• Family Prayers

    Ollie, Rory, Zoe, Emma & Simon McCartney lead prayers of intercession from the 10.30am Family Service on 18th October 2015 Your browser does not support the audio element.
  • #c9d9 panel on Huge Scale Deployments

    A few weeks back I had the great pleasure of joining a #c9d9 panel hosted by Sam Fell on Continuous Delivery in Huge Scale Deployments, alongside me were Andrew Siemer, Malcolm Isaacs & Seb Rose who all brought a wealth of practical experience on maintaining velocity in large environments, I thoroughly enjoyed it! If Continuous Everything is your current boggle, go take a look at all of the past recordings & there post packed Continuous Delivery blog, it’s well worth a read!
  • Introducing kitchen-salt, a salt provisioner for test-kitchen

    Over the last week I’ve been working on kitchen-salt, a SaltStack provisioner for Test Kitchen, this allows you to perform integration testing on salt-formula. Test Kitchen will create a VM (through Vagrant, LXC, OpenStack, ec2 etc), install a version of salt of your choosing, apply a given set of states & then optionally allow you to perform some automated validation of the states via the supported testing frameworks (bats, serverspec etc).
  • SHOCKER: Vagrant base box using RPMs

    I’ve been using some of the base boxes available from http://www.vagrantbox.es/ as a starting point for lots of Vagrant VMs recently, but came unstuck when the version of puppet in use on the base box was substantially different from our production environment (2.7 v 2.6.8 in our production environment). (I was working on alt_gem, an alternate package provider for maintaining gems outside the RVM in use by puppet) At first I thought it would be simple enough to downgrade puppet on one of my Vagrant VMs, but then I discovered that nearly all of the CentOS/Red Hat vagrant boxes install ruby & puppet from tarballs, which is balls frankly, shouldn’t we be using packages for everything?
  • An Average Day

    There is no such thing as an average or normal day, but here’s what today yesterday looked like (the first day back after a 6 day break): 1000-1200 Wiki Gardening – moving some WIP from my head/evernote to team wiki pages 1200-1230 Monitoring & Measuring Catchup – a quick check around on the stuff we don’t get alerted about, checkup on some new nodes I added to cacti before I finished up last week.
  • Faking Production – database access

    One of our services has been around for a while, a realy long time. It used to get developed in production, there is an awful lot of work involved in making the app self-contained, to where it could be brought up in a VM and run without access to production or some kinds of fake supporting environment. There’s lots of stuff hard coded in the app (like database server names/ip etc), and indeed, and there’s a lot of code designed to handle inaccessible database servers in some kind of graceful manor.
  • State of the Java Onion

    I’m siting on my flight home from my first devopsdays in Goteborg, so firstly, many thanks to the awesome Patrick Debois, Ulf & many many others that put the effort in to organising the conference, and everybody that turned up and made the event so worth while! My primary reason for going was to hear other people’s experience with configuration management and general ops deployment experience. (I’m in the process of adding puppet to our large legacy LAMP stack)
  • Windows 7 Essentials

    I’ve just rebuilt my laptop (a combination of McAfee Whole Disk Encryption slowing the current build down & a Crucial ReadSSD 128Gb that was too cheap to resist forced me to, honest guv), so it’s time to refresh & re-document the essential software list: Windows 7 Professional 64bit VistaSwitcher (better alt-tab) WindowSpace (snap windows to screen edges & other windows, extended keyboard support for moving/resizing) Launchy Thunderbird6 Lightning (required for work calendars) OBET Provider for Google Calendar (so I can see my personal calendar) Google Contacts (sync sync sync) Mail Redirect (bounce/redirect email to a ticketing system) Nostalgy (move/copy mail to different folders from the keyboard) Phoenity Shredder or Littlebird (the default theme is a bit slow, these are lighter and quicker) Hacked BlunderDelay & mailnews.
  • Apple Mac Toolbox

    Following up on my recent post on the engineers toobox, I’ve just rebuilt my Apple MacBook (newer, bigger hard disk was the perfect opportunity for a fresh Snow Leopard install and to fix some annoying iPhoto index & thumbnail corruption), so here’s my list of essentials for my MacBook, in no particular order: Evernote SpanningSync Dropbox Last.fm Xmarks for Safari Xmarks for Firefox Panic Coda Thunderbird 3.x British Dictionary Enigmail Google Contacts Mail Redirect Nostalgy Mnenhy (view a custom set of headers) Display Remote Images automatically Custom Archive folder (one big bucket please) Adium VMWare Fusion iPhoto iMovie QuickSilver Microsoft Office Google Chrome Flickr Uploader Skype Google Picasa Get iPlayer Automator Cyberduck MacVim Spotify iSquint AudioHub VisualHub SuperSync TweetDeck ClickToFlash Growl