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 http://puppetcampghent2013.eventbrite.com/ 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

Mar 23 2012

FlossUK and Puppetcamp Edinburgh

I've just finished presenting my talk on how I currently work on Puppet modules at Puppetcamp here in Edinburgh where I've been for the week talking on both FlossUK 2012 and Puppetcamp.

Earlier this week I opened FlossUK 2012 with my talk on 7 tools for your devops stack

May 25 2011

Beyond Configuration Mgmt

(This post has been sitting in the drafts folder for way to long, I decided to push the publish button anyhow .. some people might get ideas from it..)

We've all run in to the problem, you've puppetized, or euh .. cooked , about every part of your infrastructure and then there's this one service which has no config files, a broken api that doesn't allow you to configure antyhing, but a magnificent web gui to configure all aspects of the service. Magnificent for the eye , full of AJAX and other fancy stuff which wget isn't really keen on. Off course before it even starts working you need to set it's password , from that webgui.

Sometimes when you are lucky they store al their config in a database, which you can dump, parse and replace all the host specific parameters for other deployments, but is that an approach you like ? As for each new version you'll need to reanalyze the db layout. But no matter how you look at it ,dumping the DB and restoring it is an ugly hack you don't want.

Other alternatives like sniffing the traffic and replaying the POSTS etc were considered ... but fancy AJAX stuff and SSL make that less trivial than it seems

Wo while discussing with an upstream project they proposed to actually screenscrape their config webgui .

So screenscraping the config gui it is .. but how ... I started looking at tools that are typically used for testing rather than for automation, with the purpose of replaying the scenarios one needs to configure the services.

My first attempt was Selenium, it plugs into a browser , so it's easy to acraully record what it has to do, and it saves it's scenarios in a somewhat readable/ editable format.
Having found the export to perl function it alll looked promising. However the export to perl isn't really an export to perl as I epxected .. I assumed it would just generate the perl code to run the same scneario which would be awesome .. it however generates a perl script that instructs a selenium server to run the script.

One of the annoyancies I ran into with Selenium is that a browser
doesn't accept self signed certificates , and one can't preprovision a browser easyily with those freshly created certificates. (Yes Karl I already read about certutil ... )

I had heard good things about Cucumber so I was pretty eager to start testing it ... In short Cucumber lack documentation ,
I tried a couple of things but I couldn't get beyond testing if a certain string was on a page.. couldn't figure out how to fill in a form etc ...
Maybe if anyone could point me to some great documentation on how you should write recipe's here ... I didn't find the documentation all to easy to find ..
Bummer as it really really looks promisiung .. specially since it is so lightweight ..

IP played with JMeter and Sahi too .. but still

So apart from filing bugs to the upstream project/product and hoping they understand your problem and are willing to oopen up their API , what other options do you folks suggest ?

I gave a short talk about this at Puppetcamp in Amsterdam and the audience came up with a bunch of other potential projects to look at .

The main problem still is that all these are tools to automate testing , they don't provide you with a general purpose approach to solve the configuration mgmt problem, each time the upstream vendor modifies the layout of his page you hav e to do the work again and that .. really doesn't sound promising ..

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 ..

Feb 01 2010

Upcoming Conference Talks

I know the biggest part of my fanclub already booked tickets for my upcoming presentations, but the other 2 might want to check their calendars to see if they aren't missing out on the good stuff :)

Next Sunday I`ll giving a shortish overview of MySQL HA alternatives in the MySQL and Friends devroom at Fosdem.

March will bring me to Manchester again for the UKUUG Spring conference where I`ll be giving a longer version of that presentation with a strong focus on integrating with PaceMaker, and automating the whole boostrap procedure of a HA setup.

Early may will bring me to Ede in the Netherlands where I`ll be telling the crowds at the NLUUG spring conference, about their new fancy jobtitles, as all the Systeembeheerders there will have to become Devministrators, or Devops if you prefer ...

Apart from my talks also watch out for LoadAys , PuppetCamp Europe, OpsCamp Europe and maybe a Real CloudCamp in Belgium :)

And I`m not the only Inuit on Tour,