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8 Pro Tips for Using Concourse CI with Cloud Foundry

Alexander Lomov

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There are at least a dozen continuous integration solutions out there, but the majority of them are challenging to learn, scale, and debug. Most importantly, few of them were designed with pipelines in mind. Not able to find a tool that could handle something as massive and complex as Cloud Foundry, Pivotal decided to write their own. This resulted in Concourse CI, a user-friendly continuous delivery technology that focuses on pipelines, is easy to scale, runs anywhere, and works with anything.

From this post, you will learn how Concourse CI differs from other similar products, how it works, and how it can help you to “nitrocharge” your own projects.

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How to Add BOSH Support to a Custom Cloud (Part 2): External BOSH CPIs

Alexander Lomov

Part 1 | Part 2

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Until recently, all custom BOSH CPIs were forks of the BOSH project. They were hard to maintain and had to be implemented in Ruby. In August 2014, the BOSH team introduced the new external CPI mechanism that has removed these constraints. The second part of our blog series on adding BOSH support to custom clouds will be dedicated to external BOSH CPIs, how they are used, and what it takes to build one.

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How to Add BOSH Support to a Custom Cloud (Part 1): BOSH Components

Alexander Lomov

Part 1 | Part 2

how-to-add-bosh-support-to-a-custom-cloud-smallThe Cloud Foundry PaaS was designed to provide cross-cloud portability and compatibility. BOSH is the official orchestration and deployment tool for CF that makes these features possible. Currently, there is a set of cloud platforms that are able to work with BOSH, but it can be extended to work with clouds that are not on this list.

In this blog series, we’ll go through all the steps necessary to add BOSH support for a new cloud: from CPI implementation to generating a stemcell.
 
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Cloud Foundry Internals: How to Create Custom BOSH CLI Plugins

Alexander Lomov

cf-bosh-cli-custom-pluginAn ability to easily extend core functionality is a key for any system’s evolution. Every popular config management or cloud orchestration tool offers a handy and effective way to do so. For instance, knife plugins in Chef, custom functions in Puppet, and terraform plugins. Being a complex tool, BOSH also provides out-of-the-box utilities for the purpose. The best option for extending BOSH functionality are plugins for a command-line interface (CLI). In fact, major part of the BOSH command-line utilities are implemented as BOSH plugins: the standard BOSH commands, MicroBOSH, BOSH AWS plugin, etc.

Unfortunately, there is no official documentation available on how to create a custom BOSH plugin by yourself, so I decided to compile such a tutorial. In this blog post, I provide guidelines on how to create a custom plugin for BOSH CLI to push the boundaries of the BOSH functionality and significantly boost resolution of application tasks.

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Cloud Foundry Monitoring with Admin UI: Technical Overview

Alexander Lomov

14_12_24_admin_ui_techncial_overview_2In this blog post, you’ll find a technical overview of Admin UI, a Web service that allows to gather metrics from the Cloud Foundry components. I’ve shed some light on its core layers, featured functionality, integration with CF APIs, etc. You’ll also discover what issues you may face while logging in, scaling, and debugging—as well as how to address them.

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Creating a BOSH Release for Admin UI, a Monitoring Tool for Cloud Foundry

Alexander Lomov

Some Cloud Foundry components must be available, even if Router fails. Admin UI, a monitoring tool from the Cloud Foundry incubator, is a good example of a utility that you want to have access to no matter what. Getting updates directly from the NATS messaging bus, it gives admins access to CF components, their logs, statistics on DEAs and applications deployed to them, user rights, and other things not available in the Cloud Foundry CLI.

BOSH releases help to achieve high availability by installing important components outside the main CF deployment. By doing so, you can avoid exposing them with Router or deploying them as apps. In addition, they provide the easiest way to bind Cloud Foundry components and custom services.

In this post, I share my experience with creating a BOSH release (not yet available at the time this was published) for a new version of Admin UI. I also provide a temporary workaround for those who need to deploy Admin UI now and cannot wait for the next BOSH release.

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Building a Custom BOSH CPI for the Cloud Foundry PaaS: A GCE Example

Alexander Lomov

Portability and cross-platform compatibility are the fundamental principles and also key advantages of the Cloud Foundry PaaS. Despite that, until now, its architecture supported a limited number of cloud platforms: OpenStack, AWS, vSphere, vCloud, and Warden. However, thanks to the efforts of the community some new names have been added to the list of available IaaS vendors. At the end of May, Pivotal released its Google Compute Engine CF-BOSH CPI. Developers are currently discussing ways to create a CPI for Microsoft Azure in the BOSH Developers Google group. Finally, the BOSH team have released an experimental version of the external CPI that can serve as a new way for creating CPIs.

In this post, I will share my experience with developing a custom CPI for Cloud Foundry using the standard CPI mechanism. Read on to learn about the issues I have encountered and get some tips on how to address them. (more…)

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