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Showing posts from February, 2020

When does it make sense to go serverless?

A few years ago, cloud was the buzzword heard on the street. Everyone was talking about moving on-premise IT resources to the cloud, whether that’s Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud, that didn’t seem to matter as much as just hurrying up to make the move. Entire companies moved millions worth of equipment and software from legacy hardware to brand new environments, hoping for a cost reduction and improvement in reliability. There’s a lot to be said about leveraging the cloud to save money, and it’s true that in many cases it does make sense. Chances are that a small or medium company is going to be much better served by hosting their computing workloads with a giant like AWS than they are trying to run their own equipment. It’s a simple matter of scale.But like everything in technology, the landscape changes quickly. Now, the buzzword is serverless. This is the concept of foregoing servers altogether and instead focusing on just the software, the code itself, an…

Making a Docker compose file for Guacamole

I recently had a need to run Apache Guacamole, which is a web based interface to SSH and RDP sessions, allowing you to connect to servers remotely with just a web browser. Since Guacamole is fairly heavy and has dependencies on things like Tomcat and MySQL, I decided to run it as a Docker container. There are many good tutorials online such as this one that I initially followed, but soon ran into an issue. Basically, to run Guacamole you have to run 3 separate containers with specific run command arguments. So I decided to convert the manual instructions into a docker-compose file.Docker compose is a command line interface that allows you to group containers together, along with their build and run instructions (such as which ports to map, which volumes to mount, etc) in a single YAML file called docker-compose.yml. This allows the configuration options to be saved, and then you can start all the related containers with a single command:docker-compose up -d One thing to no…

Login authentication federation the old way

You probably use federation on a regular basis without even realizing it, if you ever click on buttons like these:Login federation is the concept of having a single source of user profiles, and sending all login authentication requests to that source in order to minimize the number of accounts and passwords needing to be kept. For example, you may have a server where users can login locally, then you may have a number of web apps that also have login forms, and you may have a VPN solution, again necessitating logins. This is a problem that a lot of organizations have been trying to solve as they add more and more applications, with the need to maintain a long list of separate accounts. You end up with users that have different passwords based on which service they use, and so federation services have come into play to try and solve the issue by sending all login requests to that same single source.But while the problem may seem complex, implementing a federation solution c…