The Future of Open Source Data Center Solutions – OSDC 2018 – Day 1

Now for the fourth time OSDC started in Berlin with a warm Welcome from Bernd and a fully packed room with approximately 140 attendees. This year we made a small change to the schedule by doing away with the workshop day and having an additional smaller conference afterwards. The Open Source Camp will be on Foreman and Graylog, but more on this on Thursday.

First talk was Mitchell Hashimoto with “Extending Terraform for Anything as Code” who started by showing how automation evolved in information technology and explained why it is so important before diving into Terraform. Terraform provides a declarative language to automate everything providing an API, a plan command to get the required changes before you then apply all this changes. While this is quite easy to understand for something like infrastructure Mitchell showed how the number of possibilities grew with Software-as-a-Service and now everything having an API. One example was how HashiCorp handles employees and their permissions with Terraform. After the examples for how you can use existing stuff he gave an introduction to extending Terraform with custom providers.

Second was “Hardware-level data-center monitoring with Prometheus” presented by Conrad Hoffmann who gave us some look inside of the datacenter of Soundcloud and their monitoring infrastructure before Prometheus which looked like a zoo. Afterwards he highlighted the key features why they moved to Prometheus and Grafana for displaying the collected data. In his section about exporters he got into details which exporter replaced which tools from the former zoo and gave some tips from practical experience. And last but not least he summarized the migration and why it was worth to do it as it gave them a more consistent monitoring solution.

Martin Schurz and Sebastian Gumprich teamed up to talk about “Spicing up VMWare with Ansible and InSpec”. They started by looking back to the old days they had only special servers and later on virtual machines manually managed, how this slowly improved by using managing tools from VMware and how it looks now with their current mantra “manual work is a bug!”. They showed example playbooks for provisioning the complete stack from virtual switch to virtual machine, hardening according their requirements and management of the components afterwards. Last but not least for the Ansible part they described how they implemented the Python code to have an Ansible module for moving virtual machines between datastores and hosts. For testing all this automation they use inSpec and the management requiring some tracking of the environment was solved using Ansible-CMDB.

After lunch break I visited the talk about “OPNsense: the “open” firewall for your datacenter” given by Thomas Niedermeier. OPNsense is a HardenedBSD-based Open Source Firewall including a nice configuration web interface, Spamhouse blocklists, Intrusion Prevention System and many more features. I think with all these features OPNsense has not to avoid comparison with commercial firewalls and if enterprise-grade support is required partners like Thomas Krenn are available, too.

Martin Alfke asked the question “Ops hates containers. Why?” he came around in a customer meeting. Based on this experience he started to demystify containers in a very entertaining and memorable way. He focused on giving OPS some tips and ideas about what you should learn before even thinking about having container in production or during implementing your own container management platform. As we do recording I really recommend you to have a look into the video of the talk when recordings are up in a few days.

Anton Babenko in his talk “Lifecycle of a resource. Codifying infrastructure with Terraform for the future” started were Mitchell’s talk ended and dived really deep into module design and development for Terraform. Me being not very familiar with Terraform he at least could convince me that it seems possible to write well designed code for it and it makes fun to experiment and improve with your own modules. Furthermore he gave tips for handling the next Terraform release and testing code during refactoring which are probably very useful for module authors.

“The Computer Science behind a modern distributed data store” by Max Neunhöffer did a very good job explaining theory used in cluster election and consensus. The second topic covered was sorting of data and how modern technology changed how we have to look at sorting algorithm. Log structured merge trees as the third topic of the talk are a great way to improve write performance and with applying some additional tricks also read performance used by many database solutions. Fourth section was about Hybrid Logical Clocks to solve the problem of system clocks differing. Last but not least Max talked about Distributed ACID Transactions (Atomic Consistent Isolated Durable) which are important to keep data consistent but are quite harder to achieve in distributed systems. It was really a great talk while only covering theoretical computer science Max made it very easy to understand at least basic levels and presented it in way getting people interested in those topics.

After this first day full of great talks we will have the evening event in a sky bar having a good view of Berlin, more food, drinks and conversations. This networking is perhaps one of the most interesting parts of conferences. I will be back with a short review of the evening event and day 2 tomorrow evening. If you want to have more details and a more live experience follow #osdc on Twitter.

Dirk Götz

Autor: Dirk Götz

Dirk ist Red Hat Spezialist und arbeitet bei NETWAYS im Bereich Consulting für Icinga, Puppet, Ansible, Foreman 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 wie nun bei NETWAYS.

OSMC 2018 – NOW is the time to register

OSMC 2018 | The Leading Event on Open Source Monitoring | Nov 05 – 08 Nuremberg

You are working on a new feature for Open Source Monitoring?

You found a genius way to solve a problem?

Best practice is your daily practice?

Share your knowledge and experiences with the community! DO IT NOW: Register as a speaker for OSMC!

The Open Source Monitoring Conference – short OSMC – is THE annual meeting of international open source enthusiasts in Nuremberg. The conference will be held in English and German. Presentations in English are particularly welcome. Speakers can choose between two possible formats: The long lecture that takes around 50-55 minutes and the short one, limited to 20 minutes. Talks can be submitted until June 30, 2018.

