The Whiteboard Sessions: Introducing a New Tech Paper Series

August 10, 2017 Jared Ruckle

What do you do after you've helped some of the world's largest companies get better at writing software?

You tell others about it. You explain how they too can get better at software. You distill the most important concepts, and offer pragmatic, highly technical guidance.

That’s the goal of a new series of whitepapers written by Pivotal’s platform architects and subject matter experts. We want to share the patterns and practices we’ve helped craft and implement at enterprises around the world.

The insights and rich, elaborate detail in each paper come from years of shoulder-to-shoulder technical work alongside application developers, security and compliance experts, enterprise architects, and operations teams. The authors have worked with top brands across industries like banking, insurance, healthcare, telecommunications, automotive, retail, and manufacturing.

Amazing things can happen when you combine a will to adapt and change with technical wizardry. These papers make the amazing more accessible to any big company.

Let’s review the first 4 papers, now available for download.

Unlocking Operational Efficiency with BOSH

BOSH is the best-kept secret in cloud. Peter Blum aims to change that with this technical primer.

Developers tend to dabble in the latest tech, and create application stacks that are dynamic and fluid. Under this backdrop, how can operators be expected to deliver enterprise-grade scalability and stability? With BOSH! BOSH is an open source tool chain for release engineering, deployment, and lifecycle management of large-scale, distributed services.

BOSH gives operators a single way to manage multiple systems across multiple clouds. A few more teasers about BOSH that Peter expounds upon in the paper:

  • BOSH is unique in the tooling ecosystem, providing a single pane of glass to manage infrastructure, software packages, and configuration.

  • BOSH relieves operator headaches by keeping systems online, healthy, and performant, from deployment through Day 2 activities.

  • BOSH started as an open-source project  in 2011. The project has matured under the watchful eye of the community. It’s now battle-tested technology that supports both Linux and Windows Server!

  • BOSH empowers operators with a simple, powerful, and consistent operational governance model across internal and external cloud infrastructure.

  • BOSH is the key that allows operators to gain efficiencies across multiple developer abstractions. BOSH is the unified backbone to Cloud Foundry, Kubo, and important data services.

The paper includes a slew of handy diagrams, a glossary of terms, and a step-by-step review of how you use the BOSH CLI to deploy Postgres on vSphere.

Download the paper

A Primer on PCI Compliance with Pivotal Cloud Foundry

Very little happens in enterprise IT without security and compliance teams giving the green light.

And so it goes for companies that host credit card information and related metadata. Here, Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance is in play.

This paper helps compliance teams get comfortable with Pivotal Cloud Foundry for this use case.

Security and compliance guru John Field explains, in exquisite detail, how to achieve PCI compliance with Pivotal Cloud Foundry at the core of your application stack.

Of course, the PCI DSS standard is not just a technical question. Rather, it is a matter of people, process, and technology. These considerations are addressed, requirement by requirement.

Want even more context? The author is meticulous! The paper includes links to public Pivotal Tracker stories that map to specific sections of the PCI standard. (Here’s an example). For those who wade through complex regulations often, this granularity is a boon.

Companies are realizing they can improve velocity while simultaneously boosting compliance. This paper is further proof of how Pivotal Cloud Foundry makes it a reality.

Download the paper

Speed Thrills: How to Harness the Power of CI/CD for Your Development Team

Let’s start with some real talk: Your code is worthless until it’s in the hands of users. Risk and uncertainty accumulate the longer you hold on to code.

Thankfully, the industry has responded with a solution to this problem, a category of tools and processes collectively called “Continuous Integration & Continuous Delivery.” Use CI/CD strategically and you can accelerate the pace of software delivery in your organization.

Companies with the shortest time-to-value adapt to changing market conditions faster than their competitors. Do it right, and you can boost code quality and security too.

So, how do you go about it? Ben Kamysz has you covered. In this paper, he details how to reform your tools and processes in 7 steps. The adoption of source control, build automation tools, and how to revamp testing and deployment are discussed.

The next logical question: Now that you’ve embarked on this CI/CD journey, how do you measure effectiveness? How do you know if you’re getting better? Ben includes helpful suggestions, like how to track deployment frequency, testing duration, defects, and uptime.

On the product front, Ben discusses Concourse, and why many teams have been successful with this cloud-native tool for continuous integration and delivery.

Concourse is highly visual, and it helps teams think of build pipelines as first-class citizens in their day-to-day work. Display your pipelines for all to see, and watch how quickly broken builds get fixed!

Download the paper

Running Microservices on Pivotal Cloud Foundry

Why are big companies flocking to microservices? Look no further than the runaway popularity of Spring Boot.

Spring Boot makes dependency management effortless, embeds a web container (like Tomcat) for all web apps, and creates self-contained apps that “just run”. This makes apps authored Spring Boot such a great fit for Pivotal Cloud Foundry. From there, the app can reap all the benefits of running on a cloud-native platform (metrics, logging, health checks, and remote management).

So microservices are the enterprise computing pattern for the next decade. You probably have many questions about this! Parag Doshi sets out to answer them. Here’s a preview of his insights:

  • With microservices, your development teams are free to use any framework and backing store. This is because microservices communicate with REST APIs. Use the best tools for the job!

  • Pivotal Cloud Foundry is purpose-built for microservices. It handles logging, monitoring, and scaling features. The platform is multi-tenant, providing environment consistency across the development lifecycle.

  • Traditional approaches to operations won’t work for microservices. Thankfully, the industry has solved many of these challenges with distributed tracing, Blue-Green deployments, and integrated logging.

  • Think microservices are just for Java? Think again! .NET teams can get in on the fun with tools like Steeltoe.

And because examples are always helpful, Parag includes a few reference architectures, like the common Command Query Responsibility Segregation (CQRS) pattern.

Microservices inject speed, agility, and flexibility into enterprise IT. They also add complexity. Check out the paper to learn how the most successful companies build, run, and operate microservices.

Download the paper

We’re Just Getting Warmed Up

Several more papers will be posted throughout the summer. When your goal is transforming how the world builds software, there’s a lot to share and discuss! Stay tuned for more tech papers on how to run PCF across multiple sites, the security features within PCF, how you can accelerate application deployment with PCF, and more!

About the Author

Jared Ruckle

Jared works in product at Pivotal.

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