Container Security and Data Persistence

Container Security and Data Persistence

The role of Containers in Data Storage

 Operating system virtualisation has been the method in which software is used to allow computer system hardware to run multiple operating systems simultaneously on one computer.  Server virtualisation allows many virtual servers to run on one physical machine without having contact with other software on the system.

The newer mode of operating system virtualisation technologies are mainly focused on providing a moveable, recyclable and automatable method of packaging and running applications. Containers have built-in executables like libraries, binary code, configuration tables and do not contain operating system images. This makes containers more lightweight and cost-effective.

According to a survey conducted by Portworx, IT managers shared their dependence on containers to improve their responsiveness, aid in cost reduction and to monitor system performance for improvement.

Data containers vs. Virtual Machines

Data volume containers are created to be stateless, weightless tools with their sizes and weights are measured in megabytes. The development of data containers has made virtual machines (VMs) out-dated and too cumbersome. A virtual machine server hosts several VMs at once to facilitate the simultaneous processing of tests or procedures – but it is isolated from other software on your computer.

Containers are regarded as a cost-effective, lightweight alternative to VMs in that it runs multiple workloads on a single operating system and use less memory than Virtual machines.

Companies install hundreds of containers to speed up the development process in integrating new product aspects into production. The system, though relatively easy to set up, requires on-going cyber management that comes with its own set of complexities.

Garbage Collection Algorithms

The lifecycle of containers is unstable and they automatically get deleted when its use has expired. The data, however, persists and is termed ‘orphaned volumes’. Garbage Collection algorithms are computer science’s innovative approach to automatic memory management. It involves a process of ‘heap allocation’ whereby dead memory blocks are identified, removed and storage reallocated for reuse.

The Data volume containers (the main catalysts between a myriad of containers) can still be directly accessed by the host to collect orphaned data as required. It is during this process that security issues become relevant in that potentially sensitive data can become vulnerable.

Challenges with the utilization of data containers

  • Lack of skilled human resources.( attracting and retaining skilled talent in the industry is a challenge).
  • Rapid changeability in Cyber Technology eco-system
  • Organisational lethargy and lack of will
  • Uninformed choice of Technologies: 
  • Lack of planning Implementation Strategy
  • Container Monitoring and management
  • Container Security and data vulnerability

Cyber experts offer the following advice to secure your containers.

  • Container’s software cannot always be trusted
  • Know exactly what is happening in your containers
  • Control the root access to your container
  • Container runtime should be checked
  • The operating system must be locked down.
  • Container lock-down

Recommendations for building persistent storage

It is recommended as a best practice that data management is separated from containers. The thinking behind this is that data will not be terminated with the container’s lifecycle.

Storage plug-ins – The thinking in some tech environments is that the most reliable and manageable choice to ensure data persistence, are storage plug-ins.

Some efficient tools and platforms on the market can build and create software inside containers. The plug-ins simplify the management and consumption of data volumes from any host and to consume existing storage.

Conclusion

 The best is for every company to explore the available tools and platforms on the market suited to their requirements to safeguard their containers and data storage.

Role of Cloud and DevOps in Manufacturing sector

Role of Cloud and DevOps in Manufacturing sector

Any commercial activity is a result of collaborative effort- irrespective of the size and the domain. A steady flow of actionable information and data coupled with shared action is primary necessity for the smooth and successful functioning of commercial sector as well as manufacturing sector.

In fact, the manufacturing sector is dependent on continuous work flow in an organized manner. A rapid, efficient and robust software and technology form the backbone of seamless productivity and long term sustainability in the highly competitive market of the present.

Most industry experts and pundits confer on one thing – every manufacturing unit is sooner or later bound to become a software company too. With everything from sourcing raw material to selling the final product and servicing the customer are driven by internet. The dependence on an efficient and secured system of software for production units/establishments is imperative.

