasks and more.

Stu also mentions Hashicorp’s HCL, that was heavily inspired by libucl, which in turn was inspired by the configuration for NGINX.

Admin Admin Podcast #093 – Coding up a storm

In this episode we are all back on the podcast we talk a deep dive in Continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) along side this we talk about how to get in to programming.

Show Notes: https://www.adminadminpodcast.co.uk/ep093sn/

Admin Admin Podcast #091 Show Notes – A Comedy of Errors

Jon brought Nick "Mohclips" into the podcast to talk to us about some of the things he does.

Nick talks about "Gold Images" – and mentions that he’s created images because of issues of provenance. He mentions docker containers holding cryptocurrency miners. We agree that you should check the images you’re downloading are coming from the vendors of those images, as it’s not just on Docker, there are also issues with at least AWS (Amazon Web Services) public AMIs (AWS Machine Image) and Azure public VM images too.

We also discuss CIS (Center for Internet Security) hardening guides and Nick mentions that he uses Ansible to implement the controls. Jon mentions an interview with Jeff Geerling to quote some numbers of Ansible Modules.

We talk a bit about Ansible 3, and Collections which are formally introduced in this release.

We talk about Semantic versioning, and explain about how movements in version numbers should explain why you would move between one major version number and the next, or between a major.minor version number, or between a major.minor.patch version number and the next.

Next Nick talks about ServerSpec, a set of RSpec tests for servers and Jerry suggests that Nick might be talking about Inspec instead. Jerry also mentions Molecule which is similar. Jerry asks whether Nick uses a CI/CD (Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery or Continuous Deployment) system. Nick explains why he doesn’t.

Nick mentions he’s a "Lazy Engineer". Nick also mentions Kanban boards in passing.

Jerry talks about Netdata. Stu talks about Pulumi. Jerry talks again about Tinkerbell which was linked to from DevOps Weekly. Stu mentions that Tinkerbell was also mentioned on an Equinix Metal blog post which also covers quite a bit of Pulumi too.

We’re a member of the Other Side Podcast Network. The lovely Dave Lee does our Audio Production.

We want to remind our listeners that we have a Telegram channel and email address if you want to contact the hosts. We also have Patreon, if you’re interested in supporting the show. Details can all be found on our Contact Us page.

Admin Admin Podcast #090 Show Notes- Rise and Shine

 

Al is using remote state in Azure using Azure Blob Storage.

John mentions terraformer using this to import infrastructure into the tfstate file.

Jerry mentions using “terraform import” to import Azure Resources.

Al ask about output.tf.

John mentions his blogpost.

Al mentions the youtube channel he’s been following for Tutorials about Terraform.

Jerry mentions that Centos 6 EOL was November 30th 2020 and Ubuntu 16.04 will be on April 30th 2021.

Al mentions the Naming vs Tagging blog post.

Al mentions that he now using unraid for his nas. Jon mentions following this 2.5 admins podcast episode.

Admin Admin Podcast #088 Show Notes – Speculative execution

This is a predictions show. To save you from being spoiled what the predictions are, there will just be some links to terms and articles mentioned in the show. The rules are inspired by the Bad Voltage accumulation of prediction rules revealed in episode 2×62. We make reference to the fact that in the most recent predictions review show (episode 3×19) the haggling for fractions of a point are unbelievable. It’s amazing 🙂

This had the impact of making some of the predictions being walked back…

So, with that, on to the terms of note:

Wrap up

We’re a member of the Other Side Podcast Network. The lovely Dave Lee does our Audio Production.

We want to remind our listeners that we have a Telegram channel and email address if you want to contact the hosts. We also have Patreon, if you’re interested in supporting the show. Details can all be found on our Contact Us page.

Admin Admin Podcast #079 Show notes – A conversation with the coolest nerd in the room

In this episode, Al and Jon (no Jerry this time, sadly) have a conversation with Reggie from The Coolest Nerds in the Room Podcast.

Reggie is a Site Reliability Engineer (SRE). SRE was a term coined by Google in 2016. SREs will often perform operations roles, similar to those performed by “DevOps” or Operations teams, but are also responsible for reliability by monitoring the health of a service, an application or a node, and reacting to issues with a longer term view on solving those issues.

