SparkCore Fun...

I recently purchased a Spark Core development kit at Micro Center last week. The Spark Core is a cloud development board. Normally I try to avoid any cloud platform that may lock me into a vendor, but as Particle (the company) fully releases source code for the schematics, firmware on the device itself, and a node.js implementation of the server side, it seems like a very safe platform for development.

CloudReady in Virtualbox

The ChromeOS has been a great experience so far. One problem, however, is that you generally need to purchase a Chromebook to use it, or go through compiling the ChromeOS from source. A few days ago I came across Neverware’s CloudReady, which provides an freely available (to individuals) ChromeOS experience on generic hardware. Cloudready, however, does not support dual boot, so it will wipe away anything on the machine. Following some hints from this page I was able to get the CloudReady to install on a Virtualbox VM, without the need to create a USB bootable drive.

Continuous Delivery In Ops

Continuous integration, continuous delivery, and test driven development are pretty common on the development side of the house. In many organizations, however, operations still has too many instances of building and maintaining systems by hand. The article Why We Should Continuously Break Everything is a great summary why continuous delivery helps make change less risky and combat code and system configuration rot.

Home Lab Rebuild

Recently a hard drive went out on my main home VM Server. It was in a RAID, so there was no data loss. But as I had to shut everything down to replace hardware (no hot swap…), it makes me think about also maintaining the software stack for the lab. Currently I have two physical systems that are libvirt/KVM hosts for my virtual machines, including the main firewall and fileserver. I’ve had my eye on a few newer technologies, so the lab layout requires maximum flexibility.

Ansible Automation Server

I’m fairly fond of Ansible as a light-weight configuration management tool, but I am always on the lookout for additionally tooling that will make it a bit easier to manage centrally…well, without paying for Ansible tower. I came across Ansijet and was pretty exciting. It provides a REST API to Ansible itself, as well as storing results in MongoDB. I still need to try this out, but seems very promising.
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