B. Cameron Gain

Author Archives: B. Cameron Gain

How HashiCorp Widened the Reach of the Consul Service Mesh

HashiCorp has expanded its Consul network control plane by widening its scope for different highly distributed services and environments — while simplifying and expanding its compliance and policy management capabilities. By adding gateway options and compliance features with today’s release of Consul 1.8, HashiCorp has made the control plane able to manage many different environments in a single interface, the company says. These might include services and applications running in containers, Kubernetes or virtual machines (VMs) on bare metal, traditional data centers or multicloud environments that are often widely dispersed geographically. “We are useful to customers because we offer a layer across [different environments] with a single management plane. The challenges customers have is they have many services that sit outside of service mesh, such as traditional applications, and need to bring them into the same fold,” HashiCorp, told The New Stack. “So how can services talk to your applications within your service mesh, and how do the applications in the service mesh talk out? Consul 1.8 solves that problem.” Consul 1.8’s audit logging and single sign-on (SSO) features (which are part of the enterprise version) Continue reading

NS1 Shows How DNS Technology Can Speed VPN Connections

The need for faster and more reliable VPN connections has certainly spiked recently in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the massive shift of workers away from office hubs to home locations. For developers who must rely on VPNs for data transfers, the act of loading code on git and other more mundane tasks can obviously take much longer depending on network saturation from remote locations. Productivity is obviously lost, as well as time, which is in short supply for so many these days. Managed DNS support for VPNs can help to boost both network data transfer rates and robustness for VPNs, as well as other network infrastructure for any user, in addition to developers working remotely. To that end, DNS solutions provider Terry Bernstein, NS1 director of product management, said. The end result is improved VPN connectivity, which through load-balancing and steering connections at the DNS layer, are connected to the best performing endpoint. NS1’s DNS Continue reading

SaltStack’s CTO on Pandemics, the End of Empires and Software’s Future

It is too early to determine to what extent our lives will change in the future once the Coronavirus pandemic has run its full course. However, in the software industry, some possible outcomes are beginning to emerge, including consolidation and the potential for great changes to take place — both good and bad. As a harbinger of what may come, SaltStack, a leading automation network infrastructure provider, evoked historical examples of pandemics and plagues in the past. He discussed what changes they wrought on ancient Egypt, the Roman Empire and the Renaissance era, while drawing parallels with the software industry. Patch also shared with The New Stack in this Q&A how software engineers’ lives have hardly changed, the folly of forcing workers to come to the office when they really do not need to and his observations of network infrastructure saturation in the wake of the

Q&A: Dynatrace on COVID-19 Effects and ‘Super Bowl’-Like Traffic Surges

Software intelligence company Alois Reitbauer, vice president and chief technology strategist for Dynatrace, shared his observations about what the company is seeing. While Reitbauer usually splits his time between living and working in the United States and Europe, Reitbauer spoke with The New Stack from his remote-location home in Austria. What traffic changes are your customers seeing due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic? It’s definitely important to know we’re experiencing a perfect storm scenario right now. We all need to be on the same page for what’s going to happen. We have certainly ramped up our monitoring of networks recently. So the way you can describe the situation for many websites now is it’s just like Black Friday, where all people go really wild on a certain number of sites. The only difference with Black Friday- or Super Bowl-like surges in traffic compared to the saturation COVID-19 might cause is that nobody knows when it’s happening. We Continue reading

How to Manage a Home Network with Infrastructure as Code

Unifi Dream Machine home management device because, in addition to my personal and guest SSIDs, there is an apartment in my house for which I wanted to segment traffic. I also wanted to add an extra layer of security around some of the home automation and IoT devices that were being added to our home network with a fourth SSID. I started to configure the new network, I had started a spreadsheet of VLANs, subnet CIDRs and mappings of those to SSIDs. Additionally, I needed to track firewall rules, port forwards and other settings and configurations. Needless to say, this was a lot of information to maintain and manage. My day job is working on the Infrastructure-as Code (IaC) product

Distributed Systems and the Butterfly Effect

The late science fiction author Ray Bradbury’s short story classic“Jurassic Park”film franchise by decades, the follies of technology innovation that allow, among other things, for humans to interact with dinosaurs, predictably goes awry. However, “A Sound of Thunder”’s main theme is not so much about the risks of appeasing humans’ archetypical curiosity about scary beasts as it is about how interconnected our actions are. Bradbury portrays, for example, how the mere accident of going back in time and stepping on a butterfly can set in motion a chain of reaction that eventually leads to cataclysmic events in the future. Subscribe: Fireside.fm | Stitcher | Overcast | TuneIn In today’s IT world of distributed systems built with Kubernetes and container orchestration technologies, it is beginning to emerge just how deep applications really are, as well as how deeply distributed they are. One of the effects this very distributed and connected infrastructure has is reflected in the famous

Packet and Sprint on Why Bare Metal Is the ‘Lowest-Common Denominator’

IFX2019. In this latest The New Stack Makers podcast recorded live at Zachary Smith, CEO and co-founder of Packet, and Sprint, discussed how bare metal fits into the emerging Internet of Things. The Dec. 4-5 event was Packet’s second annual vendor-neutral infrastructure conference and ran at the same time as AW Re:Invent. A metaphor Rook used to describe bare-metal deployments for Sprint, a Packet customer, came from his daughter who had to tell her grade school class what her father did for a living: she said her father was a “machine whisperer.” Subscribe: Fireside.fm | Stitcher | Overcast | TuneIn The metaphor fits well because it aptly reflects what bare-metal machines “try to tell you,” Rook said. “An individual machine cannot tell you much, but what machines tell you only start to make sense when you do two things: Number one is you start to listen to all of them at same time, and number two is you start to learn what they tell Continue reading

Why Open Source Matters More for Bare Metal

IFX2019. Developers tend to pay less attention to the underlying bare metal infrastructure supporting their open stack deployments. This is understandable amid the explosion of available open source tools and platforms on the cloud. But as the dust settles and organizations seek more ways to improve application performance, bare metal servers and devices are emerging as a key differentiator among DevOps teams looking for any way to improve application performance, and ultimately, the user experience. The issue, for many developer teams, is thus how to have control over the entire stack which, again, covers the bare metal infrastructure as well. Packet has built its business around provisioning infrastructure for on-premises and the cloud, software that boosts server and overall ecosystem performance is critical as well — and for a number of reasons, open source alternatives play an obvious key role in what Packet does. While Packet has contributed the open source community largely by providing servers and infrastructure for development purposes to projects such as the CNCF and CI/CD platform Nathan Goulding, chief architect for Continue reading