Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Stackify Blog, Liz McMillan, David H Deans, Automic Blog, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: @DevOpsSummit, Java IoT, Microsoft Cloud, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog, @BigDataExpo

@DevOpsSummit: Blog Feed Post

IaaS POC Proves to Be Informative | @DevOpsSummit [#DevOps]

This week I spent some time experimenting with 3 top IaaS offerings: Amazon AWS, Google Compute Cloud and Microsoft Azure

Regardless if you’ve migrated multiple applications or this is your first migration to a public Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) you will want to run a small proof-of-concept to make sure that the basic elements of data flow operate as expected and your components will run in the IaaS environment. This week I spent some time experimenting with the three top IaaS offerings: Amazon AWS, Google Compute Cloud and Microsoft Azure. The architecture was relatively simple: three docker containers, one hosting a LAMP—Linux, Apache, MySQL & PHP—stack running WordPress, one hosting Postfix mail server forwarding all mail, and one hosting CVS. The results of the testing were informative.

Google
Google only offers a limited number of Linux versions by default, one of them is not Ubuntu, so I was forced to use Red Hat Enterprise. Luckily, the only thing that had to change was how to install Docker. Once Docker was installed, I created an Ubuntu layer and I was able to run my container builds. Google clearly had the best network performance of all three vendors. This was clear in how quickly the containers were able to pull from the various repositories. However, the issues of deploying these containers in this environment were soon apparent. The LAMP stack included a Secure Shell (SSH) interface that the host machine would not allow me to bind my Docker container to. This problem could not be overcome without significant rework and was required to finish the install. I put that aside and continued onto the Postfix container. That’s when it got real frustrating as I learned I could not bind the container to port 25 (SMTP). That’s right folks, the Gmail people don’t want you using their platform to build a mail server, go figure.

Amazon AWS
There’s a reason why AWS is the leader in cloud services, their user interface was the most elegant for building out the server environment that I designed. Moreover, their t1.micro edition was perfect for doing the early testing work without incurring a lot of charges and when I was done I was able to create a snapshot of that server and use it as the formation of an m3.medium. I selected the Ubuntu 14.04 64-bit EBS-backed machine image to start with, which greatly reduced the amount of data that Docker had to pull in order to formulate the base images. Since I already hosted my existing WordPress and CVS repository on Amazon, I set up an Elastic IP and just moved the association back and forth to test against jpmorgenthal.com, this greatly reduced the headache of setting up WordPress and Postfix since they required the domain name.

Of note, I was having a heck of a time getting my Postfix container running. I could connect to the server using localhost, but could not connect from my home development machine. I removed all firewalls and confirmed that the security rules allowed port 25. I checked the issue on the Interwebs and found others having the same issue. There was a common belief that AWS was block port 25. In truth they are not, but I did find out they limit outbound port 25 calls in an attempt to make sure that customers don’t shoot themselves in the foot and get identified as spammers. The real issue was that Comcast blocks outbound port 25, which I discovered by connecting through another t1.micro instance telnet session that worked fine. The bigger issue here is what is the responsibility of the cloud service provider to protect the credibility of the whole as AWS is doing with outbound email? Is it really they are trying to protect their clients or is it that they have an outbound SMTP mailing service that they want customers to use?

Total cost for using a mix of t1.micro and m3.medium with 15 GB EBS with Elastic IP and multiple snapshots over a period of 9 hours was a whopping $1.65

Azure
Microsoft, like Google, has excellent network performance and the performance of their smallest class of virtual servers also completed the process of building the LAMP container in a reasonable amount of time. Their portal interface was very intuitive for creating the Ubuntu server and they offered the option of using a password in addition to a x.509 certificate, which was a handy option that was not offered with Google or AWS. As with Amazon, once the containers were instantiated they performed well and were accessible across all ports that were exposed on the network interface.

Where Azure falls short today is in their networking. They do not have an Elastic IP service like Amazon, which made it very difficult to switch between the current server and the test environment. This would not bode well for dev/test scenarios where it would be useful to have a single DNS entry for the testing scripts and then just point that entry at the current test environment. It seems, based on some limited web searching, that customers really want dynamic IP addressing on Azure and Microsoft has not responded to this requirement.

