Podcast: Justin Garrison on Cloud Native Infrastructure, Immutability, Observability and Much More

In this week’s podcast, we speak with Justin Garrison, co-author of Cloud Native Infrastructure (CNI).

  • Behind scenes for O’Reilly book and choice of cover animal
  • Infrastructure and CNI approach
  • State and Immutability / Immutable VM
  • Terraform and Kubernetes
  • Observability
  • The Why of Immutability
  • Infrastructure as Software (Netflix)
  • Site Reliability Engineering and DevOps

Topic                                                               Time (Minutes.Seconds)

Introduction                                                     0.0 – 2.11
TechNative Podcast on writing book          2.11 – 2.45
Cover of Cloud Native book                         2.45 – 4.52 (Andean Condor)
Why is infrastructure a dead carcass?        4.52 – 5.38 (Shift and lift is not enough)
Describe your approach to infrastructure  5.38 – 8.40
Maintain state with immutability                  8.40 – 13.14 (Containers don’t mean cloud native)
Immutable VM                                                13.14 – 18.55
Terraform                                                         18.55 – 21.55
Kubernetes                                                      21.55 – 27.52 (Helm example)
Observability                                                   27.52 – 35.32 (Prometheus)
Immutability and Why                                   35.32 – 38.08 (Repository dependencies)
Infrastructure as Software                            38.08 – 40.33 (Chaos engineering)
Google SRE Book                                           40.33 – 44.11 (Build empathy vs everyone as dev)
Wrap Up                                                          44.11– END

 

Podcast Guest

Justin Garrison, co-author of Cloud Native Infrastructure (CNI)

Justin loves open source almost as much as he loves community. He is not a fan of buzz words but searches for the patterns and benefits behind technology trends. He frequently shares his findings and tries to disseminate knowledge through practical lessons and unique examples. He is an active member in many communities and constantly questions the status quo. He is relentless in trying to learn new things and giving back to the communities who have taught him so much.

 

Week in Review: RackN talks Immutability and DevOps at SRECon Americas

Welcome to the RackN and Digital Rebar Weekly Review. You will find the latest news related to Edge, DevOps, SRE and other relevant topics.

Immutable Deployments talk at SRECon Americas

Rob Hirschfeld presented at SRECon Americas this week, “Don’t Ever Change! Are Immutable Deployments Really Simpler, Faster and Safer?”

Configuration is fragile because we’re talking about mutating a system. Infrastructure as code, means building everything in place. Every one of our systems have to be configured and managed and that creates a dependency graph. We can lock things down, but we inevitably have to patch our systems.

Immutable infrastructure is another way of saying “pre-configured systems”. Traditional deployment models do configuration after deployment, but it’s better if we can do it beforehand. Immutability is a DevOps pattern. Shift configuration to the left of our pipeline; move it from the production to build stage.

Finish Reading Review from Tanya Reilly (@whereistanya)


News

RackN

Digital Rebar Community

L8ist Sh9y Podcast

Social Media

Week In Review: Immutability in your Data Center with RackN

Welcome to our new format for the RackN and Digital Rebar Weekly Review. It contains the same great information you are accustomed to; however, I have reorganized it to place a new section at the start with my thoughts on various topics. You can still find the latest news items related to Edge, DevOps and other relevant topics below.

Cloud Immutability on Metal in the Data Center

Cloud has enabled a create-destroy infrastructure process that is now seen as common, e.g.  launching and destroying virtual machines and containers. This process is referred to as immutable infrastructure and until now, has not been available to operators within a data center. RackN technology is now actively supporting customers in enabling immutability within a data center on physical infrastructure.

Read More

Physical Infrastructure Automation

Automation is not simply taking manual tasks and replacing them with a machine. Rather, it is a methodology to assemble hardware and software infrastructure in a reliable, repeatable way saving time and effort. Automation also provides IT teams with the capability to rapidly meet new business challenges, learn new technologies, and reduce fire drills rather than spending significant cycles manually pushing buttons.

Read More


News

RackN

Digital Rebar Community

L8ist Sh9y Podcast

Social Media

Cloud Immutability on Metal in the Data Center

Cloud has enabled a create-destroy infrastructure process that is now seen as common, e.g.  launching and destroying virtual machines and containers. This process is referred to as immutable infrastructure and until now, has not been available to operators within a data center. RackN technology is now actively supporting customers in enabling immutability within a data center on physical infrastructure.

In this post, I will highlight the problems faced by operators in deploying services at scale and introduce the immutability solution available from RackN. In addition, I have added two videos providing background on this topic and a demonstration showing an image deployment of Linux and Windows on RackN using this methodology.

PROBLEM

Traditional data center operations provision and deploy services to a node before configuring the application. This post-deployment configuration introduces mutability into the infrastructure due to dependency issues such as operating system updates, library changes, and patches. Even worse, these changes make it incredibly difficult to rollback a change to a previous version should the update cause an issue.

Looking at patch management highlights key problems faced by operators. Applying patches across multiple nodes may lead to inconsistent services with various dependency changes impacted not just by the software but also the hardware. The ability to apply these patches require root access to the nodes which leaves a security vulnerability for an unauthorized login.

