Category Archives: IBM

IBM Cloud tip: take advantage of tags to better manage your cloud environment

Last week I encouraged you to  consider your naming standards before adding services. This week I’d like to encourage you to use tags as well to help you manage your IBM Cloud environment.

 

As this piece from the IBM Cloud Docs on Working with tags explains, you can use tags to

organize, track usage costs, and even manage access to your resources. You can tag related resources and view them throughout your account by filtering by tags from your resource list. To see a full list of tags in your account, go to Manage > Account in the IBM Cloud® console, and select Tags. You can apply user tags to organize your resources and easily find them later or help you with identifying specific team usage or cost allocation. By creating access management tags, you can control access to your resources without requiring updates to your IAM policies.

Here’s some examples, partially taken from the same piece:

  • Use tags to identify or even manage access to your development environment, not to mention QA, UAT, Production and DR
  • Use tags to identify or even manage access to a project: project:lw-wizard, app:poc-app
  •  Use tags to define compliance requirements: dataresidency:germany, compliance:hipaa, compliance:pii
  •  Use tags to help you automate optimization: schedule:24×7, maxruntime:12days

So use tags: your IBM cloud environment will be easier to operate if you do.

For more on this, here’s a good blog post on tags, here: Characteristics of User and Access Tags on IBM Cloud | IBM

And this piece in IBM Cloud Docs is a good tutorial that will guide you:

…through the steps to centrally manage access to the resources in your account at scale (using tags). By completing this tutorial, you learn how to create an access management tag, add the tag to selected resources, and define a policy to assign access to resources based on the tags on those resources.

Good stuff. Start using tags more and you will find it much easier to manage your resources in the IBM Cloud. If you are unsure, start with a few for now (e.g. tag your production environment, tag resources belong to specific groups).  You’ll start to see the benefits soon.

On Pepper and Watson


If you have even a passing knowledge of IT, you likely have heard of Pepper and Watson. Pepper was a robot and Watson was an AI system that won at Jeopardy. Last week the Verge and the New York Times had articles on them both:

  1. Go read how Pepper was a very bad robot – The Verge
  2. What Ever Happened to IBM’s Watson? – The New York Times

I don’t have any specific insights or conclusions into either technology, other than trite summations like “cutting edge technology is hard” and “don’t believe the hype”. AI and robotics are especially hard, so the risks are high and the chances of failure are high. That comes across in these two pieces.

Companies from Tesla to Boston Dynamics and more are making grand claims about their AI and their robotics. I suspect much of it will suffer the same fate as Pepper and Watson. Like all failure, none of it is final or fatal. People learn from their mistakes and move on to make better things. AI and robotics will continue to advance…just not at the pace many would like it too.

In the meantime, go read those articles.  Especially if you are finding yourself falling for the hype.

(Image: link of image on The Verge)

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How to get up to speed really quickly on Kubernetes and Docker if you are an infrastructure specialist

If you are an infrastructure person and you are trying to ramp up really quickly on Docker and Kubernetes, here are some good links to get you started:

I also have this repo on github that can help.

Is this the last word? Good lord, no. But it can help you stay in the conversation and helps you map all this stuff to networks and processes and files and VMs and services and other tech you are used to.

You’ve heard of Google’s 8.8.8.8…now there’s 9.9.9.9 (a new DNS service from Quad9/IBM)

If you are using Google’s DNS services (i.e., you are using 8.8.8.8 for DNS services), then there is a new provider on the block you should consider: Quad9. The following links detail why you might want it, as well as how to set it up.

We need all the help we can get in dealing with malicious people and computers on the Internet. Glad to see my employer has a role in this.

Git 201: how to get to the next level with git


There are quite a few really good introductions to git. I’ve written about them here. Once you get past “git 101”, where do you go to learn more and be more productive with git? I’d like to recommend this article:
developerWorks: Learn the workings of Git, not just the commands. It should help you get to the next level. I particularly like the diagrams: there are alot of them, and they help you better understand the flow that can occur when you really start capitalizing on git.