Google Cloud Next Recap

google-next-logoSeveral interesting announcements from last week Google Next conference.

Knative, a new OSS project built by Google, Red Hat, IBM,… to build, deploy, and manage modern serverless workloads on Kubernetes. Built upon Istio, with 1.0 coming soon and managed Istio on GCP. It includes a build primitive to manage source to kubernetes flows, that can be used independently. Maybe it is the new standard to define sources and builds in Kubernetes. Read more from Mark Chmarny.

GKE on premise, a Google-configured version of Kubernetes with multi-cluster management, running on top of VMware’s vSphere.

Another Kubernetes related mention was the gVisor pod sandbox, with experimental support for Kubernetes, to allow running sandboxed containers in a Kubernetes cluster. Very interesting for multi-tenant clusters and docker image builds.

Cloud Functions are now Generally Available, and more serverless features are launched:

Serverless containers allow you to run container-based workloads in a fully managed environment and still only pay for what you use. Sign up for an early preview of serverless containers on Cloud Functions to run your own containerized functions on GCP with all the benefits of serverless.

A new GKE serverless add-on lets you run serverless workloads on Kubernetes Engine with a one-step deploy. You can go from source to containers instantaneously, auto-scale your stateless container-based workloads, and even scale down to zero.

Cloud Build, a fully-managed CI/CD platform that lets you build and test applications in the cloud. With an interesting approach where all the pipeline steps are containers themselves so it is reasonably easy to extend. It integrates with GitHub for repos with a Dockerfile (let’s see if it lasts long after Microsoft acquisition).

Other interesting announcements include:

  • Edge TPU, a tiny ASIC chip designed to run TensorFlow Lite ML models at the edge.
  • Shielded VMs – untampered virtual machines

  • Titan Security Key, a FIDO security key with firmware developed by Google. Google security was giving away at the conference both NFC and bluetooth keys, a good replacement for the yubikeys specially for mobile devices.

Serverless CI/CD with AWS ECS Fargate

Amazon AWS has recently launched ECS Fargate to “run containers without having to manage servers or clusters”.

So this got me interested enough to patch the Jenkins ECS plugin to run Jenkins agents as containers using Fargate model instead of the previous model where you would still need to create and manage VM instances to run the containers.

How does it work?

With the Jenkins ECS plugin you can configure a “Cloud” item that will launch all your agents on ECS Fargate, matching jobs to different container templates using labels. This means you can have unlimited agents with no machines to manage and just pay for what you use.

Some tips on the configuration:

  • Some options need to be configured, like subnet, security group and assign a public ip to the container in order to launch in Fargate.
  • Agents need to adhere to some predefined cpu and memory configurations. For instance for 1 vCPU you can only use 2GB to 8GB in 1GB increments.

Pricing

Price per vCPU is $0.00001406 per second ($0.0506 per hour) and per GB memory is $0.00000353 per second ($0.0127 per hour).

If you compare the price with a m5.large instance (4 vCPU, 16 GB) that costs $0.192 per hour, it would cost you $0,4056 in Fargate, more than twice, ouch! You could build something similar and cheaper with Kubernetes using the cluster autoscaler given you can achieve a high utilization of the machines.

While I was writing this post someone already beat me to submit a PR to the ECS plugin to add the Fargate support.

Cheap backups with Amazon Glacier

Last week Amazon announced Amazon Glacier, where you can have files stored at $0.01 per GB / month, quite a good deal, considering that S3 goes for $0.093 GB/month with reduced redundancy, or Dropbox at its best is 0.825/GB committing to 100GB for a full year, although obviously they fill very different use cases.

To get that pricing there are some drawbacks that make it only useful for storing files that don’t need to be retrieved often, ie. backups for disaster recovery. Downloading or listing files in Glacier take more than 4 hours, so that gives you an idea. Behind the scenes it uses Amazon SQS (Simple Queue Service) and SNS (Simple Notification Service) to handle the download and inventory requests, so you can do extra things like getting emails when your requests are ready.

