IT Modernization and DevOps News Week in Review 12.2.19

IT Modernization and DevOps News Week in Review 12.2.19

By Flux7 Labs
December 3, 2019

The recent KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America event touted 12,000 attendees, a 50% growth from last year’s conference. Illustrating the continued strong interest in Kubernetes were several announcements at the show, like 3.0 of Helm, the CLI packaging tool for Kubernetes; Buoyant’s Dive, SaaS Control Plane for Kubernetes; and Rancher K3s, a certified Kubernetes distribution for edge workloads.

Stay tuned as we will also be closely following the myriad of news that is sure to come out of AWS re:Invent this week. That said, here is our round-up of DevOps and AWS news from the past two weeks:


DevOps News


Red Hat announced the release of Red Hat Ansible Tower 3.6, the scalable execution framework of the Ansible Automation Platform, which was announced in late September. New to the solution are workflow pause and approvals, customizable notifications, webhook integrations with GitHub and GitLab, a new CLI tool and the ability to use a Red Hat OpenShift cluster directly for job execution.


Introduced for Jenkins users who want to improve the health of their environment is Jenkins Health Advisor by CloudBees. The service automatically analyzes the Jenkins environment, proactively identifies potential issues and advises operators of solutions with detailed email reports.


The Continuous Delivery Foundation announced a new GUI for Jenkins X which offers automated CI/CD for cloud-native applications on Kubernetes. While initiated by CloudBees and other contributors, the Jenkins X project is now part of the Continuous Delivery Foundation.


GitLab released version 12.5, introducing in the process EKS cluster creation, the ability to provision multi-cloud managed services with Crossplane, and an environments dashboard.

AWS News 


The CloudFormation team announced several new updates to the AWS service, most notably a new set of capabilities that make it easy to model and automate the management of third party resources such as SaaS monitoring or incident management tools with the benefits of infrastructure-as-code. For Flux7’s take on the new CloudFormation services, read our blog, New AWS CloudFormation Functionality Addresses Programmability, Reusability. AWS has also announced improved CloudFormation support with CloudFormation improvements for Amazon GameLift. And, drift detection within AWS CloudFormation StackSets.


Amazon announced Attributes Based Access Control (ABAC) in AWS that simplifies permission management by defining permissions based on matching attributes e.g. user attributes, resource attributes, or environment attributes. According to the announcement, using ABAC permission controls allow operators to scale permission systems, as it’s no longer necessary to update policies when adding resources. 


Systems Manager introduced a new service that will become part of its suite: AWS Systems Manager Explorer. A unified operations dashboard, AWS reports that it will collect and monitor information and alerts from EC2, Config, CloudWatch and Systems Manager, helping operators quickly view and browse problems via a GUI dashboard. Explorer is said to provide operational information about issues like unhealthy EC2  instances, or AWS resources that don’t comply with AWS Config rules.


Application Load Balancers have added support for Weighted Target Groups routing, which means that operators will now be able to do weighted routing of traffic forwarded by a rule to multiple target groups, thereby enabling blue-green, canary and hybrid deployments without the need for multiple load balancers. 


With Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling, you can now safely and securely recycle instances in an Auto Scaling group with the Maximum Instance Lifetime parameter that helps operators ensure instances are recycled before reaching a specified lifetime. In addition, Amazon EC2 has also added instance weights in Auto Scaling groups configured to provision and scale across multiple instance types. 


The AWS Chatbot offers in beta support for running commands from Slack. This means operators can retrieve diagnostic information, invoke Lambda functions and create AWS Support cases right from Slack. 


Our AWS consultants were happy to see that AWS DataSync added the ability to schedule data transfers between NFS servers, SMB servers, Amazon S3, and Amazon Elastic File System, allowing them to execute a transfer task to detect and copy changes from the source storage system to the destination, thus helping with the process of migrating data to AWS.


Operators can now add tags while copying snapshots; previously, a user had to first copy the snapshot and then add tags to the copied snapshot manually.  


AWS launched FireLens, a container log router for Amazon ECS and AWS Fargate. The new service gives operators the ability to use AWS or partner solutions for log analytics and storage. Working with Fluentd and Fluent Bit, FireLens operators can use one of many plugins, including AWS for Fluent Bit. 


The Data Lifecycle Manager now supports time-based retention policies, allowing operators to set time-based retention policies for days, weeks, months and years. Thus, making it easier to meet backup-related compliance requirements.


Last, our AWS consulting team enjoyed this AWS blog discussing how to create and manage worker nodes for Kubernetes clusters, and what’s next for AWS EKS API and managed node groups. 


Flux7 News


Last week Flux7 announced a new and evolved portfolio of services to help enterprises design, architect and self-manage digital business technology platforms that support digital transformation and growth. Read our Letter from the CEO in which Dr. Suleman describes how the new portfolio helps enterprises combine the business, technology, and process benefits of cloud DevOps, analytics, security and more to give you the ability to achieve your business vision with confidence. 


As talk percolates of a potential downturn, a knee-jerk reaction for many companies is to tighten the belt, shrink budgets and re-evaluate staff resources. Yet, strategic innovation can fuel organizations through a downturn. Read how in Dr. Suleman’s latest Forbes article, Plan for a Potential Downturn: Lead with Innovation.

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Written by Flux7 Labs

Flux7 is the only Sherpa on the DevOps journey that assesses, designs, and teaches while implementing a holistic solution for its enterprise customers, thus giving its clients the skills needed to manage and expand on the technology moving forward. Not a reseller or an MSP, Flux7 recommendations are 100% focused on customer requirements and creating the most efficient infrastructure possible that automates operations, streamlines and enhances development, and supports specific business goals.