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Total Noob Guide To Move Your Old Wired Security System to SmartThings

This week I posted an update on twitter and facebook of my latest project where I took all the wired window and door sensors from my old security system and integrated them into SmartThings. Many people said they want to do the same thing and I know that my usual step-by-step spoon-fed tutorial was in order.

 

 

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Use Travis CI to Update Your Website using FTP and Git

After learning how to build websites from scratch using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript (like bourbonpursuit.com and emccode.github.io) I have ventured out of the realm from normal CMS platforms like Wordpress and Joomla. Most of the sites I build are only a few pages and aren't big content monstrosities. I use Sublime as my local editor and use git for version control. But after I make changes and want to make the files live on the site, I have to use normal FTP methods of moving those files to the shared hosting server. This became really confusing if you made changes to lots of files. Plus, it's boring work.

 

What I ideally wanted was a way to automatically update the website from the latest changes in the master branch directly from GitHub. Of course, there are ways to update every single file on the site, but why not just use git version control to figure out what files were added or changed. There are tools out there like git-ftp that could do this, but that requires an extra step from me.

 

I had a few minutes today to finally start implementing and using a continuous integration tool. By default, I decided to use Travis CI because it has native GitHub integration. My immediate gut reaction was to use Travis' FTP file transfer utility. However, there is an issue with the curl command that requires you to specify the filename you want to upload. My use case is for Git to give Travis all the changed/added files and have only those files be uploaded.

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NAKIVO Enables Converting Western Digital NAS into a VM Backup Appliance

On Monday October 12, 2015, NAKIVO released version 5.8 that can be installed directly onto a Western Digital NAS, thus creating a simple, fast, and affordable VM backup appliance, which can be used both onsite and offsite. Here are some of the details:

  • NAKIVO Backup & Replication v5.8 can be installed directly onto Western Digital My Cloud DL series NAS.
  • While NAKIVO Backup & Replication is already on par with or faster than competition in terms of backup performance, we are seeing up to 1.6X performance boost when our product is deployed directly on a Western Digital NAS. This is because backup data is written directly to NAS disks, bypassing file protocols such as NFS and CIFS.
  • NAKIVO Backup & Replication v5.8 can be deployed even on entry-level NAS devices, as the product requires just 2 CPU cores and 1 GB of RAM to be fully operational, and still deliver high backup speeds. For example, the Western Digital DL 2100 NAS with 12 TBs of storage has a list price of less than $850 which is enough for the data backup needs of a typical VMware Essentials environment.
  • When installed on a NAS, NAKIVO Backup & Replication delivers a number of benefits:
    • All-in-one VM data protection – a VM backup appliance combines backup software, data deduplication, and backup hardware in a single solution that is affordable (5X vs. competition), fast (over 1 Gbps backup), reliable (Western Digital + NAKIVO), and easy to manage. Add a comment
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Docker Machine and Complete Customization

NOTE: THIS IS NOT SUPPORTED BY DOCKER OR EMC. THIS IS NOT EVEN A CONSIDERED A VERSION OF DOCKER MACHINE. THIS IS A PROJECT FLING TO PROVE THE ABILITY.

TL;DR get the Docker Machine with Extensions binary and try it yourself. Or watch the youtube video at the very bottom to see it in action.

 

I've had some fun playing with Go the past few weeks and I was able to create a very powerful customization. I present to you Docker Machine with Extensions! Using a standard template, it's possible to have a completely customized Docker Machine installation.

 

But, why is this important? 

 

Docker Machine gets you a “docker ready” host. It automatically configures the host OS to run Docker containers and can be joined to a Swarm cluster. But what about everything else that goes into daily operations? Configuration management, Docker Engine pluggable extensions, crazy security configurations, etc! Those are the things that can push Docker Machine that extra mile.