I have created glacier-cli using the Java API to upload, download, delete and list files stored in Glacier from the command line, as Amazon only provides the APIs for now and some examples. Make sure you save the output when uploading the files, as you will need the ids of the files later on when you need to download them.

Get the code from GitHub.

Glacier-CLI

Building

mvn clean package

Configuration

Create $HOME/AwsCredentials.properties with your AWS keys

secretKey=…
accessKey=…

Commands

  • upload vault_name file1 file2 …
  • download vault_name archiveId output_file
  • delete vault_name archiveId
  • inventory vault_name

Command line options

 -output <file_name>   File to save the inventory to. Defaults to 'glacier.json'
 -queue <queue_name>   SQS queue to use for inventory retrieval. Defaults to 'glacier'
 -region <region>      Specify URL as the web service URL to use. Defaults to 'us-east-1'
 -topic <topic_name>   SNS topic to use for inventory retrieval. Defaults to 'glacier'

Examples

Upload file1 and file2 to vault pictures

java -jar glacier-1.0-jar-with-dependencies.jar upload pictures file1 file2

Download archive with id xxx from vault pictures to file pic.tar (takes >4 hours)

java -jar glacier-1.0-jar-with-dependencies.jar download pictures xxx pic.tar

Delete archive with id xxx from vault pictures

java -jar glacier-1.0-jar-with-dependencies.jar delete pictures xxx

Get the inventory for vault pictures (takes >4 hours)

java -jar glacier-1.0-jar-with-dependencies.jar inventory pictures

Upload file1 and file2 to vault pictures in Europe region

java -jar glacier-1.0-jar-with-dependencies.jar -region eu-west-1 upload pictures file1 file2

Introduction to Amazon Web Services Identity and Access Management

Using AWS Identity and Access Management you can create separate users and permissions to use any AWS service, for instance EC2, and avoid giving other people your Amazon username, password or private key.

You can set very granular permissions, on users, groups, specific resources, and a combination of them. It will become really complex soon! But there are several very common use cases, that IAM is useful for. For instance having a AWS account for a team of developers.

Getting started

You can go through the Getting Started Guide, but I’ll save you some time:

Download IAM command line tools

Store your AWS credentials in a file, ie. ~/account-key

AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAIOSFODNN7EXAMPLE
AWSSecretKey=wJalrXUtnFEMI/K7MDENG/bPxRfiCYzEXAMPLEKEY

Configure environment variables

export AWS_IAM_HOME=<path_to_cli>
export PATH=$AWS_IAM_HOME/bin:$PATH
export AWS_CREDENTIAL_FILE=~/account-key

Creating an admin group

When you have IAM setup, the next step is to create an Admins group where you can add yourself

iam-groupcreate -g Admins

Create a policy in a file, ie. MyPolicy.txt

{
   "Statement":[{
      "Effect":"Allow",
      "Action":"*",
      "Resource":"*"
      }
   ]
}

Upload the policy

iam-groupuploadpolicy -g Admins -p AdminsGroupPolicy -f MyPolicy.txt

Creating an admin user

Create an admin user with

iam-usercreate -u YOUR_NAME -g Admins -k -v

The response looks similar to this:

AKIAIOSFODNN7EXAMPLE
wJalrXUtnFEMI/K7MDENG/bPxRfiCYzEXAMPLEKEY
arn:aws:iam::123456789012:user/YOUR_NAME
AIDACKCEVSQ6C2EXAMPLE

The first line is your Access Key ID; the second line is your Secret Access Key. You need to save these IDs.

