System administration, tricks and tips from an old school web-hacker. All words and opinions are my own.

Darron Froese

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As discussed in my Consul service discovery talk on at Scale14x on Saturday, figuring out a technique which uses Consul’s KV store to move configuration files around has been pleasantly surprising. We released kvexpress - which is a small tool that: Uploads data into Consul’s KV store and prepares it for distribution - usually on a single node. Downloads that data from Consul’s KV store onto a client node, verifies it, writes it to a file and then runs an optional handler.

I had the pleasure to present this at Scale14x in Pasadena, California. I’ve embedded the slides and link to YouTube below: Talk on YouTube - Talk starts at around 4:30. Slides at Speakerdeck kvexpress source code

Push through it.

80 days ago, I decided that I would put real effort into learning to program in Go. I had been working on something I had written in Ruby - from the original Bash script that it replaced - so I knew the problem space very well and I had my first potential project. As I finished the Ruby version, I realized that even though it was “correct” I had overlooked part of the problem space and I needed to extend it more if I truly wanted a comprehensive solution.

A little while ago, one of my oldest friends spent several months refining and launching EasyRedir, a URL redirection service he created to help solve some problems he was seeing. He wanted a simple, easy to use service for managing URL and domain redirects, but most of the ones he saw were anything but - so, as is his custom - he created a really good tool and is offering it as a service.

Monitor First

I had the privilege to present today at Devopsdays Chicago. I condensed a proposed 30 minute talk down to 20 slides in an Ignite format. There’s way more things I could say about Consul - but 5 minutes is just not enough time. Below the slides, I’ve placed the transcript of what I had planned to say - hopefully the YouTube upload will be posted shortly. Slides at Speakerdeck Video on YouTube

Using Amazon Auto Scaling Groups with Packer built custom Amazon Machine Images and Chef server can help to make your infrastructure better to respond to changing conditions, but there are a lot of moving parts that need to be connected in order for it to work properly. I have never seen them documented in a single place so am documenting it for posterity and explanation. There are 3 main phases in the lifecycle that we need to plan for:

Wondering how to get commit notifications from Gitlab into Datadog? There isn’t an official integration from Datadog - but with a small ruby app running on an worker, you can create events in your Datadog Event stream when code is committed to your Gitlab repository. You need a few things to make this happen: A free account - signup here. A Ruby environment > 1.9 where you can install some gems.

I’ve been working on octohost lately, updating and upgrading some of the components. One of the things I’ve been looking for a chance to play with has been Consul watches - and I think I’ve found a great use for them. As background, when you git push to an octohost, it builds a Docker container from the source code and the Dockerfile inside the repository. Once the container is built and ready to go, it does a few specific things: