Notebook

System monitoring: summoning the beast of a thousand eyes

a peacock, tail fully extended
Here's looking at you, kid

System monitoring. A pretty vital part of any network management. That is, unless you're one of the few who live for the visceral thrill of flying blind. For the rest of us partial to our lack of heart condition, an ounce of prevention is worth ten thousand gallons of Saturday morning intervention.

In this blog entry, I'll go through the exercise of putting together a simple but working and easily extensible system monitoring setup leveraging common pieces of technology.

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Reduce and Conquer

Bulbophyllum falcatum
reducin' all the way

In an ecosystem riddled with large, portentous frameworks, [Redux][] is a refreshingly ascetic little store management system. Driven more by its functional programming-inspired tenets than supporting code, it offers — and needs — only a few helper functions to manage its stores.

Minimalism is good. It's also a good idea to abstract oft-used patterns into more expressive forms. Ideally, code should be crafted such that its intent comes out on first read, while making deeper digs possible when required.

Happily enough, the judicious use of delightfully succinct higher-order functions is often all that's required to tailor-suit some ergonomics into the manipulation of middleware and reducers. This blog entry will showcase some of those helper functions that work for me.

This article assumes you're already familiar with Redux. If this isn't the case, you might want to check out first one of my [previous articles][pollux], which provides a gentler, if a tad unconventional, introduction to the framework.

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Twenty Thoughts

Yesterday marked our 20th anniversary.

It’s been an awesome ride and we’re grateful for the opportunity to have enjoyed every moment with so many wonderful partners, clients, and colleagues. This weekend, I had an opportunity to spend a few minutes to sit back and reflect on the experiences of the past twenty years as well as the path forward to the next twenty.

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JSON Schema, shortly

a stenograph - picture by Chatsam / CC-BY-SA-3.0
optimizing that whole typety-type business thing - picture by Chatsam / CC-BY-SA-3.0

JSON Schema is a neat way to describe or prescribe structural expectations of JSON documents (or, indeed, any data structure, let it be a JavaScript plain object or the equivalent in another language). But JSON schemas are themselves JSON documents and, while machines love a good ol’ JSON format, let’s face it: for us humans it’s a lengthy, picky, and mildly onerous format to write and read.

Fortunately, there are many ways to craft JSON schemas while circumventing most of its JSON-born tediousness. Let me show you a few of them.

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Writing Infrastructure as Code

HashiCorp Terraform
HashiCorp Terraform

When we developed the TPC 2017 mobile application, we wanted to create a repeatable process for delivering white-labeled mobile applications in this space. This new delivery model did not end with the mobile application’s UI and data. The backend had to be configuration-driven and easy to redeploy as well. This way we can spin up a mobile application with a working backend in minutes.

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Meet Julie Vo

Julie Vo
Julie Vo

Meet Julie Vo. In this latest post in our interview series, we’d like to introduce you to our own Julie Vo, the newest member of the Infinity family. She is on our Consulting team as a project manager.

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So much #speakerlife!

This summer I had the wonderful opportunity to represent Infinity and speak at a number of conferences. Earlier in the year I was doing a much better job of keeping up with writing up my experiences at each conference soon after it happened, but as things got busy over the summer, I got behind. Below the fold, I’ll do a brief recap of each of the five (yes, five!) conferences I’ve spoken at and not yet recapped here.

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Meet Eric Wagoner

Eric Wagoner
Eric Wagoner

In this latest post in our interview series, we’d like to introduce you to our own Eric Wagoner, the magnificent man of many talents. He is one of our senior developers.

Name, Company, Title, City

Eric Wagoner, Infinity Interactive, Senior Developer, Athens Georgia

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Azure Automation Made Easy

Microsoft Azure Cloud
Azure supports multiple platforms

So, what is Azure? Azure is Microsoft’s cloud solution. It’s a collection of services used to build, deploy, and manage applications. We do a lot of work with Azure here at Infinity. The great thing about Azure is that it’s not limited to Microsoft platforms but also fully supports PHP, Node, Linux, and many other Open Source technologies.

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