REDtalks.live #35 – How to get started

In this episode I’m joined by F5 Consultant, Vinnie Mazza, to hear his experiences with getting started on his programmability and automation journey. Vinnie shares with us how a project outside of work  inspired him to learn new skills that, coincidentally, are directly transferable to the workplace.

In this video you will see how, armed with no more than curiosity and a couple of Raspberry Pie’s, Vinnie revolutionized a local police training facility that was in dire need of improvement. The skills he learned from this project not only helped others but also took him on a journey through scripting languages and frameworks that turned him into the automation-ninja that many customers get to appreciate today.

Remember, listeners! Everyone starts from the beginning. Find a project, doesn’t have to be at work, and see what you can come up with.

Linked referenced in this episode:

Thanks for listening (and sorry for having some mic problems this week… New microphone ordered!)

REDtalks.live #34 – GitHub Integration v0.2 released

Greetings automators!!! I am delighted to be sharing with you the release of the GitHub Webhook Server for BIG-IP v0.2. w00t!

This release was a major re-write that touched almost every line of code. Why? Well, as with many early prototypes, in the first release I just wanted to see if it could be done. And from the experiment I learned a lot about integrating with GitHub, took a lot of notes, and, well, v0.2 is the result of all those findings: a more robust integration that you should totally take a look at yourself!

The two key adds to version 0.2 are:

  • deployment queuing – so we don’t DDoS the Control Plane with many concurrent declaration commits at once
  • octokit –  in v0.1 I used native HTTP calls to the GitHub API. In v0.2 I switched to the GitHub octokit/rest.js node module, which simplified a lot of code. And simple = robust.

There’s a couple other features I snuck in there, which you can see in this demonstration video:

 

If there are any features you’d like to see, please create a GitHub Issue against the repository, here: https://github.com/npearce/n8-GHE_IaC_WebHook/issues

For more episode on Network Infrastructure as Code, go here: Network Infrastructure as Code

Thanks for listening!

REDtalks.live #32 – Stats & Dashboards

We appear to be leaving the era of polling devices for stats and then processing them into something meaningful. This is what happy customers are telling me! So, how should we be operating in the future?

Organizations are standardizing on app-centric performance monitoring and dash-boarding technologies. They’re using open source technologies like ‘StatsD’, ‘GraphiteDB’, ‘Grafana’, and ‘Prometheus’. And its up to the infrastructure vendors to present useful data to these systems, or get out of the way!

To address such asks I set out on a new project called ‘BigStats’. BigStats is an small piece of code installed onto an F5 BIG-IP App Services device that enables it to push application statistics into popular databases and dashboards.

Watch this episode to see how simple this solution really is:

Here’s the code: GitHub

Thanks for listening!

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 #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 #17 – Orchestration 2.0 (w/ a side of bacon)

Greeting automators and welcome to edisode #17 of REDtalks. Today’s guest is Tyler Hatton who is from WWTs own internal IT Operations team. Tyler is the F5 BIG-IP Subject Matter Expert for WWT and is hell-bent on replacing the mundane with declarative interfaces and orchestration systems.

Watch this episode to hear about the interesting culture at WWT and their regular hack-a-thon’s. These events themed at breaking the routine and investing internally in continuous education and, my favorite, “continuous improvement”. Following this, Hatton talks us through his brilliantly named, hack-a-thon winning, “(P)orchestrator” solution!

Tune it to understand the time-saving, self-service interface that Tyler produced, quite literally, from the Ops ‘drivers seat’.

 

Many thanks, Tyler, for sharing your story!

REDtalks #16 – Andy & Tom on Metrics Driven Automation

In episode #16 we are joined by Andreas (Andy) Grabner, of Dynatrace, and Tom McGonagle, of F5 Networks.

Watch this episode to hear about Metrics Driven Automation, or Informed Automation, and how this takes the feat out of fully integrated deployment pipelines. Andy shares some great insights on how to avoid automating oneself into dangerous situations.

Following this, Tom shows us (yes, a live demo) how to deploy an F5 BIG-IP policy using the CI/CD tool, Jenkins.

 

You may recall Tom from a previous episode, REDtalks #14 – Tom & David on the Principles & Practices of DevOps. Thanks for coming back, Tom! Here’s the Jenkins Github repo he referenced in his demo: https://github.com/mcgonagle/F5file

And thanks, Andy, for your valuable insights on  impelmenting safe, information automation. Andreas To hear more from Andy Grabner, take a look at some of these links:

Thanks, both, for your time!

REDtalks #13 – Mark & Joe on Cisco CloudCenter (formerly CliQr)

Mark Wall and Joe Weber of WWT join me in lucky episode #13 to discuss automation with Cisco CloudCenter (the artist formerly known as CliQr).

As many already know, in 2016 Cisco bought CliQr, which has since been renamed Cisco CloudCenter. Watch this episode to see how CliQr is used to deploy applications while also configuring Cisco ACI (connectivity fabric), VMware vSphere, Infoblox, and F5 BIG-IP LTM in one single automation workflow.

In the first half of the video we hear from Mark and Joe about their experiences with customer automation. They share with us the typical experiences of an infrastructure admins journey from being a ‘button pusher’ to being a ‘button creator’ before closing out the first half of the talk by sharing their understanding of the markets maturity with automation.

We then enter the second half of the video where Joe explains the CliQr workflow he’s built, with the aid of some helpful diagrams, before throwing caution to the wind and providing a live demonstration (this from the 36 minute mark).

Thanks for joining us, Mark & Joe! More on this from Joe in his WWT blog here: https://www2.wwt.com/all-blog/using-cisco-cloudcenter-to-automate-f5-and-other-workflows