Jul 03 2013

Done Ignite

Last month I gave an 5 minute Ignite talk at #devopsdays Amsterdam.

To summarize .. it was a rant against people that think that the end of a sprint their work is done, an idea they might have gotten from a broken definition of done.

Both the video recording and the slides are embedded below.

May 22 2013

Why you shouldn't hire a devops

Lately there have been a lot of organisations trying to hire a devops engineer.
I myselve have been asked to fill in devops roles ..

There's a number of issues with that.

The biggest problem is that I always have to ask what exactly the organisation is looking for.

So you want a devops engineer with experience in Linux, MongoDB, MySQL and Java , does that mean you want a Java developer who is familiar with MySQL and Linux and breaths a devops Culture.
Or a Linux expert who understands Java developers and knows how to tune Mongo and MySQL ?

It's absolutely unclear what you want when you are hiring "A devops engineer"

The second problem is that you are trying to hire people who are knowledgeable about devops,

Yet a lot of those people know that you can't do devops on your own , devops is not a jobtitle. devops is not a new devops team you create.

To some of them you are even making a fool out of yourselve, as to them you show that you don't understand devops

On top .. the ones that do apply for this fancy new devops role, are the ones that might not get the fact that the problem isn't about tooling but about people working together and helping eachother , so you end up hiring the wrong people.

Even in todays devops culture a system engineer is still a system engineer, and a developer is still a developer.
You might have developers supporting the build tool chain, or system engineers focussing on infrastructure automation.

But as John said almost 3 years ago they are good at their job.

Devops is not a word you slap onto a tool, a team or a person and expect magic to happen

Let's face it .. devops is hard, you can't do this on your own .. you need to find the right people ..

Mar 19 2013

Initial loadays speakers announced

Loadays is coming up soon .. 6 and 7 april ..
Loadays is the Linux and Open Administration conference of the low lands , held in Antwerp, Belgium

We've just published the initial batch of speakers

  • Being a Sysadmin at a company full of Sysadmins (Cody Herriges)
  • OpenNebula Fundamentals (Jaime Melis)
  • Integrate UEFI into REAR (Gratien D'haese)
  • Puppet v3 and Hiera (Garrett Honeycutt)
  • Integrating Linux into an Active Directory domain (Gábor Nyers)
  • Normalised instance provisioning for dev, on-premise and public clouds (Karanbir Singh)
  • C.R.E.A.M : Cache Rules Everything Around Me (Thijs Feryn)
  • OpenLDAP's Lightning Memory-Mapped DB (Howard Chu)
  • What's new in syslog-ng (Peter Czanik)
  • Introduction to Ansible (Jan Piet Mens)
  • Network Block Device: network-based block storage for Linux systems (Wouter Verhelst)


  • Building your Enterprise Cloud with OpenNebula (Jaime Melis)
  • Puppet tutorial (Garrett Honeycutt)
  • Automated Everything - Setting up an openQRM Cloud (Matthias Rechenburg)
  • Tutorial about provisioning and management using Ansible (Dag Wieers - Jeroen Hoekx)

There's more to come !

Feb 13 2013

Love, MonitoringLove

Last year we were pretty negative about Monitoring, We shouted out that MonitoringSucked ... A year has passed and a lot has changed ... most importantly our new found love for monitoring, thanks to an inspirational Ignite talk by Ulf Mansson at devopsdays Rome.

Right after Fosdem about 20 people showed up at the #monitoringlove hacksessions hosted at the offices to work on Open Source monitoring projects and exchange ideas. Some completely new people, some people with already a lot of experience.

Amongst the projects that were worked on was Maciej working on Packaging graphite for Debian, Ohter people were fixing bugs in Puppet , I spent some time with a vagrant box to deploy Sensu using Puppet. Last time I was playing with Sensu was on the flight back from PuppetCon , I gave up the fight with
RabbitMQ and SSL because I had no internet connection .. and now Ulf just pointed out that I could disable SSL at all, which resulted in having a POC up and running in no time.

