Guest Post: Managing the Virtual Private Cloud with Terraform

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Today we’re publishing a guest post written by our client Alexey Vakhov. Alexey is the CTO of Uchi.ru, a company that develops an educational platform under the same name and also hosts interactive competitions (olympiads) for schoolchildren. The entire Uchi.ru infrastructure is built on our Virtual Private Cloud.
Alexey Vakhov gives a detailed account of how he and his colleagues use the utility Terraform for automating the setup and support of a virtual infrastructure. We hope his experience will be interesting for our other VPC users.

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Systemd and Containers: An Introduction to systemd-nspawn

Containerization has become an increasingly relevant topic. There are already thousands, if not tens of thousands, of articles and posts written about popular solutions like LXC and Docker.
In today’s article, we’d like to discuss systemd-nspawn, a systemd component for creating isolated environments. Systemd is already a standard in the world of Linux and in light of this, it wouldn’t be unfounded to suggest that the potential for systemd-nspawn will significantly expand in the near future. For this reason, we think now would be a good time to better acquaint ourselves with this tool.

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Managing Logging in Systemd

The initialization daemon systemd has become the de facto standard in modern Linux systems and is already used in many popular distributions: Debian, RHEL/CentOS, and Ubuntu (as of ver. 15.04). Compared to the traditional syslog, systemd offers an entirely different approach to logging.
At its base you’ll find centralization; the journal component collects all of the system messages (messages from the kernel and from various services and applications). In this case, there’s no need to configure log distribution, instead the applications can just write to stdout and stderr, and journal automatically saves these messages. This setup is possible with Upstart, but Upstart saves all logs to a separate file, whereas systemd saves them in a binary base, greatly simplifying systemization and searches.
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Live Kernel Patching: Modern Tools

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Back in 2014, the best (if not only) option for patching the Linux kernel without rebooting was KernelCare, a tool developed by our partners at Cloud Linux.

The situation has since changed quite a bit as live patching has officially been included in the kernel as of version 4.0. The tools kpatch and kGraft, which were still in development in 2014, have also been massively improved. Kpatch was even added to the official repository and in Ubutnu 16.04, it can be installed from the default package manager. Canonical has also recently released their Canonical Livepatch Service, which can be used to patch the Ubuntu kernel without rebooting.

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Success Story: Datagrav

We sometimes meet with clients to find out what they’re working on, what problems they encounter, and what role Selectel plays in all of it. Once such company from St. Petersburg is called Datagrav, and we recently discussed these topics with their CEO, Sergey Kochuguyev.

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selectel.meetup: A High-Load Event

This past December 17th in St. Petersburg, Selectel held the first ever selectel.meetup—a conference dedicated to high-load systems. Developers came together in the new conference hall at Selectel’s Tsvetochnaya 2 data center to share their experiences. The event was sponsored by ITSumma, which provides technical support for websites and remote server administration.

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Tsvetochnaya 2: An Inside Look

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Just one year ago on December 17, 2015, we celebrated the grand opening our latest data center, Tsvetochnaya 2. In honor of its 1-year anniversary, we decided to give you an exclusive look at the center and what makes it one of the most advanced in all of Russia.

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Dedicated Servers: Testing New Machines

When you start using a new server, it’s a good idea to make sure you got what you paid for. Unfortunately, a lot of new users have a hard time retrieving server information that can only be accessed with console commands.

In this article, we’ll look at how information on Linux servers can be pulled up from the console.

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