At the heart of it, a load balancer is a piece of gear (or software) that is designed to help a service remain online and ensure that traffic is less likely to overwhelm the service. Load Balancers can do other, much more extravagant things with traffic too, some of which I will get to later.
Over the last 3+ years I have been working in the cloud. Most of this time has been spent in Azure, with about a year in GCP and Azure. Because of the need to operate in both of these clouds, I did not want to rely too much on tools dedicated to one specific cloud provider, like Azure Resource Manager or Cloud Deployment Manager.
Azure DevOps is an interesting beast. It allows the automated delivery of applications, the tracking of work via Kanban boards, and with a little help from its friends, even time tracking (third party extension required). Sorry, the Beatles were swimming around my head as I write this.
Lately I have been poling around for something to do, other than just MOAR Cloud. Something that is not just learning more and doing more technology that still is a bit work-related.
Recently, to separate work from not work, I purchased a 2020 MacBook Air -> Intel flavor. I love using the iPad Pro, but for some things, think nerdy things like spreadsheets, powershell, and terraform, a laptop just gets the job done.
2020 has been a crazy year for me - and for every other person on the planet. There is a pandemic still raging around the world and it is still going way too strong, except in New Zealand - way to go NZ. There are other countries that have moved forward in a great way, but New Zealand has made the news for being good at locking down and combating the pandemic. I am not an expert in pandemics or fighting them, but I do know that this pandemic sucks and I, like many who may read this post cannot wait to move past it.
2021 is literally right around the next corner (less than 12 hours out as I type this) and I am listening to a few podcasts today - because it has been a while, and there are many sitting in the list of podcasts I have been interested in over the years.
I’ve been socking away money for a new primary device for some time and decided to get an iPad Pro rather than a laptop or something this time around. Since I typically sit on the couch and surf the Internet from an iPad I figured it might be a good fit. I had found blogging on the iPad mini to be possible, but not ideal - the keyboard is always separate (or the case keyboards are top heavy).
The Home office takes shape
Over the past few weeks I have been looking for my next role in the IT community. Something cloudy with a chance of career path was about the biggest requirement. I spent this time talking to recruiters of all sizes and industries, which was honestly not as horrifying as it used to be for me. The conversations I had with potential companies were very candid and up front. I guess I expected the interview process to be much like it was when I got out of college - it is different. And that is a good thing.
I have been watching PluralSight like it is Netflix on Steroids over the past couple of days. I wish I would have started this little habit a couple of weeks ago. But.. I have started now and here we are.
In my time outside of the workforce I have been trying to learn new skills to continue going forward in the cloud. In the first week or so, I ran across an issue (something like error code 2) when trying to publish a container image to GCP. After a bit of Google-Fu to understand what might be going on, I found myself wondering what I could learn about containers/docker/kubernetes and all things cloud native while I was able.
As part of my downtime over the coming weeks I am planning to skill up at something. The list was long (and still is):
Amazon is apparently where shopping happens during the current state of the world. Today, they emailed me because they thought I might be interested in a book:
This week my position as a cloud engineer was eliminated. Not because there is no plan to go to the cloud, but because the outsourcing of this position to a consulting firm might be a cost savings for a bit.
Recently I have found myself spinning through my day without feeling that much real “stuff” was getting done. You know how when you do things, for example, during the workday and when the day is over you feel like nothing got accomplished?
Wouldn’t it be perfect if you could capture an inventory of the applications, services, and events installed on and running in Windows virtual machines in your Azure environment?
I have worked in technology for a long time - 20 something years - and lately have heard about the need for best practices more than ever before and I want to put some definition around them and possibly incite discussion at the same time. The idea of the best practice as I hear it being tossed around is the absolute best way to use a technology or service. This gives me pause because every situation is completely different, even two individuals or organizations of the same size have different use cases for the applications they use.
Because I am a bit of an automation junkie and sometimes a bit lazy - at least in the sense of why type two words when two characters will do, I have been drawn into PhraseExpress again. This time in the version 15 beta. In the first afternoon or so of using the application to insert text, I think I am off to a good start.
Working from home has been an interesting change for me since all the stay at home things have gone into effect. Here we are 6 weeks in, and truthfully, I do not hate it. The original idea of work from home was something that didn’t appeal to me because I felt I was better off in the room. Now, the room is where I am… at home and dialed in to whatever is going on.
I am not a fan of time tracking, at least as I type these words, but have been reading a lot lately about how doing that can be quite the game changer for productivity and delivering good work.
At the end of October, I sat and passed the Az-300 exam and have found that to be very good for my job. Yep, that was a long time ago and nope I am not done with the Az-301 yet. It is going to be in my development plan for early 2020 - get the 301 out of the way.
Earlier this summer I was asked to co-author another book. This time, the exam ref for the Azure Az-300 certification exam. While I have told myself in the past (twice in fact) that I was done writing books, I decided to take another run at writing a book.
