Going from a Value Stream Map to Value Stream Optimisation

Read this blog if you already have a Value Stream Map (VSM) and you are wondering how to reap its benefits using a structured process. If you need to know why and how you should make a VSM, please read the article ‘How to create a Value Stream Map’ written by my colleague Michiel Sens. Don’t forget to return here.

1. Read your VSM

So, how does a VSM look like? Depending on the linearity of a process people either display the process based on activities per role or by a flow of process steps.

Fig 1a. Process steps as a flow

VSM Linear process

Fig 1b. Activities per role
VSM activities per role

Even better is to combine the two approaches to get an idea of work per role as well as the overall process flow.
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Build and secure containers to support your CI/CD pipeline

There are 2 systems in any company that are critical: the payroll system, and the CI/CD system. Why? You may ask…
If the payroll system doesn’t work, people will leave the company and the company (may) face legal problems; the CI/CD system is the gateway to production. If it is down and there is a bug in production, it will affect your business; loss of revenue, loss of customers, loss of money, just to name a few.

Usually, I find these problems regarding the CI/CD tooling:

  • Poor Software Lifecycle Management, with outdated software, containing critical vulnerabilities
  • Ancient capabilities in the build agents. In extreme cases, frameworks and tools that are no longer supported by the vendors
  • Drifting agents. It means that teams had to do some sorcery to get the software build
  • Lack of proper isolation between different builds. It means that a build could access to another build files
  • Lead teams to upgrade or install a new framework
  • Outdated and strict rules mandated by a operations team. Usually from people that outdated heuristics on how software should be developed

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Kubernetes in the cloud: the 6 best options

The container wars are over. Kubernetes has won. The fact that Docker even integrates it in it’s desktop version says enough. But creating and maintaining a K8S cluster is still hard. You need to know a lot of the internals of Kubernetes, like etcd, overlay networking and more. And you need to be an expert in all the components: ingress, configmaps, pods and so on. So think twice before creating and managing your own cluster. Instead, choose one of the managed Kubernetes services.

Running Kubernetes in the cloud

Until a few months ago, your best (and probably only) option to run a cluster in the cloud was GKE. But things have changed. There are a lot of viable alternatives. So I decided to write a blog about these alternatives. In my blog I cover Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), Tectonic by CoreOs, Azure Container Service (AKS), Openshift by Red Hat and Rancher 2.0. All of  them are fully managed and take care of upgrading, scaling and monitoring your cluster. And if you reall want to run your own Kubernetes, take a look at the various tools that exist to spin up a cluster. These tools are maturing pretty quickly. Just keep in mind: managing a cluster is harder than just creating one!

Read more on the blogpost on Instruqt

Learning by doing

If you want to try out Kubernetes yourself, learn more about it on Instruqt. It offers online courses and tracks for DevOps tools and Cloud services. By solving challenges, you will learn new stuff by doing, instead of watching video’s or following boring tutorials. Try it out for yourself and create an account on Instruqt. And please let us know what you think, we love to get your feedback. And if you are interested in using Instruqt in your company, let’s get a coffee!

Kubernetes on Instruqt

A screenshot of the online course for Kubernetes

 

The eight practices for Containerized Delivery on the Microsoft stack – PRACTICE 8: Environment-as-code pipeline and individual pipeline

This post is originally published as article within SDN Magazine on October 13th, 2017.

During the past year I supported several clients in their journey toward Containerized Delivery on the Microsoft stack. In this blogseries I’d like to share eight practices I learned while practicing Containerized Delivery on the Microsoft stack using Docker, both in a Greenfield and in a Brownfield situation. In the last blogpost of this series I want to talk about Environment-as-code pipeline and individual pipelines.
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The eight practices for Containerized Delivery on the Microsoft stack – PRACTICE 7: Explicit dependency management

This post is originally published as article within SDN Magazine on October 13th, 2017.

During the past year I supported several clients in their journey toward Containerized Delivery on the Microsoft stack. In this blogseries I’d like to share eight practices I learned while practicing Containerized Delivery on the Microsoft stack using Docker, both in a Greenfield and in a Brownfield situation. In the seventh blogpost of this series I want to talk about Explicit Dependency Management.

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The eight practices for Containerized Delivery on the Microsoft stack – PRACTICE 6: Dealing with secrets

This post is originally published as article within SDN Magazine on October 13th, 2017.

During the past year I supported several clients in their journey toward Containerized Delivery on the Microsoft stack. In this blogseries I’d like to share eight practices I learned while practicing Containerized Delivery on the Microsoft stack using Docker, both in a Greenfield and in a Brownfield situation. In the sixth blogpost of this series I want to talk about Dealing with secrets.
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The eight practices for Containerized Delivery on the Microsoft stack – PRACTICE 5: Secure Containerized Delivery

This post is originally published as article within SDN Magazine on October 13th, 2017.

During the past year I supported several clients in their journey toward Containerized Delivery on the Microsoft stack. In this blogseries I’d like to share eight practices I learned while practicing Containerized Delivery on the Microsoft stack using Docker, both in a Greenfield and in a Brownfield situation. In the fifth blogpost of this series I want to talk about Secure Containerized Delivery.
Read more →

The eight practices for Containerized Delivery on the Microsoft stack – PRACTICE 4: Group Managed Service Accounts

This post is originally published as article within SDN Magazine on October 13th, 2017.

During the past year I supported several clients in their journey toward Containerized Delivery on the Microsoft stack. In this blogseries I’d like to share eight practices I learned while practicing Containerized Delivery on the Microsoft stack using Docker, both in a Greenfield and in a Brownfield situation. In the fourth blogpost of this series I want to talk about Group Managed Service Accounts.
Read more →

The eight practices for Containerized Delivery on the Microsoft stack – PRACTICE 3: Keep your Windows Containers up-to-date

This post is originally published as article within SDN Magazine on October 13th, 2017.

During the past year I supported several clients in their journey toward Containerized Delivery on the Microsoft stack. In this blogseries I’d like to share eight practices I learned while practicing Containerized Delivery on the Microsoft stack using Docker, both in a Greenfield and in a Brownfield situation. In the third blogpost of this series I want to talk about Keeping your Windows Containers up-to-date.
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The eight practices for Containerized Delivery on the Microsoft stack – PRACTICE 2: Multi-stage builds

This post is originally published as article within SDN Magazine on October 13th, 2017.

During the past year I supported several clients in their journey toward Containerized Delivery on the Microsoft stack. In this blogseries I’d like to share eight practices I learned while practicing Containerized Delivery on the Microsoft stack using Docker, both in a Greenfield and in a Brownfield situation. In the second blogpost of this series I want to talk about
Multi-stage builds.
Read more →