REDtalks.live #31 – Network Infrastructure as Code – Part 3

Install, Setup and Troubleshooting

Other episodes in this series:

Welcome to part 3 in this Network Infrastructure as Code series. In the previous episodes I provided some demonstrations and also best practices with Role-based Access Control and Change Rollbacks. In this episode we’ll cover how to setup your own Network Infrastructure as Code environments, in addition to some troubleshooting tips should you run into any problems.

Thanks for listening!

REDtalks.live #30 – Network Infrastructure as Code – Part 2

Role-based Access Control and Change Rollback

Other episodes in this series:
Welcome to part 2 in this Network Infrastructure as Code series. In the previous episode we introduced the concept of Network Infrastructure as Code and performed a quick demonstration. In this episode we’re going to cover best practices around Access Control and how to roll back changes.
Infrastructure as Code is a great stepping stone towards integrated and automated ‘continuous deployment’. However, for those not quite ready to hand over control to an automated system, applying traditional approval processes to network infrastructure as code is probably a good idea. You’ll also notice that Network Infrastructure as Code has great change back-out capabilities, much better than traditional management models.
Enough of the words, take a look at the video below and let me know your thoughts!
Thanks for listening!

REDtalks.live #29 – Network Infrastructure as Code – Part 1

Introduction to Network Infrastructure as Code

Other episodes in this series:

Greetings viewers and welcome to a short series of technical demonstrations on Infrastructure as Code.

In my field experience I noticed that most Infrastructure as Code implementations were oriented around ‘server’ infrastructure. As a huge fan of developer tooling being used to improve traditional operations, I thought I’d take a look at bringing Infrastructure as Code practices to managing F5’s BIG-IP App Services appliances.

In this video you’ll see the management of L4 – L7 App Services entirely from within GitHub Enterprise. Totes cool, right! In this first episode I’l just run through a quick demo, followed by a more detailed review in Part 2 (coming soon).

 

Thanks for listening!

REDtalks.live #28 – Jason Edelman of NetworkToCode.com

Today we’re joined by Jason Edelman, co-founder of awesome network automation training and services company networktocode.com, and co-author of the recently published O’Reilly book titled, “Network Programmability and Automation“.

As the subtitle states, this book is a reference tool aimed at developing “skills for the next-generation network engineer”. Joined by co-authors, Scott S. Lowe & Matt Oswalt, the book covers many great concepts, including one pushed heavily by the f5.com/super-netops training program (and one of my personal favorites), the importance of abstraction and templating.

Watch the episode here:

Thanks for joining us, Jason!

REDtalks.live #27 – Distributed tracing with Istio on AWS

Ever wondered how you troubleshoot among ephemeral microservices in a container environment? Well, by tracing service interaction, that’s how! And I’m not just referring to outages here, this is also the secret to tracking down performance issues and inefficiencies among microservices.

In this episode I’m joined by Neeraj Poddar from F5 Innovation, Aspen Mesh! If you haven’t caught our previous episodes from the Aspen Mesh, Shawn Worke (their fearless leader) explains what its all about in REDtalks.live #23 – Aspen Mesh w/ Shawn Wormke

But if you’re pressed for time and ou just want to know how to trace microservice interactions with Istio on AWS, then waste not another minute and watch this episode:

Thanks for joining us, Neeraj! Youy can find his great blog titled Distributed tracing with Istio in AWS <= there.

REDtalks.live #26: WWT on why Super-NetOps is different

Some great content from friends at World Wide Technology (WWT) explaining how the Super-NetOps Training Program differs from traditional infrastructure automation training.


“Its a very interesting and very exciting program”
– Mark Wall


 

In this podcast, live from the WWT Global Sales Conference in Las Vegas, Principle Solutions Architect, Joel King, and Practice Lead for Application Delivery, Mark Wall, explain what the Super-NetOps training program is all about and why its so important.

From the podcast
On the challenges organizations are facing, Mark Wall shares, “What it really boils down to is the infrastructure, the networking infrastructure, traditional IT Operations folks really have a very hard time keeping up with the development side of the organization.”

Wall continuous, “Theres a big gap in how the infrastructure side is able to deliver services that are required by the development organization. So, it almost boils down to ‘I can’t keep up‘, ‘I cant deliver those services fast enough‘ or ‘I don’t really understand how my piece, my networking component, my application delivery component, fits into the public cloud or into this automated process’ and there’s kind of a disconnect in there.”

“That skillset gap is something that all of our customers ask about, and they struggle with. Traditional network engineers don’t have the programming background. They don’t have the understanding of some of the technologies around different data structures.” adds Joel King, “How do I train those engineers to be able to have the skills that they need to do the type of automated deployments that Mark’s talking about. That’s a big key area for many of our customers is, what skills do I need, what training, what education do I need, and thats one of the things that the Super-NetOps program is trying to address. To enable those engineers with new skills to be able to be successful”.

WWT is supporting the Super-NetOps movement by putting together enterprise environments that support multiple technologies, beyond just F5’s BIG-IP, to help customers build end-to-end solutions.

Conclusion
As I stated in my DevOps Enterprise Summit talk last year, “Give me a Swiss Army Knife, and MacGyver I do not become”. So, its great to see Mark and Joel building upon the initial Super-NetOps program and adding huge value to their customers.

