I decided recently to make the switch from jekyll to hugo for my site. I do most of my writing in org mode rather than markdown these days inside of spacemacs . I'd looked into numerous ways of easing the workflow for generating new posts. Since I'm already taking notes in org mode, converting those notes into a post should be simple. But generating the site in jekyll was less so.
With the start of the new year comes a fresh start for me as a Consulting Systems Engineer in the Data Center Infrastructure practice at RoundTower Technologies . My areas of focus including Data Storage and Data Protection. I'll provide pre-sales consulting and assessments not just in Louisiana but potentially throughout RoundTower territory. It's a big step up for me and I'm excited about the opportunity. RoundTower is keenly focused on two things: Technical excellence: We want to bring the highest level of technical knowledge and capability to our customers.
Intro My goal is to explore the Nutanix APIs provided by Prism and Acropolis Hypervisor and automate deployment of AHV virtual machines. I am looking at implementing CoreOS "container linux" VMs with an eye towards hosting applications on a Kubernetes (k8s) cluster for testing and learning purposes. This is similar to working with public cloud (eg. ec2) but in a "private cloud" environment. Nutanix provides RESTful APIs to work with as does coreos and all of its component pieces.
I did an internal write up about attendance at my 3rd NetApp Insight in a row. ASG decided to publish a variation for public consumption on our corporate blog I was going to write something up on my own site but they saved me the trouble ;) Quick take, I was pleasantly surprised that there was so much new and different to see this year. Aggressive external competition and an infusion of SolidFire staff are pushing the company forward.
What is the point of all of this effort? After all this is a very specific, personal work environment. This seems like an inordinate amount of time spent tweaking specific little items and where is the value in that? Is there a wider applicability to this effort? Learning In order to learn something new, such as an automation framework, you need to have some itch to scratch, a genuine purpose.
Overview Using an AWS EC2 instance as a utility host presents additional interesting wrinkles. With EC2, one can spin up and tear down instances quickly and dynamically. Because charging on AWS is usage based, I can either provision or start a previously provisioned instance as needed. When I decide to add new parts to my work environment I can use Ansible to quickly provision and test a replacement instance environment while my previous known-good configuration is still available to start and use.
In my previous post I dove into crouton specific role items. These were just little bits unique to a Chromebook chroot environment. The bulk of items I can automate with ansible are common to any linux install I might do. I’m focused on Ubuntu for desktop work but given the way ansible works, I can customize this to use with any distribution perhaps segregating an OS-distribution specific role down the road.
Besides my standard day-to-day laptop running Ubuntu, I also have a Chromebook I picked up a while back. I like the light weight and the long battery life for traveling around. ChromeOS along covers a lot of what I do daily, but I do like to have a few additional linux tools to get things done so I use crouton. With crouton there’s a few manual steps involved in preparing the Chromebook but they are well documented.
Lately, I’ve been on a journey to learn about all things cloud and “devops”. Like any long term professional, I like my desktop work environment just so. You do a lot of configuration along the way. To get a handle on that, the first thing I started doing was maintaining all my configuration files in a private git repo. This digital ocean article is my preferred method for doing that. This was really step zero in the journey.
I frequently find myself comparing data sets from Unix hosts and other systems. My go to for years are Linux shell commands. I’d ssh into a system, grab some data, and process with sed, awk, sort, uniq, perl etc. These days, however, I find myself working with customers who are more comfortable working with PowerShell. It became interesting to see how I might translate work from Unix shell equivalents which is how I tend to think when given a task and use PowerShell equivalents.