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stackconf 2022 | Cloud Provisioning with Ansible? Is that possible?

Ansible

In his talk „Cloud Provisioning with Ansible? Is that possible?“, Nils Magnus went over ways to make cloud provisioning possible with Ansible, how you would need to architecturally build it, and some important terms.In the first part of his talk, Nils went over the difference between provisioning and configuring and why he thinks they are the same thing.
He then went into the benefits such as disaster recovery, updating and code hygiene or knowledge sharing that come with automating the infrastructure.

 

 

 

Forms of provisioning

He described the various forms of provisioning, whether you use it as a Bash script, as a domain-specific language or manually. Depending on the type of application, the code needs to be specific and precise. Infrastructure as code should be declarative, convergent to the target, and idempotent so that each iteration produces the same result. It is also important that it can capture and manage the state of the infrastructure. This is not a trivial point to overlook.
Typical representatives of infrastructure as code are programs like Terraform, Heat or Pulumi. The big question now is whether Ansible also belongs to this list and can perform the same tasks.

 

 

How functions change

Furthermore Nils went into some more technical terms of Ansible and Cloud like targets, tasks, SDK and Bastion and briefly explained how Ansible works.
He explained how the functions change when Ansible is used as a provisioning tool. Initially, there will not be the systems that you want to work on, you have to create them first through the cloud interface. For this, requests are sent to the SDK via the localhost, which prepares it for the interface.
Once the infrastructure is built via the cloud interface, you can connect to it.

 

Many ways to connect to Ansible

Openstack has many ways to connect to Ansible here and offers tools to simplify working with Ansible and IaC. Nils also walked us through a sample installation. He talked about some best practices, such as dealing with credentials in the configuration files,
Nils‘ talk at stackconf also ended with the demonstration of an installation.

The recording of Nils‘ talk and all other conference talks can be found in our Archives! Check it out!

 

Stay tuned!

We enjoyed connecting with different people from the community and had pleasure listening in the different conversations.

stackconf 2023 will take place from September 13 – 14 in Berlin. Stay tuned for the event and subscribe to our newsletter. You’re also invited to follow our Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn account to stay up to date with our event’s preparations.

Michael Kübler
Michael Kübler
Systems Engineer

Michael war jahrelang in der Gastronomie tätig, bevor er 2022 seine Umschulung als Fachinformatiker bei Netways abschloss. Seitdem unterstützt er unsere Kunden bei ihren Projekten als MyEngineer und sucht auch nebenbei kleinere Projekte, die er realisieren kann. Privat geht er gerne Campen und fährt Rad. Er genießt auch einen entspannten Abend daheim mit einem Buch und Whisky.

stackconf 2022 | DevOps or DevX – Lessons We Learned Shifting Left the Wrong Way

stackconf 2022 was a full success! On July 19 and 20, our conference took place in Berlin and we very much enjoyed the event, which has been on site for the very first time! stackconf was all about open source infrastructure solutions in the spectrum of continuous integration, container, hybrid and cloud technologies. We’re still excited about our expert speaker sessions. In the following you get a deeper insight into one of our talks.

We kicked off the lecture program with a talk by Hannah Foxwell on „DevOps or DevX – Lessons We Learned Shifting Left The Wrong Way“. Here is what I’ve learned from Hannah:

Once Upon A Time

DevOps is such a common term now that it has almost lost its accurate meaning. Once upon a time there were two teams, Devs and Ops, with different missions and goals – rapid development vs. stable user experience. Changes were handed over just like that and great effort was put into getting even the smallest features into production to the customer in a stable way. For sure: This needed to change!

While some people felt the problem was the Ops team. Here, NoOps was a thing. This misconception came from thinking that the Ops team didn’t care about users because the Ops team didn’t want to release the new features fast enough. As a result, more and more typical Ops tasks like backup, monitoring or cost management were outsourced to developers. At a certain point, these additional tasks became too much for the dev team, which some developers were also unhappy with.

Focus on Team Health

According to a report by Haystack Analytics, 83% of all developers suffer from burnout, mostly triggered by the demands of having to learn and consider more and more technologies and areas.
Here you have to pay more attention to HumanOps again to focus on the health of the team.

Just like the old ways of splitting everything into silos, the NoOps approach was the wrong way to go. Here, it’s important to use mixed teams with a product-owner mentality for the different layers. Each team is responsible for delivering the best possible experience for their users.

