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How to Become a DevOps Engineer

Who is DevOps engineer?        DevOps engineers are a group of influential individuals who encapsulates depth of knowledge and years of hands-on experience around a wide variety of open source technologies and tools. They come with core attributes which involve an ability to code and script, data management skills as well as a strong focus on business outcomes. They are rightly called “Special Forces” who hold core attributes around collaboration, open communication and reaching across functional borders.DevOps engineer always shows interest and comfort working with frequent, incremental code testing and deployment. With a strong grasp of automation tools, these individuals are expected to move the business quicker and forward, at the same time giving a stronger technology advantage. In nutshell, a DevOps engineer must have a solid interest in scripting and coding,  skill in taking care of deployment automation, framework computerization and capacity to deal with the version control system.Qualities of a DevOps Engineer Collated below are the characteristics/attributes of the DevOps Engineer.Experience in a wide range of open source tools and techniquesA Broad knowledge on Sysadmin and Ops rolesExpertise in software coding, testing, and deploymentExperiences on DevOps Automation tools like Ansible, Puppet, and ChefExperience in Continuous Integration, Delivery & DeploymentIndustry-wide experience in implementation of  DevOps solutions for team collaborationsA firm knowledge of the various computer programming languagesGood awareness in Agile Methodology of Project ManagementA Forward-thinker with an ability to connect the technical and business goals     Demand for people with DevOps skills is growing rapidly because businesses get great results from DevOps. Organizations using DevOps practices are overwhelmingly high-functioning: They deploy code up to 30 times more frequently than their competitors, and 50 percent fewer of their deployments fail.What exactly DevOps Engineer do?DevOps is not a way to get developers doing operational tasks so that you can get rid of the operations team and vice versa.  Rather it is a way of working that encourages the Development and Operations teams to work together in a highly collaborative way towards the same goal. In nutshell, DevOps integrates developers and operations team to improve collaboration and productivity.The main goal of DevOps is not only to increase the product’s quality to a greater extent but also to increase the collaboration of Dev and Ops team as well so that the workflow within the organization becomes smoother & efficient at the same time.            DevOps Engineer has an end-to-end responsibility of the Application (Software) right from gathering the requirement to development, to testing, to infrastructure deployment, to application deployment and finally monitoring & gathering feedback from the end users, then again implementing the changes. These engineers spend more time researching new technologies that will improve efficiency and effectiveness.They Implement highly scalable applications and integrate infrastructure builds with application deployment processes. Let us spend some time in understanding the list of most important DevOps Engineers’ roles and responsibilities.1) The first and foremost critical role of a DevOps Engineer is to be an effective communicator i.e Soft Skills. A DevOps Engineer is required to be a bridge between the silos and bring different teams together to work towards a common goal. Hence, you can think of DevOps Engineers as “IT Project Managers”. They typically work on a DevOps team with other professionals in a similar role, each managing their own piece of the infrastructure puzzle.2) The second critical role of DevOps Engineer is to be Expert Collaborators. This is because their role requires them to build upon the work of their counterparts on the development and IT teams to scale cloud programs, create workflow processes, assign tenants and more.3) Thirdly, they can be rightly called “Mentors” as they spend most of the time in mentoring and educating software developers and architecture teams within an organization on how to create software that is easily scalable. They also collaborate with IT and security teams to ensure quality releases.Next, they need to be a “customer-service oriented” individuals. The DevOps Engineer is a customer-service oriented, team player who can emerge from a number of different work and educational backgrounds, but through their experience has developed the right skillset to move into DevOps.The DevOps Engineer is an important IT team member because they work with an internal customer. This includes QC personnel, software and application developers, project managers and project stakeholders usually from within the same organization. Even though they rarely work with external customers or end-users, but they keep close eye on  a “customer first” mindset to satisfy the needs of their internal clients.Not to miss out, DevOps engineer holds broad knowledge and experience with Infrastructure automation tools. A key element of DevOps is automation.  