Tag Archives: DevOps

AWS re:Invent 2018 Recap – Times…they a̶r̶e̶ have a̶ Changi̶n̶g̶ed!

I wrote this sitting in the Qantas Lounge in Melbourne waiting for the last leg back to Perth after spending the week in Las Vegas at AWS re:Invent 2018. I had fifteen hours on the LAX to MEL leg and before that flight took off, I struck up a conversation (something I never usually do on flights) with a guy in the seat next to me. He noticed my 2017 AWS re:Invent jumper (which is 100x better than the 2018 version) and asked me if had attended re:Invent.

It ended up that he worked for a San Francisco based company that wrote middleware integration for Salesforce. After a little bit of small talk, we got into some deep technical discussions about the announcements and around what we did in our day to day roles. Though I shouldn’t have been surprised, just as I had never heard of his company, he had never heard of Veeam…ironically he was from Russia and now working in Melbourne.

The fact he hadn’t heard of Veeam in its self wasn’t the most surprising part…it was the fact that he claimed to be a DevOps engineer. But had never touched any piece of VMware software or virtualisation infrastructure. His day to day was exclusively working with AWS web technologies. He wasn’t young…maybe early 40s…this to me seemed strange in itself.

He worked exclusively around APIs using AWS API Gateway, CloudFormations and other technologies but also used Nginx for reverse proxy purposes. That got me thinking that the web application developers of today are far far different to those that I used to work with in the early 2000’s and 2010’s. I come from the world of LAMP and .NET applications platforms…I stopped working on web and hosting technologies around the time Nginx was becoming popular.

I can still hold a conversion (and we did have a great exchange around how he DevOp’ed his applications) around the base frameworks of applications and components that go into making a web application work…but they are very very different from the web applications I used to architect and support on Windows and Linux.

All In on AWS!

The other interesting thing from the conversation was that his Technical Director commands the exclusive use of AWS services. Nothing outside of the service catalog on the AWS Console. That to me was amazing in itself. I started to talk to him about automation and orchestration tools and I mentioned that i’d been using Terraform of late…he had never used it himself. He asked me about it and in this case I was the one telling him how it worked! That at least made me feel somewhat not totally dated and past it!

My takeaway from the conversation plus what I experienced at re:Invent was that there is a strong, established sector of the IT industry that AWS has created, nurtured and is now helping to flourish. This isn’t a change or die message…this is simply my own realisation that the times have changed and as a technologist in the the industry I owe it to myself to make sure I am aware of how AWS has shifted web and application development from what I (and from my assumption the majority of those reading this post) perceive to be mainstream.

That said, just like the fact that a hybrid approach to infrastructure has solidified as the accepted hosting model for applications, so to the fact that in the application world there will still be a combination of the old and new. The biggest difference is that more than ever…these worlds are colliding…and that is something that shouldn’t be ignored!

How-To: Install PIP and VCA-CLI for vCloud Air|Director on OS X

There is a lot of talk going around how IT Pros can more efficiently operate and consume Cloud Based Services…AWS has lead the way in offering a rich set of APIs for it’s clients to use to help build out cloud applications and infrastructure and there are a ton of programming libraries and platforms that have seen the rise of the DevOps movement…And while AWS has lead the way, other Public Clouds such as Azure (with PowerShell Packs) and Google have also built self service capability through APIs.

With the release of VMware’s vCloud Air Services over the last 18 months there has been an increased number of CLIs and Libraries for interfacing with the vCloud Director based services including vCloud Air and VMware’s vCloud Air Network Partners who use vCloud Director as their Cloud Abstraction Layer.

The reality is that vCloud Director has always has a rich set of APIs (check out the API Online Doco Here) but during the early days of the VMware vCloud Powered Program only a small number of Services Providers truly exploited the power of the vCD APIs…this was part of the reason why VMware felt the ecosystem was not growing as it had wanted and part of the reason why they went down the path of building their own services.

Interested in being able to offer my partners and clients an alternative to Web Based creation and management of vCloud Director I stumbled across a project that Paco Gomez has been developing called VCA-CLI which is based on pyvcloud which is a Python SDK for vCloud Director and Air. Being Python based you have the option of running it pretty much on any OS you like…the steps below show you how to install and configure VCA on a Mac OS X OS and how to connect up to a vCloud Director based Cloud Org.

Side Note: At first, I decided to install an Ubuntu Desktop on my MBP using Fusion and go from there…however I was made aware that I was forgetting the fact that OS X has a pretty decent shell of it’s own and that I was doubling up by running VCA-CLI from within a VM…Containers in Containers much?

1. Install Homebrew – The Missing Package Manger for OS X

2. Install Phython and Dependacies

As you can see at the bottom of the output above PIP has been installed so now we are ready to install VCA-CLI

3. Install VCA-CLI

 4. Use VCA-CLI to Connect to vCloud Director Organization

In the example below I am connecting to the vCloud Org that’s hosted in one of ZettaGrid’s Availability Zones that contains the Virtual Datacenter that hosts this Blog Site.

Right, so there it is ready for action…and all at my fingertips through my MBP running OS X. I’ll be looking to post some more articles around VCA-CLI and how to interact with the commands to deploy VMs and Applications on ZettaGrid…which can then be taken and applied to any vCloud Director based Cloud…such is the power of the vCloud Air Network!

References:

https://github.com/vmware/vca-cli
https://github.com/vmware/pyvcloud
http://vca-cli.readthedocs.org/en/stable/
https://pypi.python.org/pypi/pyvcloud/12c1