Hannah also touched on how important the proper site reliabitily is and how it can impact the team. With a 99% reliability over 28 days, you have 400 minutes, enough time for manual intervention. The larger the reliability, the less time and more stress the team has until only automatic interventions are possible to stay within the time. Here, no human can react fast enough.

On Site Realiability

But you also have to see if this is needed by the user. Many users don’t even notice a short disruption, and if they do, some aren’t even bothered by it – contrast this with the cost and effort of taking measures. Depending on the level of site reliability needed, monitoring measures range from user input to active monitoring to automatic rollbacks.

You also have to decide how to allocate this downtime at each level – the closer you are to the physical hardware, the lower the downtime needs to be.
Whereas site reliability should not be a single responsibility, this is where all teams need to work together.

Finally, Hannah explained the security aspects that need to be considered with software. Bugs like Log4Shell can be avoided with the right security mindset. An open culture is important here, where you can also discuss and criticize your own concept.

When creating the security concept, you should also consider the people who implement the measures as well as how to automate it. Some security aspects should also not be carried out by individual teams alone, but across entire teams. You can avoid a strong leftward slide towards the dev team with this and still not work in isolated silos if you have a user-centric focus with it and pay attention to the people in the process.

That was just a short summary of Hannah Foxwell’s talk at stackconf 2022. You can watch her full talk on our YouTube Channel.
I’m already looking forward to the talks at the next stackconf and the opportunity to share thoughts and experiences with a wide variety of cool people there.

Take a look at our conference website to learn more about stackconf, check out the archives and register for our newsletter to stay tuned!

Michael Kübler
Michael Kübler
Systems Engineer

Michael war jahrelang in der Gastronomie tätig, bevor er 2022 seine Umschulung als Fachinformatiker bei Netways abschloss. Seitdem unterstützt er unsere Kunden bei ihren Projekten als MyEngineer und sucht auch nebenbei kleinere Projekte, die er realisieren kann. Privat geht er gerne Campen und fährt Rad. Er genießt auch einen entspannten Abend daheim mit einem Buch und Whisky.

stackconf 2022 | Recap Day 2

After a good conclusion of the first day of stackconf with lots of laughter, good food and indoor golf we started the second day of stackconf with a talk by Dewan Ahmed on „Do NOT click-ops your data infrastructure„. Here he explained why you shouldn’t just click-op your applications infrastructure, because this can easily get you in trouble when scaling up. He talked about the basics to keep in mind with infrastructure code, such as reproducibility, repeatability and consistency. He explained the challenges and concerns regarding infrastructure as a code approach for data infrastructure. Challenges were also highlighted, such as Configuration Drift or Security Issues in public modules. As a solution to standardize infra code he presented Terraform and showed a detailed demo where he also explained the code.

It’s not about the tools. It’s about change. It’s about the people

The second talk was by Kris Buytaert about the last 13 years of DevOps. In a humorous talk he presented how not everything in the DevOps culture has changed for the better. He started with how chaotic some requests were in the old days and how short the deadline was, and how the DevOps culture has evolved from then to now. However, he also talked about how some great ideas have been destroyed by the industry, how tools don’t help with the wrong culture, and how some big companies pretend to be agile but aren’t. Also a problem he sees is how the title DevOps is being softened by misrepresentation from recruits and too many companies are simply issuing DevOps certifications but not passing on the mindset. The gist of his talk was that DevOps is not about tools, it’s about the people involved. It’s not about the tools. It’s about change. It’s about the people.

Dotan Horvits‘ third talk was about better observability with open source. Today’s monitoring world has the problem that it has to deal with large containerized environments such as Amazon or Netflix, where you need to monitor hundreds or thousands of services. Or services that are constantly being started, rescaled or stopped. In his talk, he goes into what Observability is and how it is defined depending on the requirements. He then goes into the three pillars of observability: Metrics, Logs and Traces. Afterwards he spoke about the most popular tools for the respective pillars, tools like Prometheus, Elasticsearch and Jaeger. Since tomorrow’s systems will continue to grow in complexity, I thought the talk was good because it points out future problems regarding monitoring and provides solutions on how to keep track of things despite a flood of tools.

Built a serverless application?

