Cloud Engineering weeknotes, 28 January 2022

“The apron strings have been cut, and we had to sink or swim” was an observation at our retro this week. I think it’s fair to say that we’re swimming. The team is showing a skill and maturity that we probably didn’t think we had, or at least didn’t want to admit. This is reflected in some of the choices we’ve made recently – lots of pairing and knowledge-sharing, and the decision this week to abandon sprints in favour of Kanban. We weren’t really doing Scrum anyway.

The week started well, with the migration of the final Housing account to the Hub. This went smoothly, with the exception of losing a connection to Qlik. This was fixed quickly the next morning, and users experienced no disruption. We can now plan the final set of migrations – the API accounts. A lot of the preparation work has been done already, and again we will start with Dev to make sure it goes smoothly. 

Work on Globalprotect has also come on well this week. We now have authentication groups rolled out, and again users should have noticed no difference. This is part of splitting Globalprotect into “internal apps” (ie. hosted in our own AWS) and “external” (ie. SaaS). We completed the separation this week, with internal and external being routed through different firewalls. We can now complete the work to move Qlik onto Globalprotect, taking it out of AppStream and saving some money. 

We’ve had a lot of support requests this week, some of them complex. It is of course good to help other teams, but the trade-off has been that work to complete the website migration has been pretty much blocked all week. Fortunately, this is not blocking anything in turn, but it does mean that new work is having to wait. 

One thing that we have rebooted, however, is Backstage. This has been bouncing around for some time, but we’re finishing the job as part of clearing our decks. It’s been moved to an ECS container rather than running on an EC2, and it’s been secured by Google SSO. We’ll add a couple of basic features to it, and should be able to roll it out very soon. We’d be grateful for feedback on what plugins you might find useful – see the catalogue for more information. 

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