Thoughts on Amazon Lightsail

I am still catching up on all of the announcements from the AWS re:invent 2016, one of the ones I was interested in was Amazon Lightsail. I have always found Digital Ocean to be useful for launching instances, doing some test installations of XYZ and then terminating them. It makes perfect sense that Amazon would offer a service which allows you to consume resources in the same way Digital Ocean allow their users to, they have the infrastructure to provide as well as an established customer base who probably already use Digital Ocean....

December 18, 2016 · 6 min · Russ Mckendrick

Annoying Ansible Quirk

I am not sure if this a bug or not, but I spent an hour scratching my head today trying to figure out why part of playbook which was working seemingly suddenly stopped. I have a playbook which executes each morning to create a staging version of a site from the previous night’s snapshots. Each weekday morning at 0730am it … Bootstraps an AWS environment (VPC, ELB and all the other acronyms) Launches a RDS instance from the previous nights snapshot Launches an instances and deploys an application and then creates an AMI Creates an auto-scaling group and launches three instances using the new AMI behind an ELB The base operating system is Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 which does not ship with any AWS tools installed by default, so before the tasks which start interacting with the instance and application I run the following;...

November 19, 2016 · 4 min · Russ Mckendrick

Amazon Web Services with Ansible

More and more I am having to not only think about how I would ensure that the infrastructure a service I am deploying on is highly available but also how I can manage its entire life-cycle in code. I have tried several tools for this such as Terraform, Puppet and Ansible, however over the last six months or so I have settled on Ansible. After I first looked at it back in December 2014 it has come on quite a lot, especially after the version 2 release at the start of this year....

September 11, 2016 · 8 min · Russ Mckendrick

Docker for Amazon Web Services Beta

Yesterday the following email dropped into my inbox … … I spend a lot of the day job looking at and talking about Amazon Web Services (AWS) so this had got my interest. In my last book I covered Amazon’s Elastic Container Service (ECS) and I have to admit that it wasn’t the most greatest service Amazon had released, especially compared the ease you can now launch Swarm Clusters using Docker....

August 12, 2016 · 6 min · Russ Mckendrick

Puppet Enterprise & AWS Security Groups

This week I had to do a few installations of Puppet Enterprise on an EC2 instance. Although this seemed like a simple enough task, I did hit upon one annoying issue. I was doing a Monolithic installation as it was just for testing, I had done this several times on Digital Ocean and locally using a Vagrant box with no issue at all. Reading through the documenation I had to open the following...

November 15, 2015 · 3 min · Russ Mckendrick

AWS London Summit 2015

I spent Wednesday out of the office at the 2015 AWS Summit in London. It was the first time I had been to a full on AWS event and I must say I was impressed by the scale (pun intended). The main keynote was interesting, and it was great to hear all about new Elastic File System which is going to be a godsend for those who need to have some level of shared storage....

April 18, 2015 · 1 min · Russ Mckendrick

Production Ready Images with Packer

I have watched numerous videos and seen quite a few slide decks which cover tools such as Puppet, Chef & Ansible. I have witnessed an entire rack of servers PXE boot, installing their base operating systems, configuring their services and then finally checking out a copy of a production ready codebase. Even after seeing this several times the old school sysadmin in me still thinks this is witchcraft. In the world of dedicated servers or virtual machines this is great, however when it comes launching an auto-scaling instance in a service such as Amazon Web Services using orchestration tools in real-time could be the difference in your application staying online or failing....

February 2, 2015 · 2 min · Russ Mckendrick

First Steps with Ansible

All of the posts on orchestration on here have been about Puppet on CentOS however last week I had need to script an AWS architecture and then launch instances built with Packer into it. After much swearing I managed to hack together a python script which used Boto to create a launch configuration and register it with an auto-scaling group, I then used a second script which re-cycled instances behind the Elastic Load Balancer which were launched with the previous launch configuration....

December 14, 2014 · 3 min · Russ Mckendrick