Tactical Edge with Snowball Edge

There have been a few tactical edge cloud computing devices appear over the past couple years, but because of Amazon Web Services dominance, the Snowball Edge "Cloud in a Box" is undeniably the market leader. With its storage capacity up to 100TB, 52 vCPU/GPU, and 208GB of memory, every Edge device can transport data at speeds faster than the internet, and for organizations that do work at the edge, this device has enough horse power to do virtually anything—you can build a cluster with 5+ SBE and maintain 99.999% data durability. But how does the Snowball Edge Work?

How the Snowball Edge Works

The SBE is ordered via the CLI (Command Line Interface) or the Web Console. Before you can order a SBE, you must (should) define at least one AMI to use with it. We generally choose Ubuntu because it has the most options available. Our typical distribution involves simply installing Docker CE to run containers within the SBE.


CI/CD with AWS Lambda and GitLab

When we wanted to start blogging for Monkton and Mission Mobility - we could not settle on blogging software we liked. Medium has issues in preventing users from reading your posts. WordPress is a security disaster. Blogger is too expansive.

Our goal wasn't to write an heavy piece of blogging software, but something that was nimble and we could control.

More so, we wanted to leverage Amazon Web Service Lambda - AWS's Serverless Platform as a Service. Our bill for hosting this blog in Lambda, at the high end, will be a crazy $1.05 a month.

AWS Lambda

We have built our Blog leveraging .NET Core 2.1 and AWS Lambda. Lambda enables developers to deploy Serverless code without having to manage infrastructure. From scratch, the blog can deploy in a total of two minutes. Two minutes.

.NET Core has been Montkon's server language of choice since it was created - due to the fact that .NET Core can run within a Linux Docker container, on macOS, oh and Windows. Due to this, .NET Core can be deployed within AWS Lambda with little work.


Migration to GitLab

We at Monkton began working closely with the GitLab federal team late in 2018. We chatted with their fantastic federal sales and SA teams and decided to “pull” (har har) GitLab into the Mission Mobility offering.

People many still get confused by GitLab… Everyone was probably more familiar with GitHub that got acquired by Microsoft earlier in 2018. But that is quickly changing.

We were big GitHub users, but with GitHub, you only get part of the equation. We had to string together Jenkins to perform several functions. It became a headache on some levels to manage it all.

GitLab for us, has become so much more. Besides source control, the continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) that GitLab offers integrated into its product are unmatched.

We are now even using GitLab to house our HR information, Board Meetings, the whole gamut.


Monkton Blog is Serverless

This blog is to document Monkton engineering efforts, marketing efforts, DevSecOps efforts, and various other things.

This site is actually a custom built .NET Core project that we deploy with AWS Lambda. A million requests a month will cost a whole $1.05. It really can't be beat as far as pricing. This includes Lambda, API Gateway, Route 53, and S3.

We evaluated using Medium but disliked their model that prevents people from viewing posts freely, WordPress is a security disaster, Blogger was too heavy. So, the answer was to write a lightweight framework to do blogging. The software is simple, it just renders content in markdown files. Is this perfect? No, but it suits our needs, is lightweight, and helped us better understand CI/CD and Lambda/Serverless.

We will write more on how we built it, how we deploy it using GitLab's CI/CD pipeline, automatically to Lambda. Once we check in code to GitLab, the CI/CD pipe does all the work. There is nothing to configure or manage.