 

The EMC {code} team came up with a clever way to have generic and native “extensions” using a standard JSON file. In short, here is what a JSON file allows you to do:

  • Environment Variables: Set environment variables to /etc/environment that could be used for customization of anything
  • Copy: Specify a source and destination and it will invoke the docker-machine scp command to move files from your local host to a remote host or between remote hosts. This can be used to move binaries, transfer configuration files, etc.
  • Run: Create an ordered list of commands to run. Install packages, move files, or do anything.
  • ValidOS: Specify a range of operating systems that will work with this configuration.
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AT&T Uverse Doesn't Work With Docker Hub and They Want ME To Pay To Fix It

I really didn't want to write a "hate" piece, but I've been backed into a corner... AT&T Uverse Internet DOES NOT WORK with Docker Hub. Also, AT&T wants ME TO PAY to have it fixed. Here's my story.

**UPDATE 9/25/2015**

Uverse is now working with Docker Hub. Thanks for everyone that was involved!

 

I had Uverse installed on 9/21/2015. I had been hacking on a new Docker Machine piece on my Verizon MiFi for a few days while I was at the office. Since my kitchen is being remodeled, I wanted to be there so I could monitor the progress. So, I'll just work from home. Today is 9/24/2015.

 

I finished a commit and needed to run a build. So I used my Docker Machine host to do that. I began the process and it got stuck:

kcoleman-mbp:machine kcoleman$ make
script/validate-dco
Congratulations!  All commits are properly signed with the DCO!
script/validate-gofmt
Congratulations!  All Go source files are properly formatted.
script/test
./...
Sending build context to Docker daemon 131.8 MB
Step 0 : FROM golang:1.4.2-cross
Pulling repository docker.io/library/golang
Network timed out while trying to connect to https://index.docker.io/v1/repositories/library/golang/images. You may want to check your internet connection or if you are behind a proxy.
make: *** [test] Error 1

 

What? That's weird. Well what about just trying to run a container?

kcoleman-mbp:v050-dev kcoleman$ docker run -ti busybox
Unable to find image 'busybox:latest' locally
Pulling repository docker.io/library/busybox
Network timed out while trying to connect to https://index.docker.io/v1/repositories/library/busybox/images. You may want to check your internet connection or if you are behind a proxy.

 

Maybe it's an issue with my home network since I have another router. I hopped on the Uverse Wifi directly, same thing. Disabled the entire firewall, same thing. Gave my mac IP Passthrough, same thing.

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CONTAINERS ARE THE FUTURE, IF … (my response)

This morning, (8/26/15) Edward Haletky of the Virtualzation Practice published the article CONTAINERS ARE THE FUTURE, IF … which needs more clarification. I was going to respond over twitter, but there was no way that was happening. So lets take some of these line by line. NOTE: this is my opinion from someone who has been in the container space for almost 2 years now.

 

 

 

 "The reasons are myriad, but there seem to be some issues with people saying that virtualization is dead (I do not agree)"

I agree too. Virtualization is the new legacy. Virtualization will be around for 10 years and longer. But it's not the new hotness.

 

"or that containers on bare metal with CoreOS, Red Hat Atomic, or some other container-built OS is the future (which is possible). Neither of these will happen unless we consider why clouds are so popular. Would a cloud give up the automation and tools it has just to go back to bare metal with containers?"

Yes they will give it up. Times and processes change. That's like saying we are supposed to treat VMs just like they were physical machines. The hypervisor is a CPU, Memory, and Management resource that must be accounted for with any operation. We can get rid of that hypervisor in time.

 

"I have yet to hear of a Docker environment being used outside of virtual machines in a multi-tenant cloud. Why? Because Docker and Docker-like containers, have no concept of tenancy."

True, 99% of cloud environments that run containers are ran on top of virtual machines for this reason. But I think you are confusing a few things. You talked about containers within "organizations". This is a service provider issue. That "service provider" could be internal IT but most shops couldn't get IaaS with VMs, why would they think multi-tenant containers are the way to do things? This technology is only 2 years old. How long did it take VMware to have a multi-tenant solution? vCloud was killed off and vCAC isn't a very good answer either. Today, multi-tenant approaches are 100% customized and will be like that for a while. Making this point pretty moot IMO.