Enough from me! Make time to listen to this great podcast here: WWT on Super-NetOps

 

REDtalks.live #25: MiniKube for Dev’s

Another great episode from our F5 Incubator friends, ApsenMesh.io. In this episode I’m joined by Sr Architect, Andrew Jenkins, who explains how, in mere seconds, he spins up Kubernetes clusters on his laptop in a docker container.

An awesome solution for rapid dev/test environments that I will be adopting as soon as I’ve hit post on this article.

Here’s the video with Andrew:

 

And here’s a blog Andrew put together with the technical details: Building Istio with Minikube-in-a-Container and Jenkins

Many thanks for joining us on REDtalks.live, Andrew. I look forward to hearing from you again!

REDtalks.live #24: Becoming Super-NetOps: Day 1

If you’re right at the beginning of your Super-NetOps journey, then this article is for you!

A common question from our NetOps pals is, “How do you get started?” Well, let me take a stab at that in todays article. Before we begin, a few things to keep in mind.

  1. EVERYONE is starting from a different level. Focusing on who’s ahead of you in the learning path will only distract you from your success. This journey is about you. Go at YOUR pace.
  2. Making mistakes is good. Mistakes are evidence that you are learning new things and have the confidence in yourself to evolve. Learn more about a great culture for innovation from John Allspaw, here. <- A good one to share with the team!
  3. Beyond the tools and scripts, pay close attention to how you change your approach to troubleshooting and moving forward with a solution. Often overlooked, learning to automate without adopting and nurturing new practices and culture is almost pointless. Take the time to see how process changes and how you begin to look at challenges differently.

Ok, keeping these points in mind, here’s some new concepts to look into:

1. Understand RESTful interfaces

If this is your first time venturing away from the GUI/CLI, or maybe you just want a refresh, I recommend you watch this great REST API introduction video posted by WebConcepts. In this video you’ll see how you can communicate with popular on-line services including Facebook, Google Maps, and Instagram via their REST APIs:

 

2. Interact with a RESTful Interface

There are many tutorials on the internet that show how to communicate with a RESTful interface from a scripting language, like Python or Javascript. But what if you don’t know the scripting languages they refer to? Sometimes its best to avoid an overload of too many new concepts to learn at once.

For this very reason, I tend to direct people to the awesome, multi-platform REST client, POSTMAN: https://www.getpostman.com/

While their messaging does target ‘API Development teams’, its fantastic for API beginners, too. With POSTMAN installed, I recommend you watch the great tutorial “How to use the POSTAN API Response Viewer”:

 

Once you’ve worked through the basics, I recommend going through the POSTMAN video tutorials to learn some of the time-saving features you’ll come to depend on: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLM-7VG-sgbtCJYpjQfmLCcJZ6Yd74oytQ

3. Troubleshooting JSON

Now that you’ve had some interaction with a RESTful interface, you’ve probably had some experience with how a small error can break things. Fear not, while you’re on your path to becoming JSON-fluent there’s always the great on-line JSON validator, https://jsonlint.com/

Simply ‘paste’ your misbehaving JSON data into the text field and click ‘Validate JSON’. Below its showing me that I missed a comma on the end of the second line:

JSONLint_-_The_JSON_Validator

We’ll look at more data formats, like YAML, in future posts.

4. Conclusion

If you’ve worked through these exercises then congratulations is in order. You have already begun your journey towards becoming a Super-NetOps engineer! If you’re still feeling a little overwhelmed with these concepts, there is no shame is working through them again from the beginning. Repetition builds expertise and being comfortable with change is all part of the journey!

Next in the series we’ll look at some more advanced POSTMAN features and then take what you’ve learned in POSTMAN and apply it to scripting languages.

 

REDtalks.live #23 – Aspen Mesh w/ Shawn Wormke

Want to learn about Service Mesh? Well, you’re in luck! Today I am joined by Shawn Wormke, Sr. Director of Aspen Mesh – aspenmesh.io – an F5 Networks Incubator innovation.

Aspen Mesh is an ‘enterprise service mesh’ built on Istio. In her recent blog, industry thought leader, Lori MacVittie (@lmacvittie), announced the drivers behind launching Aspen Mesh with:

…we believe a robust microservice communication fabric is the best possible path to scaling containerized apps whether in the data center or in the cloud (or both). But we also understand the needs and complexity of enterprise production environments. A service-mesh needs to do more than just scale apps; it also needs to monitor and secure them.

Watch this video to understand the future of Aspen Mesh: the microservices architecture its destined for, and the use cases it will address regarding the application of dynamic policy and service visibility through continuous feedback.

Thanks for joining us, Shawn!

REDtalks #22 – IBM Cloud with Simon Kofkin-Hansen

In this episode I’m joined by Simon Kofkin-Hansen of IBM Cloud.

As Distinguished Engineer of Cloud Automation, Simon travels the world enabling organizations a smooth transition towards their hybrid cloud goals. Watch this episode to understand some of the realities of a journey to cloud, what to look at for, and what you might want to do differently to make the most out of your newly adopted operating model. HINT: automation is key!

Thanks for joining us, Simon! Great to have you on REDtalks.live