A Brief History on the Growth Explosion of Containers
A couple of years ago, Linux containers began to gain popularity among devs and ops folks alike. It was a win win scenario as the benefits of containers to both dev and ops are clear. As time moved along and the adoption of containers in production workloads exceeded many people’s expectations, the world needed a way to manage container lifecycles at scale.
Enter Kubernetes, while it is not the only proven open source container manager out there (see Docker Swarm & Mesos,) it certainly has the majority share of voice in the community. Originally a Google project that was a core component of their internal Borg system, it has since been open sourced and embraced by companies like Microsoft and Red Hat (OpenShift is powered by Kubernetes.) Kubernetes is an open-source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications.
Over the past few years, we’ve written several blog posts about various disaster recovery methods for your applications running atop of Cloud-A’s infrastructure. If you take a look at these various articles, which highlight software and tools to help you achieve your disaster recovery requirements, you’ll notice that there there is more than one way to skin this cat.
The method you use to backup and recover your applications and data should vary depending on the technical requirements of a given application and/or data store and your organization’s tolerance for downtime for that app or data store.
Let’s dig into three conceptual models for disaster recovery on Cloud-A. We’ve ranked these methods 1-5 by data resiliency, time to recover and cost.
If you’re looking for a cost effective, Canadian backup solution for your Windows desktops and servers, look no further! Our Bulk Storage service is an ultra-reliable, low-cost, and 100% Canadian hosted object storage service. When teamed with CloudBerry Labs’ Backup software, it allows administrators to easily backup their systems.
CloudBerry offers two types of backup products: CloudBerry Backup and CloudBerry Managed Backup. Today we’re going to be using their basic Backup product, however many of the settings we’re going to be going over will translate over to the managed product as well.
Install CloudBerry Backup
To get started, visit https://www.cloudberrylab.com/solutions/clouda and download the Backup software onto the machine you wish to backup. Once the download has completed, you may be asked to install Microsoft Visual C++. You should go ahead and do so. Once that has been downloaded and installed, you’ll need to re-run the CloudBerry Backup setup.
Once setup is complete, click on the Finish button and CloudBerry Backup will launch. Initially, you’ll be asked if you would like to use the free trial or activate a paid license. If you have paid for CloudBerry already, go ahead and input your license information. Otherwise, you can continue with the free trial for now. Once you’ve completed that step, the CloudBerry app will open and you’ll be able to start setting everything up.
The cloud is great for hosting internet-facing applications, but what if you require something that can only be accessed by a set list of users? Sure, you can maintain security groups with those users’ IP addresses, or use login pages to block access to unauthorized users. An alternative and more secure solution is the use of a Virtual Private Network (VPN) between a user’s local network and your Cloud-A private network. There are several VPN solutions available, both free and commercial. We’re going to show you how to use one of the most popular free VPNs available, OpenVPN.
With the growth and adoption of Cloud-A’s infrastructure services around the world, having thousands of active projects, and twice that number of active users — our responsibility to provide a secure entry point into the services that store your application’s private data, that help run your businesses day-to-day, is greater than ever. With online threats growing, more advanced phishing techniques, and identity theft, ensuring secure access to any service becomes difficult. It doesn’t matter how long or complex your password is, your account is at risk of being breached if it were to somehow fall into the wrong hands.
To this end, we are very pleased to announce the general availability of two-factor authentication for Cloud-A accounts. Our development team had been working on building an OTP solution into Keystone, our authentication service, and released it into beta late last year. After months of end-user testing, and security auditing by third parties, we are enabling the feature for all users.
Two-factor authentication, or 2FA, by its definition allows you to secure your account via a second “factor” rather than just a password. Because passwords can be read or stolen, and are a single piece of information that any malicious person needs to access your account, a second factor called One Time Passwords or OTP are used and linked to a physical device that is on your person — so you know that the person logging in is truly you. This added security will thwart would-be attackers even if they know your account password.
2FA for Cloud-A allows you enable 2FA from within your Cloud-A Account Settings in the client portal. This will generate your private key and show you your QR code and recovery codes, as well as provide you with a quick OTP test mechanism to confirm your settings. Once enabled, you can use our 2FA with any Google Authenticator compatible mobile application. We highly recommend FreeOTP for managing your OTP credentials. It is free, secure, standards-compliant, and open source. The app is available for download on Google Play for Android, as well as the App Store for iOS devices.
As previously noted, Cloud-A’s 2FA architecture is built into Keystone, meaning that two-factor authentication is available at both the web dashboard level and also at the API layer. The result is a completely new architecture, and new way to approach OpenStack authentication. We hope that this not only shows our commitment to on-going product development for our customers, but our commitment to the OpenStack project as a whole.
Users will not be forced to enable OTP on their accounts, however we highly recommend setting it up. You can read more information on the configuration process in our documentation portal. Taking a few minutes to enable this feature on your account could mean the difference between an adversary accessing your account and gaining access to your cloud infrastructure, and stopping them right at the door.
If you have any questions or concerns about configuring 2FA on your account, we’d love to hear from you! You can reach our support team quickly and easily by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is a quick guide to installing OpenShift Origin on a Cloud-A CentOS 7 instance. For the purposes of this tutorial, we are going to be using a single instance to perform an all-in-one installation. More advanced, clustered setup instructions can be found in the OpenShift Origin documentation.
