Monthly Snap November 2019

Monthly Snap November 2019

The NETWAYS-November was, as usual, all about the OSMC. And, as usual, it was a splendid event with interesting talks, great food and the best attendees! But what else was on our minds?

The Juniors

Our Junior Consultant Aleksander started the month with Windows Passwort mit Linux zurücksetzen, wherein he described useful tools for resetting your Windows-password.  Artur wrote about his first project in Azubiprojekt für das erste Lehrjahr: Framadate!

SHOP

What does IoT mean, and which products do we offer with it? Nicole let us know in HW group: IoT mit Modbus und MQTT. She also gave us an overview on the various AKCP products in our shop in AKCP sensorProbe: 2, 4 oder 8 Sensoren, potentialfreie Kontakte und PoE. Our apprentices get to visit our different departments to learn more about the company. Artur visited the NETWAYS shop for a week and learnt about our offered products. Read what he found out about AKCP in AKCP sensorProbeX+: Individuelle Monitoring-Lösungen für IoT. A new product will soon be available in our shop: Leonie presented the SMSEAGLE MHD-8100-3G/4G.

Tipps from techies

Our consultants travel a lot, mostly by train. Christoph recommends a website that helps travellers find the best train wagon for their needs and informs of delays and technical Problems in Wie bekomme ich bessere Informationen über Züge als die DB. In SSH – Der Schlüssel zum Erfolg, David gave us a few tips on how to use SSH. According to Johannes Text-Utils can be of importance. Read Text-Utils unter Linux – Wer kennt sie?

OpenStack

Martin wrote his very first NETWAYS- blogpost this month! OpenStack made easy – Sicherheitsgruppen verwalten und zuweisen, which was also his first contribution to the blog series OpenStack made easy. And the next contribution came from Fabian: In OpenStack made easy… Mit Icinga 2-Master Maschinen überwachen he explains how to easily monitor Icinga 2 Master machines with OpenStack. Now it was Martins turn again! Read OpenStack made easy – Snapshots erstellen, rotieren, einspielen, where he taught us how to program Open Stack to create backup snapshots regularly.

#lifeatnetways

This month, two employees shared a bit about themselves in our series NETWAYS stellt sich vor. Read about our junior consultant Tobias, and the newest member of team-marketing Anke!

Keep developing

Florian proudly presented the new Icinga DB user interface: Das neue User Interface von Icinga DB. Check it out! Noah shared his knowledge on GitLab in GitLab-CI / YAML – Write less with Anchors, Extends and Hidden Keys. What is this SVG Feu is talking about? Read the Introduction to SVG: The Basics.

The OSMC after-effect

Dirk reported live from the OSMC! Read his thoughts on OSMC 2019 – Day 1. And what did Dirk do on the next day? Of course, he kept us up to date on talks, the evening event and delicious food in OSMC 2019 – Day 2. After the OSMC we traditionally have on Open Source Camp, where an open source project can be treated thoroughly. This year was all about Foreman. Alexander gave us his personal recap of the Open Source Camp on Foreman. For some attendees the hackathon after the OSMC is the highlight of the conference. Henrik enjoyed the Hackathon immensely, and highly recommends that we all attend next year! OSMC Hackathon – Share your impressions!

Catharina Celikel
Catharina Celikel
Office Manager

Catharina unterstützt seit März 2016 unsere Abteilung Finance & Administration. Die gebürtige Norwegerin ist Fremdsprachenkorrespondentin für Englisch. Als Office Manager kümmert sie sich deshalb nicht nur um das Tagesgeschäft sondern übernimmt nebenbei zusätzlich einen Großteil der Übersetzungen. Privat ist der bekennende Bücherwurm am liebsten mit dem Fahrrad unterwegs.

OSMC Hackathon – Share your impressions!

After two informative and exciting days at OSMC, the cherry on the sundae for me was joining our fifth OSMC hackathon for the first time. Hearing and learning about the discoveries, lessons learned and experiences made by other people in different environments, maybe using different tools, and being shown cool tricks and setups, I personally always get a little twitchy in my fingers wanting to jump at my keyboard and download, clone, install, code and play around with all the amazing new stuff I’ve learned attending OSMC 2019.
And the hackathon is the perfect setting to do this – people having seen the same talks, being excited about the same new features that have been at the forefront of discussion during the last few days.

On Wednesday the attendees made a short trip to a restaurant to have dinner, where people got to know each other casually and dream up the first plans and ideas for the main event tomorrow. After a well deserved night of sleep, the morning started with high spirits and a bit of coffee.

Round tables were placed in Saal Elizabeth, the biggest of the three OSMC conference rooms, everybody got together, and after Bernd welcomed us (and told us when lunch would be served!) everybody got a chance to introduce themselves, what one was looking for on this day, where areas of expertise lie, and if there are any specific problems to be solved.