The Cloud is the ultimate destination –whether for IT entities or manufacturing companies because of the ease of use and access of data and information- the vital ingredient for every activity.

Cloud computing is essentially an on-demand-service which is scalable and elastic across a wide and broad network of resources. The manufacturing sector can lean heavily on the Cloud right from the enterprise resource planning to work force training to data analytics with ease apart from providing an ease of integrating with industry supply chains.

At the manufacturing level too the Cloud helps in design, development and deployment of products to the customers and in fact how they are used by the ultimate consumers. An estimate says that nearly 25% of inputs that go into the manufactured products is through cloud computing.

Why Cloud:

Scalability, operational efficiency, data accumulation, management and analytics, ease of design, development and production of products, innovation, reduction in production costs as well as in time to market are the compelling reasons for the manufacturing sector to resort to Cloud computing.

DevOps- What is it?

DevOps is an “on-the-go” development process as opposed to the traditional waterfall model. It breaks the ‘siloed’ system of working, ushering in seamless interaction of the various teams involved in the production or manufacturing cycle. Originally confined to the IT sector for an efficient software development life cycle, DevOps is increasingly being used in diverse sectors including manufacturing because of its immense benefits. It unites the three Ps – people, process and product- for ultimate satisfaction of the end users of the products.

Why is DevOps needed for Manufacturing Sector?

Like any productive activity, manufacturing sector thrives where there is a combination of collaboration, automation and innovation. These three will ensure a rapid flow of communication between teams, automating the processes and delivering the end product to the customers in a rapid and efficient manner.

DevOps ensures the design, development and on-the-floor teams are on the same page. The seamless flow of information across teams ensures quality checks at every step, thereby eliminating flaws easily.

DevOps helps in automating the manufacturing processes and ensuring robustness in operations. DevOps integrates the multiple operational segments as the design team is in sync with what the production team desires as also vice versa. It ensures a unified and single directional operation for quality productivity and helps in reaching corporate goals.

With DevOps ensuring continuous integration of activities, it helps business owners and decision makers to focus on developing new products as the daily hassles of production are taken over by the existing teams.

Best Practices: CI/CD with Micro Services

Best Practices: CI/CD with Micro Services

What is CI/CD?

CI/CD process stands for Continuous integration and continuous delivery. Continuous integration refers to code changes that are done and later combined with the main branch of codes already existing. The main branch code must be ready for production-quality and that is ensured through the available automated builds and processes with the test cases.

Code changes that go through the CI process are routinely circulated to the environment which acts almost like the production setting for continuous delivery. Once it is confirmed that the codes need to be deployed in the production environment, one might require manual approval which is otherwise automated. The sole objective should be that your code must always be ready to be implemented on the production server. If the code changes have passed through CI and CD they are automatically deployed into production with continuous deployment.

CI/CD with Micro Services

There are some goals of a strong CI/CD progression to serve in the microservices design, for example, every team of coders independently develop and install their changes or edits owned by them individualistically so that it did not affect or disrupt the work of other teams.

Once the new version of a service is ready to be deployed on the production server, it needs to get deployed to the test or QA environment for authentication that things are working as expected. There is a quality check at all levels of implementation and once the quality check is done, you can deploy the new version of service along with the preceding version. There are enough policies for access control in place to identify the code deployment and code integrations. For smooth functioning and implementation of CI/CD for microservices, some tips can be helpful like providing the right tools and features for the infrastructure. You can refer to more such tricks on the Jaxenter website here.