What is OpenShift?
OpenShift is a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) developed by Redhat. PaaS augments your existing Cloud-A Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) by providing automated tools that assist developers in running an environment to host their applications on. In OpenShift’s case, this is provided by leveraging Docker and Kubernetes, giving you the ability to have custom, reusable application images. OpenShift also allows you to have highly available, self-healing, and auto-scaling applications without any of the manual setup that would typically need to be done in a traditional environment.
This guide assumes that you have setup a CentOS 7 instance on Cloud-A and have associated a public IP address with it. In our tutorial, we are using a 4GB General Purpose instance.
Once you have your instance up and running, Docker will need to be installed along with a few requirements. Feel free to replace vim with your favourite text editor.
$ sudo yum install docker wget vim
We will then need to tell Docker to trust the registry that we are going to be using for OpenShift images. In the /etc/sysconfig/docker file we will need to change the following line:
Once complete, save your changes and restart the docker service:
$ sudo systemctl restart docker
OpenShift will also require that our instance’s hostname can be resolved. Adding an entry to /etc/hosts will take care of this for us. If you don’t know your instance’s hostname, you can simply run the hostname command.
Halifax, NS – July 21st, 2016 – Cloud A Computing Inc., a Canadian Public Cloud provider, announced today the launch of its first Western Canada cloud infrastructure node in Vancouver, British Columbia. The new node allows Cloud-A to better service the entire country with lower latency connectivity to its western customers, as well as satisfying data residency requirements for companies in BC.
The new node features all key Infrastructure-as-a-Service (“IaaS”) components, including compute, network, and storage. Similar to their existing Halifax, NS node, the BC node is built on Cloud-A’s OpenStack-based cloud platform. This platform gives customers the ability to spin up cloud infrastructure in a matter of minutes from both an easy-to-use web-based GUI and a powerful set of APIs.
“From day one, our mission has been to do be Canada’s cloud IaaS provider. We are now the first provider to truly launch a full multi-node, OpenStack cloud in Canada. This opens new doors for Canadian businesses who are looking for geographically dispersed data without the headaches of using legacy IT infrastructure.” says Jacob Godin, CEO of Cloud-A
The Vancouver, BC node was driven by the rapidly growing healthcare industry in BC, and was developed through a partnership with local healthcare-focused service company, Intogrey. Cloud-A is also extremely excited to help application development shops, IT management companies, and IT departments by providing a robust platform to use as a foundation for their products and services.
Cloud-A is the leading provider of public cloud Infrastructure based in Canada. Their products automate & simplify the installation and management of the hardware and software that provides the infrastructure for large scale environments having hundreds or thousands of servers supporting high performance compute applications. For more information visit www.CloudA.ca
Looking for a Canadian-based Dropbox alternative that’s also easy to setup and manage? Look no further. Using the power of Docker as well as Cloud Brewery’s open-source docrane project, we’re going to create a self-healing ownCloud installation, that’s also easy to patch and upgrade. In this tutorial, we’re going to be using CentOS 7 as our Docker host, however you can adapt these instructions for any other Linux distro.
To get started, let’s grab and install Docker:
curl https://get.docker.com | bash
usermod -a -G docker centos
That may take a few minutes to complete. This might be a good time to grab a coffee.
Next up, we’re going to install docrane (and it’s dependencies):
We all know that backing up data is important. Whether it’s a corporate Windows file server, or our treasured family photos, we make sure that we can recover our data in the case of a hardware failure. Oddly enough, most folks tend to skip over their website data when considering their backup strategy.
Although WordPress is the most used CMS in the world, many users still struggle to find a good backup solution. Thankfully, using a combination of Cloud-A’s Bulk Storage and the popular Updraft Plus WordPress Backups plugin, automatically backing up and restoring your website is extremely easy and cost effective. This makes it an ideal solution for WordPress users of any skill level.
A couple of weekends ago Cloud-A headed to Waterloo, Canada’s tech mecca, to sponsor and judge the city’s first ever open data hackathon: the Waterloo Codefest. Waterloo is a city where we have several users and hanging out in Waterloo for the weekend gave us the opportunity to meet with some of these existing users, gain feedback and better understand exactly what our users are looking for in a cloud provider.
Waterloo Codefest was a 36 hour hackathon that was held at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, a beautiful venue that provided the amenities and comfort to dozens of programmers, designers and business minded participants.
I had the opportunity to judge the event and spent the weekend with the participants, watching them take their ideas and turn them into fully functional applications that make use of Waterloo’s open data sets.
Nearly 20 applications were presented, where participants had 5 minutes to present and demo their concept to satisfy the criteria that was set out for the event:
How unique and innovative is the demo?
How useful is this demo based on the problem they are trying to solve? Issues/problems that were identified by the public on Open City Hall.
How good is the visual design and interaction experience?
Are you blown away by what you see?
In the end, Timber, an application that plotted the location free within Waterloo on a map and allowing users to become more connected with nature, report damaged trees to the municipality and schedule “Treetups” – public meetups at a tree of your choice, was the winner. The group included uWaterloo Computer Science student George Utsin and high school students John Fish and Alex Foley.