 

Collaborative hacking equals collaborative fun

The topics were as diverse as the plethora of tools discussed at OSMC – people were working with GitHub Actions, Golang, Kubernetes, translating bash scripts in python, setting up clusters with Grafana, LOKI, Prometheus, automating the pain away with Ansible, having private lessons in Terraform, making logging more effective with Elasticsearch and Logstash, Icinga modules like Icingabeat, looking at the awesome stuff you can do with Icinga Director, and I’ve even seen people working on issues and pull requests – as we know, the community is always active. #monitoringlove <3 

Personally, I was working with Tobias on a SELinux check plugin for Icinga, but mostly, I was looking around, taking in the experience and trying to learn a bit from all the interesting discussions that developed. I can really recommend it! It can make your OSMC experience more complete and rounded, working, coding and developing alongside the experts. Maybe this year you were only able to check out our cool videos from OSMC, and you really wanted to ask one of our amazing speakers a certain question? Well, follow our Twitter at @NetwaysEvents, keep an eye out for the next registration, sign up for two days of open source monitoring goodness plus the hackathon and meet up with your engineering heroes – I’ll be there and I’m looking forward to you!
Henrik Triem
Henrik Triem
Junior Developer

Henrik is Anwendungsentwickler in Ausbildung, verhindeter Rockstar, kaffeegetrieben und Open Source-begeistert. Zuhause lässt er es auch mal ruhiger mit Tee angehen, entspannt an Klavier oder Gitarre, erkundet neue Musik oder treibt sich mit seinen Freunden in Deutschland herum.

NETWAYS Web Services auf der TECHWEEK

Der deutsche Cloud-Markt wächst stetig und die digitale Industrie in Deutschland boomt. Die Veranstaltungsreihe Techweek ist das Event zur digitalen Transformation. Natürlich dürfen wir mit den NETWAYS Web Services bei der Techweek in Frankfurt nicht fehlen! Wir freuen uns darauf, mit den wichtigsten Entscheidungsträgern der deutschen Unternehmenslandschaft ins Gespräch zu kommen und sie von unserer NETWAYS Cloud zu überzeugen!

Ihr seid auch auf der Techweek in Frankfurt? Kommt vorbei, holt euch die neueste NETWAYS Cloud Broschüre und sprecht mit uns! Ihr findet uns an Stand 975.

techweekfrankfurt.de / nws.netways.de/cloud

Julia Hornung
Julia Hornung
Marketing Manager

Julia ist seit Juni 2018 Mitglied der NETWAYS Family. Vor ihrer Zeit in unserem Marketing Team hat sie als Journalistin und in der freien Theaterszene gearbeitet. Ihre Leidenschaft gilt gutem Storytelling, klarer Sprache und ausgefeilten Texten. Privat widmet sie sich dem Klettern und ihrer Ausbildung zur Yogalehrerin.

DevOpsDays Berlin: Last Tickets

On Nov 27 – 28 2019 the DevOpsDays Berlin are taking place!

Success factor open space

One of the success factors of previous DevOpsDays has been the open space format. It’s quick, it’s easy, it’s communicative. It fosters the sharing of ideas and insights in the good old fashion, in a non-technical way by just talking to each other. This doesn’t require any effort besides registering and showing up at the event.

Great international line-up

We have introduced the wonderful DevOpsDays line-up before, but let me drop some of these names again, because of the pleasant expectations they arise: Monica Sarbu (Elastic), Beth North, Daniel Löffelholz (ThoughtWorks), Leonardo di Donato (Sysdig), Jessica Anderson (Meltwater)… Or, put differently: Wrapped around the open spaces will be a great line-up of international speakers! Learn more about it here.

Register now, listen carefully and throw yourself into discussion!

Julia Hornung
Julia Hornung
Marketing Manager

Julia ist seit Juni 2018 Mitglied der NETWAYS Family. Vor ihrer Zeit in unserem Marketing Team hat sie als Journalistin und in der freien Theaterszene gearbeitet. Ihre Leidenschaft gilt gutem Storytelling, klarer Sprache und ausgefeilten Texten. Privat widmet sie sich dem Klettern und ihrer Ausbildung zur Yogalehrerin.

Open Source Camp on Foreman

Like every year there was an Open Source Camp following the OSMC and as usual we helped organize that. Just in case you aren’t aware of what an Open Source Camp is here is the just of it: It’s meant to be an offer for Open Source projects to present themselves more in depth to the community. This year the Open Source Camp is on that one special yellow helmet we all know and love, Foreman.

