4 minute read

A glut of tools this week covering testing utilities, security configurations, monitoring dashboards and cloud management tools. Also a special mention for Test Kitchen which features in a few articles this week. With the merging of the 1.0 branch this is worth looking at now if you’re a Chef user or a particularly enthusiastic Puppet user with Puppet support coming soon. It’s a great example of open source in action.


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Devops State of the Union 2013 presentation from Devopsdays Austin. Digs into the different tribes around company culture, with lots of examples and some good books to add to your reading list.

Devops is often talked about in terms of bringing development best practice to infrastructure. This screencast covers using Chef, Berkshelf, Vagrant and Test Kitchen to do test driven development for a simple chef cookbook.

Assuming the above article has sold you on using Test Kitchen you might be thinking about another good development practice - continuous integration. This next post covers setting Test Kitchen up with Jenkins to run your tests after each commit.

Interesting article on the move towards distributed application design as more and more apps move to IaaS or PaaS platforms. Provides a set of good questions to ask yourself as well as a worked example of a image resizing service.

O’Reilly continue with releasing free short ebooks (you just need to provide name and email address), this one is on The Human Side of Postmortems - Managing Stress and Cognitive Biases. Looks excellent.

Good detailed writeup of moving a development environment to one using Vagrant. Some practical discussion of issues and trade-offs like whether to build custom boxes and how to manage many services during development.

Especially in the Ruby world it’s becoming quite common to bundle the runtime with the application. This post covers how to do that with JRuby and Bundler using jruby-complete. This makes even more sense when shipping to Java environments that are used to Jar and War based deployments.

I don’t think I’ve included a “what is devops” post for a while and I do like finding new ones. I think it’s interesting seeing how people come to devops and how the attempts to define things change over time.


7digital Ltd. is a leading digital media delivery company based in Shoreditch, London and operating globally. We’re small, fast, innovative and bursting at the seams with people passionate about music and technology. Half the organisation is made up of tech people (Devs, DBA, Systems etc) and our CEO is a geek. We’ve got good at delivering our products and services at a fast pace in an iterative manner, but the faster we move the more apparent it is we need to be able to change our infrastructure just as quickly and reliably. We need a super-talented and enthusiastic Web Ops Engineer / Sys Admin who is keen to work in a highly collaborative manner to build a more robust, reliable and more highly automated platform which can cope with scaling up to meet the ever increasing demand.

At Songkick, every day we come to work excited to help music fans see their favorite artists on tour. We’re looking for a systems engineer to add to our expertise in systems infrastructure and operational excellence. You’d be joining our talented engineering team located in London, UK and enjoying perks such as stock options, a fridge full of food and a team of intelligent, witty colleagues.


If you’re using Puppet and Red Hat then you need this module. It implements the Center for Internet Security (CIS) Security Configuration Benchmark. This makes lots of low level config changes which should improve the security of a base image.

Performance testing web applications often ignores the impact of the client, or at least doesn’t involve this in automated testing. wbench aims to fix that, providing a command line tool that interacts with Chrome and provides nice and useful output regarding browser performance.

Test Kitchen is fast becoming an essential tool for testing configuration management code. Guard Kitchen integrates Test Kitchen with Guard, which will automatically run your tests when things change.

If you’re building Ruby applications you have to work quite hard to build good logging into applications. Logging4hackers is a project to improve that, the README has lots of good patterns and sensible complaints about current approaches.

Dusk is another dashboard for Graphite. This one is based on the cubism.js library and aims to highlight hotspots across a cluster.

Overmind is an attempt to build a unified interface to various cloud providers. It exposes a RESTful API built on top of libcloud and currently supports EC2 and Rackspace.