Patrick was hacking on the Chef counterpart of the vagrant-puppet sensu setup a part of #monigusto. Ulf Mansson was getting dashing to display on a Raspberry Pi ... pretty cool stuff
And Jelle Smet was working on Pyseps a Python based Simple Event Processing Server framework that consume JSON docs from RabbitMQ and forwards them real time to other queues using MongoDB query syntax.

One of the more interesting discussion was around the topic of alerting and modeling business rules and input from a lot of different sources
in order to send the right alerts to the right people.

We explored different ideas like using BPM tools such as Activity or Rules engines like Ruby Rools. There exist some Saas providers that try to solve this need like PagerDuty and friends but obviously there is still a lot of work that needs to be done in order to create a viable alerting system based on different input sources.

The monitoring problem is not solved yet .. and it will stay around for a couple of years .. but with the advent of event such as Monitorama its clear
that an event like our #monitoring love hackessions is needed .. and is probably here to stay for a couple of years.

Jan 13 2013

#devops Conference Season heating up...

My last post has been a while ... in that I announced that there would be another event right before FOSDEM ... I totally forgot to announce it here but I`m sure that most of you already know. Yes. PuppetCamp Europe is coming back to it's roots... it's coming back to the city where we hosted it for the first time on this side of the ocean.. Gent. (that's 31/1 and 1/2 )

There is still time to register for the event The schedule for the event will be published soonish (given that the selection was done on Friday evening and the speakers already received their feedback)

Co-located with PuppetCamp there will another Build and Open Source cloud day
Build a Cloud day with interesting topics such as Cloudstack, Ceph, devops and a really interesting talk on how the Spotify crowd is using Cloudstack.

So after those 2 days in Ghent, a lot of people will be warmed up for the open source event of the year FOSDEM.

And right after FOSDEM a bunch of people will gather at the Inuits office for 2 days of discussing, hacking and evangelizing around #monitoringlove (see previous post)

I almost forgot but even before the FOSDEM week-long there is the 2013 PHP Benelux Conference where I`ll be running a fresh version of the 7 Tools for your devops stack

There is a ****load of #DevopsDays events being planned this year .... the 2012 edition of New York will be taking place next week .
Austin and London have been announced and have opened up their CFP and Registration but different groups are organizing themselves to host events in Berlin, Mountain View, Tokyo, Barcelona, Paris, Amsterdam , Australia , Atlanta and many more ..

And there's even more to come .. April 6 and 7 will be the dates for the Linux Open Administration Days (Loadays 2013) in Antwerp again ... a nice small conference where people gather to discuss different interesting Linux topics .... Call For Presentations is still open ..Submit here

On the other side of the ocean there's DrupalCon Portland which once again is featuring a #devops track , and also the folks over at Agile 2013 (Nashville)
have a #devops track now. Both events are still looking for speakers ..

So if by the end of this year you still don't know what devops is all about .. you probably don't care and shouldn't be in the IT industry anyhow.

And those are only the events I`m somehow involved in for the next couple of months

Nov 06 2012

Linuxcon Europe, Barcelona

I`m in Barcelona this week for LinuxCon Europe ..
I`ll be hosting 3 sessions this week.

Today I`ll be helping Sebastien Goasguen with his session Building Foss Clouds, I`ll be talking about how to use tools such as Puppet, Graphite and Icinga to monitor your clouds. Sebastian inherited the Building FOSS Clouds tutorial last week and asked me to help out.

Tomorrow I`ll be giving my 11 Open Source Tools for your Devops Stack talking.

And on thursday I will be giving a more general "What's this #devops thing anyhow" talk during the Cloudstack event following LinuxCon.

