sysadmin

An introduction to Terraform (and a neat way to try Drupal 8)

At Drupalcamp Melbourne 2015, I gave a talk about Terraform and how it can be used to keep the state of your infrastructure in configuration management.

What is Terraform?

People who are familiar with Puppet or Chef and similar config management tools will probably grasp the concept of Terraform.

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'So, what is it you exactly do?' - Part seven, communication

Admittedly there is an irony in having a massive delay between the last article in this series and this one, aptly to be regarding 'communication' :) Sorry for the silence. It seems some of these articles have inspired some interest in the work I do, and as a result, I have been running off my feet with new business. There are worse problems to have.

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'So, what is it you exactly do?' - Part five, troubleshooting

In the last article of this sysadmin series, I talked about the importance of monitoring as an insight into infrastructure and application behaviour - something that is hard to overstate. But what good is monitoring if you don't understand what it's telling you? That's where troubleshooting comes in.

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'So, what is it you exactly do?' - Part four, monitoring

Here's a scenario...

At 4:30AM every Thursday (sysadmin's time), a server's site suddenly spikes in load, because a full backup takes place at such a time, which is not an off-peak time in terms of traffic due to international visitors.

A bunch of users visiting a site on that server receive a flurry of 502 errors trying to load some content - a form of application timeout due to the taxing effect on the CPU related to the backup process.

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'So, what is it you exactly do?' - Part three, security

This article is third in a series of long, windy answers to the inevitable 'but what exactly do you do as a sysadmin consultant?' question. I started writing this because it's hard to give a sufficient short answer.

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'So, what is it you exactly do?' - Part two, config management

Continuing on from Part One, where I discuss the far-ranging benefits of continuous deployment, today I'll cover off another large part of the 'what do I do as a sysadmin' question: that being, config management.

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'So, what is it you exactly do?' - Part one, continuous deployment

I hear this question a lot - both from non-technical folk, as well as agencies who know they are 'missing something' in their approach to deploying, securing and scaling applications, but aren't sure if a sysadmin will solve it. 'What is it that you (a sysadmin) actually does (e.g the day-to-day, or in general)?'

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Monitoring pastebin.com with Scumblr

I have been experimenting with Scumblr and Sketchy - two open source products released in August 2014 by Netflix.

Broadly speaking, Scumblr is a tool for performing external searches that can aggregate and track the results it finds. In addition it employs various workflow/status/tag features to produce a management tool for taking action on the items or 'events'.

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