Technical Blog


Technical and Product News and Insights from Rackspace

Orchestrate a GCP Cloud SQL instance

This blog post discusses how you can automate the creation of a Google® Cloud Platform (GCP) Cloud SQL instance by using Ansible® and Jenkins®. The blog also includes an example of spinning up a MySQL® Cloud SQL instance, version 5.7, with an Ansible playbook.

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Fanatical Quality Engineering in Rackspace VMware Practice Area

In Rackspace’s VMware Practice Area, we value the quality of our products very much, and we believe that quality is a team effort. The Quality Engineering (QE) team works with the Development team, Project Management team, Product Engineering team and DevOps team to improve the quality of developed products. Our quality standard has three key pillars: functionality, performance, and security. Our goal is to identify and fix defects as early as possible so that we can deliver secure functional products that perform well for our customers.

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Fanatical Security delivered by the Quality Engineering Security team

Our customers require us to develop software that is trustworthy and secure. Privacy also demands attention. To ignore the privacy concerns of users is to invite blocked deployments, litigation, negative media coverage, and mistrust. The Quality Engineering (QE) Security team’s goal is to minimize security- and privacy-related defects in design, code, documentation, and to detect and eliminate these defects as early as possible in the software development life cycle (SDLC). Developers who most effectively address security threats and protect privacy earn users’ loyalties and distinguish themselves from their competitors.

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Molecule for existing Ansible roles

Ansible development is fast, and anyone using Ansible extensively has most likely come across an instance where a playbook that used to work does not work on a later Ansible version. Or, a system that wasn’t supported initially is now added and an existing role requires modification to make it work on the new system. See Molecule for Ansible role creation for more details on using and debugging Molecule. Creating a Molecule scenario to test an existing role allows for easy testing and modification of that role with all the benefits that Molecule provides.

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Molecule for Ansible role creation

In our Quality Engineering organization, we create, configure, and destroy a lot of servers via automation. Ansible is a great method for handling the configuration of servers, but the creation of Ansible roles and playbooks can be trial and error for even experienced Operations Engineers. Molecule provides a way to speed up the development and confidence of Ansible roles and playbooks by wrapping a virtualization driver with tools for testing and linting.

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Using Terraform with Rackspace Public Cloud

Using Terraform with Rackspace Public Cloud

Handling a huge scale of infrastructure requires automation and infrastructure as code. Terraform is a tool that helps to manage a wide variety of systems including dynamic server lifecycle, configuration of source code repositories, databases, and even monitoring services. Terraform uses text configuration files to define the desired state of infrastructure. From those files, Terraform provides information on the changes to be made based on the current state of that infrastructure, and can make those changes.

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OpenStack Orchestration In Depth, Part IV: Scaling

This is the fourth and last article in my series on OpenStack orchestration with Heat. In the previous articles, I gave you a gentle introduction to Heat, and then I showed you some techniques to orchestrate the deployment of single and multiple instance applications on the cloud, all done with generic and reusable components.

Today I’m going to discuss how Heat can help with one of the most important topics in cloud computing: scalability. Like in my previous articles, I’m going to give you actual examples that you can play with on your OpenStack cloud, so make sure you have an environment where you can run tests, whether it’s a Rackspace Private Cloud, DevStack or any other OpenStack distribution that includes Heat.

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Using Docker Machine to run your Docker Containers in Rackspace

Background

Docker announced Docker Machine in December 2014. This clever new software eliminates the need to create virtual machines and install Docker before starting Docker containers on them. It handles the provisioning and install process for you behind the scenes. You can learn more about Docker Machines at its GitHub project page.

Let’s take a quick look at how we can get some of this awesomeness!

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OpenStack Orchestration In Depth, Part III: Multi-Instance Deployments

This is the third article in my series on OpenStack orchestration with Heat. In Part 1, I introduced the HOT template syntax, and then in Part 2, I showed you some of the techniques Heat offers to orchestrate the deployment of applications that run entirely within a single compute instance.

Today, building on the same ideas exposed in my previous article, I’m going to show you how to design deployments across more than one instance, and I’m going to demonstrate these concepts by deploying an application that runs on a server and connects to a MySQL database on another server. You have seen how to deploy a Python application in my previous examples, so, to add some variety, I’m now going to switch to a PHP application as guinea pig. That application is none other than the venerable Wordpress.

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OpenStack Orchestration In Depth, Part II: Single Instance Deployments

Welcome to the second part of my series on OpenStack orchestration with Heat. In the previous article, I gave you an introduction to Heat orchestration. All the examples that I showed you were simple and not terribly useful, as they were only intended to introduce the structure of the HOT (Heat Orchestration Template) syntax.

In today’s article, I’m going to elevate the complexity quite a bit, demonstrating some of the tricks you can use with Heat to perform deployments of single instance applications. As with the introductory examples, you are encouraged to try my examples on a Rackspace Private Cloud, DevStack or any other OpenStack installation that includes Heat.

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