Best Practices

  1. Automation decision of test and process to go first: During the initial times, it might get difficult to understand if the code compilation needs to be processed first. Since the codes are committed by the developers on a day to day basis, it would be clever automate smoke tests. If the unit tests are automated before the smoke tests, it helps reduce the workload of the developers to a huge extent. At the same time, functional testing can also be automated, trailed by UI testing. While deciding these things it is important to think about all potential dependencies and measure the impact on other processes to prioritize automation logically.
  2. Frequent Release of Software: Releases of software frequently can be possible if it is in a release-ready state and has been tested in an environment that is identical to production. A/B testing for usability can be one such practice where variants are tested against each other and the better performing feature wins. Releasing the feature or software to the subset of users, testing with them and then sending it out to the broader population once successful.
  3. Less branching and daily commits: This will help developers to spend more time on development and less on controlling of version. The best use of GitOps (developer-centric experience to manage applications) would be to commit directly to the main branch from their local branches at least once a day. This will push developers to handle smaller, bite-size bits of integration pain instead of the massive integration pain which is usually the case when merging many branches immediately before the release.
  4. Readiness to apply microservices: Microservices architecture is the best way forward to manage DevOps. Although re-architecting the current application can be a time consuming and intimidating task. What would help is to have an incremental approach where you are aware of your mission and the new architecture is built around that so that you can gradually replace the old system with the new one.
  5. Maintain Security: CI/CD system offers retrieval of the codebase and credentials to install in all sorts of development environments. Developers must consider separating their CI/CD systems and locating them at a reliable and secure internal network. Consider putting strong two-factor authentications and access management systems to help you restrict exposure to any external or internal threats.

Conclusion

CI/CD best practices include the goal of automating the building process, testing the products and then releasing the software. This needs you to have access to the various DevOps tools that support you abridge automation as well as get better knowledge about the progress of your software. Further, developers must be able to track the performance metrics of DevOps throughout the software delivery lifecycle and warn people so that they can quickly recover if something goes wrong during deployment or release cycle.

DevOps Automation

DevOps Automation

DevOps Automation

In a world where the skill gap between software developers and IT engineers is increasing at an alarming rate bringing down productivity and efficiency, DevOps emerged as a saviour and bridged the gap between the two silos. This comes at a time when automation has created a fast-paced market with new deployments occurring by the second. DevOps is not a technology used to transform productivity rates, it is rather a strategy to ensure better synchronisation between the ‘Dev’elopers’ and ‘Op’erations team.

DevOps would not have taken off if the current market scenario did not depend on software development. Additionally, DevOps relies heavily on some sequential steps, which go all the way from software development to its release, which makes the need for automation in the domain a growing need. Automation in DevOps starts right from the product planning stage, where the Devs and the Ops need to work with each other to produce the output required by both: customer satisfaction.

The Working

DevOps Automation incorporates elements from an entire spectrum of automated assistance. Any application defines its viability by its run time. Auto Scaling, a method used in cloud computing, enhances the application’s run time by using only the required amount of computational resources, i.e. ‘scaling’ them up or down as required. But that is not possible if the code is not suited to its purpose. This brings in Code Quality Integration, through which the resultant is the combination of quality code with the consumer’s needs. This code produced requires a lot of management. Starting with Version Control Management wherein a ‘database’ is created to recall older versions to keep track of all modifications made to the software. A proper database is needed to incorporate new team members and keep efficiency in place. Each new version requires efficient management throughout its life cycle called Application Lifecycle Management (ALM).

The life-cycle of code begins the moment its planning starts. That is followed by its building, testing and release. The Operations team then takes over by releasing the code and continues monitoring it. In short, ALM governs the changes, modifications and development of the code produced. Now, all codes need proper infrastructure and software configuration to avoid any future issues. These are tackled by Infrastructure and Software Configuration Management respectively. Any change required in the software follows only after some amount of balance is maintained between the Devs and the Ops.

This comes under Change Management. But any change can produce defects, and these defects can hinder the working of a program. Defect Management takes over in this scenario and paves the path for the seamless working of the produced software. This seamless working can be more efficient if the application can go through its entire runtime without any external aids. This is guaranteed by Auto Deployment Management which is an important aspect as most applications run on their own without any hindrances. This deployment depends on how the application is built. A well-built application will not cause problems, will run systematically and, overall achieve the target it is supposed to. The build, too, needs to be automatic and in any case, Build Automation takes care of the same. It provides better productivity and adaptable code.

