Location-Aware Settings With ControlPlane

Part of my “arriving at the office in the morning” ritual involves quitting all my personal applications (e.g. Sonos), re-enabling my work e-mail account and a whole slew of other tiny changes that differentiate my work environment from my home environment. While in itself this isn’t too much of a hassle it does get rather tedious after a while. Especially so if I forget to start certain apps like my Jabber client and don’t realize that until much later.

The ControlPlane application promises to solve this exact problem by running specific actions whenever it detects a location change.

In order to do this you first have to set up “contexts”: These are essentially the locations you want ControlPlane to be aware of. As a starting point I’ve created two contexts “Home” and “Work” for my most-frequently used locations:

The next step involves telling ControlPlane what kind of information it should use to determine where you are. ControlPlane supports a wide variety of so-called evidence sources for this, some of which include:

  • IP address range, nearby WiFi networks
  • Attached devices (screens, USB and bluetooth devices)
  • Bonjour services (e.g. AppleTV)

Once you’ve made up your mind about which evidence sources to use you need to actually configure rules for these sources. An example would be “If my laptop can see the WiFi network ‘netways’ I’m in the ‘Work’ environment.” You also get to choose a confidence rating for each of those rules. This is useful if some of your rules could potentially also match in other, unrelated environments – for example because the IP address range you’re using at work is also commonly used by other companies.

Once you’re sufficiently confident that your location detection rules are working reliably you can set up actions which ControlPlane automatically performs whenever you enter or leave a certain location:

For my personal use I’ve found the built-in library of actions to be quite useful. However, there are a few things that even ControlPlane doesn’t support out of the box – like disabling specific e-mail and Jabber accounts. Luckily it does let you can run arbitrary external applications, including ones you’ve built with macOS’s Script Editor application:

Gunnar Beutner

Autor: Gunnar Beutner

Vor seinem Eintritt bei NETWAYS arbeitete Gunnar bei einem großen deutschen Hostingprovider, wo er bereits viel Erfahrung in der Softwareentwicklung für das Servermanagement sammeln konnte. Bei uns kümmert er sich vor allem um verschiedene Kundenprojekte, aber auch eigene Tools wie inGraph oder Icinga2.

Highly exciting, informative and unique: Programme for OSDC 2017 is fixed!

After the successful Call for Papers for the Open Source Data Center Conference, we proved a multitude of great proposals and created the thematic areas.
There are 24 simply stunning presentations on the topics CONTAINERS&MICROSERVICES, CONFIGURATION MANAGEMENT, TESTING METRICS&ANALYSIS and TOOLS&INFRASTRUCTURE.

Amongst others, we’re happy to welcome

• Mathias Meyer | Travis CL | Build the Home of Open Source testing, Without Datacenter
• Seth Vargo | HashiCorp |Taming the Modern Data Center
• Mandi Walls | Chef | Building Security Into Your Workflow with InSpec
• James Shubin | RedHat | MGMT Config: Autonomous systems
• Casey Callendrello | CoreOS | The evolution of the Container Network Interface
• Monica Sarbu | Elastic | Collecting the right data to monitor you infrastructure

… and much more.

We’re happy to welcome all these top-class speakers in Berlin.

In addition to the speeches, there are three workshops on the topics „Graylog – Centralized Log Management“, „Mesos Marathon – Orchestrating Docker Containers“ and „Terraform – Infrastructure as Code“.

In the evening of the second conference day, we invite all attendees to our special evening event in a relaxed and convivial atmosphere. Take some drinks and enjoy the buffet including various culinary delights. In this casual setting, you have the opportunity to meet other attendees or speakers.

Don’t miss the OSDC, it will be great! 

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 Countdown – 9 weeks until Berlin

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series OSDC 2017 Countdown

OSDC-Countdown 2017: A Cloud Migration Strategy by Schlomo Schapiro


OSDC 2017 | Simplifying Complex IT Infrastructures with Open Source | May 16 – 18, 2017

Join us in Berlin and be part of the Open Source Data Center Conference 2017, where internationally recognized Open Source specialists report on the latest developments in Data Center solutions and share their experiences and best practices with experienced administrators and architects. This is also a great opportunity for you to deepen and expand your own know-how in a relaxed atmosphere as well as to establish contacts and to get to know the Open Source community.

Next to the speeches, you have the opportunity to take place in one of three interesting hands-on workshops on May 16.

More information and your tickets can be found on: www.osdc.de

See you in 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 Countdown – 10 weeks until Berlin

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series OSDC 2017 Countdown

OSDC-Countdown 2017: Bareos Backup Integration with Standard Open Source Tools by Maik Aussendorf


OSDC 2017 | Simplifying Complex IT Infrastructures with Open Source | May 16 – 18, 2017

Join us in Berlin and be part of the Open Source Data Center Conference 2017, where internationally recognized Open Source specialists report on the latest developments in Data Center solutions and share their experiences and best practices with experienced administrators and architects. This is also a great opportunity for you to deepen and expand your own know-how in a relaxed atmosphere as well as to establish contacts and to get to know the Open Source community.

