Brian Atkisson

Brian J. Atkisson is a Senior Principal Systems Engineer and the technical lead on the Red Hat IT Identity and Access Management team. He has 18 years of experience as a Systems Administrator and Systems Engineer, focusing on identity management, virtualization, systems integration, and automation solutions. He is a Red Hat Certified Architect and Engineer, in addition to his academic background in Biochemistry, Microbiology and Philosophy.

Recent Posts

DevNation Live Blog: CDK 2.0: Docker, Kubernetes, and OSE on your desk

As a systems engineer, I enjoy building deploying production and pre-production services. These production services tend to be built at scale in a highly redundant architecture.  The problem has always been how do we give developers a sandbox that matches production in all the ways that matters– but without the pain (and love), overhead, compute and networks resources actual production environments require.  Moreover, how does one snapshot this environment so it can be recreated at will.  This has been a holy grail in IT for a while.  While there have many, many attempts at solving this problem, they all seem to have pitfalls and don’t really serve the purpose.

Enter the CDK…

An exciting development in this space is the Red Hat Container Development Kit.  Langdon White, Platform Architect at Red Hat gave his presentation on using CDK 2.0, which is a container CDK based on Vagrant, Docker, Kubernetes, and OpenShift.  It also has Eclipse integration… basically, everything someone needs to build production-quality applications for use on OpenShift.

Langdon starts with decomposition being a major driving factor in today’s software development world. Docker gives us a major step-forward in decomposition and helps with the separation between system errata updates and what the application actually requires.  The CDK will help in your journey to re-architect your applications and “sprinkle in some devops” (one of my favorite new phrases from the DevNation keynote).

The CDK runs on Windows, Mac and Linux (of course).  It ships with Vagrant files allowing you to easily execute the CDK VMs without having to install everything yourself.  The CDK Eclipse has plugin integration for Vagrant, allowing one to run the VMs from within Eclipse, which is kind of cool.  From there you can start the OpenShift Local VM for deploying your code, mimicking a production push.

Still within Eclipse, you can define your Dockerfile, giving your container all the dependencies your application requires, including the base image.  Of course, you can define multiple ones of each tier of your application, all without leaving your development environment.

Continue reading “DevNation Live Blog: CDK 2.0: Docker, Kubernetes, and OSE on your desk”


Red Hat Identity Manager: Part 2 – Enterprise PKI Made Easy

This is the second installment in a series about using Red Hat Identity Management (IdM) on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora (using the upstream FreeIPA project).

As described in part 1, IdM makes it very easy to build an enterprise-grade identity management solution, including a full enterprise PKI solution providing complete x509 certificate life cycle management.

Most organizations start with a simple self-signed Certificate Authority (CA) certificate, perhaps generated using OpenSSL; with a little configuration and a few commands, one can build a self-signed root CA and begin issuing server certificates. However, as the organization grows, this model quickly leads to scaling problems. This article will discuss how to handle some of these scenarios to avoid problematic security issues.

Continue reading “Red Hat Identity Manager: Part 2 – Enterprise PKI Made Easy”


Red Hat Identity Manager: Part 1 – Overview and Getting started

Red Hat Identity Manager (IdM), is designed to provide an integrated identity management service for a wide range of clients, including Linux, Mac, and even Windows. At its core, IdM combines LDAP, Kerberos, DNS, and PKI with a rich management framework.  Frequently, IdM is described as “Active Directory for Linux”. Although, to be fair, Active Directory is really just a management framework around LDAP, Kerberos, DNS and PKI — all of which were well established in the unix community long before Active Directory ever existed.  In any case, the primary use for IdM is to provide these identity services to linux clients using these well established and open protocols.

This article will provide an overview of Red Hat Identity Manager, and demonstrate how to get started with IdM quickly.

Continue reading “Red Hat Identity Manager: Part 1 – Overview and Getting started”