Securing Kubernetes Traffic with Cert-Manager & Lets Encrypt 

why do we need to use cert-manager?

Cert-Manager simplifies the process of creating & renewing certificates. It makes sure your certificate is valid and up to date by renewing the certificate automatically for you in your kubernetes cluster. So that your domain certificate never expires.

What is Cert-Manager?

Cert-Manager is a Kubernetes native certificate management controller consisting of a set of CustomResourceDefinitions. When we add cert-manager in our Kubernetes cluster it adds on the certificate & certificate issuers as custom resource types in the Kubernetes cluster. which helps in adding or renewing the certificate. It also ensures that your certificate is valid and up to date. Cert-manager can issue certificates from a variety of sources such as let’s encrypt, Vault, and SelfSigned, Venafi.

How cert-manager is related to HTTP & HTTPS?

As cert-manager helps in assigning the certificate from certificate Issuers to our domain. Now that certificate will be used by HTTPS protocol where “S” stands for secure. HTTP protocol was developed in the early 1990s and was initiated by Tim Berners-Lee. HTTP gives users a way to interact with web resources such as HTML files by transmitting hypertext messages between clients and servers. However, it does not provide a single level of security when exchanging information between client and server. Therefore it is more prone to attackers as it sends that data as plain text.

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Increasing Code Reusability Using Task Groups in Azure DevOps

Let’s assume a scenario in which you are repeating a few tasks from your pipeline into multiple stages and/or pipelines or projects. In that case, it gets really tiring to repeat and configure each task individually over and over again. Azure DevOps provides the feature of Task Group in which we can encapsulate a sequence of tasks from our build or release pipelines and reuse those tasks in other pipelines.

What is Azure DevOps?

Now, let’s talk about Azure DevOps, it is a mixture of the simplest technologies and best practices. Therefore we can go as far as saying that it is the Next Big Thing in the IT Industry. Azure DevOps is a Software as a service (SaaS) platform from Microsoft providing an end-to-end DevOps toolchain for developing and deploying software. Microsoft launched this as they understood the fact that DevOps has become vital to a team’s success.

Task Group

task group facilitates the encapsulation of a sequence of tasks, defined already in a build or a release pipeline, into a single reusable task that can be added to a build or release pipeline (like any other task). We can, as per our choice, extract parameters from the encapsulated tasks as configuration variables, and abstract the rest of the task information.

The new task group is automatically added to the task catalog, ready to be added to other releases and build pipelines. At the project level, the task groups are stored and are not accessible outside the project scope.

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Monitoring and Release tracking with Sentry

Before we deep dive into the topic let’s focus on why we need this tool and why we need this feature in our toolbox. In the world of errors and bugs, we will find many errors to debug and keep our system stable. So many applications need monitoring to analyze the performance of running application but what if:

  • we are not getting 100% analysis
  • only got the handled error exceptions
  • our applications have some anonymous errors which weren’t tracked in our system status error code and that continuously increased the load or downtime, and many more.

Will you actually debug that kind of error? How difficult is it to identify what caused Application Crash? Some organizations have set custom status codes for similar or multiple look-alike error strings but what if they are actually not similar, and you would be like “ignore, that’s our handled one we are throwing that status code”.

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Introduction to Azure Security

DevOps Security or DevSecOps is a set of practices and tools that bring together software development (Dev), IT operations (Ops), and security (Sec) to increase an organization’s ability to deliver applications and services securely. DevOps presents new risks that create security challenges that cannot typically be addressed by conventional security management solutions and practices. One of the prominent security challenges in DevOps environments is privileged access management. DevOps processes require human and machine privileged credentials which are quite powerful and highly susceptible to
cyber-attacks. So strong security practices should be inserted throughout the application lifecycle to reduce vulnerabilities, improve security posture and mitigate risk.

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How To Setup An Agent On Azure Devops

Azure DevOps is an integrated service provided by Azure. In recent times, it is observed that Azure DevOps is increasing its penetration into the DevOps community. Being a SaaS service, it doesn’t come with a pre-configured host or better say, an agent to execute its commands. That’s why whenever we want to use our Azure DevOps Pipeline we need to have an agent configured in our Agent Pool. In this blog, we will learn how to configure an agent and later on how to create a service for our host.

Let’s Get Started

Configuring a self-hosted Agent might seem complicated but by following the below steps we can easily configure an agent in our Agent Pool. So let’s get started.

What is Azure DevOps?

Now, let’s talk about Azure DevOps, it is a mixture of the simplest of technology and therefore the application of best practices. We can say, it is the Next Big Thing in the IT Industry. Azure DevOps is a Software as a service (SaaS) platform from Microsoft that provides an end-to-end DevOps toolchain for developing and deploying software. Microsoft recently launched this as they understand that DevOps has become vital to a team’s success.

Azure Self-hosted Agent

An agent that you set up and manage on your own to run jobs is a self-hosted agent. Though we can use a Microsoft Hosted Agent, we prefer a self-hosted Agent. This is to have more control to install dependent software needed for our builds and deployments, machine-level caches and configuration persist from run to run, boosting speed and maintaining the backup of our logs. You can use self-hosted agents in Azure Pipelines or Azure DevOps Server, formerly named Team Foundation Server (TFS). To successfully configure a self-hosted Agent we need an Agent Pool, download & unzip the package, Personal Access Token (PAT) and execute a few shell commands. Let’s move step by step.

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