A lot of the manual tasks performed by the more traditional system administrator and engineering roles can be automated by using scripting languages like Python, Ruby, Bash, Shell, Node.js. This ensures a consistent performance of manual tasks by removing the human component and allowing teams to spend the saved time on more of the broader goals of the team and company.Hence, a DevOps engineer must possess the ability to implement automation technologies and tools at any level, from requirements to development to testing and operations.Few of other responsibilities of DevOps Engineer include -Manage and maintain infrastructure systemMaintaining and developing highly automated services landscape and open source servicesTake over the ownership for integral components of technology and make sure it grows aligned with company successScale systems and ensure the availability of services with developers on changes to the infrastructure required by new features and products.How to become a devops engineer?DevOps is less about doing things a particular way, and more about moving the business forward and giving it a stronger technological advantage. There is not a single cookbook or path to become a devops professional . It's a continuous learning and consulting process . Every DevOps tasks have been originated from various development , testing , ops team  consulting through consultants and running pilots, therefore it’s hard to give a generic playbook for how to get it implemented. Everyone should start with learning about the values, principles, methods, and practices of DevOps and trying to share it via any channel  and keep learning.Here’s my 10 golden tips to become a DevOps Engineer:    1.  Develop Your Personal Brand with Community Involvement    2. Get familiar with IaC(Infrastructure-as-Code) - CM    3. Understand DevOps Principles & Frameworks    4. Demonstrate Curiosity & Empathy    5. Get certified on Container Technologies - Docker | Kubernetes| Cloud    6. Get Expert in Public | Private | Hybrid Cloud offering    7. Become an Operations Expert before you even THINK DevOps    8. Get Hands-on with various Linux Distros & Tools    9. Arm Yourself with CI-CD, Automation & Monitoring Tools(Github, Jenkins, Puppet, Ansible etc)    10.Start with Process Re-Engineering and Cross-collaboration within your teams.Skills that DevOps engineer need to have If you’re aiming to land a job as a DevOps engineer in 2018, it’s not only about having a deep specialized skill but understanding how a variety of technologies and skills come together.One of the things that makes DevOps both challenging to break into is that you need to be able to write code, and also to work across and integrate different systems and applications. Based on my experience, I have finalized on the list of top 5 skill sets  which you might require to be a successful DevOps engineer:#1 - SysAdmin with Virtualization ExperienceDeployment is a major requirement in devops role and ops engineer are good at that , All is needed is a deployments automation engine(chef ,puppet ,ansible) knowledge  and its use-cases implementations . Nowadays , most of public clouds are running multiple flavors of virtualization so a must have 3 – 5 years of virtualization experience with VMware, KVM, Xen, Hyper-V is required along .#2 - Solution Architect RoleAlong with deployments or virtualization experience, understanding and implementation of all the hardware technologies in breadth is a must like storage and networking. Nowadays  there is a very high-demand for people who can design a solution that scales and performs with high availability and uptime with minimal amount of resources to feed on (Max utilization) .#3 - A Passionate Programmer/API ExpertiseBash, Powershell, Perl, Ruby, JavaScript, Go, Python etc are few of popular scripting languages one need to have expertise on  to become an effective DevOps Engineer. A DevOps engineer must be able to write code to automated repeatable processes. One need to be familiar with RESTFUL APIs.#4 - Integration Skillset around CI-CD toolA DevOps engineer should be able to use all his expertise to integrate all the open source tools and technique to create an environment that is fully automated and integrated. The goal should be for zero manual intervention from source code management to deployment state, i.e. Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery and Continuous Deployment.#5 - Bigger Picture & Customer FocusWhile the strong focus on coding chops makes software engineering a natural path to a career in DevOps, the challenge for candidates who are coming from this world is that they need to be able to prove that they can look outside their immediate team and project. DevOps engineers are responsible for facilitating collaboration and communication between the Development and IT teams within an organization, so to succeed in an interview, you’ll need to be able to demonstrate your understanding of how disparate parts of the technical organization fit and work together.In nutshell, all you need are the list of tools and technologies listed below -Source Control (like Git, Bitbucket, Svn, VSTS etc)Continuous Integration (like Jenkins, Bamboo, VSTS )Infrastructure Automation (like Puppet, Chef, Ansible)Deployment Automation & Orchestration (like Jenkins, VSTS, Octopus Deploy)Container Concepts (LXD, Docker)Orchestration (Kubernetes, Mesos, Swarm)Cloud (like AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, Openstack)What are DevOps certifications available in the market? Are they really useful?In 2018, DevOps professionals are in huge demand. The demand for DevOps professionals in the current IT marketplace has increased exponentially over the years. A certification