Ondřej Ezr started us off with Ansible automation for Foreman (hosts). There are probably more than enough people using puppet only in their Foreman environment. Alternative or complementary to that would be using the plugin foreman_ansible. Ansible and Puppet don’t necessarily need to be better or worse, they are different and both have their advantages and disadvantages. By going through some basic steps, like role assignment, host creation and so on, he showed how one can do all that, but with Ansible. You can easily dynamically allocate roles and installations through Ansible to your Foreman hosts, but to make it even more specific one can set custom variables within the Ansible plugin for it to use, like foreman_repository_version. You could invoke a Job, like an Ansible Playbook, which will overwrite the variables previously set or make your installation more customizable from the get go. Install from git, run a playbook through ssh and more was covered during his talk. The plugin would not be a good alternative or viable if it did not hold up against the standards that puppet sets as a competitor. While Ansible doesn’t offer an inherit solution for reoccurring runs like every hour, the plugin does.

Next up was Bernhard Suttner, who wanted to give us a taste of Salted Foreman. Initially he explained what all that salt was about. The SaltStack a open source project written in python, can be used as a configuration management tool for Foreman. Salt excels at orchestrating cloud environments and network use-cases, but then we got to the Foreman relation. Running a salt and Foreman environment means running a environment of managed hosts, which are salt minions and a foreman_smart_proxy, which will also be the salt master. He showed us what salt in Foreman looks like and gave us some insight on how it works, but even more important from now on there are people dedicated to the project and some day the plugin might be as good as the puppet or ansible plugin. Salt is great and especially effective in terms of scalability. It’s pretty straightforward to use and the initial setup is not so hard. We are excited for what is to come.

Provisioning on Azure Cloud through Foreman by Aditi Puntambekar was going to follow that one. Aditi made sure everyone is familiar with the extend of Foremans capabilities in terms of provisioning. This was especially important because Foremans capabilities differ from its usual when it comes to cloud provisioning. After a quick trip through the configuration of compute resources and imaged-based provisioning templates we went onward to the Azure Resource Manager. She explained how the Azure Resource Manager essentially worked, but what is interesting to us is the foreman_azure_rm. Well and foreman_azure_rm does what you expect it to do. It adds the Microsoft Azure Resource Manager as a compute resource for the foreman. In her demo, she showed us how to use said resource and more.

Martin Bačovský talked about CLI tools with Foreman. He started of with the Foreman API. Of course the Foreman API is fast and has a wide range of tools and libs included within it. Just like Martin said in his talk, if you are interested in the Foreman API check out the documentation, it’s very good. Also interesting in the realm of APIs was his next tool, which is using apipie/apipy, which you are probably aware of if you are more heavy on the python side of things. Up there with the most well-known tools is Martins next, Hammer CLI, a command-line tool for Foreman. After sharing his experience with these rather popular tools with everyone he introduced us to Foreman’s integration of GraphQL. It’s basically a query language, which seems to be promising so far. Martin especially focused on the flexibility of queries and the introspective it has, yet one has to see where the project goes. There were many more tools he told us a lot about. To name just a few more of them, Report Templates, Foreman Ansible Modules and foreman_maintain. If you are interested in one of these tools in particular check out the video of the talk, which will be available soon on our Youtube Channel.

 

Give your Foreman a greater toolbox with Plugins by our very own Dirk Götz. Like he said himself: I will start of with existing toolbox things and at the end I will show you how to create these things yourself. And that he did. This talk was very demo heavy, thereby everything he explained was plain and simple, because you where able to see it as he did it. At the very top of his agenda was Job Invocation/Remote Execution. Not that exciting you think? Well, more interesting is the best practice advice he threw in on the way, like there is no issue of the configured user because his password is not saved as plain text in the database. Then the development part was up. He showed a couple of jobs that he wrote himself. Easiest, which served as an example is a simple ping check. He pointed out important thoughts to keep in mind, while writing jobs, like default values. Before his talk came to a close he talked a bit about the Web Console which has been introduced and is yet not well known. The web console is pretty much a integration of Cockpit. A well experienced user in the Linux world won’t be that excited about this, but a less experienced user will love this.

The next talk would not have happened, if Dirk didn’t spontaneously offer to step in. So we got another thirty minutes of Dirk Götz and I won’t complain. Katello: Adding content management to Foreman was the title and people where keen to hear about just that. What is Katello? Dirk described it as a defined set of Foreman plugins but not just that. It enriches your content management, as well as subscription management. Wait… content management? Why do I need that? Configuration management should be enough! Not necessarily, depending on your environment. Lets just pick up the points that Dirk made towards content management. For local content it ensures availability. For staging, it allows testing updates and makes builds reproducible. So content management should be seen as an addition to config management. He also talks about content views and how they are used to do the versioning, while they are being held by life cycles. Integration in orchestration was also a rather big point during his talk, which is done via SSH or Ansible. Dirk designs his talk in a way that makes summarizing them impossible, because he covers way to much. Lets just say not announced but very appreciated and most definitely worth checking out at our NETWAYS-Youtube Channel.

