iPad Air 2 Keyboard Reviews
May 4, 2019
I have owned two iPads - iPad 3 and iPad Air 2. Keyboards were indispensible for both of them. For my iPad Air 2, I used the Belkin QODE Ultimate Pro Keyboard. It isn’t cheap but it is good enough that I bought a second one when my first one broke. When it broke because I was cooking and spilled some liquid on it, I decided it was time to look into either a new iPad or a new keyboard of a different brand, namely due to price.
Using ansible-test with Docker
Mar 29, 2019
ansible-test is a utility Ansible developers can use to perform tests (ex. unit, integration) against their code. If you are developing a playbook or role, this utility isn’t for you.
Ansible uses venv for Python environment containment. I have two systems I do development on and have been using the venv as prescribed by the documentation. However, one of my systems decided to forget it had certain Python packages installed. After about 45 minutes of debugging both venv and pyenv, I got frustrated and took to IRC.
Trouble in Internet Paradise
Mar 14, 2019
Internet connections at my house are considered critical infrastructure. I need to create change windows with my wife when I need to make disruptive network changes. When I have made disruptive changes without telling her, she noticed very quickly. So it was particular troubling when I was out of town, on only day 2 of a 4 day trip, when I get a text from her - “The Internet isn’t working”.
“Recursively Modifying Python Data Structures”
Mar 14, 2019
My Ansible Meraki modules send the raw responses from Meraki back to the playbook. However, Ansible’s standard is to use snake case formatting instead of camel case like Meraki does. Snake case uses underscores (ex. admin_id) and camel case uses capital letters (ex. adminId). To be consistent with other Ansible modules and the parameters in the modules, Ansible 2.9 will convert rewrite all the keys in Meraki’s response from camel case to snake case.
“Website Analytics With Fathom”
Mar 9, 2019
Google Analytics is the de facto standard for web site analytics. Rightfully so too. Google Analytics can harvest a massive amount of information about visitors and behavior on a web page. This however, comes with a privacy cost. Google tracks users everywhere on the Internet and uses it for profit. It is Google’s pervasiveness that drives me to use other services. When I started kevinbreit.net I installed Google Analytics tracking to get started.
“Bye-Bye Lambda - Moving kevinbreit.net Away From Lambda”
Mar 4, 2019
My experiment of deploying my website via AWS Lambda and Hugo has been abandoned and chalked up as a productive failure. Instead of AWS Lambda, I’ve moved to a more traditional CI/CD (Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery) pipeline using Atlassian Pipelines.
Reliability Lambda seems to be quite reliable for the right tasks. The more short lived, but the better it is. I trust it would make 10,000 function executions a day without a sweat.
“Ansible's Meraki Modules - Developing Playbooks”
Feb 27, 2019
Introduction Part 1 of this series gives a peek into the internal architecture of the Meraki modules in Ansible. Descriptions of the internals are interesting but they don’t explain how to write playbooks to configure Meraki environments.
For this example, we will create a combined network, add a switch, and configure a switch port on the switch.
All Meraki modules, except for the meraki_organization and meraki_config_template modules, are expected to be idempotent.
CoreDNS, Prometheus, and Grafana integration
Jan 5, 2019
As I have delved into some of the more modern, cloud focused infrastructure, I have discovered some new applications which are now operating in my personal lab. Most notably, they are CoreDNS, Prometheus, and Grafana. CoreDNS is a DNS server, similar to BIND, but is much easier to setup. Prometheus is a logging and statistics tool which is focused on its query language. Calling it a logging and statistics tool isn’t 100% accurate, but it’s good enough for an introduction.
“2019 Toyota Camry Hybrid v. 2019 Honda Accord Hybrid”
Jan 1, 2019
Since March of 2006, I’ve been driving a Toyota Corolla. 186,000 miles later, I decided it’s time to get a new car. This wasn’t a new decision because I have been waiting for the 2019 models of both cars to come out since 2018 was a new model year. If you’re looking at either the Camry or Accord, you’re probably looking at the other one. YouTube always has some good car review videos so spend an evening watching them if you’re investing in one of these cars.
Ansible Meraki Modules - Architecture
Dec 22, 2018
As a Sales Engineer focused on networks, I have come to learn about the Meraki product line from Cisco. It’s an easy to use, cloud managed infrastructure platform. For many users, it’s exactly what they need. Because it’s web managed it’s good for single task changes but not great for changing dozens or hundreds of preferences at a time. This is where Ansible is good. Ansible is a platform for automating infrastructure, including network equipment.