in DevOps is a complete win-win scenario, with both the individual professional and the organization as a whole standing to gain from its implementation. Completing a certification in the same will not only provide added value to one’s profile as an IT specialist but also advance career prospects faster than would usually be possible.The certifications related to DevOps are categorized into         1)  Foundation,         2) Certified Agile Process Owner &         3) Certified Agile Service ManagerThe introductory DevOps Certification is Foundation and certified individuals are able to execute the concepts and best practices of DevOps and enhance workflow and communication in the enterprise.Yes, these DevOps  certifications hold numerous benefits in the following ways:1. Better Job OpportunitiesDevOps is a relatively new idea in the IT domain with more businesses looking at employing DevOps processes and practices. There is a major gap between the demand for DevOps Certified professionals and the availability of the required DevOps professionals. IT professionals can take advantage of this huge deficit in highly skilled professionals by taking up a certification in DevOps for validation of DevOps skill set. This will ensure and guarantee much better job options.2. Improved Skills & KnowledgeThe core concept of DevOps revolves around brand new decision-making methods and thought processes. DevOps comes with a host of technical and business benefits which upon learning can be implemented in an enterprise. The fundamentals of DevOps consist of professionals working in teams of a cross-functional nature. Such teams consist of multi-disciplinary professionals ranging from business analysts, QA professionals, Operation Engineers, and Developers.3. Handsome SalaryRapid penetration of DevOps best practices in organizations and their implementation in the mentioned organizations is seeing massive hikes in the pay of DevOps professionals.This trend is seen to be consistent and sustainable according to industry experts the world over. DevOps professionals are the highest paid in the IT industry.4. Increased Productivity & EffectivenessConventional IT workplaces see employees and staff being affected by downtime which can be attributed to waiting for other employees or staff and other software and software related issues. The main objective of an IT professional at the workplace would be to be productive for a larger part of the time he/she will spend at the workplace. This can be achieved by minimizing the time spent waiting for other employees or software products and eliminating the unproductive and unsatisfying part of the work process. This will boost the effectiveness of the work done and will add greatly to the value of the enterprise and the staff as well.If you are looking out for the “official” certification programs for DevOps, below are some of the useful links:1) AWS Certified DevOps Engineer - Professional2) Azure certifications | Microsoft3) Google Cloud Certifications4) Chef Certification5) Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Ansible Automation6) Certification - SaltStack7) Puppet certification8) Jenkins Certification9) NGINX University10) Docker - Certification11) Kubernetes Certified Administrator12) Kubernetes Certified Application Developer13) Splunk | Education Programs14) Certifications | AppDynamics15) New Relic University Certification Center16) Elasticsearch Certification Programme17)SAFe DevOps courseDevOps engineer examBelow are the list of popular DevOps Engineer exams and certifications details -DevOps ExamSyllabusTraining DurationMinimal AttemptsExam ReTake InformationAWS Certified DevOps EngineeAWS_certified_devops_engineer_professional_blueprint.pdf3 MonthsNo Minimal RequirementWaiting Period: 14 days before they are eligible to retake the exam.No limit on exam attempts until the test taker has passedRHCA certification with a DevOpsRED HAT CERTIFIED3 Days for each training• Red Hat Certificate ofWaiting Period: 1 weekconcentrationARCHITECT: DEVOPScourseExpertise in Platform-as-a-Service • Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Atomic Host Container Administration • Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Containerized Application Development• Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Ansible Automation • Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Configuration ManagementDocker Certification Associate ExamDCA ExamNo Minimal AttemptsWait 14 days from the day you fail to take the exam againCertified Kubernetes Associate ExamCKA Exam4-5 WeeksNo Minimal AttemptsWait 14 days from the day you fail to take the exam againChef Certification ExamChef Cert Exam8 HoursLinkMinimal 1 week time
  How to Become a DevOps Engineer
Ajeet Singh
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Ajeet Singh

Ajeet Singh Raina

Blog Author

Ajeet Singh Raina is a Docker Captain & {code} Catalysts by DellEMC. He is currently working as Technical Lead Engineer in Enterprise Solution Group @ Dell R&D. He has over 10+ years of solid understanding of a diverse range of IT infrastructure, systems management, systems integration and quality assurance.  He is a frequent blogger at www.collabnix.com and have 150+ blogs contributed on new upcoming Docker releases and features. His personal blog attracts roughly thousands of visitors and tons of page-views every month. His areas of interest includes Docker on Swarm Mode, IoTs, and Legacy Applications & Cloud. 

