cluster introspection tools feature

Kubernetes cluster introspection – the 5 best tools to better understand your cluster

Cluster introspection tools help you better understand what is going on in your Kubernetes cluster, by presenting the workloads visually. In this article I present a taxonomy of available tools and briefly present the tools Lens, k9s, kubenav, Octant, Headlamp, Kubernetes dashboard, Skooner and Portainer. I conclude by giving general recommendations. Introduction A very common … Read more

local Kubernetes clusters feature

Local Kubernetes development clusters: the 5 best local cluster compared

If you develop software that runs on Kubernetes, a local development cluster can significantly speed up your development iteration speed, because everything happens locally. I discuss the pros and cons of local clusters and then present the tools Docker for Desktop, Rancher Desktop, kind, k3d and Minikube, and how they compare. I finish with details … Read more

speed up gitlab ci feature

Speed up GitLab CI – the 5 best tips for fast pipelines

Starting from an overview of frequent causes for slow pipelines, I derive 5 tips to speed up GitLab CI pipelines. These include choosing the appropriate runner infrastructure, choosing the right caching approach (Docker vs. GitLab), DAG pipelines, mixing GitLab’s caches and artifacts, and optimizing individual jobs (e.g. via parallelization). Introduction As I already explained in … Read more

gitlab vs docker caching

GitLab CI/CD: GitLab vs. Docker caching – how to get insanely fast CI/CD pipelines

Using a Node.js example project I demonstrate how Docker-based caching can speed up your GitLab CI/CD pipelines even more than GitLab’s built-in caching mechanism. I explain how each approach works, and what the technical prerequisites are. I also list tools that support you with setting up a Docker-based CI pipeline. Introduction Caching of files between … Read more

docker image tagging best practices feature

Docker image tagging: best practices in a CI pipeline

This article explains why you should not tag your own Docker images with only the “latest” tag. I discuss alternative best practices, categorizing them into stable vs. unstable version tags. I also fully deconstruct a Docker image tag into its basic components to improve your understanding of Docker image names and tags. Introduction When you … Read more

self-hosted gitlab runner

Operating a self-hosted GitLab runner with Docker

In this article I explain how (and why) you install and use a Linux-based self-hosted GitLab CI/CD runner that executes jobs of your GitLab pipelines. I go into a few caveats and how you can reduce maintenance efforts for the runner to a minimum. Introduction GitLab CI/CD has a distributed architecture that consists of a … Read more

clean code summary feature

Book recommendation: Clean Code (Robert C. Martin)

In this book recommendation, I review the book Clean Code by Robert C. Martin, released in 2008. I offer my 13 page summary of the book as free download, and provide links to further reading material. Introduction to clean code In 2008, Robert C. Martin (a.k.a. “Uncle Bob”) released the book Clean code. It was … Read more

continuous deployment docker

Automatic Continuous Deployment of Docker containers

This article explains how to achieve Continuous Deployment of Docker-based software, using either pull-based approaches (external tools such as watchtower and harbormaster), or push-based techniques (deployment from the CI/CD pipeline). I explain the advantages and disadvantages of each approach, and also illustrate how automated testing greatly reduces the risk of unnoticed failed deployments. Introduction When … Read more

operating docker tips

Tips for operating Docker – the best tools and commands

This article presents useful tips for operating Docker engine on a Linux server. I explain how you can improve the server’s security via automatic updates and scanning the images of your running containers, how to reduce the maintenance efforts by making sure your disks don’t run out of space, and how to set up a … Read more