Sep 13 2012

Gentwerpen Devops Meetup & Conference Season Update

A couple of us have been taking about it a lot already .. we wanted to host a one day #devops event in .be already last year.. then talks about starting a meetup group started again with @wonko_be but it was @fs111 pushing the final button and calling the rest of the .be community to order, we've set a date
and the first session will take place (agenda still needs to be detirmined)

So all you Belgian devops enthousiasts, maark October 11th in your calendar and go register here

We already have 2 other venues (Gent, Boom) lined up .. but let's get this first one started :)

Next to that here's an update for the rest of my upcoming Conference Season :

  • Later this month I`ll be heading to San Francisco for a talk at PuppetConf 2012. I'll probably be around in the valley a bit earlier so if you anyone wants to meet up I`m open for suggestions.
    (Yes I asked Nick Stielau of Pantheon to host a #monitoringsucks / #devops meetup about Sensu but I should have predicted it was about to clash with the PuppetConf speakers dinner :((
  • I was thinking to swing by the MySQL- Connect conference but given the pricetag I don't think I`ll bother ... I am however thinking about crashing the hallway track , or tricking the Foreman Meetup to be colocated with a MySQL event again just like at Fosdem earlier this year
  • I will be attending the Jenkins User conference in San Francisco however before flying back to Europe
  • If you haven't noticed yet , Devopsdays is going to be in Rome this year on october 5 and 6. Registration
    is still open !
  • During the last weekend of october it's time for again. No news on the program yet.
  • And one week later I`ll be heading to Barcelona to speak at LinuxCon Europe I`m really looking forward to that last one again as it looks like the good old LinuxKongresses in Germany .. deep technical topics !
Aug 25 2012

Vagrant and Drupal, a winning team

While heading back home from DrupalCon Munich after 4 days of good interaction with lots of Drupal folks.
I realized to my big suprise that there are a lot of people using Vagrant to make sure that developers are not working on platforms they invented their own. Lots of people have realized that "It works on my computer" is not something they want to hear from a developer and are reaching out to give them viable solutions to work on shared and reproducible solutions.

There were 2 talks proposing solutions to the problem,

the first one was ..Fearless development with Drush, Vagrant and Aegir by Christopher Gervais He talked about Drush VAgrant Integraion and how extentions to Drush allow for easy vagrant integration , bridging this gap allows rupal developers to use a tool they are already familiar with

The second one was Jochen Lillich who explained how he us using Vagrant an Chef for this purpose his talk titled Use datacenter tools to make your dev life easier has been posted already.

During the Vagrant BOF , I briefly ran over @patrickdebois old slides on Vagrant after which people started discussing their use cases.. 2 other projects came up

First is Project Oscar which aims at providing developers with a default Drupal development environment in a Jiffy. they do this by providing a bunch of puppetmanifests that sets up a working environment.

And the second one is Ariadne which is a standardized virtual machine development evironment for easily developing Drupal sites in a local sandbox that is essentially identical to a fully-configured hosted solution. It attempts to emulate a dedicated Acquia/Pantheon server as closely as possible, with added development tools. Project Ariadne is just like the examples from Jochen Lillich based on Chef

With all of these tools and examples around , there should be no excuses anymore for Drupal developers to hack on their own machine and tell the systems people "It works on my machine" (let alone to hack in production).

Aug 17 2012

Devops Meeting Munich

Quick Note :

With Drupalcon going on next week in Munich , the nice folks of the local Devops Meetup are organising an evening event

Next tuesday at 1900 at Skoobe Gmbh

More details on the Meetup page !

Aug 11 2012

Our #monitoringsucks rpm is repository available

Not only our Rubygems Builds have changed, but also my internal #monitoringsucks repository.

You might have noticed a variety of vagrant- projects on my github acount,
Being the #monitoringsucks part of them. All of those Vagrant projects are basically my test setups to play with those new tools.

They contain a bunch of puppet modules that install and configure these tools. (Note that they mostly consist of
of git submodules to other puppet module repositories.

Given the fact that I also like to have my software cleanly installed from a package, that means that some of these tools had to be packaged, or I had to create a personal / internal repository which had packages from upstream that were hiding on the internet available.

I've forked of this repository off the internal Inuits epository so you all can also benefit from these efforts.
(You gotta love pulp :))

That means you can now install all of the above mentionned #monitoringsucks tool from our public repo on

  1. yumrepo { 'monitoringsucks':
  2. baseurl => '',
  3. descr => 'MonitoringSuck at Inuits',
  4. gpgcheck => '0',
  5. }

Patches to both the Vagrant projects and the puppet modules are welcome ...