Posts by Ajeet Singh Raina

How to Become a DevOps Engineer

Who is DevOps engineer?        DevOps engineers are a group of influential individuals who encapsulates depth of knowledge and years of hands-on experience around a wide variety of open source technologies and tools. They come with core attributes which involve an ability to code and script, data management skills as well as a strong focus on business outcomes. They are rightly called “Special Forces” who hold core attributes around collaboration, open communication and reaching across functional borders.DevOps engineer always shows interest and comfort working with frequent, incremental code testing and deployment. With a strong grasp of automation tools, these individuals are expected to move the business quicker and forward, at the same time giving a stronger technology advantage. In nutshell, a DevOps engineer must have a solid interest in scripting and coding,  skill in taking care of deployment automation, framework computerization and capacity to deal with the version control system.Qualities of a DevOps Engineer Collated below are the characteristics/attributes of the DevOps Engineer.Experience in a wide range of open source tools and techniquesA Broad knowledge on Sysadmin and Ops rolesExpertise in software coding, testing, and deploymentExperiences on DevOps Automation tools like Ansible, Puppet, and ChefExperience in Continuous Integration, Delivery & DeploymentIndustry-wide experience in implementation of  DevOps solutions for team collaborationsA firm knowledge of the various computer programming languagesGood awareness in Agile Methodology of Project ManagementA Forward-thinker with an ability to connect the technical and business goals     Demand for people with DevOps skills is growing rapidly because businesses get great results from DevOps. Organizations using DevOps practices are overwhelmingly high-functioning: They deploy code up to 30 times more frequently than their competitors, and 50 percent fewer of their deployments fail.What exactly DevOps Engineer do?DevOps is not a way to get developers doing operational tasks so that you can get rid of the operations team and vice versa.  Rather it is a way of working that encourages the Development and Operations teams to work together in a highly collaborative way towards the same goal. In nutshell, DevOps integrates developers and operations team to improve collaboration and productivity.The main goal of DevOps is not only to increase the product’s quality to a greater extent but also to increase the collaboration of Dev and Ops team as well so that the workflow within the organization becomes smoother & efficient at the same time.            DevOps Engineer has an end-to-end responsibility of the Application (Software) right from gathering the requirement to development, to testing, to infrastructure deployment, to application deployment and finally monitoring & gathering feedback from the end users, then again implementing the changes. These engineers spend more time researching new technologies that will improve efficiency and effectiveness.They Implement highly scalable applications and integrate infrastructure builds with application deployment processes. Let us spend some time in understanding the list of most important DevOps Engineers’ roles and responsibilities.1) The first and foremost critical role of a DevOps Engineer is to be an effective communicator i.e Soft Skills. A DevOps Engineer is required to be a bridge between the silos and bring different teams together to work towards a common goal. Hence, you can think of DevOps Engineers as “IT Project Managers”. They typically work on a DevOps team with other professionals in a similar role, each managing their own piece of the infrastructure puzzle.2) The second critical role of DevOps Engineer is to be Expert Collaborators. This is because their role requires them to build upon the work of their counterparts on the development and IT teams to scale cloud programs, create workflow processes, assign tenants and more.3) Thirdly, they can be rightly called “Mentors” as they spend most of the time in mentoring and educating software developers and architecture teams within an organization on how to create software that is easily scalable. They also collaborate with IT and security teams to ensure quality releases.Next, they need to be a “customer-service oriented” individuals. The DevOps Engineer is a customer-service oriented, team player who can emerge from a number of different work and educational backgrounds, but through their experience has developed the right skillset to move into DevOps.The DevOps Engineer is an important IT team member because they work with an internal customer. This includes QC personnel, software and application developers, project managers and project stakeholders usually from within the same organization. Even though they rarely work with external customers or end-users, but they keep close eye on  a “customer first” mindset to satisfy the needs of their internal clients.Not to miss out, DevOps engineer holds broad knowledge and experience with Infrastructure automation tools. A key element of DevOps is automation.  