Docker
Some quick notes on Docker. I found that the most success I had was when starting with a Dockerfile and doing my own builds to bootstrap an environment. This way facilitates that all the necessary ports that need to be exposed are set up appropriately and its easier to inject a foreground script that will keep the container alive after it is started. This latter point is key. A daemon-ized container requires that something be continually running in the foreground to keep the container alive. This can be done with a while..do script command handed to /bin/sh, but it’s far more effective to use the startup script that ensures all the necessary services have started and then goes into a wait loop. Also, if you do changes to your container once its started e.g. via SSH, remember to commit the changes when you exit the session or you will be repeating those steps the next time you run the container.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By JP Morgenthal

JP Morgenthal is a veteran IT solutions executive and Distinguished Engineer with CSC. He has been delivering IT services to business leaders for the past 30 years and is a recognized thought-leader in applying emerging technology for business growth and innovation. JP's strengths center around transformation and modernization leveraging next generation platforms and technologies. He has held technical executive roles in multiple businesses including: CTO, Chief Architect and Founder/CEO. Areas of expertise for JP include strategy, architecture, application development, infrastructure and operations, cloud computing, DevOps, and integration. JP is a published author with four trade publications with his most recent being “Cloud Computing: Assessing the Risks”. JP holds both a Masters and Bachelors of Science in Computer Science from Hofstra University.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at Dell EMC, introduced a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organization...
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the USA and Europe, we work with a variety of customers from emerging startups to Fortune 1000 companies.
Financial Technology has become a topic of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York, June 6-8, 2017, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 add...
Multiple data types are pouring into IoT deployments. Data is coming in small packages as well as enormous files and data streams of many sizes. Widespread use of mobile devices adds to the total. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the tools and environments that are being put to use in IoT deployments, as well as the team skills a modern enterprise IT shop needs to keep things running, get a handle on all this data, and deli...
The age of Digital Disruption is evolving into the next era – Digital Cohesion, an age in which applications securely self-assemble and deliver predictive services that continuously adapt to user behavior. Information from devices, sensors and applications around us will drive services seamlessly across mobile and fixed devices/infrastructure. This evolution is happening now in software defined services and secure networking. Four key drivers – Performance, Economics, Interoperability and Trust ...
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound e...
@ThingsExpo has been named the Most Influential ‘Smart Cities - IIoT' Account and @BigDataExpo has been named fourteenth by Right Relevance (RR), which provides curated information and intelligence on approximately 50,000 topics. In addition, Right Relevance provides an Insights offering that combines the above Topics and Influencers information with real time conversations to provide actionable intelligence with visualizations to enable decision making. The Insights service is applicable to eve...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Grape Up will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company specializing in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the U.S. and Europe, Grape Up works with a variety of customers from emergi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi, the leading provider the Internet of Things and Digital Transformation, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., offers an integrated portfolio of services and solutions that enable digital transformation through enhanced data management, governance, mobility and analytics. We help globa...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in compute, storage and networking technologies, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/...
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings in the last year, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their back-end AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT – especially in the connected home and office. Amazon is extending its reach by building on its dominant Cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strategy, recently announced Replenishment Services, the Echo/Alexa voice recognition control platform, the 6-7 strategic...
Judith Hurwitz is president and CEO of Hurwitz & Associates, a Needham, Mass., research and consulting firm focused on emerging technology, including big data, cognitive computing and governance. She is co-author of the book Cognitive Computing and Big Data Analytics, published in 2015. Her Cloud Expo session, "What Is the Business Imperative for Cognitive Computing?" is scheduled for Wednesday, June 8, at 8:40 a.m. In it, she puts cognitive computing into perspective with its value to the busin...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
Cybersecurity is a critical component of software development in many industries including medical devices. However, code is not always written to be robust or secure from the unknown or the unexpected. This gap can make medical devices susceptible to cybersecurity attacks ranging from compromised personal health information to life-sustaining treatment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Clark Fortney, Software Engineer at Battelle, will discuss how programming oversight using key methods can incre...