Besides the Presentations on Nov 06 & 07, the event comprises a day of technical Workshops on “Prometheus”, “Ansible”, “Icinga 2 / Puppet” and “Graylog” on Nov 05 and the Hackathon directly following the lecture program, on Nov 08.

OSMC takes place in Nuremberg, Nov 05 – Nov 08. Until June 30, 2018  you also have the chance to grab one of our Early Bird Tickets to be one of the more than 250 Open Source Lovers that attend the event. For further informations visit osmc.de.

Julia Hornung

Autor: Julia Hornung

Julia ist seit Juni 2018 Mitglied der NETWAYS-Crew. Vor ihrer Zeit in unserem Marketing Team hat sie in der Redaktion einer Tageszeitung und als Produktionsassistentin der freien Theaterszene gearbeitet. Ihre Leidenschaft gilt gutem Storytelling. Privat widmet sich die gebürtige Hessin und Wahl-Nürnbergerin dem Klettern und ihrer Ausbildung zur Yogalehrerin.

OSDC 2018 Countdown – 3 days until Berlin

This entry is part 10 of 10 in the series OSDC 2018 - Countdown

OSDC Countdown 2018 : The evolution of the Container Network Interface by Casey Callendrello

 

OSDC 2018 | Simplifying complex IT infrastructures with Open Source | June 12-13 Berlin

In 2017, Casey Callendrello covered the implications of a need for balance, design considerations, changes in the CNI spec, and new use cases made possible.

Join us in Berlin and take part in 10th internationally recognized Open Source Datacenter Conference 2018. Where you will experience experts report on the latest development trend in Datacenter solutions and best practices with pro administrators and architects.

It is best time to know-how and add-on into your knowledge with world-wide Open Source Community members.

For more information and to register visit osdc.de

See you in Berlin!

Keya Kher

Autor: Keya Kher

Keya hat im Oktober ihr Praktikum im Marketing bei NETWAYS gestartet. Letzten Dezember startete Sie gemeinsam mit Ihrem Mann das “Abenteuer Deutschland”. Seitdem lernt Sie fleißig deutsch und fühlt sich bei NETWAYS schon jetzt pudelwohl. Sie hat schon viele Erfahrungen im Social Media Marketing und ist gerade dabei auch im Grafikdesign ein Profi zu werden. Wenn sie nicht gerade dabei ist, sich kreativ auszuleben, entdeckt sie die Stadt und schmökert gerne im ein oder anderen Büchlein. Ihr Favorit ist hierbei “The Shiva Trilogy”.

Ceph Training opensourced

 

Besides several other trainings, such as gitlab, foreman or graphite/grafana we’re happy to announce our newest member in the NETWAYS OpenSource training community.

You might have guessed it after reading the headline, we’ve published a ceph training.

 

This training is designed as a two days hands-on training introducing Ceph, its basics, cluster setup and many best practices.

The training participants will get an in-depth insight into the Ceph basics and configuration. They also learn about Ceph Cache Tier, Rados Gateway, RBD, CephFS, Monitoring and Sizing.

– README.md

As ceph is a project with huge momentum, not only regarding spreading but also development, changes are certain to happen.

The training right now is not very specific regarding OpenStack-Integration, so this will be in the focus in the next iteration.

Commits to the trainings are always welcome!

When you’re interested in a training with more interactivity and personal discussion, feel free to get an overview here.

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!

OSDC 2018 Countdown – 11 days until Berlin

This entry is part 9 of 10 in the series OSDC 2018 - Countdown

OSDC Countdown 2018 :  Automating Kubernetes Cluster Operations with Operators by Timo Derstappen

 

OSDC 2018 | Simplifying complex IT infrastructures with Open Source | June 12-13 Berlin

In 2017, Timo Derstappen told us about a lot of challenges and learnings in the past year. Both on-premises and in the cloud. Timo also explained how Giant swarm is using operators to codify all operational tasks of managing Kubernetes cluster and distributed applications. The operators manage PKI infrastructures, networks, VMs and storage both on-premises and in the cloud.

Join us in Berlin and take part in 10th internationally recognized Open Source Datacenter Conference 2018. Where you will experience experts report on the latest development trend in Datacenter solutions and best practices with pro administrators and architects.

It is best time to know-how and add-on into your knowledge with world-wide Open Source Community members.

For more information and to register visit osdc.de

See you in Berlin!

Keya Kher

Autor: Keya Kher

Keya hat im Oktober ihr Praktikum im Marketing bei NETWAYS gestartet. Letzten Dezember startete Sie gemeinsam mit Ihrem Mann das “Abenteuer Deutschland”. Seitdem lernt Sie fleißig deutsch und fühlt sich bei NETWAYS schon jetzt pudelwohl. Sie hat schon viele Erfahrungen im Social Media Marketing und ist gerade dabei auch im Grafikdesign ein Profi zu werden. Wenn sie nicht gerade dabei ist, sich kreativ auszuleben, entdeckt sie die Stadt und schmökert gerne im ein oder anderen Büchlein. Ihr Favorit ist hierbei “The Shiva Trilogy”.