A lot of the manual tasks performed by the more traditional system administrator and engineering roles can be automated by using scripting languages like Python, Ruby, Bash, Shell, Node.js. This ensures a consistent performance of manual tasks by removing the human component and allowing teams to spend the saved time on more of the broader goals of the team and company.Hence, a DevOps engineer must possess the ability to implement automation technologies and tools at any level, from requirements to development to testing and operations.Few of other responsibilities of DevOps Engineer include -Manage and maintain infrastructure systemMaintaining and developing highly automated services landscape and open source servicesTake over the ownership for integral components of technology and make sure it grows aligned with company successScale systems and ensure the availability of services with developers on changes to the infrastructure required by new features and products.How to become a devops engineer?DevOps is less about doing things a particular way, and more about moving the business forward and giving it a stronger technological advantage. There is not a single cookbook or path to become a devops professional . It's a continuous learning and consulting process . Every DevOps tasks have been originated from various development , testing , ops team  consulting through consultants and running pilots, therefore it’s hard to give a generic playbook for how to get it implemented. Everyone should start with learning about the values, principles, methods, and practices of DevOps and trying to share it via any channel  and keep learning.Here’s my 10 golden tips to become a DevOps Engineer:    1.  Develop Your Personal Brand with Community Involvement    2. Get familiar with IaC(Infrastructure-as-Code) - CM    3. Understand DevOps Principles & Frameworks    4. Demonstrate Curiosity & Empathy    5. Get certified on Container Technologies - Docker | Kubernetes| Cloud    6. Get Expert in Public | Private | Hybrid Cloud offering    7. Become an Operations Expert before you even THINK DevOps    8. Get Hands-on with various Linux Distros & Tools    9. Arm Yourself with CI-CD, Automation & Monitoring Tools(Github, Jenkins, Puppet, Ansible etc)    10.Start with Process Re-Engineering and Cross-collaboration within your teams.Skills that DevOps engineer need to have If you’re aiming to land a job as a DevOps engineer in 2018, it’s not only about having a deep specialized skill but understanding how a variety of technologies and skills come together.One of the things that makes DevOps both challenging to break into is that you need to be able to write code, and also to work across and integrate different systems and applications. Based on my experience, I have finalized on the list of top 5 skill sets  which you might require to be a successful DevOps engineer:#1 - SysAdmin with Virtualization ExperienceDeployment is a major requirement in devops role and ops engineer are good at that , All is needed is a deployments automation engine(chef ,puppet ,ansible) knowledge  and its use-cases implementations . Nowadays , most of public clouds are running multiple flavors of virtualization so a must have 3 – 5 years of virtualization experience with VMware, KVM, Xen, Hyper-V is required along .#2 - Solution Architect RoleAlong with deployments or virtualization experience, understanding and implementation of all the hardware technologies in breadth is a must like storage and networking. Nowadays  there is a very high-demand for people who can design a solution that scales and performs with high availability and uptime with minimal amount of resources to feed on (Max utilization) .#3 - A Passionate Programmer/API ExpertiseBash, Powershell, Perl, Ruby, JavaScript, Go, Python etc are few of popular scripting languages one need to have expertise on  to become an effective DevOps Engineer. A DevOps engineer must be able to write code to automated repeatable processes. One need to be familiar with RESTFUL APIs.#4 - Integration Skillset around CI-CD toolA DevOps engineer should be able to use all his expertise to integrate all the open source tools and technique to create an environment that is fully automated and integrated. The goal should be for zero manual intervention from source code management to deployment state, i.e. Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery and Continuous Deployment.