Save your Access Key ID and your Secret Access Key to a file called for instance ~/YOUR_NAME_cred.txt. You can use those credentials from now on instead of the global AWS credentials for the whole account.

export AWS_CREDENTIAL_FILE=~/YOUR_NAME_cred.txt

Creating a dev group

Let’s create an example dev group where the users will have only read access to EC2 operations.

 iam-groupcreate -g dev

Now we need to set the group policy to allow all EC2 Describe* actions, which are the ones that allow users to see data, but not to change it. Create a file MyPolicy.txt with these contents

{
  "Statement": [
     {
       "Sid": "EC2AllowDescribe",
       "Action": [
         "ec2:Describe*"
       ],
       "Effect": "Allow",
       "Resource": "*"
     }
   ]
 }

Now upload the policy

iam-groupuploadpolicy -g dev -p devGroupPolicy -f MyPolicy.txt

Creating dev users

To create a new AWS user under the dev group

iam-usercreate -u username -g dev -k -v

Create a login profile for the user to log into the web console

iam-useraddloginprofile -u username -p password

The user can now access the AWS console at

https://your_AWS_Account_ID.signin.aws.amazon.com/console/ec2

Or you can make life easier by creating an alias

 iam-accountaliascreate -a maestrodev

and now the console is available at

https://maestrodev.signin.aws.amazon.com/console/ec2

About Policies

AWS policy files can be really complex. The AWS Policy Generator will help as a start point and see what actions can be used, but it won’t help you making them easier to read (using wildcards) or applying them to specific resources. Amazon could have provided a better generator tool allowing you to choose your own resources (users, groups, S3 buckets,…) from a easy to use interface and not having to lookup all sorts of crazy AWS identifiers. Hopefully they will be provide a comprehensive tool as part of the AWS Console.

There is more information available at the IAM User Guide.

Update

Just after I wrote this post Amazon has made IAM available in the AWS management console, which makes using IAM way easier.

Javagruppen 2011: Build and test in the cloud slides

Last week spent some good days in Denmark for Javagruppen annual conference as I mentioned in a previous post. It’s a small conference that allows you to cover any question that the attendees have and be able to select what you talk about based on their specific interests.

I talked about creating an Apache Continuum + Selenium grid on EC2 for massively multi-environment and parallel build and test. You can find the slides below, although it’s mostly a talk/visual presentation.

The location was great, in a hotel with spa in Jutland and very nice people and the other speakers too. My advice, go to Denmark, but try to do it in summer 🙂 I’m sure it makes a difference – although it’s pretty cool to be on a hot tub outside at 0C (32F)

And you can find some trip pictures in flickr.

Nyhavn panorama

Nyhavn panorama

Speaking at Javagruppen, the Danish JUG annual conference

The guys at Javagruppen, the Danish JUG, are doing their annual conference on February 11th and 12th.

The theme for this year is “Java, a cloudy affair”, and I’ll be speaking on building and testing in the cloud, using Apache Maven, Continuum, TestNG, Selenium,… and how to take full advantage of cloud features for software development, aligned with my previous talks.

This year the conference will be in a 5-star hotel and spa in the middle of Denmark, and I gotta say I look forward to it, seems they know how to choose a location (last year they did it at a Castle).

You can still sign up if you want to go.

Comwell Kellers Park

InterOp New York and ApacheCON Atlanta

One week ago I was at InterOp New York, where we announced the release of Maestro 3, and talked to people attending the conference and analysts on the product and our ideas behind it, and we got some coverage on Maestro 3, including a video interview with InformationWeek, which covers some of the ideas behind the product, not all of them given the format and duration of the interview, but I thought it was worth posting it anyway.

We are doing webinars this Wednesday 3rd and 10th, showcasing how it may help organizations improve their build-test-release-deploy process, so if you are interested you can just check the times and sign up on our Build Through Deploy in a Single Interface – Introduction to Maestro 3 page.

Tomorrow I’ll be in Atlanta for ApacheCON, along with Brett Porter that is doing a training on Maven today. I’ll be at the BarCamp on Tuesday and the Maven Meetup on Wednesday for sure. BTW BarCamp and Meetups are free for everybody, so if you are in the Atlanta area you can just come by even if you don’t attend the show.

At Interop NYC, Maestro Dev showcased its latest Maestro 3 app dev choreography environment — a cloud-based solution that stitches together the discreet steps (build, test, deploy, etc.) of application development, using existing tools for each step

Vodpod videos no longer available.