Monthly Snap May < GitLab CE, Icinga 2, NWS, OSDC, Ubuntu, Graphite, Puppet, SuiteCRM

In May, Achim started with GitLab CE, while Florian presented Vanilla.
Then, Lennart wrote the fifth part of his Icinga Best Practices and Isabel told us about the MultiTech MTD-H5-2.0.
Martin K. continued with external monitoring of websites and services with Icinga 2 while Julia gave a triple hurray to our OSDC-sponsors. Stefan G. gave an insight in his „Mission Loadbalancer Upgrade“ and Blerim tested Ruby applications with RSpec and WebMock.
Lennart published part 3 and 4 of „Icinga 2 – Automated Monitoring with Puppet“, Martin K. showed the benefits of our SuiteCRM Hosting while Marius G. told us the upcoming death of Ubuntu Unity.
May went on with the OSDC in Berlin and the reports from Isabel, Julia, Michi and Dirk.
Then Thomas Widhalm continued with the Carbon Relay for Graphite and Christian wrote about the Icinga 2 Satellite in NWS.
Towards the end of May, Christian announced some new webinars and Gabriel gave an insight in his work at NETWAYS!

Julia Hackbarth

Autor: Julia Hackbarth

Julia ist seit 2015 bei NETWAYS. Sie hat im September ihre Ausbildung zur Kauffrau für Büromanagement gestartet. Etwas zu organisieren macht ihr großen Spaß und sie freut sich auf vielseitige Herausforderungen. In ihrer Freizeit spielt Handball eine große Rolle: Julia steht selbst aktiv auf dem Feld, übernimmt aber auch gerne den Part als Schiedsrichterin.

OSDC 2017 – What a great week full of open source!

Over the weekend, we caught up on missed sleep and we were really happy about the successful Open Source Data Center Conference last week in Berlin.

The OSDC 2017 began with our workshop day on Tuesday with „Graylog-Centralized Log Management“, „Mesos Marathon – Orchestrating Docker Containers“ and „Terraform – Infrastructure as Code“.

On Wednesday and Thursday attendees could join 23 interesting talks on case studies, the latest developments and best practices. CONTAINERS AND MICROSERVICES | CONFIGURATION MANAGEMENT | TESTING, METICS AND ANALYSIS and TOOLS&INFRASTRUCTURE were forming the core of the conference! Details about the talks, you can get in Michi’s and Dirk’s Blogposts.

On Wednesday evening, we went to the Umspannwerk Ost. There was much sun, and so we could all sit outside and discuss the exciting days. Furthermore, it was enough time for networking, establishing contacts and becoming more familiar with the open source community!

After the conference was gone on Thursday, we were happy to meet you all in Berlin and also a little bit sad, because three exciting conference days came to an end.

At this point, it is time to say a cordial THANK YOU!

Thanks to our speakers who made us laugh and who gave us so much knowledge!
Thanks to our sponsors for the wonderful support and your confidence!
Thanks to our attendees for making the OSDC unique!

We’ll hope to see you all next year! The date for 2018 is already fixed.

The pictures, slides and videos of the OSDC will be available soon!

OSDC 2018 | June 14 – 16, 2018 | Berlin

Julia Hackbarth

Autor: Julia Hackbarth

Julia ist seit 2015 bei NETWAYS. Sie hat im September ihre Ausbildung zur Kauffrau für Büromanagement gestartet. Etwas zu organisieren macht ihr großen Spaß und sie freut sich auf vielseitige Herausforderungen. In ihrer Freizeit spielt Handball eine große Rolle: Julia steht selbst aktiv auf dem Feld, übernimmt aber auch gerne den Part als Schiedsrichterin.