Next to the speeches, you have the opportunity to take place in one of three interesting hands-on workshops on May 16.

More information and your tickets can be found on: www.osdc.de

See you in 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.

Simple Video Chat with jitsi-meet

Oftentimes you have colleagues working on different sites, even different countries and time zones have gotten more and more common in todays world of work.

You can easily keep connected by multiple means like Chat, Email, landline, mobile phones, messaging apps, social networks, VoIP… You get my point.

Most of these means have several disadvantages to consider:

  • no video functionality
  • no sovereignty about the transmitted data
  • no availability of thorough debugging
  • need of dedicated client application

These topics can be tackled by an OpenSource VideoChat Application: jitsi-meet

There is a quick installation guide available, (yes, there are docker images)and you can also try it via a demo system.

The package installs several components: jitsi-videobridge (WebRTC), jitisi-meet (JavaScript), nginx (http access), prosody (XMPP), OpenJDK7 (JRE)

While setting up the system, you’re prompted to configure  the domain name respectively the $IP of the host. In a second step, you’re asked to set a certificate for SSL-encryption.

You’re allowed to use your own certificate or jitsi-meet creates a self-signed certificate for you (this might be handy for having just a quick glance at jitsi-meet)

jitsi-meet then provides an easily accessible chat room for many concurrent user who can (voice)chat, share screens and video chat.

To set up a chat room, simply point your browser (Chrome worked best in our environment) to https://$IP:443 and enter a name for the room into the dialogue box.

You’ll be then redirected to the room and can start setting a password for the room and share the link to your room with others.

This is just a short overview about the possibilities of jitsi-meet, give it a try and have fun!

 

 

 

Tim Albert

Autor: Tim Albert

Tim kommt aus einem kleinen Ort zwischen Nürnberg und Ansbach, an der malerischen B14 gelegen. Er hat in Erlangen Lehramt und in Koblenz Informationsmanagement studiert, wobei seine Tätigkeit als Werkstudent bei IDS Scheer seinen Schwenk von Lehramt zur IT erheblich beeinflusst hat. Neben dem Studium hat Tim sich außerdem noch bei einer Werkskundendienstfirma im User-Support verdingt. Blerim und Sebastian haben ihn Anfang 2016 zu uns ins Managed Services Team geholt, wo er sich nun insbesondere um Infrastrukturthemen kümmert. In seiner Freizeit engagiert sich Tim in der Freiwilligen Feuerwehr - als Maschinist und Atemschutzgeräteträger -, spielt im Laientheater Bauernschwänke und ist auch handwerklich ein absolutes Allroundtalent. Angefangen von Mauern hochziehen bis hin zur KNX-Verkabelung ist er jederzeit einsatzbereit. Ansonsten kocht er sehr gerne – alles außer Hase!

Authentication with OAuth

It’s pretty safe to say, that everyone using the web has already made an account for some website. For the broad masses the most common ones would be social media sites like facebook, youtube and twitter. Then there are also online shopping platforms like e-bay and amazon, and more techie orientated pages like stack overflow and all sorts of version control repositories.
(And of course various others for anything and everything else…)

Third party applications often allow you to sign in with your account from another website.

The good thing is, that you don’t need to create a separate account for every single one, but are offered the possibility to just sign in with an account you created for a different service.

The page for which you want to use a different account needs to request data from the original website and use it to authenticate the user (without their input).
In order to give both the requesting website and the user assurance that the data will be safe and reliable some sort of standardisation is required.

Most commonly used is the open standard for authorisation OAuth.
With OAuth it is possible for users to grant access to their information from a certain website without giving away their credentials.

This is what it looks like when the user reviews the permissions.

In order for the third party application to obtain specific information about a user, it has to request an access token from the authorisation server, and when the user grants the permission, use that token to access the resources from the website.

In our specific case we want users to be able to log in to Icinga Exchange with their GitHub accounts.

If you now also want to integrate GitHub on your website and/or see how it’s done: they have a detailed tutorial here.

Jennifer Mourek

Autor: Jennifer Mourek

Jennifer hat sich nach Ihrem Abitur erst einmal die große weite Welt angesehen, ehe es sie für Ihre Ausbildung zur Fachinformatikerin für Anwendungsentwicklung ab September 2016 nach Nürnberg zu NETWAYS verschlagen hat. Die Lieblingsfreizeitaktivitäten der gebürtigen Steigerwalderin sind das Zocken, Zeichnen und sich mit Freunden und Kollegen auf gemütliche Spiele- und Filmabende zu treffen.