HashiCorp has released v0.8 of Terraform, an open source tool that enables the building, combining and launching of programmable infrastructure providers such as Amazon Web Services, VMware vSphere, and UltraDNS. Major new functionality includes an interactive console, conditional values, and HashiCorp Vault and Nomad providers.
Project Springfield is a fuzz testing service for finding security critical bugs in software. William Blum, principal software engineering manager on the Springfield team at Microsoft Research, explains how adopting F# helped the team build the cloud service.
Amazon's Simple Queue Service (SQS) recently gained FIFO (first-in, first-out) queues, which are designed to "guarantee that messages are processed exactly once, in the order that they are sent, and without duplicates". AWS rolled out this new queue type in the US East (Ohio) and US West (Oregon) regions and "plans to make it available in many others in early 2017".
This past November, Microsoft launched, what it is calling, the Industry’s First Cloud Bot-as-a-Service platform. The Azure Bot Service is powered by the Microsoft Bot Framework and has a serverless compute back-end built on Azure Functions. Using the Bot service allows developers to build conversational applications that plug into many popular chat applications.
Enterprise cloud usage has been in the forefront of big players for the past few years. Amazon, IBM, Google and Microsoft are expanding their offerings to serve better the enterprise users and their needs. Google announced a set of machine learning based services focused on enterprise users.
The latest GitLab version, 8.15, provides new CD/CI features aimed to automate deployments on a variety of platforms and to make it easier to reach your staging or production deployments through a command line interface.
Google has introduced Actions on Google which allow developers to build Google Assistant-based conversational apps, including integration with the Google Home device.
Just days after the end of re:Invent, AWS shared news of further geographic expansion. Amazon added locations in Montréal and London, representing the 15th and 16th regions of the AWS cloud.
The CNCF have released version 1.5 of the Kubernetes container orchestration system. Core improvements focus on beta functionality associated with deployment and scaling of stateful applications, and making it possible to perform cluster operations without disrupting applications. Alpha support has also been added for Windows Server 2016 nodes and the scheduling of Windows Server Containers.
Hardening Docker containers in production involves a combination of techniques including making them immutable, minimizing the attack surface and applying both standard Linux hardening procedures as well as ones that are specific to a container environment.
Microsoft recently announced an addition to its Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering called Azure Functions. Initially launched as a preview service in March 2016, Azure Functions provide developers with an event-driven serverless compute platform that allow organizations to pay for only what they consume.
At the recent AWS re:Invent conference, Amazon introduced a preview of their deep learning technology called Amazon Lex which can be used to build conversational interfaces using voice and text. Amazon Lex is powered on the same deep learning technology as Alexa, which is used in the portable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled Amazon Echo speaker.
At their annual re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, AWS unleashed a flurry of announcements about upcoming cloud services. Amazon outlined over two dozen new capabilities coming to the public cloud, including directly querying data in S3 object storage, building code as part of deployment pipelines, provisioning cheap virtual private servers, and moving data in bulk, ETL-style.
Amazon has launched Lightsail, a Virtual Private Server (VPS) service to compete with companies like Digital Ocean, Linode and the multitude of Low End Box providers. The service bundles a basic Linux virtual machine with SSD storage and a bandwidth allowance. Pricing starts at $5/month with tiers by RAM allocation. Each larger configuration comes with more storage and bandwidth.
At the AWS re:Invent 2016 conference, held in Las Vegas, USA, a distributed tracing service named AWS X-Ray was released in preview within all 12 public AWS Regions. In a similar fashion to Google’s Dapper, Twitter’s Zipkin and the OpenTracing API, AWS X-Ray helps developers analyse and debug distributed applications, such as those built using a microservices architectural style.