OSDC 2017: Community connects

After a fully packed and entertaining first day at OSDC, we really enjoyed the evening event at Umspannwerk Ost. Warm weather, tasty food and lots of interesting discussions, just relaxing a bit and preparing for day 2 🙂

 

Warming up

Grabbed a coffee and started with Julien Pivotto on Automating Jenkins. Continuous integration matters these days and there’s not only Jenkins but also GitLab CI and more. Julien told us why automation for Jenkins is needed. Likewise, “XML Everywhere” makes configuration a bit tad hard. Same thing goes for plugins, you literally can’t run Jenkins without. Julien also told us “don’t edit XML”, but go for example for Groovy and the Jenkins /script API endpoint. The Jenkins pipeline plugin even allows to use YAML as config files. In terms of managing the daemon, I learned about “init.groovy.d” to manage and fire additional Groovy scripts. You can use the Job DSL Groovy plugin to define jobs in a declarative manner.

Julien’s talk really was an impressive deep dive leading to Jenkins running Docker and more production hints. After all an amazing presentation, like James said 🙂

I decided to stay in MOA5 for the upcoming talks and will happily await the conference archive once videos are uploaded in the next couple of days.

Casey Calendrello from CoreOS led us into the evolution of the container network interface. I’m still a beginner with containers, Kubernetes and also how networks are managed with it, so I learned quite a lot. CNI originates from rkt and is now built as separate project and library for Go-built software. Casey provided an impressive introduction and deep dive on how to connect your containers to the network – bridged, NAT, overlay networks and their pros and cons. CNI also provides many plugins to create and manage specific interfaces on your machine. It’s magic, and lots of mentioned tool names certainly mean I need to look them up and start to play to fully understand the capabilities 😉

Yesterday Seth Vargo from HashiCorp had 164 slides and promised to just have 18 today, us moving to lunch soon. Haha, no – it is live demo time with modern secrets management with Vault. We’ve also learned that Vault was developed and run at HashiCorp internally for over a year. It received a security review by the NCC group before actually releasing it as open source. Generally speaking it is “just” an encrypted key value store for secrets. Seth told us “our” story – create a database password once, write it down and never change it for years. And the process to ask the DBA to gain access is so complicated, you just save the plain-text password somewhere in your home directory 😉

Live demo time – status checks and work with key creation. Manage PostgreSQL users and credentials with vault – wow, that simple? That’s now on the TODO list to play with too. Seth also released the magic Vault demo as open source on GitHub right after, awesome!

 

Enjoying the afternoon

We had tasty lunch and were glad to see Felix Frank following up with “Is that an Ansible? Stop holding it like a Puppet!” – hilarious talk title already. He provided an overview on the different architecture and naming schemas, community modules (PuppetForge, Ansible Galaxy) and also compared the configuration syntax (Hash-Like DSL, YAML). Both tools have their advantages, but you certainly shouldn’t enforce one’s mode onto the other.

Puh, I learned so many things today already. I’ve unfortunately missed Sebastian giving an introduction about our very own NETWAYS Web Services platform managed with Mesos and Marathon (I rest assured it was just awesome).

After a short coffee break we continued to make decisions – previously Puppet vs. Ansible, now VMware vs. Rudder, location-wise. I decided to listen to Dr. Udo Seidel diving into “VMware’s (Open Source) way of Container“. VMWare is traditionally not very open source friendly, but things are changing. Most likely you’ve heard about Photon OS serving as minimal container host. It was an interesting talk about possibilities with VmWare, but still, I left the talk with the “yet another platform” feeling.

Last talk for a hilarious day about so many learnt things is about containerized DBs by Claus Matzinger from Crate.io. CrateDB provides shared nothing architecture and includes partitioning, auto-sharing, replication. It event supports structured and unstructured data plus SQL language. Sounds promising after all.

Dirk talked about Foreman as lifecycle management tool in MOA4, too bad I missed it.

 

Conclusion

Coffee breaks and lunch unveiled so many interesting discussions. Food was really tasty and I’m sure everyone had a great time, so did I. My personal highlights this year: Follow-up Seth’s talk and try Consul and Vault and do a deep dive into mgmt and tell James about it. Learn more about Ansible and put it into context with Puppet, like Felix has shown in his talk. As always, I’m in love with Elastic beats and will follow closely how to log management evolves, also on the Graylog side of life (2.3 is coming soon, Jan and Bernd promised).