#5 - Bigger Picture & Customer FocusWhile the strong focus on coding chops makes software engineering a natural path to a career in DevOps, the challenge for candidates who are coming from this world is that they need to be able to prove that they can look outside their immediate team and project. DevOps engineers are responsible for facilitating collaboration and communication between the Development and IT teams within an organization, so to succeed in an interview, you’ll need to be able to demonstrate your understanding of how disparate parts of the technical organization fit and work together.In nutshell, all you need are the list of tools and technologies listed below -Source Control (like Git, Bitbucket, Svn, VSTS etc)Continuous Integration (like Jenkins, Bamboo, VSTS )Infrastructure Automation (like Puppet, Chef, Ansible)Deployment Automation & Orchestration (like Jenkins, VSTS, Octopus Deploy)Container Concepts (LXD, Docker)Orchestration (Kubernetes, Mesos, Swarm)Cloud (like AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, Openstack)What are DevOps certifications available in the market? Are they really useful?In 2018, DevOps professionals are in huge demand. The demand for DevOps professionals in the current IT marketplace has increased exponentially over the years. A certification in DevOps is a complete win-win scenario, with both the individual professional and the organization as a whole standing to gain from its implementation. Completing a certification in the same will not only provide added value to one’s profile as an IT specialist but also advance career prospects faster than would usually be possible.The certifications related to DevOps are categorized into         1)  Foundation,         2) Certified Agile Process Owner &         3) Certified Agile Service ManagerThe introductory DevOps Certification is Foundation and certified individuals are able to execute the concepts and best practices of DevOps and enhance workflow and communication in the enterprise.Yes, these DevOps  certifications hold numerous benefits in the following ways:1. Better Job OpportunitiesDevOps is a relatively new idea in the IT domain with more businesses looking at employing DevOps processes and practices. There is a major gap between the demand for DevOps Certified professionals and the availability of the required DevOps professionals. IT professionals can take advantage of this huge deficit in highly skilled professionals by taking up a certification in DevOps for validation of DevOps skill set. This will ensure and guarantee much better job options.2. Improved Skills & KnowledgeThe core concept of DevOps revolves around brand new decision-making methods and thought processes. DevOps comes with a host of technical and business benefits which upon learning can be implemented in an enterprise. The fundamentals of DevOps consist of professionals working in teams of a cross-functional nature. Such teams consist of multi-disciplinary professionals ranging from business analysts, QA professionals, Operation Engineers, and Developers.3. Handsome SalaryRapid penetration of DevOps best practices in organizations and their implementation in the mentioned organizations is seeing massive hikes in the pay of DevOps professionals.This trend is seen to be consistent and sustainable according to industry experts the world over. DevOps professionals are the highest paid in the IT industry.4. Increased Productivity & EffectivenessConventional IT workplaces see employees and staff being affected by downtime which can be attributed to waiting for other employees or staff and other software and software related issues. The main objective of an IT professional at the workplace would be to be productive for a larger part of the time he/she will spend at the workplace. This can be achieved by minimizing the time spent waiting for other employees or software products and eliminating the unproductive and unsatisfying part of the work process. This will boost the effectiveness of the work done and will add greatly to the value of the enterprise and the staff as well.If you are looking out for the “official” certification programs for DevOps, below are some of the useful links:1) AWS Certified DevOps Engineer - Professional2) Azure certifications | Microsoft3) Google Cloud Certifications4) Chef Certification5) Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Ansible Automation6) Certification - SaltStack7) Puppet certification8) Jenkins Certification9) NGINX University10) Docker - Certification11) Kubernetes Certified Administrator12) Kubernetes Certified Application Developer13) Splunk | Education Programs14) Certifications | AppDynamics15) New Relic University Certification Center16) Elasticsearch Certification Programme17)SAFe DevOps courseDevOps engineer examBelow are the list of popular DevOps Engineer exams and certifications details -DevOps ExamSyllabusTraining DurationMinimal AttemptsExam ReTake InformationAWS Certified DevOps EngineeAWS_certified_devops_engineer_professional_blueprint.pdf3 MonthsNo Minimal RequirementWaiting Period: 14 days before they are eligible to retake the exam.No limit on exam attempts until the test taker has passedRHCA certification with a DevOpsRED HAT CERTIFIED3 Days for each training• Red Hat Certificate ofWaiting Period: 1 weekconcentrationARCHITECT: DEVOPScourseExpertise in Platform-as-a-Service • Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Atomic Host Container Administration • Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Containerized Application Development• Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Ansible Automation • Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Configuration ManagementDocker Certification Associate ExamDCA ExamNo Minimal AttemptsWait 14 days from the day you fail to take the exam againCertified Kubernetes Associate ExamCKA Exam4-5 WeeksNo Minimal AttemptsWait 14 days from the day you fail to take the exam againChef Certification ExamChef Cert Exam8 HoursLinkMinimal 1 week time
