devops

Operational Excellence Means Automation

People use the term “operational excellence” in a lot of different ways. In its vaguest sense, it means continuous improvement as applied to operations. But you’re interested in what it means in the context of technology operations. And I’m here to tell you that it means automation. Operational Excellence is one of the five pillars of the AWS Well-architected Framework. The AWS whitepaper lists six design principles for achieving operational excellence.

Using AWS Systems Manager to Upgrade WordPress

After years of manually upgrading my self-hosted WordPress installation, I decided it was finally time to apply some devops principles (namely automation) to this process. This site runs on an EC2 instance on AWS, so I decided to use AWS Systems Manager (aka SSM). I started out by creating the following Command Document (which happens to be in YAML format because JSON is ugly): --- schemaVersion: "2.2" description: "Download and install WordPress"

Visual Studio Code as a PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment

I know what you’re thinking. “Why use Visual Studio Code instead of the PowerShell ISE?” Well, if you’re using Mac OS or Linux, you don’t have the option to use the PowerShell ISE natively. And that’s a problem if you want to take advantage of the cross-platform capabilities of PowerShell Core. In this article, I’ll show you how to use Visual Studio Code (free!) to perform the key functions of the PowerShell ISE, namely:

Building Windows Server with Puppet and Chocolatey

Forget using scripts and group policies to configure a new Windows Server machine. Using Chocolatey and Puppet, you can do it faster & easier than ever (and it’s more fun too). This is especially true if you’re using a Server Core installation and don’t have a GUI to help you along. Oh, and if you don’t know Puppet, you really should watch my course Puppet Fundamentals for System Administrators on Pluralsight 🙂