Rocket.Chat vs Slack

Team oriented Instant-Messaging has become quite popular in recent years with Slack. Its success is undeniable: more than 6 million people use Slack every day.
The name Slack is an acronym for “Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge” and might be an understatement to its todays capabilities.
But nevertheless searching through all conversations, files, and users is where it still shines.
Next to that, the main functionality is the team/group orientated messaging and the ability to integrate it with variety of other online services like Dropbox, Google Drive, GitHub etc. Some other cool features are (group) video calls and screen-sharing.

But Slack also comes with some limitations. You can use it for free, but you will be limited to access only the last 10000 messages.
Also the number of apps and integrations is limited and you can video chat only with one other user at a time.
To unlock those limitations you will have to choose one of the payment plans. And that’s where it can get expensive if you want to provide your growing company or a team with full featured accounts. For a team of 50 users you’ll have to spend at least 312 Euro per month.

One competitor of Slack is Rocket.Chat which is a open-source project that has been in very active development over the past years.
In this post I will briefly highlight the differences and the benefits of this chat solution in comparison to Slack.

Open Source
The first difference that I already mentioned is that Rocket.Chat is open source while Slack is not. Therefore you can access all its features for free and everyone can contribute to the development and implement new features. I have been watching the project on GitHub over the past year and there have been some great UI changes in the last couple of releases that gave it a more modern look and feel than before.

Self-Hosted
The fact that it is open-source makes it possible that you can download the software for free and install and run it on your own server. You are completely in control of where your chat data is stored. This can be an advantage if you know how to properly secure your server but it also can be of danger if you don’t. When it comes to security even Slack had some issues in the past with their service. In 2015 Slack was hacked – the hackers were able to access the main database for four days, giving them the chance to steal all user-profiles.

Customization
In Rocket.Chat you can personalize the whole design. You can even replace the Rocket.Chat icons with your own logos or add your own CSS styles, fonts and scripts.
Slack also provides some options to customize the look but not in the extend of what is possible with Rocket.Chat.

Roles and Permissions
With Slack you can specify which user-role a user should have in the Slack-Workspaces. Those are predefinded role-sets from Slack with different permissions.
Rocket.Chat takes it a step further. You have more presets and you even have the option to create you own role-presets.

Workspaces, Channels and OTR
In comparison to Slack, Rocket.Chat does not have anything similar like the Workspaces in Slack. But it has channels, private channels, direct messaging and even OTR (Off-the-Record) chats.
The last one is something that is currently not available in Slack. If you start a Off-the-Record session in Rocket.Chat with another user, all messages will be end-to-end encrypted and will be deleted after the session. This is perfect if you want to exchange some sensitive information with someone else.

Integrations, Bots and Apps
Slack features hundreds of apps that you can simply add with a few clicks. Some of them act as bots for other external services like for example Jira and Bitbucket.
This is something that Rocket.chat currently has not built in. But the Roadmap concerning Rocket.Chat bots looks very promising.
What you can do is install a Hubot on your server, hook it up to your Rocket.Chat and feed it with some scripts to achieve similar functionality.
There are already many hubot scripts on GitHub but it is just not as convenient to set up as installing an app in Slack.
Something else that both Slack and Rocket.Chat can do is Zapier integrations with other web services.
Rocket.Chat still has to catch up when it comes to the number of available Zapier integrations (10 for Rocket.Chat vs 100 for Slack) but there are already some useful integrations like Twitter, Github and Gmail. Another feature that Rocket.Chat has built in is a helpdesk chat called Livechat. This is a great feature if you have a WebShop or something similar where you would like to provide some additional support for your customers. You just have to enable it in Rocket.Chat and copy the Livechat script to your website. To learn more about it you should read Georgs blog post about that.

Summary
The benefits of Rocket.Chat are:
– the fact that it is open source and therefore free
– you can host it on your own server or on a server of the hosting provider you trust
– you have some additional freedom and control when it comes to visual customization and configuring user-roles

The downsides are:
– you will have to set it up on your own and manage stuff like backups, security and getting it fixed in case of a failure
– you don’t get the variety of apps and integration services as with Slack

If you are looking for a great managed Rocket.Chat solution you should have a look at our Netways Web Services and try Rocket.Chat 30 days for free.
And in case you didn’t know:
If you start both Rocket.chat and Icinga 2 Master a NWS integration job will kick in and configure both your apps so that your Icinga 2 Master will send monitoring alerts to a channel of your Rocket.Chat.
We also support Slack-Notifications in our Icinga 2 Master apps to send monitoring alerts directly to a provided Slack channel.

Gabriel Hartmann

Autor: Gabriel Hartmann

Gabriel freut sich nun in seiner Ausbildung zum Fachinformatiker für Systemintegration bei NETWAYS endlich sein im Informatikstudium gesammeltes Wissen artgerecht anwenden zu können. Wenn er nicht gerade an Servern, PC’s und sonstigem bastelt, vertreibt sich der gebürtige Oberfranke seine Freizeit mit Radfahren, Fotografie und Snowboarden. Vor allem reizen ihn interessante Projekte und das Arbeiten an Open Source basierten Linux-Systemen.