Do I Need An Operator?

Operators have become a hot new pattern in use among cloud native organizations. There are libraries, frameworks, talks at conferences, and so much more talking about them.

There is good reason for this. Operators can be incredibly useful. Operators enable the codification of operations business logic into an application that can oversee an application. What is often in a Runbook for an operations person to perform when an incident or event occurs can now happen automatically.

Then there are tools like Crossplane that make it possible to use services, like MySQL, in a cross cloud compatible manner as a SaaS. In fact, operators have made it much easier to run a SaaS within a Kubernetes cluster in general.

There are some who tell me that everything needs an operator. That it’s a requirement for every application running in a cluster, a panacea, or a silver bullet. This isn’t the case either. I’ve seen cases where focus and work on an operator has lead to an application and overall experiences that failed to meet any form of user needs.

If operators are useful but should not be applied to every situation it’s worth asking, when should we use operators?

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2020 CNCF TOC Election Guide

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) is having its annual Technical Oversight Committee (TOC) elections. With an existing member up for re-election and new people running it can be useful to know who the people are and what they have done.

If you’re not familiar with these elections, there are 3 different bodies who elect members to the TOC. The Governing Board, the End User group, and the project maintainers. If you want to know which group appointed a member, it is listed on the TOC GitHub page.

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Please Make Your Websites Archivable

The Way Back Machine, part of the Internet Archive, backs up the web for us. As websites come, change, and go it provides access to that rich history. But, many sites are built in a manner that doesn’t backup the information well or at all. This leads to lost history.

Below is a screenshot of the CloudDevelop conference. The domain recently lapsed as the conference is no longer around. The site as captured by the Internet Archive doesn’t have details on speakers or sessions.

CloudDevelop conference as seen by Internet Archive

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Lessons Learned From The Stall of Drupal

Drupal is a web platform, for lack of a better term, that I previously used a lot. I was a paid professional, like so many others. Drupal enabled people to build semi-complex websites quickly. This has lead me to keep an eye on it over the years.

When I was reading the 2019 editon of the Stack Overflow survey I noticed that Drupal is now the least loved and most dreaded of the “web frameworks”. Yikes!

Drupal sites can, also, report their version usage back to the Drupal project. The image below is a snapshot in time from the usage.

Drupal usage up to January 2020

Drupal 7, which was superseded by Drupal 8 more than 4 years ago, still has 2.5 times the number of sites reporting in. And, Drupal usage has hit a plateau. Double Yikes!

As someone who works on other open source projects these days (ones that are currently fairly popular), I wanted to take some time to see what had changed with Drupal over time. What lead so many people to dislike it.

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Usefulness of Security Audits

Today, the Helm Maintainers are proud to announce that we have successfully completed a 3rd party security audit for Helm 3. Helm has been recommended for public deployment.

Helm, the package manager for Kubernetes, just completed its first security audit. This is one of the benefits of being a CNCF project.

As with every security audit I’ve been involved with, I learned something new. I was also reminded of some things I’ve forgotten. Reading the results of the security audit were a benefit to me, personally. They helped with my growth.

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