Scott's Weblog The weblog of an IT pro specializing in virtualization, networking, open source, and cloud computing

Technology Short Take #61

Welcome to Technology Short Take #61. I’ve tried to find a nice range of articles and links, so here’s hoping I was successful and that you find something useful here. Enjoy!

Networking

  • Along with the release of rkt 1.0 (see below in the “Operating Systems/Applications” section), Metaswitch has announced a Container Networking Interface (CNI) plugin for Project Calico. (This appears to be primarily through the Calico plugin for Kubernetes and Kubernetes’ support for CNI.)
  • Matt Oswalt (my guest on Episode 2 of the Full Stack Journey Podcast) has been on a tear recently with some really great articles (in my opinion). First up, Matt goes on a bit of a rant regarding SDN and network automation. His key point is that SDN and network automation are different things, and the latter is far more approachable and offers a great deal of benefits to organizations of any size. In his post on the unspoken benefits of open networking, Matt presents a similar argument: that the rise of open networking is something that offers benefits to all organizations, not just the web-scale companies. (Both these articles came out of Network Field Day 11, by the way.)
  • Via Ivan Pepelnjak, I found this article on the need for user-space network ring buffers. Don’t know what those are? No worries—go read the article. It’s very well-written, and explains what user-space network ring buffers are and why the author believes they are essential for networking with a modern OS. (The article also goes on a bit of a rant against OpenBSD, but that’s a discussion for a different day.)
  • Only a year late, I found this article about Cisco IOS XRv (as in “virtual”). This could be handy for testing and/or experimenting with various network automation techniques or tools.

Servers/Hardware

  • Colin Lynch gives a “first look” at the Cisco UCS Generation 3 hardware, which may be of interest if you’re a UCS customer or looking at purchasing UCS. In my opinion, it’s notable that the Gen3 fabric interconnects lack ACI integration, which (according to Colin) isn’t expected until Gen4 interconnects are released.

Security

Cloud Computing/Cloud Management

  • I recently came across an article on the Azure Docker Extension. This is a Azure-specific tool that enables you to do things like install Docker Engine, deploy containers, configure TLS certificates, etc., on Azure VMs. This enables you to handle many Docker-related tasks using only Azure tools, which may be preferable for some customers.
  • Steve Flanders wrote up a post announcing the release of Log Insight 3.3, also announcing that vCenter Server users are also entitled to access to a limited-license version of Log Insight as well.
  • Is OpenStack turning into a niche product? That’s the question Ken Hui asks in his discussion about OpenStack being caught between a rock and a hard place. Ken’s points are absolutely valid and spot-on—I definitely recommend reading this post.
  • Look at this. Need I say anything further?

Operating Systems/Applications

  • CoreOS recently announced the 1.0 release of rkt, its alternative container runtime to Docker Engine. I hope to be able to spend a bit of time with it soon, but in the meantime you can read the announcement blog post. CoreOS also has a “getting started” blog post that may help.
  • Juan Manuel Rey has been spending some quality time with VMware’s Photon OS; in particular, how to configure networking on Photon OS. (Given that Photon OS uses systemd, it’s more like he’s spending time with systemd, but now we’re just splitting hairs.) In any case, he’s got a couple blog posts you may find useful: one on network configuration with Photon OS, and one on troubleshooting systemd-networkd on Photon OS. Keep ‘em coming, Juan!
  • This one is specific to OS X, but given that OS X has a lot of users in the IT community I felt it was still appropriate. Fournova Software, makers of the OS X-specific Git client Tower, have an article listing 5 tips to be more productive with Dash. Dash, if you weren’t aware, is an OS X app designed to provide easy access to various documentation sets. (It’s a really handy app, by the way—I use it constantly.)
  • The past couple of weeks saw the release of Docker 1.10, Docker Compose 1.6, and Docker Machine 0.6.0. The Docker blog has a couple of posts—one on Docker 1.10’s new features, and another on Compose 1.6—that might help bring you up to speed on the changes in the latest releases.
  • This article on The New Stack about containers in the telecommunications space is a reminder that containers aren’t the solution (by themselves) for all problems. While containers solve some problems very elegantly, they don’t necessarily solve other problems quite as well, and this article dives into one such area (VoIP architectures).

Storage

  • If you’re a newcomer to OS X (or other UNIX-like operating systems) and NFS, you may find this article by Stephen Foskett on using NFS to share data between UNIX and Mac OS X to be helpful. As usual, Stephen clearly lays out the foundational concepts that are involved and explains how to make a setup like this work.
  • VMware recently announced VSAN 6.2, and along with the new release is plenty of coverage from the VMware community. I’d definitely recommend reading Cormac Hogan’s coverage of the new release, but also take some time to check out Duncan Epping’s discussion on VSAN 6.2. One thing that really strikes me is that many of the “coolest” features of VSAN 6.2 are only available in all-flash configurations—this just underscores the growing importance/role of flash in modern data centers.
  • Chris Evans reflects on how Amazon S3 appears to have become the de facto object storage API.

Virtualization

Career/Soft Skills

Nothing here this time around, but rest assured I’ll be watching for content to include next time.

Despite the fact that I’m trying to publish these Short Takes more frequently, I’m finding it difficult to keep the length manageable. So, before this thing gets any longer, let’s wrap it up for this time around. Stay tuned for the next Technology Short Take very soon!

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