The Journal of Simon Hanmer

Tech, Family and Random Stuff

Referencing dynamodb tables in cloudformation templates

When writing cloudformation templates, many resources provide ARNS, but referencing dynamodb isn’t that simple. Therefore, this post explains one solution which I’ve found works well – possibly not the biggest or most important news, but I think worthwhile to show… Continue reading →

How to manage unique credentials when developing locally with Python & AWS Lambda

I’ve been experimenting with developing Python code to try out Lambda, the Amazon Web Service which allows you to run code without the need to run virtual machines (or EC2 instances as they’re known in AWS-Land) or containers. However, managing… Continue reading →

Dynamodb & SystemD on Linux

I’ve been using normal relational databases for far too many years, but as I’ve been exploring the Amazon Web Services (AWS), I came across their NoSQL offering ‘dynamodb’. As the name suggests, AWS expects you to run their services in ‘the… Continue reading →

AWS Cloudformation – step away from the json, here comes yaml

Anyone using Amazon Web Services will hopefully start using the CloudFormation service early on to start templating and automating the creation of their infrastructure. Until recently, these templates had to be written using the .json file format – however, this… Continue reading →

Controlling file permissions with Puppet without controlling content

Have you ever wanted to control the permissions of a file in Puppet without worrying about the contents of the file? As an example, we needed to deploy a private/public key pair – we didn’t want to place the keys… Continue reading →

Using eyaml to secure Puppet & Hiera data.

These days, it’s generally accepted that we should all be using code repositories to store and manage our code, but there have been several cases recently where passwords or other sensitive data have been exposed either due to security issues… Continue reading →

Fixing graphic issues on Dell E7440 running Elementary Freya

I’ve been trying out Elementary’s linux distribution Freya on my Dell E7440 for a while and whilst generally it’s been working pretty well, I’d have occasional issues with flickering, black screens and so on.

Managing user groups under Linux with Puppet and Augeas

I recently came across the situation where for a specific set of machines I needed to assign a specific combination of users to a group.

ELK Stack overview

A short presentation I put together to give an overview of the ELK (ElasticSearch, Logstash, Kibana) stack for centralised logging.

Introducing Puppet presentation

I recently gave a short presentation to our local Amazon Web Services user group about Puppet and how to use it for deploying and managing hosts – the presentation is below:    

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