Approximate Times to Update an RDS Instance

Here’s a quick overview from an upgrade a couple months ago of an RDS instance type db.t2.medium to type db.r3.large. In addition to changing the instance type, we upgraded the disk from 64GB to 100GB, and applied a new parameter group. The disk increase by far took the longest amount of time. We clocked in at ever so slightly over an hour for the disk increase, while the instance upgrade only took a bit over 16 minutes. [Read More]

Configuring Chef for Provisioning

If you’re working with infrastructure its good practice to describe it using code so that it is reproducible and consistent across servers and development environments. I’ve used Chef for quite some time and feel it is a pretty natural way to represent the source of truth for your servers, the packages installed on them, and their configuration. Chef can also be used as a provisioning tool, to bring your servers to life configured exactly to your specifications. [Read More]

Running Strace in Docker

I’ve been reverse engineering a new application setup and seemed like an appropriate place to try out docker. Spinning up a lightweight and reproducible environment is the goal and containerization is a reasonably efficient way to accomplish that. As I was looking into a problem with getting some services running properly, with little debug output and sparse documentation, I reached for the old trusty strace to see what was going on. [Read More]

Dynamically Update Hypervisor Guest Info in Chef With Rehai

Introduction It turns out this little tool is long overdue, as simple of a concept as it is, but also easy to misunderstand the use cases for, ours at Etsy however was very targeted. Several years ago we were hammering out our internal cloud infrastructure, using KVM/QEMU based solution that you can read about over here. We were populating our virtual machine frontend using Chef Ohai data as the canonical source of our system information. [Read More]

Building Your Own Cloud From Scratch

Intro There are a lot of private cloud solutions out there with great things built into them already to complete a full cloud stack – networking, dashboards, storage, and a framework that puts all the pieces together, amongst other things. But there is also a decent amount of overhead to getting these frameworks setup, and maybe you want more flexibility over some of the components, or even just something a little more homegrown. [Read More]

Using Amazon Relational Database Service

Intro Amazon recently released a new service that makes it easier set up, operate, and scale a relational database in the cloud called Amazon Relational Database Service. The service, based on MySQL for now, has its pluses and minuses and you should decide whether it fits your needs. The advantages are that it has an automated backup system that lets you restore to any point within the last 5 minutes and also allows you to easily take a snapshot at any time. [Read More]