The Awesome Cloudify Orchestration Tool Roundup Slides

Cloudify and Gigaspaces wrote a really useful slide deck titled, “Orchestration Tool Roundup – Docker Swarm vs. Kubernetes, TerraForm vs. TOSCA/Cloudify vs. Heat” dated June 11, 2015.

There’s 3 things that make the slides awesome:

  1. they start with a sample reference architecture of a node.js/Mongo deployment
  2. then they show how to manage that architecture using several orchestration tools
  3. and they include the scripts to do so.

So it’s really an evaluation framework for you to add new tools, or customize for your environment. :)

Adding Cloudformation Provisioning

To add AWS Cloudformation (CF) after Terraform, basically they’re both so simple that you can just repeat the TF slides, change “Terraform” to “Cloudformation”, except CF is AWS-specific.

Cloudformation scripts are written as JSON or YAML templates and can be executed using the AWS CLI or API or the Management Console UI, and the resulting cluster definition is called a “stack.”

Cloudformation itself is free to use, thus you only pay for the underlying AWS resources consumed. Conceptually for Chef and Puppet users, a CF template just saves you from calling the AWS API multiple times.

Reference Architecture for Orchestration Tool Discussion

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Linux zero filesystem bash script

This is a short linux bash script I wrote that’s adequate for zero’ing a filesystem for on-premise server storage.

Note that the only “secure erase” is to destroy the physical drive because of various internal disk-level caches. 😐

To do multiple passes (in this case 10 passes):

# seq 1 10 | xargs ./

# Program:
# Purpose: write on pass of zeros in free space on current volume. 
# Date: 2017 10 28
# Author: James Briggs, USA
# Usage: cd "filesystem"; screen ./
# Env: CentOS 6,7 bash
# Notes:
#   This program is write-intensive, so not recommended for SSD or Flash drives unless disk wear is ok
#   This is not a secure erase, but is ok for on-premise storage.



# cleanup after previous runs
/bin/rm -f *.zero.bin "$0.out"

# while [ "$n" -le "4" ]; do
while true; do
   /bin/echo "$0: writing chunk #$n of $sz ..."
   /bin/dd if=/dev/zero of="$outfile-$" oflag=nocache bs=$sz count=1 conv=fsync || let err="yes"
   /bin/echo "$0: syncing chunk #$n of $sz ..."

   [ -n "$err" ] && break

   sleep $delay
   let n++

/bin/echo "$0: deleting $n chunks of $sz ..."
/bin/rm *.zero.bin

/bin/echo "$0: syncing filesystem after chunk deletions ..."

msg="done zeroing current volume with $n chunks of $sz."
/bin/echo "$0: $msg"
/bin/echo "$0: `/bin/date` $msg" > "$0.out"

exit 0

A one-line log file is written:

# cat
./ Sun Oct 29 04:16:30 UTC 2017 done zeroing current volume with 12 chunks of 1G.

A more complicated utility:

github: redeemer

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Fascinating Transfer of Bombardier CSeries Airliners to Airbus

The unfolding story of the transfer of Bombardier CSeries CS100 and CS300 airliners to Airbus is one of the most fascinating business cases I’ve ever seen.

A short summary is:

  • The Bombardier CS100 and CS300 are certified airliners financed and developed in Canada
  • Bombardier was essentially bankrupted developing them at a cost of several billion dollars and likely the CSeries would have failed in the marketplace
  • Airbus got 50.1% ownership of them for free, with an option to purchase the remainder in 7 years
  • Bombardier retains two other mature aircraft programs, the CRJ and Q400
  • Airbus hasn’t sold an A319 in 5 years and declined a partnership a few years ago, but couldn’t resist this opportunity. Likely they are eyeing the rapidly-expanding Chinese domestic market
  • Boeing’s lobbying to get 300% tariffs resulted in a partnership that has a direct competitor for the 737
  • Embraer gets direct competitors for their planes. Up in the air: With CSeries under Airbus’ control, the path ahead for Bombardier as uncertain as ever

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Redis and CentOS 7

Redis is a feature-packed cache that’s easy to install and work with. Here’s some notes on installing and using Redis with CentOS 7.

Install available redis package from your available yum repos:

# yum install redis
# systemctl enable redis
# systemctl start redis

By default, Redis is configured at installation to bind to localhost with no password in /etc/redis.conf.

See status of redis and redis services:

# systemctl list-unit-files 'redis*'
redis-sentinel.service disabled
redis.service enabled
2 unit files listed.

Setup for programming with some Perl modules:

# cpan Redis Redis::Fast Redis::List

Perl code snippet for a web page performance footer:

use strict;
use diagnostics;

use Redis::Fast;

my $r_cache = cache_info();

my $cache_info = '';

$cache_info = "Redis $r_cache->{'redis_version'} \
up $r_cache->{'uptime_in_seconds'} s \
$r_cache->{'keyspace_hits'}h/$r_cache->{'keyspace_misses'}m \
/$r_cache->{'expired_keys'}e last write: \
$r_cache->{'aof_last_write_status'}" if defined $r_cache;

print $cache_info;

sub cache_info {
   my $h = Redis::Fast->new;

   if ($h) {
      my $r_hash = $h->info();
      return $r_hash;

   return undef;

will output a useful message like:

Redis 3.2.10 up 414908 s 1146h/301m/141e last write: ok
Posted in API Programming, Open Source, Perl, Storage, Tech | Leave a comment

Amazon Waterproof Kindle Oasis

Interesting news that Amazon is selling a waterproof Kindle, and that previously Jeff Bezos used Kindles in a one-gallon Ziploc bag in the bathtub.

I worked on the Cloud backend for the discontinued Ricoh eQuill waterproof business tablet. There are myriad uses for a waterproof work tablet:

  • hotel room staff maid and minibar reporting
  • fairground employee and mechanical supervision notes
  • healthcare biological samples recording and hospital charts
  • since there’s no resale market for a serial-numbered industrial tablet, theft is reduced.

Ricoh eWriter Tablet

Ricoh Waterproof Ewriter Tablet (2011)

Amazon finally made a waterproof Kindle

W: International Protection Marking Code

Disclaimer: I have worked on tablet Cloud software for Amazon, Apple and Ricoh.

Ricoh Introduces the eWriter Solution ─ New Business-class Tablet and Back-end Services Improve Business Efficiencies by Moving Paper Processes Online
The Ricoh eQuill is an e-ink tablet for businesses
Ricoh Targets Channel With Tablet, Digital Workflow Services

Posted in Tablets, Tech, Toys | Leave a comment