UpGuard Blog

Paul McCarthy

Recent Posts

Detecting Heartbleed with UpGuard

UpGuard made detecting and fixing the Heartbleed vulnerability a lot less painful than it could have been. With a combination of Search and Policies we quickly and easily gained confidence that our servers were patched.

Filed under: guardrail, heartbleed

UpGuard Your ASP.NET Applications

ASP.NET Applications get many configuration settings from their web.config or app.config file. Being able to run the same application across multiple environments used to mean keeping control of different copies of the config file to deploy or even worse manually editing the settings after deploying to each new environment. In recent years it has become possible to do transformations of the web.config files at deploy time using Visual Studio. No matter which method you use, deploying to a new environment and detecting drifting config settings has always been a problem. UpGuard helps to quickly and easily detect these sorts of problemsand make configuration management a breeze.

Filed under: guardrail, configuration testing, configuration management

PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC) with UpGuard

Going from nothing to automation using one of the many tools available can be a daunting task. How can you automate systems when you’re not even 100% sure how they’ve been configured? The documentation is months out of date and the last guy to configure anything on that box has since left the company to ply his trade somewhere that will more fully appreciate his Ops cowboy routine.

Filed under: guardrail, dsc, desired configuration state, devops, powershell, Windows

What's new in UpGuard - January 2014

Update: This is a preserved post detailing new (at the time) UpGuard product features, enhancements, or tutorials. The screenshots below may be out of date and/or make reference to GuardRail or ScriptRock—old names for the same great product. There are also many newer features that will drive you wild.

Node Groups

A Node Group is a way of logically grouping Nodes with common functionality. Instead of managing the same set of Policies on each Node you can now manage one set of Policies on the Node Group that will automatically get applied to any Nodes in the Group. Their use is best highlighted with examples. All of your Linux servers might need to comply with an underlying security policy, group them together using a Node Group called "Linux" and apply your security policy there. Your front-end web servers are identical behind a load balancer, add them to a Node Group called "Front-end Web Server." How you organize them is up to you, they can be as general or specific as you like.

Filed under: guardrail, dsc, powershell, Windows

Sensible Ansible with UpGuard

Going from nothing to automation using one of the many tools available can be a daunting task. How can you automate systems when you’re not even 100% sure how they’ve been configured? The documentation is months out of date and the last guy to configure anything on that box has since left the company to ply his trade somewhere that will more fully appreciate his Ops cowboy routine.

Filed under: guardrail, apache, ansible, automation

If the Phoenix Project had UpGuard

At UpGuard we've got many decades of experience in large enterprises and are very familiar with the sorts of problems that arise in those sorts of environments. Even for those who have lived through it though, it can be hard to explain to people who haven't. That's why we require all our new employees to read The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr and George Spafford. It does a great - and surprisingly entertaining - job of describing these issues. It also explains how the lessons learnt from years of Lean Manufacturing apply directly to IT. We know that no tool is a silver bullet, but if the employees at Parts Unlimited had UpGuard then it may have been an entirely different story. I've chosen some key excerpts from the book so that we could see how things may have been different.

Filed under: guardrail, phoenix project, devops