Thanks to Bernd I had the opportunity to participate in FOSDEM and CfgMgmtCamp in Belgium last weekend. So I left my customer on Friday to meet Michael and Markus in Karlsruhe to switch to the car and drive to Brussels. After a snowy ride we arrived at our loft, ready to start for FOSDEM the next morning.
After a warm welcome in the opening talk I went to the always crowded Configuration management devroom, listening to some interesting talks about configuration management in general. Ryan Coleman gave some good advice on discussions about code quality and Adrien Thebo on using well adopted development practices also for your infrastructure.
Next was lunch with the guys from inuits, also puppet users and icinga contributors we had many things to talk about before we went back to hear about how to contribute to Foreman by Daniel Lobato. Later on I had a deep look insight the Community build service of CentOS provided by Thomas Oulevey. Because of a full sign on the Configuration management devroom we went to the hackerspace and Michael and I started discussing about a SELinux Policy for Icinga 2 which is now on my ToDo list. And as open source is also about community we joined a group for dinner again.
On the next day I went to the Distributions devroom to hear about the Software Collections and what new things are coming. We stayed in the room only for the systemd talk but the talk about OpenSuses Tumbleweed was more interesting than expected. After this Lennart Poettering gave an overview on what was implemented in the last year of systemd and what will be in the next. But the most importent was not what but why which was showing how much the systemd guys are thinking about what they do. I stayed also for Retooling Fedora because it is my favourite distribution while Michael and Markus left to meet Bernd and Julia at the cafeteria.
Later on we went back to the devrooms for a look on how to utilize the NUMA architecture in virtualization and the work of CentOS Virt SIG bringing many tools to the users. After FOSDEM we joined the Foreman Contributor meeting at a restaurant in the city centre. While Markus being an actual contributor, Michael and I were also warmly welcomed. It was nice to meet all these people having a mix of small talk and serious technical discussions. We left them hours later to drive to Gent and meet them there again on CfgMgmtCamp.
After the opening from Kris Buytaert the main track started with very prominent speakers. The panel on the next steps in Configuration Management included speakers of all leading solutions and it was very nice to hear that in major parts all agreed. After lunch the Foreman track started with a introduction in Katello which is now a plugin in Foreman adding Content Lifecycle Management. Next was the docker support of Foreman followed by an update on the networking features in Foreman and an howto on adding plugins to the Foreman GUI. After some Kriek at the social event we left for dinner with some of the Foreman developers again.
Tuesday started with Jez Humble talking about Lean Configuration Management which showed how big things can grow based on Configuration Management. Daniel Lobato demonstrated how to develop a Foreman plugin and what is necessary to get it approved as an offical plugin. The update on Foreman Discovery by Greg Sutcliffe showed the all new rule based auto deployment and all the other new features which are really great improvements since I have written about. Based on a early stage of development Petr Chalupa introduced Foreman Deployments which will help deploying not only single systems but also complete environments. Because we had to leave early Hacking with Hammer (the Foreman CLI) was the last talk we joined.
We had four days of well organized conferences with very informativ talks and nice people in Belgium which make me hoping I can join the conferences next year again.
PS.: Michael also wrote about our trip on the icinga blog including some picture.

Dirk Götz
Dirk Götz
Principal Consultant

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.