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2022-03-02: Cloud-native security, backend Ops, Perses for dashboards development, and much more

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πŸ‘‹ Hey, lovely to see you again

Times are rough. For me, it's hard to focus when writing the introduction lines. Welcome back! This new issue brings many findings which you can read at your own pace in the coming weeks.

Detecting a misconfiguration or potential vulnerability in cloud-native environments can be challenging. Existing tools may not help detect vulnerabilities, and CI/CD workflows need linting and quality gates before production deployments suffer from troubles. This newsletter issue will dive into getting started guides and more advanced day-2-ops strategies involving security and observability.

Backend ops and scaling is another hot topic, and more ideas and tips for future projects.

β˜• Hot Topics

πŸ›‘οΈ The Sec in Ops in Dev

Shodan introduced nrich, a tool to find open ports and vulnerabilities on a network range quickly. The CLI tool is written in Rust and communicates with the Shodan InternetDB to find IP vulnerabilities.

Fantastic Infrastructure as Code security attacks and how to find them dives into IaC tools, potential attack vector scenarios, and security scanners to detect vulnerabilities, followed by ideas to best integrate into CI/CD workflows.

Whorf, an implementation of a Kubernetes admission controller uses Checkov checks to validate security policies in your Kubernetes cluster.

Server Side Field Validation in Kubernetes 1.23 will help validate the YAML configuration; more features in the Twitter thread. provides a policy enforcement solution for Kubernetes, YAML files, or Helm charts. This can be helpful to add to your CI/CD pipeline.

Kubernetes deployment troubleshooting needs a good strategy and learning steps. The visual guide from helps with defining the components (Deployment, Service, Ingress) and connections: Deployment and Service, Service and Ingress. Troubleshooting can be followed with the bottom-up strategy: Start with the pods and move up the stack to services and ingress. You can also use k-bench for benchmarking Kubernetes.

Aspecto shared a great guide about distributed tracing, and how it helps to understand and troubleshoot microservices.

πŸš€ Backend Ops

Redis 7.0 RC1 brings significant performance improvements and adds new features such as Functions, ACL v2, sharded Pub/Sub. Functions extend the Lua scripts introduced in 2.6 and are executed on the server.

Next to Redis, this month also brought many great PostgreSQL insights and learnings:

OCI Artifacts explained dives into the Open Container Initiative, its specification and registries, and how you interact with the data. OCI artifacts are in fact a different media type than OCI images, and a reserved type for future implementation, such as referencing artifacts in a registry.

πŸ‘οΈ Observability

OpenTelemetry Collection: High availability deployment patterns while using the load-balancing exporter covers different aspects of observability data collection using OpenTelemetry and the collector at scale.

Want to monitor an API returning JSON data, and don't want to write your own Prometheus exporter wrapper? json-exporter allows you to transform JSON objects in Prometheus metrics, for example following this tutorial.

Prometheus community members started work on Perses, a dashboard visualization tool for Prometheus and other data sources. Perses is part of the CoreDash community, a group formed to work on Apache-2.0 licensed code, under the Linux Foundation umbrella. This seems to address concerns around Grafana's license change to AGPL in 2021.

EBPF for Tracing How Firefox Uses Page Faults to Load Libraries shows how to use bpftrace to trace mmap() syscalls and analyze the data.

An interesting OpenTelemetry enhancement proposal was opened to add support for the Elastic Common Schema (ECS).

Next to Litmus Chaos, Chaos Mesh moves to the incubation stage as CNCF project.

πŸ” The inner Dev

Pamela Fox created a tool to visualize call graphs of tree recursive Python functions, with the source available in this project.

Adafruit teased with running Winamp on PyPortal hardware and published the full guide.

C23 brings a new standard for the C programming language, including true and false as keywords.

Matt Stratton hit a nerve ...

    - Y: Yelling
        - A: At
        - M: My
        - L: Laptop

πŸ“ˆ Your next project could be ...

🦸 Wasm Cooking with Golang - great new book by Philippe Charrière with practical examples in Gitpod.

πŸ“¦ Dive into Blockchain and web3, and follow the #EveryoneCanContribute cafe meetup idea with Solana Development with React, Anchor, Rust, and Phantom. Great tutorial by Nader Dabit!

πŸ‘οΈ Get started with kube-prometheus stack and/or learn OpenTelemetry tracing using a lightweight microservice project

πŸ’‘ Learn Terraform following these free courses.

🎹 How to code, build, and deploy from an iPad using GitLab and Gitpod

🧱 Follow the engineering with LEGO video, and build your own challenge.

πŸ“š Tools and tips for your daily use

πŸ“Š 7 tools to boost your Kubernetes efficiency shares why kube-shell, kubectx, kubetail, kubetree, k9s, kube-capacity and lens are must-haves.

πŸ”₯ Julia Evans published a new zine on things that can break your DNS. She also created a tiny DNS resolver and explained the implementation in a zine. Last but not least, she shared the different meanings of "nameserver" and "DNS resolver". Wonderful learning content!

πŸ—οΈ jo | curl --json | jq - format the request, query the remote server, parse the response on the CLI, shared by Daniel Stenberg

Google introduced a cloud architecture diagramming tool which allows you to use one-click deployment once finished. The tool provides reference architectures as templates to get started quickly. It is based on Escalidraw.

Julius Volz released a new training about Linux Host Metrics with Prometheus. The structure and learning success is great, I've learned about Pressure Stall Information and how to monitor the metrics.

Git tips: Instead of the "checkout main branch, pull first, then checkout -b to create a new branch" workflow, you can fetch first updating the local index, and then pull the remote main branch into the newly created branch.

$ git checkout -b feature-x

$ git fetch
$ git pull origin main 

You can continue developing in the branch, and rebase as often as needed against origin/main. This is a virtual pointer to the remote-tracking branch for main.

$ git fetch
$ git rebase origin/main

Push the branch to the remote server, and use the -u/--set-upstream flag to enable the remote branch tracking for the local branch. Newer Git versions support using head instead of the branch name itself.

$ git push -u origin head

Create a draft MR/PR. After review and approval, it gets merged into the main branch on the server. You can just continue with creating a new branch and fetch/pull/rebase later when needed.

πŸŽ₯ Events and CfPs

🎀 Shoutouts

Kelsey Hightower shared a great link between observability and transparency:

Observability enables us to know when our services don't meet our availability goals, and ideally highlight the root cause. If we were to share that info publicly, then that would be a form of transparency.

The AWS Service Dashboard is a good example.

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