Skip to main content


Showing posts from October, 2019

What is DevOps? Here is my definition

The tech world is filled with buzz words, from cloud to synergy , serverless and of course DevOps . If you look at job postings or company guidelines, DevOps is probably the most common term you can find. The problem is that this term has many different definitions, which leads to people not really understanding what it means, or what is involved in actually practicing DevOps on a day to day basis. So here is my definition, based on many years practicing the various concepts embedded in DevOps. The word itself gives you the most important clue as to what DevOps means: Developers and Operations. DevOps is a mix of the development and operations worlds , which is a massive shift of how technology used to work. Back in the 90s, there was two very clear paths that you could follow in order to work in tech. There was IT, which focused on operations (maintaining servers, configuring software, looking over logs, etc) and there was software development, which focused on creating

Automating the creation of a self-signed certificate in IIS

In order to use HTTPS (and everyone should use encryption) you need to use an SSL certificate. Usually, that means creating a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) and sending it to a public Certificate Authority (CA) to get a recognized certificate over the Internet. But if you have to host an internal web site, you may not need a public certificate. A good example is if you have a number of instances providing a web application, living behind a load balancer. The typical deployment methodology would be to have a single public SSL certificate that terminates at the load balancer, but you still want the traffic between the load balancer and the instances to be encrypted. Here I will show you how to easily automate the creation of self-signed certificate for Windows instances using PowerShell. If you were to deploy it manually, you can use the IIS management console to do it, but in a modern deployment, you should automate the process. The first part is to create the actual c

A homelab on a budget

A number of years ago, I had my own server under my desk. This was a fairly beefy (at the time) server running ESXi for virtualization, with a number of VMs for testing and development work. Back then, building a homelab meant using real hardware with, at the most, VMs on top of it. As my career in IT advanced, I still needed to keep up to date with technology, plus it’s actually a passion of mine so it’s not like I was going to stop playing around with things. But I no longer have that server. In fact, I haven’t had a dedicated server for a long time now, nor do I spend a lot of money on hardware for said homelab. Instead, this is what my current homelab looks like: As you can see, I utilize a number of low cost options. First, all of my Internet services such as this web site, my email server, VPN server, cloud storage and so on runs in the cloud on AWS. This has a number of advantages. First the cost is drastically lower than running my own datacenter in my home. T

Using Docker on CentOS 7

CentOS 7 is a great distribution of Linux for servers and development systems. With micro-services, one potentially useful tool you may want to use is Docker containers, however this doesn’t come built-in on CentOS. This short tutorial will show you how to install Docker and use common comments. Adding the Docker repository The first thing to do is to add the Docker repository with this command: yum install yum-utils yum-config-manager --add-repo Installing Docker Next you can install the Docker Community Edition from the repo: yum install docker-ce Note that if you get a conflict with the older version of Docker which is present on the CentOS extras repository, you may need to uninstall that first, along with doing software updates: yum update yum remove docker docker-common Once installed, you can start and enable the daemon: systemctl start docker systemctl enable docker Finally, check the version ins