Articles by Peter Sankauskas

Introducing Yeobot

Introducing Yeobot

Most of us work for a company with multiple AWS accounts. Perhaps there is one for Production and another one for everything else. Perhaps more. From a security perspective, this account-level isolation is great.

When it comes to running a reliable system, we've been trained to utilize services across multiple regions. An RDS master in N. Virginia and a read-replica in Oregon, for example.

We all know managing this type of infrastructure requires automation, so there's a little CloudFormation here, some custom scripts there, maybe even a little Terraform if you're into that kinda thing. It's ...


Lambda Chat

Lambda Chat

AWS Lambda is the future, it's the new normal. Great! Awesome.

Can you do anything useful with it?

At CloudNative, we took that as a challenge. Could we, using AWS Lambda, create a multi-user, dynamic web application without using EC2 or resorting to hacks? I mean no instances, no ELBs, not even a security group. And especially no hard-coded AWS credentials.

We did, and it's called Lambda Chat.

Live demo

http://lambda-chat.s3-website-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/

Code on GitHub

https://github.com/cloudnative/lambda-chat/

Lambda Chat is a simple chat application using AWS Lambda, SNS, DynamoDB and S3.

Static ...


General Availability

General Availability

Today I am happy to announce that CloudNative has gone GA. Our beta period is over, and we want to thank all of our users for the fantastic feedback on Bakery and Delta. We couldn't have done it without you.

This also marks the end of the "pricing = free" period. We like buying beer too.

It was clear from talking to our users a simple, easy-to-understand pricing plan was what we had to come up with. I think we have done just that. There is only one price, one plan.

$149 / month

For that you get everything. Bake as ...


Fear the Chaos Monkey? Think again!

Fear the Chaos Monkey? Think again!

On July 30, 2012, Netflix open sourced the Simian Army, which includes the now world famous Chaos Monkey. That was 3 years ago. For those not familiar, Chaos Monkey is a little service that runs in the background and goes around killing EC2 instances. Yes, that's right:

Chaos Monkey terminates live servers with real users in production.

The question is...

Why is this scary?

Why would I, running a mission critical system, not want to be continuously testing the resiliency of my service? Why would I want to be woken up in the middle of the night by PagerDuty ...


CloudNative wins Fukuoka award

CloudNative wins Fukuoka award

I am very proud to announce that CloudNative has won a Special Company Award as part of the 2015 Fukuoka Ruby Award Competition. The competition was created to promote the Ruby programming language and to showcase Ruby's rapid development process.

The award ceremony was held on March 10 in Fukuoka Japan, with Matz (the creator of Ruby) presenting the awards. Our award was sponsored by the good folks at Yodlee.

Congratulations to the CloudNative team.

The competition has been held every year since 2009, attracting entries from all over the world. Previous award winners include Pivotal Labs, Envy Labs ...


The DOs and DON'Ts of Blue/Green Deployment

The DOs and DON'Ts of Blue/Green Deployment

The term "blue/green deployment" is so misunderstood, we can't even decide on what to call it. Netflix call it Red/Black Deployment, while others call it A/B Deployment. Personally, I don't even know which color represents which thing, but this is only the beginning of the confusion.

So, I thought it might help to get some thoughts out there, have others weigh in, and see if we can't reach some consensus. After all, it's been 5 years since the oracle spoke. :-)

Here goes...

First off, blue/green deployment is the process of having 2 ...


New Year's Resolutions

New Year's Resolutions

What an amazing 2014 it was. In just the few short months since July, we went from just an email signup page, to having two functional products and over 150 users. I sincerely want to thank each and every one of you cloud natives. Your desire to take cloud management to the next level is a shining beacon to the rest of the world.

So what does 2015 have in store? Well, some people like to reflect on the past, and put together a list of new year's resolutions to improve themselves and their surroundings. We do too, so ...


Why you're wasting money on AWS

Why you're wasting money on AWS

What is cheaper than a reserved instance on AWS? How about not running an instance in the first place?

