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jjansen

About Jan

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So far Jan has created 11 blog entries.
25 11, 2020

To Cloud or not to Cloud

By |Categories: Cloud Migration|

When it comes to infrastructure we are living interesting times. Big cloud providers are fighting to get a piece of the cake and make it as big as possible by bolting additional services to it. The process of mergers and acquisitions has been going on for a number of years and now that BigTech is trying to corner the market we will see more consolidation.

We estimate the end result to be a handful of players trying to focus on specific areas and gain as much market share as possible. For example, IBM focuses on AI & NLP, Google on the

17 11, 2020

NTP Troubleshooting

By |Categories: How to|

When it comes to our on-premise cloud infrastructure we are old school. We use a RedHat RHEV visualization stack and a GlusterFS storage stack. It’s a pretty nifty setup and one can hardly call it outdated. It has been up and running for several years now with little problems.

Monitoring the infrastructure and taking care of small errors when they occur will ensure that our infrastructure is resilient and stable.

In this post we’ll share a few insights into how we troubleshoot an NTP issue which was undercover as a network stack issue.

NTP time service

To make sure that all our machines run

10 11, 2020

Databases and History Maintenance

By |Categories: Best Practices, How to|Tags: , |

Most companies have a large set of structured data. That is why it is important to keep a close eye on the constancy of that data, to make sure you have good backups and the data is always accurate, available and actionable.

One of the most frustrating questions a support engineer faces is “but can you tell us what was there before?” Many people seem to think that structured data also implies that you can tell what the data was at any point in time. As admin wizards, we pull our backups, restore them quickly on a new machine and indicate

06 11, 2020

Monitoring your cloud infrastructure

By |Categories: Best Practices, How to|Tags: , |

While most cloud providers have a monitoring system in place, we prefer to run our own. The main reason is that if you drill down you want to be able to monitor the services that are relevant to your business. This often means you monitor very specific services or build your own plugins to scan whatever you find important.

What to use

There are many monitoring solutions out there that offer a multitude of plugins and add-ons. There are two aspects to consider. You need a collector and a system to get the information to the collector. Some systems have a server

27 10, 2020

A new perspective on cloud and data backups

By |Categories: Best Practices, How to|Tags: |

Backing up critical business data is essential to ensuring business continuity in case of data breaches, system outages, cybercrime, or natural calamities.

While many service providers offer backup-as-a-service, we will not be talking about moving your personal data into the cloud.

In this paper we will be focusing on your cloud infrastructure and how you can and must be taking care of backing up relevant data, as much as you would do when you run your own in-house infrastructure.

Noteworthy, the backup strategy differs based on the type of data. But how do we differentiate the data categories? A possible way to determine

22 10, 2020

Building a Proof of Concept in the IBM Cloud in virtually no time

By |Categories: Best Practices, How to|Tags: , , |

This blog series demonstrates how easy it is to quickly build a small app based on a new or existing service and to run it as a service in the cloud.

We will build the proof-of-concept for a web app that enables people to better understand how written communication is perceived by their end-users and how to improve the tone of communication.

We’ve explored the options and we’ve selected the IBM Tone Analyzer service. Why this service? It leverages cognitive linguistic analysis to identify the tone of input content enabling users to refine and improve communications.

The diagram below describes the flow

19 10, 2020

How to build a secure proof-of-concept cloud web application

By |Categories: Best Practices, Cloud Migration, How to|Tags: , , |

In previous posts, we developed an application which uses IBM Tone Analyzer to analyze given text and return tone scoring per sentence, then we improved it into an app which evaluates the content of a web page.

In this post we will focus on security and logging. They are often considered irrelevant when it comes to proof-of-concept building to return like a boomerang when building a production-ready application. The framework we used for developing the web app provides some general security options that can easily be implemented. Addressing them from the beginning will help us prevent later security issues.

Always make

02 10, 2020

How to Improve the Look and Feel of a Cloud Foundry Application

By |Categories: Best Practices, Cloud Migration, How to|Tags: , |

In previous posts, we developed a small web application that runs in the cloud then we transformed it into an application that analyses given text and returns tone scoring per sentence. As we’ve been focusing on the functionality, the extended application was returning a rude output.

With most people judging a web app based on its look and feel, we’ll turn our bare application into something more presentable.

For this, we will use bootstrap as a CSS base and Perl HTML::Template to improve the overall readability of the code.

1. Build the Page Library

We’ll start by building a small library that

29 09, 2020

How to Extend a Basic Cloud Foundry Application

By |Categories: Best Practices, Cloud Migration, How to|Tags: , |

In this article, we will extend the simple “Hello World” routine that we created last week to a more formal use. The cloud comes with many features, so we picked one that is called “Tone Analyzer”.

The Tone Analyzer service leverages cognitive linguistic analysis to identify the tone of input content enabling users to refine and improve communications.

We will use this cloud service to transform our basic “Hello World” application into an application that analyzes given text and returns tone scoring per sentence.

Let’s find out how to extend our basic application to use the Tone Analyzer.

Getting the IBM Cloud

21 09, 2020

How to Build a Basic Cloud Foundry Application

By |Categories: Best Practices, Cloud Migration, How to|Tags: , |

In this blog series we will develop a small web application that runs in the IBM Cloud. We will be using an old fashion way called rapid application development and an old framework called Plack, a Perl-based web service.

The purpose is twofold.  It demonstrates that traditional style environments can be used to build cloud applications and it also allows us to build a proof of concept in virtually no time.

Let’s get our hands dirty…

Hello world

So here is your basic application that does the usual.

#! /usr/bin/perl

use Plack::Builder;
use Plack::Response;
use strict;

sub main {
my $env

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