Tutorials

Kubernetes through iteration with a startup

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At Capstone Metering we’ve been building our new application on top of Kubernetes like many other businesses. For those that are unfamiliar, Capstone is a software company that provides specialized services for automation and we’re also your average device tech startup. Architecting the stack in our case was equally important as architecting the software itself. We’ve been pretty hell bent on this continuous iteration approach where we used MVP’s to learn and ascertain direction for our engineering organization.

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Using return values inside CloudFormation UserData

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I’ve been working on a project that uses CloudFormation exclusively, so I don’t get to do variable interpolation with return values that’s as simple as Terraform makes it. Thus, I’ve had to do some improvising when generating files based off my infrastructure orchestration. Unfortunately CloudFormation is not as versatile as AWS would like you to believe, though it does constantly improve. One of the things I really like having is the ability to drop some return values in my UserData that’s based on my infrastructure orchestration.

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S3 Bucket Security and Best Practices

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There’s been a litany of companies with unsecured S3 buckets including Verizon, Accenture, TimeWarner, and the list goes on. So what is a vulnerable S3 bucket? ACLs and policies S3 has some quirks. First and foremost that I’ve identified is it’s permissions system known as ACL’s and Policies. I’m going to kick this off with vanilla S3 buckets DENY by default. There’s a nice little ACL that comes with every bucket that allows access account wide and that’s it.

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Docker and Docker-Compose for the developing mind

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What’s docker? I think a lot of folks that read my blog will already know what Docker is, however, I’ll give a brief explanation anyway. Docker is a wrapper around Linux Containers (LXC) written in Go. It uses some REST API’s to communicate with the docker daemon to be able to start up containers and relies on IPTables for networking along with the docker bridge. Docker is a powerful tool because the same image I generate locally on my machine can be deployed into production, or the code can be committed and be made part of your CI/CD Pipeline.

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Docker commands every dev should know

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Docker is a really awesome containerization platform. It dutifully simplifies LXC (Linux Containers) and enables developers to develop faster. That said, at times Docker can be a tad confusing and things can get out of hand quickly if you’re not up to speed on your docker commands. These are all commands that I keep up to date on my GitHub gists page for docker, so I use them regularly as well.

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Pointers in Go

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I’ve been learning Go recently and I’ve been having some issues solidifying my understanding of pointers, so I thought I’d write a quick blog post explaining what I’ve learned and how to easily understand it. What are pointers and why are they useful? Simply put, pointers are variables that store a memory address to another variable. They’re useful because they allow us to essentially dynamically allocate memory. Here’s a nice anecdote to get you thinking:

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Test Driven Infrastructure Basics

 Tutorials

Today I’m going to go over the basics of Test Driven Infrastructure, what it means, how to do it, when it applies, and why. In this tutorial I’m going to use Chef, but you can use whatever you want.

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SendGrid DNS White Labeling and CloudFront for Secure Click Tracking Links

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At StarLeaf we had a need to secure our SendGrid click tracking links, unfortunately our provider, SendGrid, had no way of sending HTTPS traffic with their in place white labeling solution. This is how we solved that. This solution does not solely apply to SendGrid as it’s a generic way to proxy HTTP URL’s to HTTPS. You can apply the solution I build here to nearly anything that requires proxying.

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Basic Ubuntu Security

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Especially in 2017 everyone should be concerned about security. You don’t need to be a genius or completely paranoid in order to avoid most potentially compromising situations. Follow these instructions and you’ll have a basic understanding of what it is to secure your brand new, vanilla Ubuntu server. That said, if you use the web or have a publicly accessible service then there is always a chance you will be compromised. You cannot predict application patches with vulnerabilities or the colorful attempts a hacker that is specifically targeting you may employ. You may simply prep with your best effort. Let’s begin!

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