Jun 01 2010

@Beaker on #Devops

Yesterday @beaker posted his ideas on the #devops movement ...

Apparently we haven't been stressing enough on the fact that it isn't just about Devs and Ops,
So let me repeat it's not just about Devs and Ops, it's about breaking silo's , about being good at our jobs, about getting conversation started, about talking to different stakeholders in the processes . We are absolutely trying to include all groups, not exclude some.

@beaker also seems to have seen many presentations where developers are shown to have evolved in practice and methodology, but operators (of all kinds) are described as being stuck in the dark ages. , is that a different point of view on another continent \, on this side of the Atlantic, it's mostly the Ops people that are already using agile methods spreading the word and it isn't about Devs talking about Deopvs yet. It's actually mostly the ops spreading the word because they feel most of the pain .

Hoff also wonders about routers switches firewall and all the other boxen where we aren't running puppet or chef on , the boxes that are left out of our fully automated environments .
Indeed, Puppetcamp Europe once again woke up the discussion on how to tackle these boxen, the lack of use of existing standards was covered .. and some mentioned that CIM and family are pretty much death or irrelevant for real life usage , both the Puppet and Chef communities are working on manifest, modules and recipes to solve the issues.

But the good thing is that we now have the security people involved too, maybe they'll figure out how to survive longer than 6 months in a CSO position if they talk to the others and come out of their Ivory towers :)

Jun 01 2010

PuppetCamp Europe 2010

Last week was pretty heavy on conferences for me. On wednesday I had to give my Building Virtual Appliances talk at the at the Sizing Server event on Advanced Virtualization and Hybrid Cloud Computing , but the most important part of the week was the first edition of Puppetcamp Europe.

When the first ideas about PuppetCamp Europe started I asked Luke when and where it'd be held. He replied that I should know as I was supposed to organise it... I thanked for the honour , he went on to ask Patrick , he accepted ... I hope I helped him out enough :) I even handed out a personal invitation to some of the most famous configuration mgmt people on this planet and Inuits sponsored the event too

Luke started with the opening talk, talking about the future and past of puppet , about version numbers, 2.6 does sound familiar and stable doesn't it, about forge.puppetlabs.com
During @puppetmasterd 's talk @kartar played Bugmaster which was great and almost realtime

The real fun started with the Open Spaces ... after everybody presented themselves, a mix of usual suspects, first timers and oldskoolers from irc #puppet that finally got faces, different sessions were proposed, ranging from Puppet 101, Alternative Puppet Architectures, Puppet HA, MultiMaster Puppet to Dating for PuppetMasters

Over the 2 days spread the open space different ideas came up on e.g how to scale puppet. Different people are letting their puppetclients run from cron in batches, but probably the weirdest idea I heard was to run Puppet in Jruby in order to speed it up.

Lots of talk on certificates and how to solve the pains with them .. e.g like in a HA setup .. you need to create an authority chain .. there was also talk about having a
--trust-my-network feature that would disable certificates, Luke was open to accepting such a patch, or a patch that would make the whole certificate setup more pluggable
That would for sure be a feature a lot of people would want to use ..

The thurday evening conference dinner was "Stoofvlees met Frieten" for most of us .. but for me it was a London Devops Curry in Gent, with @unixdaemon @ripienaar and some others ;)

But with lots of interesting chatter, free beer and free icecream there's for sure going to be another similar event in Europe next year ..

Jun 01 2010

Call For Abstracts : NLUUG Fall Conference on Security

For all the security experts : the NLUUG has published it's Call For Abstracts for it's Fall conference.. as you might have guessed the topic is Security, we welcome all abstracts tackling security in a broad sense.

Possible topics include:

* cloud security
* online privacy
* rfid hacking
* secure programming
* programma-analysis-tools
* web services security
* web browser security
* embedded hardware hacking
* incident response and forensics
* malware and rootkits
* responsible disclosure
* legal response
* fighting spam
* patch policies
* identity management
* central point of administration
* DNSsec
* VPN based WANs
* etc.

The NLUUG fall conference is scheduled on 11 November 2010 in De Reehorst in Ede, the Netherlands.

Hint.. maybe a talk on secdevops would be welcomed too :)

Disclaimer : I`m on the program committee

May 27 2010

Building Virtual Appliances

Johan from Sizing Servers asked me if I could talk about my experiences on building (virtual) appliances at their Advanced Virtualization and Hybrid Cloud seminar . Off course I said yes ..