SOLUTION

Moving the configuration of a service before deployment solves the problems discussed previously by delivering a complete runnable image for execution. However, there is some initialization that is hardware dependent and should only be run once (Cloud-Init) allowing a variety of hardware to be used.

This new approach moves the patching stage earlier in the process allowing operators to ensure a consistent deployment image without the possibility of drift, security issues as no root access is required, as well as simplifying the ability to instantly and quickly move backwards to a previously running image.

IMMUTABILITY OVERVIEW

In this presentation, Rob Hirschfeld makes the case of immutable infrastructure on bare metal within your data center using RackN technology. Rob delivers the complete story highlighted in this blog post.

DEMONSTRATION 

In this demonstration, Rob Hirschfeld and Greg Althaus do a complete immutable image deployment of a Linux server and a Windows server using the RackN Portal in less than 20 minutes.

Get started with RackN today to learn more about how you can change your model to this immutability approach.

  • Join the Digital Rebar Community to learn the basics of the Digital Rebar Provision
  • Create an account on the RackN Portal to simplify DRP installation and management
  • Join the RackN Trial program to obtain access to advanced RackN features

Immutable Infrastructure Delivery on Metal : See RackN at Data Center World

 

 

The RackN team is heading to San Antonio, TX next week for Data Center World, March 12 – 15. Our co-founder/CEO Rob Hirschfeld is giving a talk on immutable infrastructure for bare metal in the data center (see session information below).

We are interested in meeting and talking with fellow technologists. Contact us this week so we can setup times to meet at the event. If you are able to attend Rob’s session be sure to let him know you saw it here on the RackN blog.

RackN Session

March 12 at 2:10pm
Room 206AM
Session IT7
Tracks: Cloud Services, Direct Access

Operate your Data Center like a Public Cloud with Immutable Infrastructure

The pressure on IT departments to deliver services to internal customers is considerably higher today as public cloud vendors are able to operate on a massive scale, forcing CIOs to challenge their own staff to raise the bar in data center operation. Of course, enterprise IT departments don’t have the large staff of an AWS or Azure; however, the fundamental process running those public clouds is now available for consumption in the enterprise. This process is called “immutable infrastructure” and allows servers to be deployed 100% ready to run without any need for remote configuration of access. It’s called immutable because the servers are deployed from images produced by CI/CD process and destroyed after use instead of being reconfigured. It’s a container and cloud pattern that has finally made it to physical. In this talk, we’ll cover the specific process and its advantages over traditional server configuration.

We’re talking Immutable Containers at Container World

 

 

 

 

RackN is attending next week’s Container World in Santa Clara, CA and looks forward to talking not just Containers, but image-based provisioning, immutable infrastructure, DevOps, and other topics. Rob Hirschfeld and Shane Gibson are attending and speaking on Wednesday in two sessions (see below).

We are interested in meeting and talking with fellow technologists. Contact us this week so we can setup times to meet at the event.

Rob and Shane are also presenting next Wed the 28th at the Downtown San Jose DevOps Meetup at 6:30pm. The topic is Building Immutable Kubernetes Clusters.

Sessions

Keeping up with patches has never been more critical.  For hardware, that’s… hard.  What if servers were deployed 100% ready to run without any need for remote configuration or access?  What if we were able to roll a complete rebuild of an entire application stack from the BIOS up in minutes?  Those are key concepts behind a cloud and container deployment pattern called “immutable infrastructure.”  It’s called immutable because the servers are deployed from container images produced by CI/CD process and destroyed after use instead of being reconfigured.  It’s a container and cloud pattern that has finally made it to physical.

In this talk, we’ll cover the specific process and its advantages over traditional server configuration. Then we’ll dive deeply into open tools and processes that make it possible to drive immutable containers into your own infrastructure. The talk will include live demos and will discuss process and field challenges that attendees will likely face when they start implementation at home.  We’ll also cover the significant security, time and cost benefits of this approach to make pitching the idea effective.

Join us for a spirited discussion engineering containers for security, touching on such topics as:

  • The security implications/value of containers on VM or Bare Metal, and is one model significantly more secure than another
  • What are the implications for one vs. the other relative to application portability?
  • Role of immutable infrastructure in managing services and software deployments in the context of security.
  • Is there an automation strategy that makes the portability question moot, or is it still an issue?
  • Security via policy and automation and how do we achieve that automation?
  • How it impacts to portability? Is it better than, or an alternative to automation?

RackN talks Cloud Native Landscape on Rishidot.TV

Rob Hirschfeld speaks on Rishidot.TV  as part of the Cloud Native Landscape video interview series. Questions asked:

  • Background on RackN
  • Cloud Native Ecosystem Fit – embracing DevOps and Site Reliability Engineering
    • Running “Cloud” in their existing data centers
  •  Differentiation – Build on open source Digital Rebar replacing Cobbler, Maas, and other provisioning tools
    • API driven, Infrastructure as Code feel
  • Use Cases –  Immutable Infrastructure & API driven design
    • Image-based Deployments direct to Metal
    • CI/CD infrastructure, zero-touch automation