April 2020 Free Training Special from Pluralsight!

The team at Pluralsight have kindly opened up the platform for free in order to allow folks to skill up while being under the challenge of the current worldwide situation.  Being at home should not mean being out of the game.  If you are looking to skill up on any of a variety of literally hundreds upon hundreds of courses, Pluralsight is a spectacular option for you.

Just click this link to get setup and you are off to your learning journey!

My own course on HashiCorp Nomad is among those that are completely free for the month of April, so I will obviously recommend that you try it out and get your Nomad and container journey underway.  Please share if you enjoy and find value in the course as well as any ideas or feedback on what I can do with future advanced courses on Nomad.

Big thanks to the team at Pluralsight for opening this up and it is a testament to their support of the community.



CNCF Meetup Recap: Hello Lemur!

Tuesday March 3rd was another great day for community as the Boston CNCF Meetup group arrived at the Turbonomic offices on Boylston street in Boston for a great evening of discussions and learning.  I was happy to be able to be in town for the event and to watch as my colleague, Meng Ding, who presented the Turbonomic Lemur project.

With the challenges of Coronavirus, it was actually quite a good turnout.  I know that a lot of folks are re-evaluating meetup and travel policies.  Big thanks go out to Chris Graham and Asena Hertz from the Turbonomic team for pulling this together.

Introducing Turbonomic Lemur

The Turbonomic Lemur project is a packaged set of open source tools which includes Grafana, Kiali, Jaeger, and also a light version of Turbonomic which allows for the visualization of the dependencies and resourcing of the entire containerized stack.  This project has been created because of the amount of requests we hear out in the community about how challenging it can be to configure and deploy these tools, plus that even with them, there is no context to how it relates to the actual applications.  

Meng kicked off the event with a demo of what Lemur is and what it looks like when deployed.  Being able to have a single interface for all of the tooling and easy ways to interact with the products was definitely a hit for the folks in the audience.  Since I’ve been contributing to the documentation and some community engagement work for Lemur, this was especially exciting to see that people really loved what it did as a graphical tool….but then the real fun began!

Lemur on the big screen!

The next part of the demo featured the featured the Lemurctl command line tool and this really got some folks excited about the potential.  Meng was able to easily spin up command lines that showed the different resources, utilization, and most importantly, the dependencies in a single CLI of everything from the app inside the container, through the container, pod, and node.  There was a literal “wait, you can see all that and the dependencies in a single CLI command?!” from someone in the audience.  So cool!!

Listening and Learning

Meng and all of the folks there are big fans of any community interaction because we can all learn so much from each other.  Tech and business do not exist in bubbles and learning from the lessons of others can really save time and effort for our own projects and deployments of new products and ideas.  Meng had a keen audience gathering after his presentation as you can see here:

There is much more planned for Lemur and for my own sharing of information about it.  If you’re keen to get involved with this or to learn more, jump into the Github for Lemur and take a look.  I’ll be posting some demo resources here on my blog as well in the coming weeks as I do more exploration and documentation to help folks get the most out of it and make it as easy as possible to build and deploy.

Meng and the entire engineering team who built it deserve some big kudos.  They’ve made three particularly challenging open platforms deployable in a single package.  That’s a massive time and resource saver.

Thanks to everyone again for supporting the CNCF meetup in Boston and the Lemur project.  Looking forward to sharing much more very soon!

Welcome Project Nautilus! Running Containers Natively with VMware Fusion on MacOS

There is a lot of hype around containers.  There is also a lot of truth in what’s ahead for the industry as containers are becoming important parts of many new applications.  VMware has just released what they dubbed Project Nautilus.  Shout out to Michael Roy (a fellow Canadian) who has been doing wicked cool work in the Fusion/Workstation product line.  I’ve been lucky enough to work with Michael on some other projects in the past doing some VMware product design research as a customer.

Running Nautilus and vctl, the new VMware command line tool for managing containers in Nautilus/Fusion, you need to be running at least Fusion 10.14 on MacOS at the time of this writing.

Downloading the new Fusion tech preview is easy…click here!

NOTE:  You can run the GA version of Fusion alongside the new 20H1 tech preview which is very cool.  There is a restriction that you can only run one tech preview edition at a time so you may need to uninstall and install the more recent versions as they come out.

Most importantly, I can finally put this amazing cartoon of my youth into play as part of an article.  Virtual fist bump to all the other folks who grew up watching some cartoons like the classic below featuring the Nautilus 🙂

Why Nautilus over other local native container platforms?

You have a few different options for kicking the tires on containers in a local development environment.  You can use Minikube or Minishift or a small implementation of tools like Rancher.  Each has its own merits and your choice will depend on what your bigger picture plans are for deploying and managing Kubernetes as a production implementation.

If you’re holding out K8s hope for the VMware Project Pacific which will allow for a K8s-native endpoint running inside an upcoming vSphere release, this is probably a good way to see just how the product roadmap and command line tools will play out.  The bonus of running Fusion is that you can also use other local virtualized environments for development in the same nifty tool.

What is interesting about Project Nautilus is the closeness to the model that Project Pacific is said to have in store.  The new deployment pattern of the underlying tooling is described as a”very special, ultra-lightweight virtual machine-like process for isolating the container host kernel from the Host system. We call that process a PodVM or a ‘Native Pod’.” as shown in the Fusion Blog on the release.

More of my time is leaning towards containerization with Nomad, OpenShift, and Kubernetes, so this new tools is definitely going to be part of the testing I’m sharing here on the blog in the coming months.  If you’ve got any questions on how to get it working I hope to be a good resource for you (or can connect you to someone who is).

If you want to have your voice heard, this is your chance.  Being an early adopter of the tools also gives you a chance to influence the results of the early development.  Happy installing and watch for more next week with my Getting Started with Nautilus and vctl guide.


Ask the Expert: The Hyperconnected Data Center – My Interview with Yvonne Deir of CoreSite

I am super happy to bring another great BrightTALK interview that I was a part of recently at AWS re:Invent 2019 with CoreSite’s Yvonne Dier, Strategic Director of Sales.  We had a chance to discuss where the hyperconnected data center is headed in 2020 which covers the core challenges (get it…core challenges…zing!) faced by organizations and technology teams as more cloud adoption occurs but latency risks impact the ability to get the best value and performance on cloud infrastructure in hybrid deployments.

CoreSite is tackling how next-generation data centers will power digital transformation, the impact of 5G and the IoT, and we even touch on the classic on-premises vs cloud data center debate.

You can watch the interview here at the BrightTALK site which is free if you aren’t already a member (hint:  you should join up because there’s a ton of great content!)