Since I have completed (mostly) the content in the CloudSkills Azure Master Class I am working on the completion of study for the Az-300 (and eventually the 301) and was offered an interesting opportunity. To work on the Exam Ref for the AZ-301 and contribute a chapter to the project.
I have gone to pro - to force myself to take the github plunge. And the cost is less than what I had been using before. Prior blog posts and things from there will be coming soon as I have time to get moving.
Recently I have been working on some content for the Nigel Frank companies around Azure. The first post centers around Azure Security and tips, tricks, and best practices for handling security in the Azure Cloud.
I really think I am starting to understand, at least the basics of GitHub. I am by no means a pro, but hosting my blog here (and spending a sizeable chunk of Sunday moving old content into it) has helped at least a bit.
I have been all over the place, learning more Azure in the Azure Masters class and managed to sneak out to Google Cloud Next 2019. There are lots of new features/products/methods of use for both clouds and I am excited to gain an understanding of them.
working in the cloud is certainly interesting and I am happy to get that opportunity. The biggest part of my day job is all the learning I need to do to keep up with the changes happening, both at my organization and in the cloud platforms we use. I admit, there are times when I’d rather sit and watch tv - more times than not I’m sure - just ask my wife, but many days I will be working on labs for the Azure Masters class I am taking from Cloudskills.io or reading the Azure or Google Cloud documentation to see what’s new or try learning just what might be coming next.
I have been putting words online for a long time…. first with some crappy homegrown PHP/MySQL website/blog, then there was wordpress - more themes, plugins, and things to go good/bad and everything in between. Last year I decided I should try ghost - and pushed new content over to their platform, which was nice and super simple to use, but man was the cost to entry high. It took the work out of markdown for someone who hadnt really put much time into understanding what might be needed (or not needed) to use .md.
So here is the first blog post against a github repo.. Nothing terribly fancy, curious to see just how it goes.
I guess I never really left, but it seems like it has been just about forever since I have written PowerShell. I have been playing around with a module for running Python scripts remotely from PowerShell…. why? More like, why not?
Documentation is something, at least in my experience, that gets cut from release or partially included because some feature has to ship or… any number of noisy excuses. Really, it’s the work that very few want to do - those supporting the application or product probably do not think of it, the testers likely do not have time, developers would rather code than write documentation, etc.
The latest preview resource coming to Azure is Immutable Storage Accounts - meaning write once read many (WORM). The best part is that this feature will prevent deletion or update of written files. This will be appealing to financial organizations, or organizations guided or impacted by regulations that might require permanent storage of files.
Yep, Microsoft has created an extension for Google Chrome, but that should not surprise anyone anymore. Sure this one was Chrome first – I wonder if that’s like my company saying they are “Cloud First” since Microsoft does run a large public cloud. Anyhow, back to this extension for Chrome and enough chit chat.
I have been making a slow-ish attempt to learn Chocolatey (http://www.chocolatey.org) and get to know the package manager for PowerShell. The ultimate goal is to build a script that leverages Chocolatey to rebuild my laptop occasionally.
Microsoft has taken SQL Server to the cloud and introduced SQL Azure Database – the as a service version of SQL Server. This isn’t new as the feature has been generally available since xxxx. It is also not quite a true software as a service offering, at least in the way that most other SaaS offerings occur. The SQL Server vm is still sitting behind the database, which handles the same functions as it might in an on-premises SQL Server. This is the part that, at least for me, makes this SaaS-ish because the SQL Server resource still gets created behind the scenes.
Previously I posted about the fact that Microsoft has taken their documentation to the next level by moving them to GitHub – you can read about that over here –http://derekschauland.com/2018/03/12/microsoft-documentation-like-never-before-editable/.
Microsoft has gone significantly above and beyond, in my opinion at least, with the new documentation platform at https://docs.microsoft.com. At first I figured it might be a refresh of the same old same old, providing a channel for product teams and others at Microsoft to push information out to the community and their customers… allowing us to comment and hope for the best in terms of upkeep and corrections.
2018 has been a year of new beginnings for me. I started a new job just before the first of the year and have been really enjoying the work that I get to do - helping developers in my company leverage cloud resources, both in Azure and in Google Cloud Platform.
Building workstations sure isn’t what it used to be.Now there are virtual machines that setup much faster than physical computers, even if the system is fast. Maybe that’s because I don’t need to leave my chair, maybe its not really different at all, who can tell.Case in point, installing Windows XP (I know, I know) in a virtual environment took somewhere around 15 minutes where on the hardware of its time, at least an hour was required.Even the installer says there are 39 minutes remaining for about 39 minutes… The issue I have is with the sysprep.exe tool that ships with Windows 10 Professional (I think Windows 8 and 8.1 had this issue as well).Once a system is updated, Sysprep is dead and unusable.
I have been at the new gig just about a month and a half (so about 6 weeks) and it is certainly different from what I had been doing.While some things are the polar opposite of my last job, there is still support to be handled and managed and all of that.Sometimes for customers and sometimes for officemates.