Using Amazon Alexa to drive a radio-controlled car – Part 1

First published on Nivlesh’s personal blog at https://nivleshc.wordpress.com

Introduction

Over the Easter holidays, while watching my son play with his radio-controlled toy car, I had a strange thought pop into my head. Instead of using the sticks on the remote control, won’t it be cool to control the car by using just your voice? You could tell the car to move forward, backward, left or right. What if you could save all the moves you have asked the car to take so far and then at a later time, get the car to replay all those moves?… [Keep reading] “Using Amazon Alexa to drive a radio-controlled car – Part 1”

Using Ansible to create an inventory of your AWS resources

First published on Nivlesh’s personal blog at https://nivleshc.wordpress.com

Background

I was recently at a customer site, to perform an environment review of their AWS real-estate. As part of this engagement, I was going to do an inventory of all their AWS resources. Superficially, this sounds like an easy task, however when you consider the various regions that resources can be provisioned into, the amount of work required for a simple inventory can easily escalate.

Not being a big fan of manual work, I started to look at ways to automate this task.… [Keep reading] “Using Ansible to create an inventory of your AWS resources”

A scenario-based tutorial for Azure Kubernetes Service – Part 2

First published on Nivlesh’s personal blog at https://nivleshc.wordpress.com.

Introduction

In this blog, we will dig a little deeper into Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS). What better way to do this than by building an AKS cluster ourselves! Just a heads-up, I will be using terminology that was introduced in part 1 of this mini-blog series. If you haven’t read it, or need a refresher, you can access it at https://blog.kloud.com.au/2019/03/04/a-scenario-based-tutorial-for-azure-kubernetes-service-part-1/

Let’s start by describing the AKS cluster architecture.… [Keep reading] “A scenario-based tutorial for Azure Kubernetes Service – Part 2”

Using Ansible to deploy an AWS environment

First published at https://nivleshc.wordpress.com

Background

Over the past few weeks, I have been looking at various automation tools for AWS. One tool that seems to get a lot of limelight is Ansible, an open source automation tool from Red Hat. I decided to give it a go, and to my amazement, I was surprised at how easy it was to learn Ansible, and how powerful it can be.

All that one must do is to write up a list of tasks using YAML notation in a file (called a playbook) and get Ansible to execute it.… [Keep reading] “Using Ansible to deploy an AWS environment”

A scenario-based tutorial for Azure Kubernetes Service – Part 1

First published at https://nivleshc.wordpress.com

Introduction

Containers are gaining a lot of popularity these days. They provide an easy way to run applications, without having to worry about the underlying infrastructure.

As you might imagine, managing all these containers can become quite daunting, especially if there are numerous containers. This is where orchestration tools such as Kubernetes are very useful.

Kubernetes was developed by Google and is heavily based on their internal Borg system. It is an excellent tool to manage containers, where you provide a desired state for your containers and Kubernetes takes care of everything to ensure the containers are always in that state (for example, if a pod dies, Kubernetes will automatically start a new pod for that container, to ensure that the defined number of pods are always running).… [Keep reading] “A scenario-based tutorial for Azure Kubernetes Service – Part 1”

Replacing your Secure FTP Server with Amazon Simple Storage Service

First published at https://nivleshc.wordpress.com

Introduction

What if I told you that you could get rid of most of your servers, however still consume the services that you rely on them for? No longer will you have to worry about ensuring the servers are up all the time, that they are regularly patched and updated. Would you be interested?

To quote Werner Vogel “No server is easier to manage than no server”.

In this blog, I will show you how you can potentially replace your secure ftp servers by using Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3).… [Keep reading] “Replacing your Secure FTP Server with Amazon Simple Storage Service”

Building a Breakfast Ordering Skill for Amazon Alexa – Part 1

First published at https://nivleshc.wordpress.com

Introduction

At the AWS Summit Sydney this year, Telstra decided to host a breakfast session for some of their VIP clients. This was more of a networking session, to get to know the clients much better. However, instead of having a “normal” breakfast session, we decided to take it up one level 😉
Breakfast ordering is quite “boring” if you ask me 😉 The waitress comes to the table, gives you a menu and asks what you would like to order.… [Keep reading] “Building a Breakfast Ordering Skill for Amazon Alexa – Part 1”

Using AWS EC2 Instances to train a Convolutional Neural Network to identify Cows and Horses

First published at https://nivleshc.wordpress.com

Background

Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been a hobby of mine for years now. After playing with it approximately 8 years back, I let it lapse till early this year, and boy oh boy, how things have matured! There are products in the market these days that use some form of ML – some examples are Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa.
Computational power has increased to the point where calcuations that took months can now be done within days.… [Keep reading] “Using AWS EC2 Instances to train a Convolutional Neural Network to identify Cows and Horses”

Enabling Source Control for locally stored code using Git, Visual Studio Code and Sourcetree

First published at https://nivleshc.wordpress.com

Introduction

Coming from a system administration background, I am used to writing scripts to get mundane tasks done. Whenever I saw repeatable tasks, I saw an opportunity to script them, and pass them onto a junior to do 😉
However, writing scripts brings about its own challenges.
Ok, time to fess up 😉 Hands up those that have modified a script, only to realise that the modifications broke it! To make matters worse, you forgot to take a copy of the original!… [Keep reading] “Enabling Source Control for locally stored code using Git, Visual Studio Code and Sourcetree”

Deploying an Active Directory Forest using AWS CloudFormation

First published at https://nivleshc.wordpress.com

Introduction

Wow, it is amazing how time flies. Almost two years ago, I wrote a set of blogs that showed how one can use Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates and Desired State Configuration (DSC) scripts to deploy an Active Directory Forest automatically.
For those that would like to take a trip down memory lane, here is the link to the blog.
Recently, I have been playing with AWS CloudFormation and I am simply in awe by its power.… [Keep reading] “Deploying an Active Directory Forest using AWS CloudFormation”

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