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)

Tutorials

  • 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 Inuits.eu 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.

Feb 05 2013

check_graphite

During my Puppetcamp Gent talk last week, I explained how to get alerts based on trends from graphite. A number of people asked ,e how to do that.

First lets quickly explain why you might want to do that .
Sometimes you don't care about the current value of a metric..as an example take a Queing system .. there is no problem if there are messages added to the queue, not even if there are a lot of messages on the queue, there might however be a problem if over a certain period the number of messages on a queue stays to high.

In this example I`m monitoring the queue length of a hornetq setup which is exposed by JMX.
On the server runnnig HornetQ I have an exported resource that tells the JMXTrans server to send the MessageCount to graphite
(you could also do this using collectd plugins)

  1. @@jmxtrans::graphite {"MessageCountMonitor-${::fqdn}":
  2. jmxhost => hiera('hornetqserver'),
  3. jmxport => "5446",
  4. objtype => 'org.hornetq:type=Queue,*',
  5. attributes => '"MessageCount","MessagesAdded","ConsrCount"',
  6. resultalias => "hornetq",
  7. typenames => "name",
  8. graphitehost => hiera('graphite'),
  9. graphiteport => "2003",
  10. }

This gives me a computable url on which I can get the graphite view

The next step then is to configure a nagios check that verifies this data. For that I need to use the check_graphite plugin from Datacratic ..

Which can work with an nrpe config like

  1. ### File managed with puppet ###
  2. ### Served by: '<%= scope.lookupvar('::servername') %>'
  3. ### Module: '<%= scope.to_hash['module_name'] %>'
  4. ### Template source: '<%= template_source %>'
  5.  
  6. command[check_hornetq]=/usr/lib64/nagios/plugins/check_graphite -u "http://<%= graphitehost%>/render?target=servers.<%= scope.lookupvar('::fqdn').gsub(/\./,'_')%>_5446.hornetq.docstore_private_trigger_notification.MessageCount&from=-30minutes&rawData=true" -w 2000 -c 20000

I define this check on the host where HornetQ is running as it then will map to that host on Icinga/Nagios rather than throw a host error on an unrelated host.

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

Nov 13 2012

#monitoringlove hackfest

The age of #monitoringsucks is over, we're now transitioning into a #monitoringlove period.

That however doesn't mean al the work is done, we still need to do a lot of work and a lot of people are working on a lot of stuff.

Therefore like last year we are opening up our offices again right after Fosdem for a #monitoringlove hackfest

That's right on february 4 and 5 a bunch of people interrested to fix the problem will be meeting , discussing and hacking stuff together in Antwerp. In short a #monitoringlove hackathon

Inuits is opening up their offices for everybody who wants to join the effort Please let us (@KrisBuytaert) know if you want to join us in Antwerp. We'll provide caffeine, wireless, chairs and some snacks.

Please register upfront at : http://monitoringlove2013.eventbrite.com/

Obviously if you can't make it to Antwerp you can join the effort on ##monitoringsucks on Freenode or on Twitter.

The location will be Duboistraat 50 , Antwerp
It is about 10 minutes walk from the Antwerp Central Trainstation
Depending on Traffic Antwerp is about half an hour north of Brussels and there are hotels at walking distance from the venue.

Plenty of parking space is available on the other side of the Park

Read last years report http://www.krisbuytaert.be/blog/we-didnt-fix-it to get an idea of what will happen...

PS. Yes I`m trying to get another event of the ground the days before Fosdem but I`m still awaiting confirmation of the venue ..

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 t-dose.org 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 25 2012

Open Source Certification , Friend or Foe

With 2 of the bigger Open Source projects I care about talking about certifications programs questions pop up again ...

Should we certify ourselves ?

So let me tell you about my experiences in getting Open Source related Certifications ..

Over a decade ago, (2001) when RedHat was still Redhat and not yet Fedora the company I was working for was about to partner with RedHat and needed to get a number of people certified for that.

So I took the challenge, I bored myselve to death during a 4 day RedHat fast track training and set out to do the exam the next day. Obviosly I scored pretty well given my yearlong experience in the subject. Back then I was told that I scored the one but European Record on the exam which was actually held by another collegue (hey Ico) , our CTO however was not amused when I told that I could have scored better but I didn't bother running a chkconfig smb  on since I didn't see the use in using windows fileshares in a unix environment (Yes I was young , we're all allowd to make stupid mistakes :))

So I was certified, we were expecting the requests to flow in en masse ... nothing happened... not a single customer request... If I recall correctly we got 2 requests for certified engineers over the course of the following years. One was from a customer that wanted to have us do some junior level sysadmin work on their systems which we didn't care about, we proposed a more junior profile, but they insisted on having someone who was certified, The other one was from a Large institution that wanted certified people for their RedHat support, only to quickly learn that the budget they had planned for this project was about half the rate we usually charged ..

When RedHat introduced their certified Architect program my answer was, sure .. if you bring us the customer that will make the investment worthwhile , guess what..

My second experience with Open Source certification came a couple of years later with MySQL, same story partnering etc, . only this time our trainer had put some focus on a couple of slides during the training (Hi Tobias) and during the exam indeed one of those questions popped up, The correct answer to "What are the core values of MySQL AB" was "We reply to email" , I stood up and left the exam ...
I ranted about this to a number of people including Roland Bouman who back then was just starting on the MySQL (NDBD) Cluster certifciation track and I assisted him in making the book to study for that exam better.
Once again .. pretty much no one asked for MySQL certification in Europe back in those days (2007 ?)

I won't go deeper into discussing the Xen certification I got from Citrix, but it involved correcting slides from the presenters at the first European training.

Based on my experience with these certifications in Belgium/Europe you can see that I`m not a big fan of certifications I have not seen a reason for me to certify yet

I actually think that noone within the Open Source community should be looking for certification, we should be looking for people that are active in the community and that are contributing to projects.
Unlike in the proprietary world where you have to cough up tons of money in order to get a license to play with a tool and learn itl In the open source world with projects such as both Drupal and Puppet, there are absolutely no excuses for Junior people not to engage and prove themselves. they have full access to anything they need, the only thing they need to do is want to get involved.

Sadly this world however is still full of incompetent recruiters, middlemarket agencies that will never understand this and will ask for cerftifications of some kind. My fear is indeed that there will be a group of mediocre but certified developers swarming these growing markets at dumping rates and that the people with the real experience that have been involved in the communities for ages already will be the ones pulling the short straw.

Anyhow ... in just a short couple of years everything will be fine again .. as by then my RHCE will be current again and the incompetent recruiters that need people that are RedHat 7 certified will start calling me by the dozen.

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 !