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Day Two Cloud 009: When Plans Meet Reality In Public Cloud Automation

The cloud yearns for automation. It’s got all those shiny APIs just waiting to be called by your intricate Infrastructure as Code running in a CI/CD pipeline.

But how do you pick the right tool for the job? Do you dive into the arcana of Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates, or stick with the sleek sophistication of Terraform?

Do you run your CI/CD pipeline through open-source Jenkins, or stay the course with the recently renamed Azure DevOps? Which is going to support your needs for day one, and keep you running on day two?

My guest is Ryan Bartram, an automation engineer. We discuss how his organization wanted to automate common processes such as user provisioning, server deployment, and alert handling in Azure.

The team developed runbooks that incorporated ARM. After running into limitations, they’re looking to augment with other tools and methods.

Other topics covered include:

  • How the organization created a pattern/solution runbook model for common tasks such as user provisioning
  • Moving toward the goal of Desired State Configuration (DSC)
  • The importance of testing runbooks
  • Why testing runbooks is hard, and the need to break them into modules
  • Why the organization is considering Terraform
  • Their use of Powershell and Pester

Show Links:

Pester: PowerShell Testing – GitHub

Tug: open source pull server for DSC – GitHub

Getting started with DSC – Microsoft

Ryan Bartram on Twitter

DFTAI – Ryan’s blog

Your Host:

Ned Bellavance on Twitter

Ned In The Cloud – Ned’s blog

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Episode 9