You know when you’re supposed to build a service and end up realizing that you’ve built a serverless application? That’s the situation JJ Asghar of IBM had, which was to build out the IBM Cloud. In his talk, he goes into how he initially built the backend for the IBM Cloud using Bash, then Ansible. He humorously discusses the failures you have on the way to the goal, the technologies used and explained some internal code.

After lunch, Laura Ham continued with an introduction to Vector Search with Weaviate. There she presented how Weaviate delivers semantic results using keywords and machine learning. To do this, the data objects are stored in the database, along with a vector specification. This allows the data to be displayed in a 3D grid. With the help of APIs, one can interact with the data. It was also shown how a search pipeline is structured and how Weavite handles it. Finally, Laura showed a demonstration where she had searched for results based on keywords from the full data set of the English Wikipedia, as well as an image search.

These were just a few of the talks presented at stackconf today. As with all good things, stackconf did come to an end. But the time was filled with laughter, many new contacts and a lively exchange of knowledge and ideas. I thought it was great to see many customers of ours there in person as well. My personal thanks goes to the speakers and everyone who had helped organize so that the event could run smoothly. Hope to see you all next year for stackconf 2023!

 

Michael Kübler
Michael Kübler
Systems Engineer

Michael war jahrelang in der Gastronomie tätig, bevor er 2022 seine Umschulung als Fachinformatiker bei Netways abschloss. Seitdem unterstützt er unsere Kunden bei ihren Projekten als MyEngineer und sucht auch nebenbei kleinere Projekte, die er realisieren kann. Privat geht er gerne Campen und fährt Rad. Er genießt auch einen entspannten Abend daheim mit einem Buch und Whisky.

NETWAYS stellt sich vor – Michael Kübler

Name: Michael Kübler

Alter: 24

Position bei Netways: Junior Systems Engineer

Ausbildung: Restaurantfachmann, Fachinformatiker Systemintegration.

Bei Netways seit: März 2020

 

 

Wie bist du zu Netways gekommen und was genau gehört zu Deinem Aufgabenbereich?

Nach 6 Jahren in der Gastronomie war für mich ein Punkt gekommen, an dem ich einen Beruf mit Bedeutung und Zukunft ausführen wollte. Da mich immer nebenbei die Möglichkeiten der Digitalisierung im privaten Feld sowie Kommerziell interessiert hatten, war für mich die Richtung klar, und mit NETWAYS hatte ich einen soliden Arbeitgeber gefunden. Als beim Bewerbungsgespräch auch die menschliche Seite gestimmt hat, war für mich alles klar.

Zurzeit bin ich im Web Service tätig, das heißt ich kümmere mich um Kunden, die Probleme oder Änderungswünsche mit ihren Apps haben oder helfe, diese für Kunden bereitzustellen.

 

Welche größeren, besonders interessanten Projekte stehen künftig an

Ich möchte mich in Richtung Web-Development weiterbilden, da dies ein wichtiger Bereich ist und es auch viele gestalterische Möglichkeiten und technische Gimmicks gibt, die man einbauen kann.

 

Was macht Dir an deiner Arbeit Spaß?

Es ist immer was Neues! Neue Möglichkeiten, Probleme und Wege, etwas weiterzuentwickeln. Ich kann mich sehr in Aufgaben verbeißen, wenn ich ein bestimmtes Ziel im Kopf habe oder auf Fehler stoße.

Die Kollegen haben immer ein offenes Ohr für Fragen und helfen aus, wenn man wo stecken bleibt.

 

Was machst du, wenn du nicht bei NETWAYS bist?

In meiner Freizeit treffe ich mich mit Freunden, treibe Sport oder lese gerne.

Und ja, hin und wieder verschlägt es mich privat auch hinter dem Bildschirm 😉

 

Wie geht es in Zukunft bei dir weiter?

Die Zukunft, in Bewegung sie ist… Erstmal die Ausbildung erfolgreich abschließen und Erfahrung sammeln, die IT ist ein großes Gebiet mit vielen Möglichkeiten sich weiterzubilden.

Michael Kübler
Michael Kübler
Systems Engineer

Michael war jahrelang in der Gastronomie tätig, bevor er 2022 seine Umschulung als Fachinformatiker bei Netways abschloss. Seitdem unterstützt er unsere Kunden bei ihren Projekten als MyEngineer und sucht auch nebenbei kleinere Projekte, die er realisieren kann. Privat geht er gerne Campen und fährt Rad. Er genießt auch einen entspannten Abend daheim mit einem Buch und Whisky.