Many thanks to our sponsor Thomas Krenn AG for being with so long. And also for the tasty Linzer Torte – feels like home 🙂

Thanks for a great conference, safe travels home and see you all next year!

Save the date for OSDC 2018: 12. – 14.6.2018!

 

Michael Friedrich

Autor: Michael Friedrich

Michael ist seit vielen Jahren Icinga Developer und hat sich Ende 2012 in das Abenteuer NETWAYS gewagt. Ein Umzug von Wien nach Nürnberg mit der Vorliebe, österreichische Köstlichkeiten zu importieren - so mancher Kollege verzweifelt an den süchtig machenden Dragee-Keksi. Oder schlicht am österreichischen Dialekt der gerne mit Thomas im Büro intensiviert wird ("Jo eh."). Wenn sich Michael mal nicht im Monitoring-Portal helfend meldet, arbeitet er am nächsten LEGO-Projekt oder geniesst das schöne Nürnberg. Oder - at an Icinga Camp near you 😉

OSDC 2017 – How it went on!

After the talks on Wednesday were finished, two OSDC-VIP buses stood in front of the MOA Hotel. After all attendees found their seats, we drove threw the whole city and finally reached the Umspannwerk Ost.

Bright Sunshine, perfect. As in the last year, there was a huge variety of culinary delights. Due to the bright sunshine till the evening hours, most of us sat outside the listed building, which is the oldest substation in Berlin. With some soft drinks and yummy food (look at the pictures), the evening ran its course.

As a little surprise for the attendees, we organised a kicker. Not a standard kicker, but a kicker for more than four persons. It was really funny!
And so the hours passed until the third shuttle VIP-Bus brought all of us back to the conference hotel. After a very short night, the talks for today started on time. What the talks are about, you can find out in Michi’s Blogpost after the conference has been finished.

For our events team, it’s now the final spurt, before the post processing may start tomorrow. We hope, all attendees have an interesting second conference day and a save journey home!

SAVE THE DATE FOR 2018 | June 12-14

 

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Julia Hackbarth

Autor: Julia Hackbarth

Julia ist seit 2015 bei NETWAYS. Sie hat im September ihre Ausbildung zur Kauffrau für Büromanagement gestartet. Etwas zu organisieren macht ihr großen Spaß und sie freut sich auf vielseitige Herausforderungen. In ihrer Freizeit spielt Handball eine große Rolle: Julia steht selbst aktiv auf dem Feld, übernimmt aber auch gerne den Part als Schiedsrichterin.

Like meeting the family – OSDC 2017: Day 1

OSDC Logo
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.

OSDC 2017 – How it all began

On Monday evening, there was a group of some very excited NETWAYS guys, who arrived in Berlin to prepare the OSDC. After the rooms were ready for the workshops on Tuesday, the pizza for our busy bees was definetely rewarded. Then it was still very late and so they all fell into a deep deep sleep before the bewitched bell was ringing again. Then at 10 o’ clock, our Workshops started. There were „Graylog – Centralized Log Management“ by Jan Doberstein and Bernd Ahlers, „Terraform – Infrastructure as Code“ by Seth Vargo and „Mesos Marathon – Orchestrating DOcker Containers“ by Gabriel Hartmann. The attendees learned a lot and we hope theres a little space left for the talks on Wednesday are Thursday! Then the NETWAYS – Crew started with the last preparations for Wednesday and then the first conference day was already gone! After a joyful night with our beloved Tele-Inder (classic Berlin Späti), the conference started with Bernd’s Opening and talks. What the talks are about, you can read in Dirks Blogpost! But we’ll only say this much: It was equally interesting new things and fun! 😊 The pictures will follow!

 

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Julia Hackbarth

Autor: Julia Hackbarth

Julia ist seit 2015 bei NETWAYS. Sie hat im September ihre Ausbildung zur Kauffrau für Büromanagement gestartet. Etwas zu organisieren macht ihr großen Spaß und sie freut sich auf vielseitige Herausforderungen. In ihrer Freizeit spielt Handball eine große Rolle: Julia steht selbst aktiv auf dem Feld, übernimmt aber auch gerne den Part als Schiedsrichterin.