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Make The Embedded Libsyn Podcast Player Responsive

When I first started designing the Bourbon Pursuit Podcast webpage from scratch I wanted to make sure the entire site was responsive from big 30" monitors to the smallest mobile and tablet screens. Many people are familiar with Libsyn as the popular hosting platform for many podcasts. However, their process for embedding their player can be improved beyond setting the Width and Height.

First off, never use the Legacy player. It's based off flash and will not work on any mobile device. I will be using the Standard player since it's based on HTML5 and can be manipulated. Let's take a look at the Embed code that Libsyn provides. It's fixed with height and weight. We will put it some custom CSS and change this embed code so the only thing you will ever change is the ID for every new episode (ie. ...embed/episode/id/3703250/height/50...

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Watch Out! Docker is Creating a New Infrastructure Platform

DockerCon 2015 was filled with some pretty awesome stuff, but there was one thing that really stood out to me... Docker is creating an application infrastructure platform. 

 

Everyone remembers VMware as this hypervisor that allowed us to run virtual machines. Then along came vCenter, then SRM, then tons of other products. The same thing is happening in the Docker ecosystem right now. Docker started off as a fancy little container engine and I'm going to explain why everything else they have built will take off. History is going to repeat itself. Virtual Machines aren't going away any time soon, but they will become the new legacy.

 

Docker Engine: The heart and soul of Docker. Sort of like ESXi to VMware. It makes all the magic happen. All of this wouldn't have been possible if it weren't for Docker being OSS. The mindshare and buzz happening in the industry is hard to not notice.

 

Docker Machine: Docker Machine allows you to provision Docker-ready hosts to any cloud or local laptop environment using Virtualbox or Fusion. It won't be long until Docker has figured out the PXE booting stuff to allow you to spin up bare-metal Docker-ready hosts instead of virtual machines in the cloud. I see Docker Machine as the eventual abolishment of configuration tools such as Puppet, Chef, Ansible, and the like. Let me explain... Configuration management tools are there as blueprints of how a virtual machine or bare-metal host will be setup to run a certain application. That means the virtual machine is installed with all the binaries and libraries necessary for that application to run successfully. Docker has eliminated the need to do any of that. The runtime libraries of the application all live inside the Docker container/Dockerfile. The host itself doesn't need to be outfitted with additional libraries for containers to run. So poof, there goes those products. This time next year we will probably see things like CoreOS and bare-metal PXE built-into Docker Machine. We're also getting ready to start working on some interesting things here with EMC {code}, stay tuned!

 

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VMTurbo Has a New SaaSy Offering

I've been a fan of VMTurbo for a while. Pound for pound it stacks up against some of the best VMware infrastructure monitoring tools out there. I've covered them many times before with their free offerings of the past. Well, today they have launched a new SaaS based offering. 

 

VMTurbo has partnered up with AWS Marketplace. This means in the simple click of a button, you can setup a VMTurbo instance inside of EC2 and have it connect to your local VMware infrastructure. Pop open a few ports and you're off to the races. Pretty awesome IMO.

 

For the short term, this is a free service with no licenses involved, just a few $'s per month on your credit card for AWS. Go check it out! Your Data Center Control System Now from the AWS Cloud

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Deploy ECS with 5 Ways of Docker

first published on the EMC {code} blog

 

Docker has been hard at work building out toolsets that compliment the Docker container experience. It's the same concept that VMware first tackled. Develop the hypervisor, then all the toolsets that wrap it become greater value.

 

EMC has announced at DockerCon that we are *all in* with containers. One of the things that EMC is delivering is Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS) software deployed as a container for free and frictionless use. The container is available on Docker Hub for your use, but does come with its own caveat for deployment as can be seen in the GitHub repo.

 

To make the deployment faster and using nothing but Docker tools, we can deploy ECS with 5 ways of Docker! Using Docker Machine, deploy Ubuntu hosts that will be a part of a Docker Swarm cluster. Then using Docker Compose, deploy ECS from Docker Hub to a Docker Engine container on each host in the Docker Swarm cluster.

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