Drag & drop infrastructure

code tools
At LeaseWeb, we have quite some experience using various tools to build infrastructure as code. This concept requires a very different way of thinking in order to design and build your infrastructure. Also, the gap between operational and development work is closing quickly, as managing infrastructure nowadays starts to look more and more like managing a software project.

For example, our operations and development teams all collaborate on a big repository of Chef recipes that we use to roll out our systems. Only two years ago their responsibilities, configuration and code would have been totally separated, and it was unthinkable that such an overlap would even exist.

Today, I’ll show two tools that are shaping the future of infrastructure as code. I’ll introduce them quickly and show you how to get up and running with them.

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Five challenges for the Internet of Things (IoT)

After Cloud and Big Data, a new buzzword has arrived on the scene: Internet of Things. Self-driving cars, connected tennis rackets, and connected refrigerators—everything connected. Analysts and companies such as Cisco and Intel predict that 20-40 billion of devices will be connected to the Internet by 2020.

Recently, my colleague Dan Murariu offered his vision on the Internet of Things, seeing it as a great business opportunity that will change the way we live. But before we get to that point, there are a couple of challenges the IoT has to overcome before it becomes the disruptive technological advancement so many are predicting it will be.

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Sneaky P2P tactics with video delivery

LSW_InfographicHello LeaseWeb Blog readers, Lawton Cheney here, writing to you this month about the debatable practice of peer-delivery (P2P) distribution applications in the online video streaming market.

Yes, I said peer-to-peer. And no, we are not going to “party like it’s 1999” with Napster. What we have for a quick discussion here, is an Internet distribution dynamic that we have seen on the Internet before, but with a twist as seen today in the VOD (video on demand) and OTT (over-the-top streaming) marketplaces. If Internet technology and/or a little bit of ethical business practice are things you like to read about – please carry on.

One trend that we are noticing (one that I find questionable practice) in the streaming market is that some platforms are implementing a “peer-to-peer” solution whereby the end-user (i.e. the end-user’s computer, tablet, etc., and upload link to the Internet) is being utilized by some video players to serve and deliver to other end-user customers located within close geographical proximity of the initial end-user.

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SuperMicro BMC Vulnerability reminds you to keep your servers secure

On Thursday 19 June, LeaseWeb learned of the new critical SuperMicro baseboard management controller (BMC) vulnerability that allows retrieving the remote login password via an internet scan on port 49152.

We continuously look out for security issues that may have an impact on our customers. An integral part of preventing or limiting the impact these issues might have, is to make sure as many people as possible know how to deal with them.

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Peer5: making P2P seamlessly accessible

It’s no secret that Israel is a major player when it comes to innovation in general, and in the internet industry specifically.

Remember when we shared the Three reasons why Israel is the world’s hottest tech nation after we visited the country last December? Well, a lot has happened since then, and we’d like to showcase some of our inspiring Logo Peer5Israeli customers who are architecting the future in almost every industry. Some of their initiatives will make your jaw drop!

I’ll be presenting various examples during the coming months, but the first one just has to be one of my favorite startups, Peer5, who developed a way of delivering content including, video, files, games and any other data by connecting users to an efficient P2P network (mesh).

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“Internet of Things” – Part of our Business?

While trying to put my thoughts on paper for this post, I remembered one of the most entertaining TV shows that I recently saw: Shark Tanks. The show features a panel of potential investors, called “sharks”, who consider offers from aspiring entrepreneurs seeking investments for their business or product. Therefore, I start looking forward to all the great ideas and concepts that people wanted to bring to life, and the innovation contained within. The next thing that came to mind was what I consider to be one the most innovative concepts right now: the Internet of Things.

The Internet of Things paradigm

If you would search the Internet for a definition of “Internet of Things” (IoT), you’ll get several versions. It is, after all, a concept that is continuously evolving. However, I consider the definition given by the IERC (European Research Cluster on the Internet of Things) to be pretty comprehensive: “a dynamic global network infrastructure with self-configuring capabilities based on standard and interoperable communication protocols where physical and virtual “things” have identities, physical attributes, and virtual personalities and use intelligent interfaces, and are seamlessly integrated into the information network.”

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Why you need a cookie-less domain

Any website needs a cookie-less domain. This (sub)domain is typically called “static”. It is used to serve Javascript, CSS, images and other static content. The reason for static content to be on a cookie-less domain is that it makes the content load faster. This argument may be counter intuitive, since cookies are small and you would not expect them to have a significant impact. But let me try to explain.

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Designing your application for growth

One of the most common requests we get is whether it is possible to upgrade a server (Bare Metal or Cloud) because the application hosted is too slow. Upgrading a server is not difficult, but what happens if the server has reached its limit? You would have to either migrate to a more powerful server, or if there isn’t one, find another solution such as employing more servers. In theory, the latter sounds easy to do. The only issue is that once you have built the foundations of your application, it becomes difficult to change. This is why it is important to plan in advance before building the application—to make sure that it can scale the right way, when it needs to.

Scalability is a sensitive matter, which highly affects the development of an application. It is not always the first thing developer’s focus on—but it should be when planning for the future. There are two methods of adding resources for an application and those are vertical (scale up) and horizontal (scale out). In this blog, we’ll go over those two methods as it is important to be prepared when developing an application. There is no right or wrong scaling tactic but the overview below will help you understand the pros and cons of both.

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The rise of the API at LeaseWeb

It’s no secret that LeaseWeb heavily relies on automation to manage the large network of services that we offer. Over the last five years, we have been investing a lot in our internal systems and our strategy has been to have them communicate via APIs (specifically web services).

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OpenID/OAuth exploit a hype, not the new Heartbleed

In the last few weeks, the Heartbleed bug received the attention it needed. A serious security flaw was discovered in the often-used OpenSSL cryptographic library. This allowed attackers to steal information normally protected by the SSL/TLS encryption. See also our previous posting.

This Friday, another ‘flaw’ received a lot of attention; the OpenID and OAuth security flaw dubbed ‘Covert Redirect‘. Almost immediately, the media started naming this the second Heartbleed. However, is this really the case?

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