.NET Core

Securing .NET Core on OpenShift using HTTPS

In an effort to improve security, browsers have become stricter in warning users about sites that aren’t properly secured with SSL/TLS. ASP.NET Core 2.1 has improved support for HTTPS. You can read more about these enhancements in Improvements to using HTTPS. In this blog post, we’ll look at how you can add HTTPS to your ASP.NET Core applications deployed on Red Hat OpenShift.

Before we get down to business, let’s recap some OpenShift vocabulary and HTTPS fundamentals. If you are familiar, you can skip over these sections.

OpenShift, pods, services, routes, and S2I

OpenShift is a Kubernetes-based open-source container application platform. A Kubernetes pod is a set of containers that must be deployed on the same host. In most cases, a pod consists of a single container. When we run the same application in several pods, a service does the load balancing across those pods. A route makes a service accessible externally via a hostname.

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Red Hat OpenShift

Running Microsoft SQL Server on Red Hat OpenShift

In this blog post, we’ll set up Microsoft SQL Server on Red Hat OpenShift. We’ll use SQL Server to store data for a simple ASP.NET Core application running in a container deployed on OpenShift that manages a list of contacts. When we have that set up, we’ll use SQL Operation Studio to connect to the server running on OpenShift from our developer machine.

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Improving .NET Core Kestrel performance using a Linux-specific transport

ASP.NET Core is the web framework for .NET Core. Performance is a key feature. The stack is heavily optimized and continuously benchmarked. Kestrel is the name of the HTTP server. In this blog post, we’ll replace Kestrel’s networking layer with a Linux-specific implementation and benchmark it against the default out-of-the-box implementations. The TechEmpower web framework benchmarks are used to compare the network layer performance.

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Red Hat OpenShift

How to call the OpenShift REST API from C#

When you want to do automated tasks for builds and deployments with Red Hat OpenShift, you might want to take advantage of the OpenShift REST API. In scripts you can use oc CLI command which talks to the REST APIs. However there are times when it is more convenient to do this directly from your C# code without having to invoke an external program. This is the value of having an infrastructure platform that is exposed as services with an open API.

If you want to call the API from your C# code, you have to create a request object, call the API, and parse the response object. The upstream project, OpenShift Origin, provides a Swagger 2.0 specification and you can generate a client library for each programming language. Of course, C# is supported.  This isn’t a new approach, Kubernetes has a repository that is generated by Swagger Codegen.

For C#, we can use Microsoft Visual Studio to generate a C# client library for a REST API. In this article, I’ll walk you through the process of generating the library from the definition.

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Red Hat OpenShift

Using OpenShift to deploy .NET Core applications

Containers are the new way of deploying applications. They provide an efficient mechanism to deploy self-contained applications in a portable way across clouds and OS distributions. In this blog post we’ll look at what OpenShift brings for .NET Core specifically.

Kubernetes and OpenShift

Kubernetes is the de facto orchestrator for managing containerized applications. Google open-sourced Kubernetes in 2014 and Red Hat was one of the first companies to work with Google on Kubernetes. Red Hat is the 2nd leading contributor to the Kubernetes upstream project.

OpenShift is an open-source DevOps platform that is built on top of Kubernetes. It integrates directly with your application’s source code. This enables continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) workflows. Tools are available to scale and monitor your applications. The OpenShift Catalog makes it easy to setup middleware and databases. OpenShift comes with comprehensive documentation to install and manage your installation. It can run on-prem and on public clouds such as AWS, GCP and Azure.

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Announcing .NET Core 2.1 for Red Hat Platforms

We are very pleased to announce the general availability of .NET Core 2.1 for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and OpenShift platforms!

.NET Core is the open-source, cross-platform .NET platform for building microservices. .NET Core is designed to provide the best performance at scale for applications that use microservices and containers. Libraries can be shared with other .NET platforms, such as .NET Framework (Windows) and Xamarin (mobile applications). With .NET Core you have the flexibility of building and deploying applications on Red Hat Enterprise Linux or in containers. Your container-based applications and microservices can easily be deployed to your choice of public or private clouds using Red Hat OpenShift. All of the features of OpenShift and Kubernetes for cloud deployments are available to you.

.NET Core 2.1 continues to broaden its support and tools for microservice development in an open source environment. The latest version of .NET Core includes the following improvements:

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Red Hat OpenShift

Remotely Debug an ASP.NET Core Container Pod on OpenShift with Visual Studio

Last year, I wrote a blog post how to remotely debug your ASP.NET Core container on OpenShift with Visual Studio Code. Today I introduce how to remotely debug a pod using Visual Studio from your Windows computer. Sometimes you encounter an issue that happens only in the production environment. Remotely debugging a pod enables you to investigate such an issue.

Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code now support SSH as a transport protocol for remote debugging. If a remote host accepts an SSH connection, Visual Studio can do remote debugging using Visual Studio’s default feature. However, you need to use the oc command instead of an SSH client such as putty since Red Hat OpenShift pods don’t allow direct connections via SSH. The MIEngine debugger enables you to use any command for SSH connection.

Note:
All the steps below have been confirmed using a combination of Visual Studio 2017 (versions 15.7.2 and 15.8 preview2) on Windows 10 and OpenShift 3.9.

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Using .NET Core in a “Disconnected” Environment

Security is a very important consideration when running your custom middleware applications.  The internet can be an unfriendly place.

Sometimes middleware users have a requirement for their software to run in a “‘disconnected” environment, which is one where the network is not routed to addresses outside the one the local node is on—in other words, no internet.

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Red Hat Summit: Developing .NET Core Apps on Red Hat OpenShift

At Red Hat Summit 2018, Red Hat’s John Osborne and Microsoft’s Harold Wong gave a talk: Developing .NET Core Applications on Red Hat OpenShift.

.NET Core 1.0 availability for Linux was announced two years ago, but many developers still have a number of questions about the differences between .NET Framework and .NET Core. The session started with an overview of the differences. In a nutshell, .NET Framework is the set of APIs and libraries that Windows developers have used to years, which is pretty heavily tied to Microsoft Windows and Windows GUI APIs. On the other hand, .NET Core is the cross-platform set of APIs that are available for building applications that can run on Linux, macOS, or mobile devices via Xamarin.  .Net Core 2.0 was released last August; see Don Schenck’s article.

One of the key questions is when to use one versus the other.  Here’s the summary Harold Wong presented:

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Remote debug your ASP.NET Core container on OpenShift with Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio provides a graphical remote debugging ASP.NET Core app with Docker Tools for Windows. Since Visual Studio supports SSH protocol, you can remote debug ASP.NET Core process running on the Linux host. It used to be if you install and setup SSH server on docker container, you can remote debug with Visual Studio. However, it’s strongly not recommended due to security reasons. Now I’ll explain to you how to remote debug your ASP.NET Core on OpenShift with Visual Studio Code by using oc exec command instead of installing SSH server on docker container. You can use Microsoft proprietary debugger engine vsdbg with Visual Studio Code (or other Visual Studio products). Visual Studio Code can integrate other commands than SSH for debugger transport protocol.

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