Serverless on Always Free Tier with fnproject

I’ve started posting articles related to the project that @stantanev and a few of us are working on. This is snapshot of the puzzle that is to build out a APIs on the Oracle Always Free Tier.

As a demonstration of capability, we built a few different APIs using fnproject (https://fnproject.io/) – an open-source container-native serverless platform. As part of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, there’s Oracle Functions which is the managed Function-as-a-Service based upon this same project.

Let’s take a look at it here and see what it took to get going. Also, this is being deployed into VM.Standard.E2.1.Micro compute shapes (which is 1 OCPU and 1GB of memory) and hence there are some considerations to make sure we get the most out of the kit we have access to (for free).

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Turning a Compartment into a ORM Stack

Effective first, then efficient and then elegant …

Peter Laurie – mate and mentor.

I’ve been doing some collaboration with @stantanev around a project and part of the contribution that I was doing was getting some stuff setup / configured and deployed into Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. This wasn’t a standard copy-and-paste scenario. I was building it up as we went. And then I was done … But it felt unfinished because I didn’t want to just leave it there. I wanted to share what I have without me getting sucked into other work standing up new environments (noting in the last article – I am lazy). And in the first instance, I only had dev (where I was working) and I needed to create a new one so people can start experiencing what we delivered (quickly).

What I invested in was using Oracle Resource Manager “ORM” to help me take what I built in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and turn that into something that I could hand-over. Let’s have a look.

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Automating with OCI Oracle Resource Manager

I use this because I’m lazy.

This is true. After doing something that is repetitive because either I’m testing or incrementally improving what is happen, I get frustrated. So, I automate. In this scenario, here I have an application that I’ve been working with a few people (like @stantanev), and as such spending a little bit of time automating the provisioning of the stack made sense. I value my time as I value other people’s time.

Oracle Resource Manager (ORM) is part of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and is available in all tiers – Trials, Always Free Tier, Pay-As-You-Go or with Universal Credits. In short – EVERYONE gets it. The easiest way that I think of ORM, is that its a managed Terraform service within the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure environment. Let’s talk a look at it.

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Not Just Another Workshop

In closing out 2020 and before going on leave, I was given an opportunity (never a challenge). And it came in the form of these Oracle Code Cards. For those that haven’t seen them, this is what they look like and here is a git repository of some code explaining more about the cards themselves that I’m revamping – https://github.com/jlowe000/codecard.

An trial using the Oracle Code Card before the workshop.

The outcome required was as open as I could get.

There were no boundaries and there were no specific rules.

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#DigitalDefence – A Tribute To The Teams

It was fantastic to see / hear / participate in the closing ceremony of the #DigitalDefence Hackathon 2020. If you want to check the whole ceremony including some of locknotes, check it out here.

#DigitalDefence Hackathon 2020 Closing Ceremony recorded by Hackmakers (https://hackmakers.com)

It was great to see who won but also from the judging perspective, who else was in the Top 11 (yes 11, not 10) where we worked with our executive team including Cherie Ryan, Vice President at Oracle and our Regional Managing Director of Australia and New Zealand to pick the winners.

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#DigitalDefence – The Infinite Game

Last weekend saw over 2,000 people participate in the #DigitalDefence Hackathon hosted by Hackmakers, Oracle as the lead sponsor plus a vast range of other sponsors – ITIC, AustCyber, NASSCOM CoE, Cyber Security Centre of Excellence, IBM and community partners – Public Sector Network, Slack, Black Nova Group, Yirigaa, UNSW DataSoc, SLASSCOM, DataCated Academy and DataEthics4all.

This event was off the back on #BuildWithAI Hackathon hosted by Hackmakers. Being a contributor to that event as a Lead Mentor, Sponsor and a Challenge Organiser, there was something there that resulted from what we were able to deliver – another step in the infinite game. (Note – I haven’t read the book, I don’t follow Simon Sinek however from different communities and framework where we focus on growth mindsets, long tail and talking about your why – this is another example of that same conversation).

This is another step in the infinite game.

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OIC Health Check by OCI Monitoring and Alarm

In this blog I would like to show you how OIC instance health check can be done easily with OCI Monitoring Service. Well, just want to say for those who are not familiar with of OCI and OIC; OCI stands for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (https://www.oracle.com/au/cloud/) which is Oracle’s next generation cloud infrastructure. OIC means Oracle Integration Cloud (https://docs.oracle.com/en/cloud/paas/integration-cloud/index.html)

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#DigitalDefence Hackathon … The Why?

Head to https://hackmakers.com to register as a competitor or to showcase your project / product.

It’s almost 9 days before the event launches on the Friday night. Even before that, there are a series of workshops / webinars that we are hosting as part of the event in the days leading up to the event. Even then we are:

a/ Making sure that we have people, mentors, marketing, product managers, executives lined up to help where they can.
b/ Making sure that we have ideas, platforms, trials, programs, education material lined up to help where it’s feasible.
c/ Making sure that we help promote, advocate, market the event so those who would benefit would know about the event and attend.

All this effort for what outcome?

This says it all. And even though this is about #anomalydetection #deepfake #cybersecurity, much of this comes down to data – where the data can be sourced, how the data can be analysed, is the data reliable and can it be trusted.

Over the coming days leading up to the event – there will be plenty of chatter around it. Follow the event on LinkedIn. Some easy ways to follow are:

1/ Follow #DigitalDefence at https://www.linkedin.com/feed/hashtag/?keywords=digitaldefence
2/ Follow Hackmakers at https://www.linkedin.com/company/hackmakers
3/ Follow me at https://www.linkedin.com/in/lowe-jason/

I’ll be writing more about it here as we go and as new content is available. If you are interested to know or more if you want to join a team or showcase a project or product – head to the Hackmakers website https://hackmakers.com/ to learn more and register.

OIC Log Management with VB Studio, OCI Bucket and OCI Logging Analytics

Sadly log file identifier icsdiagnosticlog has been deprecated from late November 2020. icsflowlog, icsauditlog are still available so you should be able to apply the same pattern used in this blog to manage your OIC instance log file.

I would like to show how OIC log management can be achieved with OCI Object Storage (I’ll call it bucket) and OCI Logging Analytics, Visual Builder Studio (used to be Developer Cloud, I’ll call it VB Studio).

Interestingly I’m not going to use OIC to download log files, either to ingest log data from OCI Object Storage.  VB Studio will be my tool to do sourcing log files and feeding it to bucket – I’ll be taking advantage of unix shell and oct-cli from VB Studio. Then OCI Logging Analytics will ingest log data from bucket based on cloud event.

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Simple, Secure Log Retention using OCI Services

Between the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) Audit Service recording administrative operations and Oracle Identity Cloud Service (IDCS) tracking access and user management events, Oracle Cloud provides pretty comprehensive tracking of security events. Recently however, I have been in conversations with a number of organisations who have been seeking longer term retention of audit events for several different reasons, including governance, compliance and forensic requirements. The OCI Audit service supports requesting bulk export of audit events to Object Storage, which allows you manage the retention and archiving of those events yourself, so I started wondering if I could do the same for the IDCS access events. A bit of testing and some simple coding later, and I had events being pulled directly from the IDCS Audit Events API periodically and sent to Object Storage for retention.

In this blog post, I will provide this code as a sample, and discuss some of the techniques and technologies that are available in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure to enable simple, but highly secure and cost-effective, automation of cross-service tasks such as this.

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