Image for post
Image for post

This is a tech talk — a deep dive into how a project came together and was delivered. I talk about Smokeping — we’ve converted a Linux app into a fully CI/CD bootstrapped SaaS embedded in client networks.

Smokeping is basically a half-dozen open source technologies in a trench-coat, so automating and scaling it is a challenge of syncing tools. There’s some deep Linux coolness, Azure DevOps CI/CD coolness, and general strategy talk of why platforms, and our vision for the future.

I cover: • What is Smokeping? Why Smokeping vs other tools? • How does a Smokeping cluster work…


This blog series focuses on presenting complex DevOps projects as simple and approachable via plain language and lots of pictures. You can do it!

Hey all!

I’ve been working with Hashi’s open-source community recently to test out some patches for a long-standing issue with the Terraform AzureRM provider that broke every part of building and managing Azure FrontDoor resources on the Azure Cloud platform. I’ve written extensively about it, and a good write-up is here:

Part of helping test new patches is downloading branches of the Terraform provider in the public repo, building the binary executable for your architecture using…


This blog series focuses on presenting complex DevOps projects as simple and approachable via plain language and lots of pictures. You can do it!

Hey all!

I’ve recently been spending a lot of time figuring out the idiosyncratic world of Ansible AWX, the open-source leading edge of RedHat’s Tower product. AWX is a platform for running Ansible code, and it supports all sorts of great features:

  • Dynamic Inventories — It can talk to cloud providers directly and download, filter, and build targetable inventory groups of hosts that exist in those clouds.
  • Job templates and credential injection — Jobs can be…


This blog series focuses on presenting complex DevOps projects as simple and approachable via plain language and lots of pictures. You can do it!

Hey all!

This article will be focused on AWX dynamic inventories from Azure. If you need to work with AWS, check out this article:

In my last post we discussed what Ansible AWX/Tower is and how powerful it can be. We also went over how to build and deploy AWX to a local instance with Vagrant in less than 10 minutes.

So assuming you followed along, you now have a version of AWX running. Woot!

However…


tl;dr: Azure API bug renders Terraform helpless to manage FrontDoor and several other Azure services. Both companies publicly say they’re working on it. Meanwhile, customers are stuck. Read on for more details.

Update: After much pressure, Hashi has rolled back their patch that more stringently enforced case and caused this issue to be exposed to users. As of AzureRM provider release 2.40 this issue should be fixed. If it’s not please report back!

Update 2: Microsoft has now also released a patch to their API that ignores case on API requests. That missed the point a bit — it’s a…


This blog series focuses on presenting complex DevOps projects as simple and approachable via plain language and lots of pictures. You can do it!

Hey all!

In my last post we discussed what Ansible AWX/Tower is and how powerful it can be. We also went over how to build and deploy AWX to a local instance with Vagrant in less than 10 minutes.

So assuming you followed along, you now have a version of AWX running. Woot!

However, AWX/Tower isn’t a very intuitive software in my opinion, and it can help to get some help getting started.

The first thing…


This blog series focuses on presenting complex DevOps projects as simple and approachable via plain language and lots of pictures. You can do it!

Ansible is a flexible and powerful tool that permits tasks to be written in plain YAML language and can do some amazing things.

You can run Ansible from any Unix-like computer, including macOS, but not Windows (sorry Windows users). However, there are some major limitations to running on your own computer compared with running from a central platform attached to a CI/CD.

Let’s spend some time talking about the problems you’ll need to tackle with Ansible…


This blog series focuses on presenting complex DevOps projects as simple and approachable via plain language and lots of pictures. You can do it!

Hey all!

This guide walks through how to bring up Ansible AWX (the upstream open-source version of RedHat’s Ansible Tower) on your local computer using Vagrant. This can be great to play with AWX and test it. You could also use this ephemeral AWX instance on your workstation to build some what-if scenarios without spending a dime or touching any production infrastructure.

Image for post
Image for post

First, let’s talk about what AWX is and how Vagrant can help us effortlessly…


Hey all,

I came to DevOps by the unusual path of network engineering. Tons of fun, and I got to rub shoulders with all sorts of business owners, InfoSec teams, and even some high-performance application owners.

I have a broad respect for network technologies — it’s forgotten, but like most foundational technology, we wouldn’t get very far without it in place.

Cisco’s Umbrella does a great job at keeping computers safe. It grabs all DNS and sends it to the Umbrella (well now Cisco) cloud for filtering, where enterprise policies can be applied. …


Earlier this week I was excited to be invited to an early preview of HashiCorp’s first new product in a few years, HashiCorp Boundary. The NDA on releasing this information has now been released, and I want to talk about nothing else. Let’s talk Boundary!

Image for post
Image for post

Boundary is the first new product from HashiCorp in the past several years and was announced at HashiConf2020. It is intended to modernize how network access is provided to both users and applications.

Boundary is intended to be one of the first in the Software-Defined Perimeter space. This type of tool is an organic outgrowth…

Kyler Middleton

NetOps/DevOps engineer, consultant, business owner, Pluralsight author. Fascinated with computer security and privacy policy. Teacher. He/Him.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store