Now, even if such an ideal application is created, the big question is ‘How big is it?’ Any honest consumer would agree to the fact that a big application can be a nuisance for most as it can take a longer time to deploy than its tinier counterparts. This brings in Binary Storage Management, which as the name suggest reduces the clutter and optimises the space being consumed. If all goes well, one will move on to focus upon the time consumed to complete the application. New features and products need to be rolled out as quick as possible to reduce the competition faced by them. Here, Deployment Promotion guarantees there is a visible reduction in production time. With a successful product deployed on time, it requires continuous adjustments to better work with the scenario it is built for. These changes come under Continuous Integration which aids in keeping the code up-to-date by merging it with the previous ones stored in a central memory unit.

Concluding Words

In the end, we come to Reporting and Log Management. All failures, production concerns, modifications, and frequency of new rollouts need thorough investigation and documentation. Reporting of such elements helps better the service of a company and maintaining a log for the same keeps a track of past events, including failures, and deciphers the next steps to be taken.

The above mentioned covers most aspects of the automation of DevOps. But how much automation is too much? That depends on what the application is built for. A well-managed company

Migrating a website to cloud

Migrating a website to cloud

Hosting a website is not a challenge, but the difficulty arises when we try to maintain it. Currently, there are many web hosting services that provide hosting solutions. It has its own advantages and disadvantages added to it. The real value of the Cloud may not come from reduced expenditures but from receiving better IT services, security, and overall value for your company. We were pleased to help one of our customers who approached us with problems of migrating their website and getting website maintenance services in the cloud.

The Challenges

Wanting to cut costs, our customer decides to migrate their website to the cloud as well as seek an enterprise-grade disaster recovery solution to ensure business continuity and maintain the integrity of all its information. It is obvious that when we invest, we have expectations and wanted to lower operational overhead and stay apace with the market.

After having their website hosted in the traditional hosting site, they realized their choice had not met expectations in terms of performance. The website migration services play a bigger part regarding the navigation speed of the website. If a site takes a long time to load and too much time in internal navigation, it is bound to get fewer users. Slow website loading and navigation speed was a major problem they encountered.

Website downtime had great impacts on business, which was their prime concern. Migrating websites includes maintenance, i.e.; resources must be scaled up and down as well when required. To use resources during peak server times, they had to be purchased beforehand for a month or a year.

The Solution

1. At DevOps Enabler & Co, we examined each case carefully and decided that migration of website in the cloud would help overcome the issues they faced. After reaching out to us for a recommendation and they came away convinced to migrate their website to the cloud. Migrating to cloud not only helped solve the issues that they faced but also provided additional benefits.

The Results

1. Website uptime was 100%:

With traditional migration services, the website will be hosted on a single server or a shared server. If something happens to that server, the website goes down for some time. After migrating to the cloud, we were able to achieve 100% uptime by using load balancing service provided by the cloud. This feature enables the load to be distributed across servers and locations. When one server goes down, it will not affect the performance as traffic will be routed to other servers hosted on the cloud. It can instantly scale to changing demands. This ensures our website is always up and running ensuring business continuity.

2. Cost Reduction:

In regular hosting server, you are bound to opt for a monthly or yearly subscription regardless of the resources that you use. In cloud service, you pay only for what you use. There was no wasted capacity when demands were low. With this consumption-based pricing policy, we were able to save expense.

3. Cost of SSL Certificate:

SSL certificate plays an essential role to define the rank on the search engines. Lacking an SSL certificate can affect the traffic of a website negatively, and hence website owners should be careful about it. Leading web hosting companies offer SSL certificate at a nominal fee. Website owners can also get the SSL certificate for free for a limited period based on the cloud in which your website is hosted.

