I was happy to join our conference crew for OSDC 2017 again because it is like meeting the family as one of our attendees said. Conference started for me already yesterday because I could join Gabriel‘s workshop on Mesos Marathon. It was a quite interesting introduction into this topic with examples and know how from building our Software-As-A-Service platform “Netways Web Services“. But it was also very nice to meet many customers and long-time attendees again as I already knew more than half of the people joining the workshops. So day zero ended with some nice conversation at the hotel’s restaurant.

As always the conference started with a warm welcome from Bernd before the actual talks (and the hard decision which talk to join) started. For the first session I joined Daniel Korn from Red Hat’s Container Management Team on “Automating your data-center with Ansible and ManageIQ“. He gave us an good look behind “one management solution to rule them all” like ManageIQ (the upstream version of Red Hat Cloudform) which is designed as an Open source management platform for Hybrid IT. So it integrates many different solutions like Openshift, Foreman or Ansible Tower in one interface. And as no one wants to configure such things manually today there are some Ansible modules to help with automating the setup. Another topic covered was Hawkular a time series database including triggers and alarming which could be used get alerts from Openshift to ManageIQ.

The second talk was Seth Vargo with “Taming the Modern Data Center” on how to handle the complexity of data centers today. He also covered the issues of life cycles shrinking from timeframes measured in days, weeks and month to seconds and minutes and budget moving from CapEx to OpEx by using cloud or service platforms. With Terraform he introduced one of HashiCorp’s solutions to help with solving these challenges by providing one abstraction layer to manage multiple solutions. Packer was another tool introduced to help with image creation for immutable infrastructure. The third tool shown was Consul providing Service Discovery (utilizing DNS or a HTTP API), Health Checking (and automatic removal from discovered services), Key/Value Store (as configuration backend for these services) and Multi-Datacenter (for delegating service request to nearest available system). In addition Seth gave some good look inside workflows and concepts inside HashCorp like they use their own software and test betas in production before releasing or trust developers of the integrated software to maintain the providers required for this integration.

Next was Mandi Walls on “Building Security Into Your Workflow with InSpec”. The problem she mentioned and is tried to be resolved by InSpec is security reviews can slow down development but moving security reviews to scanning a production environment is to late. So InSpec is giving the administrator a spec dialect to write human-readable compliance tests for Linux and Windows. It addresses being understandable for non-technical compliance officers by doing so and profiles give them a catalog to satisfy all their needs at once. If you want an example have a look at the chef cookbook os-hardening and the InSpec profile /dev-sec/linux-baseline working nicely together by checking compliance and running remediation.

James Shubin giving a big life demo of mgmt was entertaining and informative as always. I have already seen some of the demos on other events, but it is still exciting to see configuration management with parallelization (no unnecessary waiting for resources), event driven (instant recreation of resources), distributed topology (no single point of failure), automatic grouping of resource (no more running the package manager for every package), virtual machines as resources (including managing them from cockpit and hot plug cpus), remote execution (allowing to spread configuration management through SSH from one laptop over your data center). mgmt is not production ready for now, but its very promising. Future work includes a descriptive language, more resource types and more improvements. I can recommend watching the recording when it goes online in the next days.

“Do you trust your containers?” was the question asked by Erez Freiberger in his talk before he gave the audience some tools to increase the trust. After a short introduction into SCAP and OpenSCAP Erez spoke about Image inspector which is build on top of them and is utilized by OpenShift and ManageIQ to inspect container images. It is very good to see security getting nicely integrated into such tools and with the mentioned future work it will be even nicer to use.

For the last talk of today I joined Colin Charles from Percona who let us take part on “Lessons learned from database failures”. On his agenda were backups, replication and security. Without blaming and shaming Colin took many examples which failed and explained how it could be done better with current software and architecture. This remembers me to catch up on MySQL and MariaDB features before they hit enterprise distributions.

So this is it for today, after so many interesting talks I will have some food, drinks and conversation at the evening event taking place at Umspannwerk Ost. Tomorrow I will hand over the blog to Michael because I will give a talk about Foreman myself.

Dirk Götz

Autor: Dirk Götz

Dirk ist Red Hat Spezialist und arbeitet bei NETWAYS im Bereich Consulting für Icinga, Nagios, Puppet und andere Systems Management Lösungen. Früher war er bei einem Träger der gesetzlichen Rentenversicherung als Senior Administrator beschäftigt und auch für die Ausbildung der Azubis verantwortlich.