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The Prometheus monitoring tool follows a white-box monitoring approach: Applications actively provide metrics about their internal state, and the Prometheus server pulls these metrics from the applications using HTTP.

If you can modify the application’s source code, it is straightforward to instrument an application with Prometheus metrics: Add the Prometheus client library as a dependency, call that library to maintain the metrics, and use the library to expose the metrics via HTTP.

However, DevOps teams do not always have the option to modify the source code of the applications they are running.

At this year’s JavaZone conference, Fabian Stäber did a talk on how to instrument Java Web Applications with Prometheus metrics without modifying the application’s source code.

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Author:Fabian Stäber
Tags:PrometheusIO, conference, javazone, talk
Categories:monitoring

As the number of microservice based architectures continues to grow, development teams are facing new challenges when choosing the adequate tools for the job. At the technical level, the decisions need to be made considering the features of both: the cloud or container platform that is going to be used for the deployment and the runtime that will be used by the software. The infrastructure needs to be aware of the health and metrics of the software and the software itself must make the most of the infrastructure by tolerating failures and being able to handle configuration changes. There are numerous solutions for the individual challenges but the lack of an enterprise level blueprint actually paved the way for Eclipse Microprofile.

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Author:Radu Ciopraga
Tags:technology, microservices, microprofile
Categories:microservices

Let’s move on with this little series about how OpenShift environments may fall short in terms of developer experience.

Today we focus on the role that system tests have in an OpenShift infrastructure and what might possibly go wrong here testdata-wise.

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Author:Oliver Weise
Tags:openshift
Categories:development
Sakuli v1.2.0 released!

assets/2018-07-05-sakuli-v1.2.0/sakuli_logo_small.png It’s about time for a new Sakuli release! Our latest release v1.2.0 is the first version to include a beta of Sakuli-UI, a web UI to help you develop and manage your tests.

The new release also brings a bunch of enhancements and bug-fixes, a detailed changelog is included in this post.

Once again, we want to say THANK YOU for the great support of our contributors, our valued supporting companies and of course ConSol!

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In some OpenShift environments for building and delivering software we notice that the needs of developers, arguably a group of people who will have a great deal of contact with the platform, are not met as thoroughly as would have been possible.

Especially when it comes to software testing there is often much room for improvement. The usage of container platforms can improve testing techniques a lot but might also be a major blocker when it comes to the provided infrastructure. Good testing is already hard. Everything that makes it even harder, by forcing your developers into workarounds or compromises on testing quality will result in larger round trips, more testing effort, less valid testing, in short: wasted time.

So in this mini series of blog posts we will have a look into some possible fields of improvement and give recommendations on how to fix the respective situation.

Today we evaluate the fact, that some CI/CD setups for OpenShift may spoil the most simple type of testing a developer uses: Just running the software locally - in OpenShift.

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Author:Oliver Weise
Tags:openshift
Categories:development
Arch Linux for Devs

This report is about the experience, I’ve made with Arch Linux as the operating system for a developers workstation. You’ll be introduced into the concepts of Arch Linux, followed by a introduction into the main tasks such as package installation and OS maintenance. At the end, I’ll discuss why I think that Arch Linux is a great OS for developers, and finish with a conclusion.

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Prometheus is a popular monitoring tool based on time series data. One of the strengths of Prometheus is its deep integration with Kubernetes. Kubernetes components provide Prometheus metrics out of the box, and Prometheus’s service discovery integrates well with dynamic deployments in Kubernetes.

There are multiple ways how to set up Prometheus in a Kubernetes cluster. There’s an official Prometheus Docker image, so you could use that and create the Kubernetes YAML files from scratch (which according to Joe Beda is not totally crazy). There is also a helm chart. And there is the Prometheus Operator, which is built on top of the CoreOS operator framework.

This blog post shows how to get the Prometheus Operator up and running in a Kubernetes cluster set up with kubeadm. We use Ansible to automate the deployment.

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Author:Fabian Stäber
Tags:Kubernetes, kubeadm, Prometheus
Categories:kubernetes
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Kubeadm is a basic toolkit that helps you bootstrap a simple Kubernetes cluster. It is intended as a basis for higher-level deployment tools, like Ansible playbooks. A typical Kubernetes cluster set-up with kubeadm consists of a single Kubernetes master, which is the machine coordinating the cluster, and multiple Kubernetes nodes, which are the machines running the actual workload.

Dealing with node failure is simple: When a node fails, the master will detect the failure and re-schedule the workload to other nodes. To get back to the desired number of nodes, you can simply create a new node and add it to the cluster. In order to add a new node to an existing cluster, you first create a token on the master with kubeadm token create, then you use that token on the new node to join the cluster with kubeadm join.

Dealing with master failure is more complicated. Good news is: Master failure is not as bad as it sounds. The cluster and all workloads will continue running with exactly the same configuration as before the failure. Applications running in the Kubernetes cluster will still be usable. However, it will not be possible to create new deployments or to recover from node failures without the master.

This post shows how to backup and restore a Kubernetes master in a kubeadm cluster.

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Author:Fabian Stäber
Tags:Kubernetes, kubeadm, etcd
Categories:kubernetes
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This blog post shows how to use CIFS (a.k.a. SMB, Samba, Windows Share) network filesystems as Kubernetes volumes.

Docker containers running in Kubernetes have an ephemeral file system: Once a container is terminated, all files are gone. In order to store persistent data in Kubernetes, you need to mount a Persistent Volume into your container. Kubernetes has built-in support for network filesystems found in the most common cloud providers, like Amazon’s EBS, Microsoft’s Azure disk, etc. However, some cloud hosting services, like the Hetzner cloud, provide network storage using the CIFS (SMB, Samba, Windows Share) protocol, which is not natively supported in Kubernetes.

Fortunately, Kubernetes provides Flexvolume, which is a plugin mechanism enabling users to write their own drivers. There are a few flexvolume drivers for CIFS out there, but for different reasons none of them seemed to work for me. So I wrote my own, which can be found on github.com/fstab/cifs.

This blog post shows how to use the fstab/cifs plugin for mounting CIFS volumes in Kubernetes.

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Author:Fabian Stäber
Tags:Kubernetes
Categories:kubernetes

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ConSol CM brings BPM to a CRM system. In-house ConSol CM is used to process cases of a wide range of types. Amongst others it also maps the sales process. For that purpose a new sales case is created automatically or manually every time a sales opportunity or lead comes up. To these cases, information can be added concerning the communication with the customer, the origin of the opportunities and others.

Within a research and development project the scope was to predict the success for open sales cases, using machine learning algorithms. This way, sales employees would know already in an early stage if the opportunity most probably will be successful or how to adapt their strategy during the sales process to increase the chances for success.

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Monitoring-Workshop 2018 4./5. September Braunschweig