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5 IT video tutorials admins don't want to miss

The best way to ramp up with a new technology or IT practice is to see it in action. Use these five video tutorials to visually walk through GitOps workflows, CI/CD pipelines and more.

To learn complex IT operations processes and technologies, there's no substitute for hands-on experience. IT professionals often turn to tutorials -- which encourage them to follow along and perform tasks on their own systems -- to meet their learning and training needs.

And, while tutorials in written form are useful, some concepts are simply easier to grasp visually -- that's where videos come in.

Below is a collection of five recent IT video tutorials, all of which are presented by contributors at TechSnips, a provider of IT learning content. You'll find a brief snippet of each video, accompanied by a description of its content and a link to watch the tutorial in its entirety. The topics range from vulnerability assessments to CI/CD pipelines in Azure -- meaning they're applicable to various roles and functions within IT operations and DevOps teams.

1. Create a GitOps pipeline with Kubernetes, Jenkins X and GKE

A primary aim of GitOps is to automate the management of both application and infrastructure configurations. Version-controlled code housed in repositories like GitHub ensures consistency and standardization throughout a GitOps pipeline.

In this IT video tutorial, admins learn how to operate Kubernetes with Git, as part of a GitOps deployment.

Follow along with presenter Christopher Blackden, DevOps engineer at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, as he creates an example GitOps workflow using GitHub; Jenkins X, a CI/CD tool; and Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), Google's managed container orchestration service. Among other tasks, viewers learn how to create a Kubernetes cluster, set up an API token for GitHub and provision a Jenkins server.

Access the full video on Kubernetes and GitOps.

2. Build a home lab for vulnerability assessments

Workload security is of the utmost importance to all enterprise IT teams. And, in a perfect world, admins eliminate potential threats before they ever get a chance to wreak havoc on production applications.

This IT video tutorial helps IT staff make that goal a reality. Blackden walks through the process to set up a home lab -- an ideal environment to get a feel for certain IT practices and technologies before applying them in the enterprise -- to perform vulnerability assessments. Specifically, this tutorial features the Chocolatey package manager, VirtualBox and two VMs, including one based on the Kali Linux OS, which is specifically designed for security testing.

Access the full video on vulnerability assessment home labs.

3. Apply automation to AWS IAM

In addition to vulnerability testing, identity and access management (IAM) should be a core component of any IT security strategy -- whether workloads are hosted on premises or in the public cloud.

IT administrators who oversee AWS deployments can use the cloud provider's native IAM directory service to establish and manage user permissions and ensure secure access to AWS resources. Even with the aid of AWS IAM, however, some IT teams -- particularly within large enterprises that have a vast user base -- find it tedious to set up and manage user access controls. As it does with so many IT operations tasks, automation can save time and streamline IAM processes.

Tune in to this IT video tutorial, led by Eric Stevens, cloud engineer at Oakland University, to automate AWS IAM user group and account provisioning with AWS CloudFormation templates. Stevens reviews various steps in the automation process, including the creation of IAM users and user groups, defining access policies and configuring a CloudFormation resource stack.

Access the full video on AWS IAM automation.

4. Use PowerShell to build Azure Functions

Serverless computing offers a number of benefits to enterprises, such as reduced resource management overhead and the resulting developer and IT admin productivity gains.

But, as emerging technologies tend to do, serverless also presents a learning curve. That's why PowerShell support in Azure Functions -- a feature, as of writing, that's currently in preview -- offers a significant perk for cloud teams in Windows shops: the ability to use a familiar automation tool alongside a serverless computing platform.

Learn how to build an Azure Functions application with PowerShell in this IT video tutorial led by Anthony Howell, DevOps engineer at Epiq. To follow along, be sure to first install the Azure Functions extension on Visual Studio Code. Then, walk through the processes of defining a trigger -- the event that will prompt the function to execute -- testing and debugging, and more.

Access the full video on PowerShell for Azure Functions.

5. Establish a CI/CD pipeline in Azure DevOps

The combination of CI/CD pipelines and cloud computing architectures is a common one in enterprise DevOps shops.

Organizations that use Microsoft's public cloud might be drawn toward Azure DevOps, a suite of development and IT ops services to build, test and deploy code; manage software packages; set up Git repositories; collaborate with team members; and more.

Follow along with presenter Matt Browne, a freelance infrastructure consultant, as he demonstrates how to create a CI/CD pipeline via the Azure DevOps console. Learn the necessary steps to build a functioning web app, including how to configure a software build and define the release process.

Access the full video on Azure DevOps pipelines.

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