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How to Become a DevOps Engineer

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Test Drive Your First Istio Deployment using Play with Kubernetes Platform- Cloud Computing

As a full stack Developer, if you have been spending a lot of time in developing apps recently, you already understand a whole new set of challenges related to Microservice architecture. Although there has been a shift from bloated monolithic apps to compact, focused Microservices for faster implementation and improved resiliency but the fact is  developers have to really worry about the challenges in integrating these services in distributed systems which includes accountability for service discovery, load balancing, registration, fault tolerance, monitoring, routing, compliance, and security.Let us understand the challenges faced by the developers and operators with the Microservice Architecture in details. Consider a 1st Generation simple Service Mesh scenario. As shown below, Service (A) communicates to Service (B). Instead of communicating directly, the request gets routed via Nginx. The Nginx finds a route in Consul (A service discovery tool) and automatically retries to form the connection on HTTP 502’s happen.                                                                    Figure: 1.0 – 1st Gen Service Mesh                                                      Figure:1.1 – Cascading Failure demonstrated with the increase in the number of servicesBut, with the advent of microservices architecture, the number is growing ever since. Below are the  listed challenges encountered by both developers as well as operations team:How to make these growing microservices communicate with each other?Enabling the load balancing architectures over these microservices.Providing role-based routing for the microservices.How to implement outgoing traffic on these microservices and test canary deployment?Managing complexity around these growing pieces of microservices.Implementation of fine-grained control for traffic behavior with rich-routing rules.Challenges in implementing Traffic encryption, service-to-service authentication, and strong identity assertions.In a nutshell, although you could enable service discovery and retry logic into application or networking middleware, the fact is that service discovery becomes tricky to make it right.Enter Istio’s Service Mesh“Service Mesh” is one of the hottest buzzwords of 2018. As the name suggests, it’s a configurable infrastructure layer for a microservices app. It lays out the network of microservices that make up applications and enables interactions between them. It makes communication between service instances flexible, reliable, and fast. The mesh provides service discovery, load balancing, encryption, authentication and authorization, support for the circuit breaker pattern, and other capabilities.Istio is completely an open source service mesh that layers transparently onto existing distributed applications. Istio v1.0 got announced last month and is ready for production. It is written completely in Go Language and its a fully grown platform which provides APIs that let it integrate into any logging platform, or telemetry or policy system. This project adds a very tiny overhead to your system. It is being hosted on GitHub. Istio’s diverse feature set lets you successfully, and efficiently, run a distributed microservice architecture, and provides a uniform way to secure, connect, and monitor microservices.Figure-1.2: Istio’s CapabilityThe Istio project adds a very tiny overhead to your system. It is being hosted on GitHub. Last month, Istio 1.0 release went public and ready for production environment.What benefits does Istio bring?Istio lets you connect, secure, control, and observe services.It helps to reduce the complexity of service deployments and eases the strain on your development teams.It provides developers and DevOps fine-grained visibility and control over traffic without requiring any changes to application code.It provides CIOs with the necessary tools needed to help enforce security and compliance requirements across the enterprise.It provides behavioral insights & operational control over the service mesh as a whole.Istio makes it easy to create a network of deployed services with automatic Load Balancing for HTTP, gRPC, Web Socket & TCP Traffic.It provides fine-grained control of