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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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Unitrends To Release a Free Edition

The world of VM backups just got a little ray of sunshine. One of the biggest hits on my website continues to be my extensive list of free tools and very soon I get to add another to the list. Unitrends is releasing Unitrends Free (currently in Beta). This is of course a free version of their Unitrends Enterprise Backup Software. Are there limitations, sure, but they are relatively light.

 

  1. Virtual-Only
    1. Unitrends Enterprise Backup Software version can take care of both virtual and physical hosts, but as we move forward in a virtual only world, this shouldn't be much of an issue for most of us. Unitrends Free™ (Beta) is Virtual-Only
  2. It's Free!
    1. This isn't really a limitation, other than your credit card spending limit. But really, using a product for free gives you the opportunity to really put it to use for an extended period of time. We all like to test things out for much longer than 30 days before we bet the business on it. So even if you are a SMB or a full blown enterprise, you can benefit from using free tools. If you happen to splurge for the Enterprise version after using the full version, you can migrate your backups over. Pretty useful.
  3. Upgraded UI
    1. I have to admit, it's very easy to use. I also like how Unitrends is looking for feedback on their UI as well. A key principal to UX design is understanding your users. You can't make it much better if the everyday users of your product are giving direct feedback.
  4. VMware & Hyper-V
    1. I bet you Hyper-V shops are pretty upset about having multiple backup products. Unitrends Free can take care of both.
  5. Automated Deployments
    1. Deploys as a Linux‐based VMware or Hyper‐V virtual machine. The appliance performs hypervisor‐level backups of the virtual machines you choose to protect.
  6. 1TB
    1. Protect up to 1 TB of unique VM data, with no limits on the number of VMs you can protect and no constraints on the number of sockets. You get 500GB out of the box, and you'll get a 500GB extension when you sign up for the Unitrends Community Forum.
  7. Free Support
    1. It's not stackoverflow, but Unitrends Community Forum will be the place you get answers. You even see a box with new topics in the dashboard UI.

 

Before we peek into it... If you sign up and test drive Unitrends Free, you are entered into a sweepstakes for $1500. Offer valid from May12th to June 30th 2015. If you want to download it without entering, get it at Unitrends Free™ (Beta) Download.

Let's look at a quick walkthrough...

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Running Docker on VMware Photon on VMware vCloud Air OnDemand

Fret not, everyone! VMware still has a chance!

 

I was given the opportunity to get $500 in free credits for vCloud Air OnDemand and decided to put them to use. By the way, if you want $300 in free credits sign-up using this referral link using code Influencer2015. For everyone that signs up through this referral link, you will be put in a drawing to win an additional $200 in free credits. 1 person signing up each week will win an EXTRA $200 in credits chosen by MKG Marketing. Use promo code Influencer2015 through this referral link to automatically get $500 in vCloud Air OnDemand credits! If you get denied, get hung up, or already have a vCloud Air (not OnDemand) account use a different email address during sign-up. As part of this exploratory process, I wanted to give VMware Photon a test run to see how long it would take to get my first Docker container up and running. Unfortunately, containers (atleast Photon) aren't first class citizens in vCloud Air OnDemand. Let's look at the process.

 

VMware has done right by putting the VMware Photon ISO in the public catalog, but that's about where it ends. In terms of ease of use, Photon requires DHCP out of the box where as vCloud Air OnDemand natively wants to use Static IP addressing from a Pool. So I guess you could do some serious customization using the vCloud API to make this process much more refined. In addition, deploying VMware Photon at scale needs to be addressed. My quick hack as shown in the video below requires using the vCloud Director user interface to make some changes to the networking infrastructure to allow VMware Photon to be used natively with DHCP.

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Persistent Data on Docker Containers from EMC {code}

Docker containers are architected to be ephemeral, meaning the entire container can be wiped out and no harm is done. But what about containers that you are using for databases such as PostgreSQL and MongoDB? What about containers that need access to backend storage. There are tricks that can be done such as using LVM to mount volumes, or using something like NFS or Amazon's new elastic NFS services to automatically mount those shares on docker run. But what about creating those volumes directly from the docker run command line? What about spinning up many containers all attached to block services that can come from AWS or even your own storage infrastructure?

 

Today, the EMC {code} team is happy to announce a few new projects. All of these were created by Clint Kitson and his genius of the Go language. Check out these videos below and you can check out the repos here:

https://github.com/emccode/rexray

https://github.com/emccode/rexraycli

 https://github.com/emccode/dogged

 

Read the official blog release: Dogged-ly Pursuing Persistent Data for Containers with REX-Ray

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Simple Gmail Hacks That I Use Daily

Email is the thing we all love to hate. However, if we can't use Slack, then Gmail is by far the next best thing. Having been a user for Gmail since its early early beta days when you need an invite, I've grown fond of it. The spam filters, the style, the responsiveness, and the access from anywhere is what I love. There are some hidden "features" that many don't know about. I'm going to highlight some that I use daily.

 

In true Google form, everything always seems to be in a stage of "experimentation" like it will eventually die. Remember Google Wave?  The Google Graveyard

 

We are going to look at 3 projects within the Gmail Labs and also some other Account Feature hacks. Where is Gmail Labs? 

 

Within Gmail, click on the top right drop-down with the gear icon and go to settings

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Deploying a Node.js WebApp with MongoDB to Cloud Foundry

I recently created a new project to help me get a better understanding of Node.js webapps using Express.js and using MongoDB on the backend. It took me a little over 2 hours to get this app properly deployed to CF and run in development at the same time. Documentation is sparse, so I'll spare you the details and just show you how it's done.

 

package.json:

The only thing you need here is that if you are using express.js then the "npm start" needs to be setup correctly. If you used the express generator then this is done for you.

"scripts": {
    "start": "node ./bin/www"
  }

 

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