It was my second Open Source Camp and if you ask me this kind of exchange is what one wants to see in the open source community. There was variety and judging by the crowd reactions I was not the only one enjoying these talks. Thanks to all the speakers and attendees, safe travels home to everyone. Until the next Open Source Camp, hope to see you there!

Alexander Stoll
Alexander Stoll
Junior Consultant

Alexander ist ein Organisationstalent und außerdem seit Kurzem Azubi im Professional Services. Wenn er nicht bei NETWAYS ist, sieht sein Tagesablauf so aus: Montag, Dienstag, Mittwoch Sport - Donnerstag Pen and Paper und ein Wochenende ohne Pläne. Den Sportteil lässt er gern auch mal ausfallen.

OSMC 2019 – Day 2

OSMC Logo
The social event yesterday evening was a blast and the late lounge afterwards also a must. So while some were still recovering, the room for the first talk was already quite full. This showed the interest in Jochen Kressin‘s talk about “Zero Trusted Networks – why Perimeter Security is dead”. He explained the (old) assumption of perimeter security “I am behind a firewall, so my traffic is secure” and asked the question if this is still true. Showing examples proving it is not true anymore because if it would be, none of these data breaches would have been happen. He explained what has changed in the last years leading to “Zero Trusted Networks” where every system has to be treated as untrusted and how to adopt for it. As one of the developers he used Search Guard as example which adds security to Elasticsearch, one of the great tools that had no security by itself for a long time, being not ready for the zero trusted approach.
Zero Trusted NetworksFluentD
Toshaan Bravani was talking about “Monitoring your Logs with Fluent”. FluentD and the client component FluentBit is an alternative to Logstash I see more and more at customer environments, so I was happy to get a deeper look into it. In addition he showed the complete tool stack to get most out of your data and the automation used to get it up and running.

Open Source landscape for APM
Third one for today was “Improved Observability Using Automated, OpenCensus-based Application Monitoring Solutions” by Tobias Angerstein. He started with a nice overview of the Open Source landscape for Application Performance Management before focusing on inspectIT. Its latest incarnation inspectIT Ocelot focuses on Open Standards like Open Metrics, Open Tracing and Open Census which are forming a new one called Open Telemetry which allows integration with all the well-known tools like Telegraf, Prometheus, Grafana. It also provides End User Monitoring using Boomerang, a javascript agent, and an EUM Server which transforms data to the Open Standards. In his demo he showed the capability of it and my only thought was how helpful something like this would have been to me in my early IT days being a Java developer.

Afterwards we could enjoy another great lunch break and perhaps also an massage, before starting into the afternoon sessions.
Lunch breakLunch BreakLunch Break

Database observability
Charles Judith gave a talk about “How to improve database Observability”. In his job he is responsible for reliability of the company’s databases and told the crowd the problems he started with like having no backup and monitoring at all. So it was his personal goal to have no hidden issues anymore and get transparency into their environment. His way from zero to hero was quite interesting and he compared it with a roller coaster. In the end having metrics to tell users that they are right or wrong with their feeling of the database is slow and having logs and monitoring telling were the real problem lies instead of guessing has improved his daily work already. But he still has some more steps to do like publishing SLA. The WIP version of his toolkit can be found on Github.

Why BOFH is toxic
Second last one I attended was Jan Doberstein with a non technical talk about behaviour and how it influences your daily life and work, titled “Idiot! – or: Why BOFH is toxic”. He touched the same topic like the open discussion yesterday and I think it is great to get people think about and reflect their behaviour. While most of his examples were matched to the crowd and perhaps people working in IT do communicate much more in electronic fashion than others, it is a topic that everyone should care about.

High available setup
Last but not least Marcel Weinberg showed the high available setup he built for Digital Ocean. He included some very helpful small tips and tricks to increase performance and avoid pitfalls while diving deep into the configuration. Indeed it were too much for me to list them all here.

Pictures are taken again from the OSMC stream at Twitter, thanks to everyone for sharing their impressions. I hope everyone enjoyed the conference like I did. Thanks to everyone who made OSMC such a great experience again this year, starting with my colleagues organizing the event, the sponsors and speakers but this includes every attendee forming this nice community. Save travels for everyone leaving today or see you tomorrow if you join the Hackathon or Open Source Camp on Foreman. I hope I will see everyone next year at the same place on November 16th to 19th for OSMC 2020 or in Amsterdam for IcingaConf on May 12th to 14th.

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.