You can find a number of web hosting companies offering SSL certificates within $100. However, cheapest SSL certificates may not deliver you the expected result. However, the cost evaluation of SSL certificates depends on several factors, added benefits and services.

4. No security and maintenance risks:

It takes a lot of effort to provide security at times. Cloud takes responsibility for protecting the infrastructure that runs all the services offered in the Cloud. There’s no security issue as cloud equipment is hosted in highly secure data centers, often in remote locations which also ensures disaster recovery. Monitoring services provided by the cloud will reduce the risk of maintaining hosted websites. Load balancing solves the problem of scaling on demand.

Environment Automation on Demand

Environment Automation on Demand

What is CI/CD?

CI/CD process stands for Continuous integration and continuous delivery. Continuous integration refers to code changes that are done and later combined with the main branch of codes already existing. The main branch code must be ready for production-quality and that is ensured through the available automated builds and processes with the test cases.

Code changes that go through the CI process are routinely circulated to the environment which acts almost like the production setting for continuous delivery. Once it is confirmed that the codes need to be deployed in the production environment, one might require manual approval which is otherwise automated. The sole objective should be that your code must always be ready to be implemented on the production server. If the code changes have passed through CI and CD they are automatically deployed into production with continuous deployment.

CI/CD with Micro Services

There are some goals of a strong CI/CD progression to serve in the microservices design, for example, every team of coders independently develop and install their changes or edits owned by them individualistically so that it did not affect or disrupt the work of other teams.

Once the new version of a service is ready to be deployed on the production server, it needs to get deployed to the test or QA environment for authentication that things are working as expected. There is a quality check at all levels of implementation and once the quality check is done, you can deploy the new version of service along with the preceding version. There are enough policies for access control in place to identify the code deployment and code integrations. For smooth functioning and implementation of CI/CD for microservices, some tips can be helpful like providing the right tools and features for the infrastructure. You can refer to more such tricks on the Jaxenter website here.

Best Practices

  1. Automation decision of test and process to go first: During the initial times, it might get difficult to understand if the code compilation needs to be processed first. Since the codes are committed by the developers on a day to day basis, it would be clever automate smoke tests. If the unit tests are automated before the smoke tests, it helps reduce the workload of the developers to a huge extent. At the same time, functional testing can also be automated, trailed by UI testing. While deciding these things it is important to think about all potential dependencies and measure the impact on other processes to prioritize automation logically.
  2. Frequent Release of Software: Releases of software frequently can be possible if it is in a release-ready state and has been tested in an environment that is identical to production. A/B testing for usability can be one such practice where variants are tested against each other and the better performing feature wins. Releasing the feature or software to the subset of users, testing with them and then sending it out to the broader population once successful.
  3. Less branching and daily commits: This will help developers to spend more time on development and less on controlling of version. The best use of GitOps (developer-centric experience to manage applications) would be to commit directly to the main branch from their local branches at least once a day. This will push developers to handle smaller, bite-size bits of integration pain instead of the massive integration pain which is usually the case when merging many branches immediately before the release.
  4. Readiness to apply microservices: Microservices architecture is the best way forward to manage DevOps. Although re-architecting the current application can be a time consuming and intimidating task. What would help is to have an incremental approach where you are aware of your mission and the new architecture is built around that so that you can gradually replace the old system with the new one.
  5. Maintain Security: CI/CD system offers retrieval of the codebase and credentials to install in all sorts of development environments. Developers must consider separating their CI/CD systems and locating them at a reliable and secure internal network. Consider putting strong two-factor authentications and access management systems to help you restrict exposure to any external or internal threats.

Conclusion

CI/CD best practices include the goal of automating the building process, testing the products and then releasing the software. This needs you to have access to the various DevOps tools that support you abridge automation as well as get better knowledge about the progress of your software. Further, developers must be able to track the performance metrics of DevOps throughout the software delivery lifecycle and warn people so that they can quickly recover if something goes wrong during deployment or release cycle.