Reggie went into how he moved into an SRE role, and went into some details on the platforms he’s used in the past, including AWS, Azure and Google Cloud.

Reggie mentions the following terms:

  • Kubernetes (sometimes abbreviated to K8s) – A container orchestration tool, run by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. Jon mentions MiniKube, which is a way to run Kubernetes on your local machine.
  • Stackdriver – a monitoring tool.
  • SLI – Service Level Indicator. An SLI is an indicator which is observed on a service component, like remaining storage capacity, CPU utilization by a specific application, number of errors returned by the application, response time to retrieve a specific page element, and so-on.
  • SLO – Service Level Objective. An SLO is the target for the SLI items on the host. For example, you might be looking for an SLO of < 5 non-OK HTTP responses in 1 hour, or perhaps that the login service returns a response in less than 3 seconds. This is typically a lower threshold than the SLA, and is the point where an SRE would be engaged to identify *why* the service was degraded before it becomes an issue.
  • SLA – Service Level Agreement. An SLA is a contractual agreement between the service provider and the service consumer, for example between a website and it’s user, or between a microservice and the overarching service it’s trying to deliver. The SLA might refer to SLO-like components, for example “logging in must take less than 5 seconds” or “no more than 10 minutes of outage time in a given month”.
  • Error Budget. This wasn’t explored particularly in the show, but seems to be an “acceptable” level of SLO failure that, if that threshold were crossed, should trigger the engagement of the SRE.

Next, we go into how Reggie started his podcast with Steph. We talk about how the podcast developed and how they keep their momentum in tech. This turns into a wider conversation about working in IT.

Reggie talks about how Kubernetes works, and how this has changed his workflow. We mention “Pets versus Cattle“, Microservices and Containers.

Reggie talks about how he learned about Kubernetes, and things he feels you need to understand about Kubernetes to be able to use it well. We mention that it’s worth learning about how Docker works (as a Container primitive), and then growing out to using Kubernetes. We mention that all the major cloud providers (AWS, Azure, Google) have Kubernetes platforms, that you can host Kubernetes in your hosting environment, and that you can also run MiniKube to learn Kubernetes on a small number of machines.

Reggie suggests that the Velocity Conference was very worthwhile getting to!

Reggie goes into more detail on what being an SRE is about, and talks about why Google and other large companies are moving towards using the SRE roles.

Reggie talks about bringing more diversity into tech, and that nerds are frequently very harsh about excluding people based on their choices and preferences. He also endorses bringing new people into your environments, and mentions that these can be good opportunities to examine why you do things and to ask if how they’re done is the right way to do them.

Reggie mentions that he puts videos on Instagram about tech basics, and encourages people to let him know when there’s something they don’t understand!

Wrapping up, we thank our Patreons, Dave for being our superproducer, and invite you to chat with our audience on Telegram, or directly to the team by email, especially asking any questions you want the podcast to answer! 

Admin Admin Podcast #078 Show notes – Unrolling OggCamp 2019

For this week’s episode we are sitting in a hotel lobby discussing OggCamp 19,  with special guest Gary Williams and Special thanks to Joe Ressington, standing in with his recording gear to record the podcast.

Al did a live demo for a talk and it did not work due to demo gods in: “How I use wireguard to connect to my VPS” but got it working after the event. More info can be found here.

We all agree this was the best talk at OggCamp “The power of change – learning to live as a “weirdo”” by Rachel Morgan-Trimmer.

The Oggcamp kids’ track continues to grow..

Al, Jerry and Gary mention about Talk “The MQTT, InfluxDB, NodeRED and Grafana stack, and natural intelligence” by Julian Todd and his @wheeliepad.

Al and Gary have a go at lock-picking.

Gary talk to us about how he migrated from being a SysAdmin to DevOps engineer.

Jon talks about “Noobs on Ubs (Ubuntu for Beginners) ” talk by Anna Dodson

We have many ways you can talk to us, including email and Telegram. Details for reaching us on these are on our contact page.