traffic behavior with rich routing rules, retries, failovers, and fault injection.It enables a pluggable policy layer and configuration API supporting access controls, rate limits and quotas.Istio provides automatic metrics, logs, and traces for all traffic within a cluster, including cluster ingress and egress.It provides secure service-to-service communication in a cluster with strong identity-based authentication and authorization.If you want to deep-dive into Istio architecture, I highly recommend the official Istio website.It’s Demo Time !!!Under this blog post, I will showcase how Istio can be setup on Play with Kubernetes (PWK) Platform for a free of cost. In case you’re new, Play with Kubernetes rightly aka PWK is a labs site provided by Docker. It is a playground which allows users to run K8s clusters in a matter of seconds. It gives the experience of having a free CentOS LinuxVirtual Machine in the browser. Under the hood Docker-in-Docker (DinD) is used to give the effect of multiple VMs/PCs.Open https://labs.play-with-k8s.com/ to access Kubernetes Playground.Click on the Login button to authenticate with Docker Hub or GitHub ID.Once you start the session, you will have your own lab environment.Adding First Kubernetes NodeClick on “Add New Instance” on the left to build your first Kubernetes Cluster node. It automatically names it as “node1”. Each instance has Docker Community Edition (CE) and Kubeadm already pre-installed. This node will be treated as the master node for our cluster.Bootstrapping the Master NodeYou can bootstrap the Kubernetes cluster by initializing the master (node1) node with the below script. Copy this script content into bootstrap.sh file and make it executable using “chmod +x bootstrap.sh” command.When you execute this script, as part of initialization, the kubeadm write several configuration files needed, setup RBAC and deployed Kubernetes control plane components (like kube-apiserver, kube-dns, kube-proxy, etcd, etc.). Control plane components are deployed as Docker containers.Copy the above kubeadm join token command and save it for the next step. This command will be used to join other nodes to your cluster.Adding Worker NodesClick on “Add New Node” to add a new worker node.Checking the Cluster StatusVerifying the running PodsInstalling Istio 1.0.0Istio is deployed in a separate Kubernetes namespace istio-system. We will verify it later. As of now, you can copy the below content in a file called install_istio.sh and save it. You can make it executable and run it to install Istio and related tools.You should be able to see screen flooding with the below output.As shown above, it will enable the Prometheus, ServiceGraph, Jaeger, Grafana, and Zipkin by default.Please note – While executing this script, it might end up with the below error message –unable to recognize "install/kubernetes/istio-demo.yaml": no matches for admissionregistration.k8s.io/, Kind=MutatingWebhookConfigurationThe error message is expected.As soon as the command gets executed completely, you should be able to see a long list of ports which gets displayed at the top center of the page.Verifying the ServicesExposing the ServicesTo expose Prometheus, Grafana & Servicegraph services, you will need to delete the existing services and then use NodePort instead of ClusterIP so as to access the service using the port displayed on the top of the instance page. (as shown below)You should be able to access Grafana page by clicking on “30004” port and Prometheus page by clicking on “30003”.You can check Prometheus metrics by selecting the necessary option as shown below:Under Grafana Page, you can add “Data Source” for Prometheus and ensure that the dashboard is up and running:Congratulations! You have installed Istio on Kubernetes cluster. Below listed services have been installed on K8s playground:Istio Controllers and related RBAC rulesIstio Custom Resource DefinitionsPrometheus and Grafana for MonitoringJeager for Distributed TracingIstio Sidecar Injector (we'll take a look next section)Installing IstioctlIstioctl is configuration command line utility of Istio. It helps to create, list, modify and delete configuration resources in the Istio system.Deploying the Sample BookInfo ApplicationNow Istio is installed and verified, you can deploy one of the sample applications provided with the installation- BookInfo. This is a simple mock bookstore application made up of four services that provide a web product page, book details, reviews (with several versions of the review service), and ratings - all managed using Istio.Deploying BookInfo ServicesDefining the Ingress Gateway:Verifying BookInfo ApplicationAccessing it via Web URLYou should now be able the BookInfo Sample as shown below:Hope, this Istio deployment Kubernetes tutorial helped you to successfully install Istio on Kubernetes. In the future blog post, I will deep dive into Istio Internal Architecture, traffic management, policies & telemetry in detail.
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