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Joe Gardiner Posts

InSpec on Azure at Tech Days NL 2016

Tech Days NL ran on thr 4th and 5th of October 2016 at the RAI centre in Amsterdam. It was a great event with an amazing number of tracks running in parallel. The number of delegates and speakers was truly impressive- great job Microsoft! I was fortunate to be invited to speak at the event. An area of increasing importance is the automation of security and compliance so it made sense to speak about how this is possible with InSpec on Microsoft’s cloud platform, Azure. Here’s the video of my talk. Traditionally, regulatory compliance has been at odds with making…

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InSpec and Chef – compliance as code

InSpec is an opensource language that can be used to assess the state of systems. It can form integration tests, but more importantly, with additional meta information, can create so called compliance profiles. These represent either business requirements or industry standards such as ISO 27001 and CIS. On the 12th October I presented with Christoph Hartmann at the London Chef Summit on the subject of InSpec. We spoke about the changes in InSpec 1.0 and gave a demo showing how you can use InSpec in your cookbooks for integration tests, and to produce compliance profiles that can be applied at…

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Slow Knife? Speed up with Knife rehash

The Chef DK includes a tool called Knife. This is primarily used for interaction with remote resources in Chef, such as the Chef Server and Chef managed nodes, but can be used for managing other remote systems too. Here’s the description from the Chef Docs. knife is a command-line tool that provides an interface between a local chef-repo and the Chef server. It’s a great tool and a vital part of any Chef administration tasks. Unfortunately Ruby on Windows is slower than Linux and so Windows users sometimes experience performance issues. Check out the result of the following running…

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Bootstrapping Windows nodes behind a firewall with Knife

Using knife to bootstrap a node to be managed with Chef is a fundamental part of the Chef workflow, especially for dev and test purposes. When you bootstrap a node you are preparing the node to communicate with the Chef Server so it can download the cookbooks and recipes you have defined in its run-list, and eventually match the state you have defined in your Chef code.

As part of the bootstrapping process for Windows the chef-client package is retrieved from the website. You can see this in the process output.

If working in a locked down…

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Installing .NET 4.6.1 on Windows Server 2012 R2 with Chef

Recently I was lucky enough to take part in a ‘hackathon’ with Chef, Microsoft and a partner company based in Norway. It was a great week working with some amazing people! One of the challenges we faced was automating the installation of .NET 4.6.1; a requirement of the application that was the focus of the week long event. We struggled with automatically determining whether the package should be installed on the system, and then triggering a reboot in the correct order to allow IIS configuration to complete. Here’s the Windows package resource we used to install .NET originally.


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View speaker notes whilst presenting over a screen share on OSX

I deliver many presentations over various teleconferencing software from my Mac Book Pro. If you like to use speaker notes in presenter view in Powerpoint then this poses a problem. You have a single screen so when sharing it how can you also view notes? You could aways just add second monitor and share the primary presentation screen, but what if you’re on the move or in a call booth? There is a workaround, but it requires an iOS device with iOS 7.0+. By using the Duest Display app you can turn your iOS device into a secondary screen. This…

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