AWS announced a new reserved instance model, designed to save you up to 63% per instance. Most small and mid-sized companies aren’t going to commit for 3 years, so we are looking at something closer to 40% savings. That’s a good start.

However, chances are you are over provisioning - running more and/or larger EC2 instances than you actually need. Let me illustrate this with a few charts. Suppose the traffic to your site follows the usual wave.


Introducing Delta

Introducing Delta

I am pleased to announce the release of our second tool: Delta.

Delta is a tool for deploying your application following the current AWS best practices. Instead of launching EC2 instances manually, Delta creates an Auto Scaling Group (ASG) which is responsible for launching instances.

ASGs are famous for allowing your application to scale with demand, but perhaps less so for the fault tolerance. You see, an ASG does everything it can to maintain a minimum number of servers running and serving your application. If you were to go in an terminate one of those servers, the ASG will notice ...


Bake HVM AMIs

Bake HVM AMIs

Just a quick note to let you all know the Bakery can now build Hardware Virtual Machine (HVM) Amazon Machine Images as Paravirtual (PV) AMIs.

Why is this important? Because all second generation AWS instance types support HVM, while only a subset support PV. The T2 instance class for example only support HVM, and who doesn't want to play the CPU Credits game.

To create an HVM AMI, start with an HVM Base AMI, and remember to change the virtualization type when creating (or updating) a pipeline to HVM. Just changing the flag without changing the Base AMI will ...


The plan

The plan

At CloudNative, we like to follow along with the advice coming out of YC, and the lean startup philosophy. This helps us prioritize work, get feedback from our users, and most importantly, drives us to build something people love.

To that end, the plan for the next few months is:

  1. Functionality
  2. Usability
  3. Pricing

My university professor always said

Get it working, then make it fancy -- Gernot Heiser

This is why the complete, end-to-end functionality of the Bakery is the top priority right now. An MVP is not viable if it does not do "the thing". Our thing is continuous deployment ...


It's an Emu

It's an Emu

Here it is - the CloudNative logo.

That was tough!

Symbolizing the "cloud" part of the name is easy enough, but how do you symbolize "native"? What does native mean to you? What does native mean in other parts of the world?

After many designs, and a vote, the final design is the Cloud Emu.

The Emu is a large bird native to my home country, Australia. In one design, it represents something completely native, but also speed and agility.

Those not familiar with an emu look at the logo and say "ostrich". The keen eye will notice, however, an emu ...


Vote on logos for CloudNative

Vote on logos for CloudNative

CloudNative is currently without a logo. Not even a real concept of what the logo should have. A cloud is easy enough to represent, but what does it mean to be "native"... how do you symbolize that? A native animal or plant? There are plenty of Australian native animals. What about a native American Indian smoking a peace pipe - that could be tranquil. Maybe it is none of the above. After all, what does an octopus crossed with a cat have to do with source code?

This lead me to 99designs, where I could get the chance to see what ...


Paravirtual vs HVM images

Paravirtual vs HVM images

Once upon a time, about last Monday, I thought PV AMIs were "the thing". Then I noticed the AWS Web Console had moved the HVM Amazon Linux AMI to the top of the list. I did a little more digging, and found that every 2nd generation instance type can use HVM, but only a subset can use PV. This is the opposite of the 1st generation instances.

Intrigued, I started asking around but no one could say for certain what the future held. So, since I was paying for Business Support anyway, I though I'd ask them. The response ...


Welcome to CloudNative

Welcome to CloudNative

I'd like to welcome you to CloudNative, and to our blog. This is the start of a great and noble quest. Well, at least I think it is. A quest to codify all of the best practices of running in the cloud. A quest to free you from managing infrastructure.

A quest so bold, as to make

  • highly available
  • elastically scalable
  • fault tolerant
  • self-healing and
  • secure

systems the default rather than something you hope to get to one day.

This is what I have been doing for individual clients at Answers for AWS. But guess what? I don't ...