Every year the summer months in the UK and all over I guess are a good time to start not only reflecting but also thinking about things, last year we worked on some pretty interesting Infrastructure as code as part of a project that saw a lot of good content come out around deploying Veeam components using Terraform and CHEF, this actually made up the majority of our VMworld session and a few other events thereafter.
This summer I felt it was now around the right time to use these slowly dwindling 3 weeks of summer before we head to VMworld to really focus in on some of the new “Cloud Computing” or “Cloud Native” areas that I have thus far only really brushed over and know enough to ask questions but very little to add input or ideas around.
Every one of us trains in different ways, some love to read, some love to watch and some love to listen and there are people that span all or some of those formats. For me the best form of training is watching and listening, training videos and podcasts are my go-to at least to start then its hands on and make something work. I am not a classroom fan, never have been… brings back too many memories of school, and reading is only good for getting to sleep. I will say though that I have found my happy medium when it comes to “reading” and that’s Audible, I have simply amazed myself with the number of books I have been through so far this year. Amazing for someone that only really read maybe a book a year.
Ok so you think you want to learn Cloud Native… where do you start. I don’t know.
The first resource I found through sharing and in fact I believe it was Nick Howell now Field CTO at NetApp for their Cloud Data Services Business Unit was the “CNCF Cloud Native Interactive Landscape” this my friends is a monster syllabus for learning Cloud Native!
At the time of writing this post there are 1,172 cards, this is a really good resource as this is the bible and is constantly updated.
The screen grab I took is barely visible, the landscape is vast and someone coming from an infrastructure point of view may be absolutely overwhelmed at first. I know I am and was even more so a few weeks back.
Where do you start?
Before you start you need to understand what the focus and end game is, for me my end game is to know more about these areas so that I can understand how and what pain points customers are having as they move into this new way of IT delivery.
I come from an Infrastructure point of view, I know Storage systems very well, I know virtualisation very well, backup and more recently I have let’s say dabbled into automation and configuration space.
For me looking at that above matrix of all these vendors of which some I have never heard of it was overwhelming, but when you actually look at the sections it became a lot clearer for me.
The first area I want to focus on is Infrastructure as code but on this chart really the focus is “Provisioning – Automation & Configuration” 72 cards in total of vendors again some of which I had never come across.
The reason for this choice is I know the infrastructure side of things and this section by all accounts allows me to take that infrastructure and automate the deployment and configuration of the different aspects.
Let’s work back one step
I mentioned that I know how I train and how I learn but before you get started on any personal project you need to make sure you know where or at least roughly where your education material is going to come from.
Over the last few years I have defaulted to checking Pluralsight first for video training, I am extremely lucky that as part of my #CiscoChampion and #vExpert membership I receive a rolling 12-month free subscription for the service. I would argue this is one of the most valuable perks of being in the advocacy programs. And if you don’t use it you absolutely should.
There is a course there that I fully intend to start with once I get through some podcasts on the same topic.
Infrastructure from Code: The Big Picture Now it is from 2017 so I don’t know if it’s going to throw things off to what we have today. But the premise of the course and overview is going to be a good primer and probably the level of education I need today.
My second pick for a resource of where I am going to get going is with this podcast that started at the very beginning of 2019 and it’s a weekly podcast so quite easy to get caught up moving forward. The podcast is CloudSkills.fm and is hosted by Mike Pfeiffer and listening to the opening show from January 2019 I was like well this is exactly where I am at.
The first show as I said was an introduction and touches on some of the certifications and training out there in this space. The second episode gives a good 30-minute primer on Infrastructure As Code. It’s here that cemented the fact that IAC should be the first endeavour for the summer project.
This is a great listen and a great list of resources to get started, in particular Terraform is going to be a huge player moving forward.
I will go into more detail on what I find as well as anymore great resources that I find on the way, next up expect to see a post specifically on Infrastructure As Code.