DevOps Playground Meetup #7: Hands on with Kubernetes

DevOps Playground Meetup #7: Hands on with Kubernetes

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Our 7th DevOps Playground focused on Kubernetes: an open-source platform for automating deployment, scaling, and operating application containers across a cluster.

On Thursday 29th September, we once again hosted our well-loved DevOps Playground. At these events, we provide the opportunity for anyone to explore and use the newest and most popular technology the industry has to offer.

Last Thursday was one of our biggest turnouts. We had 20+ awesome practitioners turn up for their chance to get some hand on experience with Google’s Kubernetes (and the obligatory pizza and beer!)

Content for the evening was designed and created by our very own Mourad Trabelsi with myself and other ECS Digital guys supporting the event (drinking the beer and eating the pizza).

Why did we choose Kubernetes?

As an Automation house and DevOps heavy weight, we know the importance of microservice architecture and containerization.

A number of large clients have scaling issues – not routed in their ability to produce scalable products – but in their ability to manage massively complex estates with thousands (sometimes millions) of moving parts.

Tools such as Docker can struggle to schedule and manage tasks across multiple nodes in your cluster, and really work best when you’re able to manually manipulate and configure on a single host.

This is why we often need to bring other players into the mix.

Kubernetes, commonly referred to as “k8s”, is an open-source container cluster manager, originally designed by Google and donated to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. It is both a powerful and free tool.

It aims to provide a “platform for automating deployment, scaling, and operations of application containers across clusters of hosts“, providing container-centric infrastructure. It enables better control over your container ecosystem.

Hands on with Kubernetes

We began the evening by generating an AWS instance for each of the attendees to build their clusters within. We provide credentials to access a sandboxed area of our own development Amazon account, so that our attendees can get down to the good stuff and not waste time on loading screens (an inevitability when we all have different laptops running different operating systems and configuration).

We deployed containers, duplicated them, introduced a load balance in front of them and performed a rolling update on all of the created containers.

We used two versions of the same nginx Docker container (nginx:1.10, nginx:1.11.4) to represent a periodic update that happens regularly, in the real world.



If you missed the playground, our toys are still available to access on GitHub.

Thanks to everyone who came along. We always enjoy sharing our knowledge, pizza and beer! We hope everyone had a great time and learned something new.

As always, we’d love to hear any ideas and suggestions you might have for our next event. 

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Morgan AtkinsDevOps Playground Meetup #7: Hands on with Kubernetes
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DevOps Playground Meetup #4: Hands on with Packer

DevOps Playground Meetup #4: Hands on with Packer

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Fourth meetup and counting!

Thursday’s DevOps Playground was the biggest gathering at Forest Technologies so far.

The fourth instalment focused on the HashiCorp Packer tool and was presented by our very own Ivan Audisio.

The purpose: to provide an environment where we can nurture our thirst for knowledge (and maybe a beer or two) by giving the opportunity to get hands on with some of the latest DevOps tools.

HashiCorp’s Packer

Packer is a tool that allows us to create machine and container images for multiple platforms. It is a very small and simple tool to set up, that only needs a JSON template to run.

After dumping our files into a folder, we were good to mess around with the code.


For those familiar with creating Virtual Machines, you might know that it can be a time consuming activity. Thanks to Packer, we were able to show that a fully functioning OS can be installed and configured with an apache server, using just one simple command.

Our playground only gave us time to generate one image for VirtualBox, but the possibilities are endless.

All of our participants were left with enough knowledge to know how to use Packer to create identical images for multiple platforms, using the source configuration file that we used.

Everything we ran through can be found on our GitHub page. We have uploaded all of the files that were used in the playground and also another template to create an image under AWS as promised. You can get to it by clicking here.

We would like to thank once again all the participants of Thursday’s meetup. We hope that you enjoyed the playground as much as we did preparing it for you. Your good vibes are giving us great enthusiasm to continue these events that are becoming tradition for us.

We hope to see you again in our next meetup! You can keep yourself up to date with upcoming events by checking our Meetup page or following us on Twitter!


Ivan.AudisioDevOps Playground Meetup #4: Hands on with Packer
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Beer, Pizza, 150 People and Thought Provoking discussion – LondonDevOps

Beer, Pizza, 150 People and Thought Provoking discussion – LondonDevOps

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It was a privilege to host and sponsor the 7th LondonDevOps meetup at our offices. It looked a little ambitious that we would fill all the chairs, let alone consume the wall of beer we had laid on but as you can see by the photos we had a packed house.

It was great to meet so many people with a variety of thoughts and approaches on DevOps. First up to present was Ruxit’s Alois Reitbauer discussing ”
The Dark Art of Building an Alerting System”.

Next up was Gareth Rusgrove from Puppetlabs and DevOps weekly with a thought provoking presentation on the ”
The end of the general purpose operating system”. His deck can be found here.

To help everone digest the information from the presentations it was time for a present from Papa Johns (30 to be precise), more beer and time to discuss those topics and more amongst ourselves. The brave continued on to the bar downstairs.

Following some serious work and grovelling to our cleaner our office returned to it’s usual serene format.

It really was great to see everyone and we can’t wait for the next gathering. Thanks again to our friends at Crane Software for arranging and everyone who attended.

Cy NichollsBeer, Pizza, 150 People and Thought Provoking discussion – LondonDevOps
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