Slides are below ... Enjoy ..

May 22 2010

Over 2 years of #mollom satisfaction

Following up on Wim's example

May 11 2010

NLUUG Spring Conference 2010

Last week the NLUUG Spring Conference was held in Ede, this years topic was System Administration in general.. which means there was a pretty wide range of talks ... some of the talks were extremely interesting and gathered a lot of people , others really shouldn't have been put in the main room.. Frequenly organising them myselve it's always a difficult choice for a conference organiser.

Must say this was one of my better talks .. it all went smooth and nicely fit within time. Probably the promise of drinks and food after my talk helped some.

I started it of by showing the audience Patrick's opening Devopsdays'09 Video ...

I slightly modified the the slides for my NLUUG presentation, but they are based on the talks I gave on the same topic before

Please note that the Devops definition I give early in the
slides is there to misguide the audience ... :) Everybody knows drinking beer and eating sushi is just a start in the journey when you want to become a #Devops :)

The fun part about conferences often are the speakers dinners, you get to sit down with interesting people and talk about a variety of topics such as panacotta recipes and configuration management ..

It was fun ... too bad it took so long to drive there.. good thing we got back pretty quick..

May 05 2010

Today everything could have been a freaking dnssec problem

You might have read about it .. al over the internets. but today a big step for the implementation of global DnsSec implementation is being made .

You might want to read up about the impact.

And test here if you are unsure about your situation.

Apr 28 2010

MySQL HA , an alternative approach

For those who've seen my presentation on MySQL HA, you already know that I often use a multimaster setup with a meta OCF resource that groups my favoured MySQL instance with the service ip , using a meta resource means that pacemaker monitors mysql, but it doesn't actually manage it. It's an approach that works for us.

One of the other approaches I will be looking at soon is the freshly released OCF resource that Florian announced last week.

Back in the days our approach meant we didn't have to use clone resources, which you might remember being pretty buggy in the v2 era, not wanting to use clons resources isn't really a valid reason anymore these days . I've also frequently mentioned the combination of using DRBD and MultiMaster replication, using this set of OCF resource makes that a lot more easy ..

Now all I need to do is find me some time to validate this setup.

Apr 28 2010

Devops and Cloud

Whenever I give my Cloud security talk there's a slide in there talking about the most scary idea about Cloud and Security, the fact that Marketing people will build things on their own while IT, or any other departement isn't involved, and as we all know marketing people have no clue about security, it's not on their mind they won't even think about adding some sort of security to their application.

So IT isn't involved, Development isn't involved , and Operations isn't involved ...

Ages ago.. well.. about a decade I was working in those very marketing departments sitting there, writing code, hired by the marketeers, not by IT , the marketing PM did the talking to IT , we still had to go trough their IT department to get stuff deployed.

The marketing people had to deal with their impossible deadlines, a nationwide tv or radio campaign that was going to be launched , with a supporting website which meant that the website functionality needed to go live just before the first airing of the commercial. Obviously the website was lower priority than finding a famous voice or face to record the commercial with, so it became only late in the planning.. even more obvious was the fact that talking to IT about getting these new features deployed was even later on their planning .

Back then, part of my job was to smooth that process, my role was both creating the technical backend for the sites , putting them in production and doing the daily maintenance afterwards ...

Looking back at those days I realize the pains of both deployment and procurement, getting a new machine racked and then installed up to a bare os installations took up to 6 weeks, in a marketing driven world that meant that I'd often had to bypass the whole procurement process of expensive sunboxen and had to quickly deploy a linux box under my desk that could be used to move to production as plan B , and trust me .. we had to use plan B a lot ..

Letting nontechnical people deploy stuff in the cloud will only widen the gap, but getting involved early enough in the concept fase of a project with a good devops methodology/team in place will give the business people the opportunity to learn that things have changed , it doesn't take 6 weeks anymore to get an expensive Sun box racked and a Solaris instance installed after which a team of engineers needs to install an application server, then a different team needs to install the database etc .. these days it's a virtual machine instantiation and a couple of recipes ,in that way we can get manageable, reproducible and scalable deployments in no time.

Apr 28 2010

Zabbix, the book

Ages ago the folks over at Packt asked me if I was interested in writing a book about Zabbix, I kindly declined, I didn't have time to write a book ,

Months later we got back in touch and I got involved in reviewing the book


It just arrived in the mail .

There's a couple of things I'd have done different , but overall it's a good read if you are interrested in Zabbix.