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.

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.

OSMC 2019 – Day 1

OSMC Logo
As always OSMC started with the workshop day. This time the topics were Prometheus given by Julian Pivotto, Gitlab by Michael, Terraform by Lennart and Foreman by me. After the workshops with coming together for dinner and some drink social networking started, one of things I enjoy most at conferences nowadays.

Day one started also like every time with a warm welcome from Bernd. Quite unexpected for me was the high number of first time attendees who raised hands when Bernd asked. It is always great to see new faces!

Ansible module planned to be released
First talk I attended was “Directing the Director” by Martin Schurz who gave some insights in how the monitoring platform developed at T-Systems Multimedia Solutions GmbH over last years. So they scaled up from single system, solved migration from VMs to Docker of the monitored environment and built knowledge to provide consulting to the teams which run 94 different projects which have to be monitored. With so many different things to monitor the next step of course was automation where all the good from Icinga-Director-API and Ansible came together. But if it is easy for users to build monitoring objects, configuration will grow which comes with the next challenges to make it even more easy and error prove. And from what Martin showed they solved it in a good fashion, but future will tell and I hope he will give another talk providing an update in the future.

Crowded room at OSMC
Second one was Christian with “Windows: One Framework to Monitor them all” who introduced his precious to the crowed. If you could not make it into the crowded room or was not at OSMC at all, have a look at the documentation or the framework itself, the plugins, the kickstart script to get it up and running the background daemon. In a great live demo he showed all the components and explained them in depth. While it is still the first release candidate it looks very promising.

Marcelo Perazolo from IBM Systems was talking about “Monitoring Alerts and Metrics on Large Power Systems Clusters”. He started with an introduction to the Power architecture and the workloads it is specially useful to make everyone familiar with it. The example he used was a big one, the Summit supercomputer. The main topic were two projects CRASSD and Power-Ops which not bring the data from some systems not everyone is familiar with to commonly used tools but also include Ansible playbooks for automation and flexibility “instead of just providing a docker container”. The demo showed some Kibana dashboards which provided in-depth data summarizing the health and performance of Power Systems starting from firmware to service running on it.
Power architecture explainedDesert

Lunch was great as always (and not only the dessert) and to avoid food coma we had the first time ignite talks at OSMC. It started with one from the conference sponsor ilert. Afterwards Blerim talked about “How Observability is not killing Monitoring” where he concluded that Observability should be an addition to Monitoring and not a replacement. Toshaan Bharvani decided for an ignite when sitting in the talk about Power Systems and wanted to add about “Building your own Datacenter” based on OpenPower and software available for it. In his talk “Overengineering your personal website” Bram Vogelaar showed a good (and funny) example where adding things to your infrastructure can escalate.

New entry in the datalist
Marianne Spiller‘s talk “Lorem Icinga puppetdb director amet” was not only a must see because its creative title, but because I like the mix of humor and technical knowledge she always provides. With practical examples she showed the problems of manual work like lazy admins prefer introducing a “Not answered” to the datalist of operating systems instead of maintaining the information on hosts. So instead of a form manually filled by admins she ended using the import from PuppetDB to create monitoring objects based on facts of the system.

Grafana Loki demo
Directly from Grafana Labs represented by Ganesh Vernekar the audience got some news about Loki which is “Like Prometheus, but for Logs”. So Loki avoid huge indexes and allows for better scaling by not indexing log lines but grouping them to streams. Using a similar format to Prometheus it allows to get metrics and logs for a system without a context switch. Running Loki to get this seems quite simple and flexible with only one binary which can scale out easily and also allows for a microservice infrastructure.

First code improvement
“Fast Logs Ingestion” by Nicolas Fränkel showed common coding mistakes and how to avoid them to get better logging in your application. He also covered topics like metadata and searching logs which also should also influence decisions and code. Structured log data even not written to file are also a option to consider like config reload during runtime to enable the user to switch loglevel without downtime. In the end he hopes people take away from his talk that everyone from dev and ops to architects should keep in mind which trade-off between speed and reliability has to be done and why.

Like every year the “Current State of Icinga” by Bernd was held in front of full house. He started with a short introduction to Icinga including the workflow which results in “Icinga makes you happy”. Icinga Workflow Afterwards to start with technical things he looked into the big changes Icinga 2.11 brought with a new network stack, high availability for more features and a new process handling not only helping with containers. Icinga 2.7 brought more translations, markdown support, jQuery 3, modernized styling for forms and lists, color blind theme and improvements for module developers. The vSphere module provides now an Import Source for Director, no code depenency on the Director and some UI improvements. The latest version of Director has also more translation, support for scheduled downtimes and sync previews. The BP Modelling (formerly Business Process Modul) has now drag & drop, export and import and breadcrumbs to make the UI more usable. As the first new feature he introduced the Windows monitoring Christian gave a detailed talk earlier today. Icinga for AWS was an improvement to the one only providing a simple import source for Director which adds support for multiple sources, some property modifiers and sync previews. Icinga Module for Jira includes an Issue overview, Jira notification via Director integration and custom workflows you can create from Icinga Web 2. Icinga DB as replacement for IDO is decoupling status and historic data using Redis and in a demo the new monitoring module based on it was also shown including all the visual improvements. Pull requests are already merged and will be part of the next releases and new things are available separately. The next update you can get on IcingaConf in Amsterdam on May 12 – 14, 2020.

As last topic a open discussion about Code of Conducts suggested and moderated by Stefan Lange took place.

Pictures are taken from several twitter users tagging them with OSMC. Thanks for providing them, expect some better ones from my colleagues from the events and marketing teams. I hope you enjoyed my report for day 1 while I am heading over to the social event at the Loftwerk and try to have at least a short talk to everyone. Day 2 will be covered tomorrow evening.

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.
Monthly Snap October 2019

Monthly Snap October 2019

In the NETWAYS HQ we have been enjoying a beautiful autumn, and- befitting the time of the year- trying out various types of tea, while finishing the last preparations for the Open Source Monitoring Conference!

Right now the OSMC  is taking place here in Nuremberg. Julia reminded us again why the OSMC is the highlight of our (conference-) year in the blog series OSMC | Take a glance back. Why you should Give your Foreman a greater toolbox will be demonstrated at the OSCamp in Nuremberg. Julia presented some of the speakers and boosted our curiosity and anticipation by revealing some of the topics.

News from the NETWAYS shop

Our apprentice Leonie wrote her very first blogpost this month! She presented news from the HW group in HW group stellt vor: Ares-Serie als LTE-Version. And she also wrote about alerting with SMSEagle and Braintower in Darf es ein wenig Alarmierung sein? Nicole also shared news from the HW-Group: Die SD-Geräte sind erhältlich! It is now possible to upgrade your SMS Eagle to 4G. Leonie explained how in Nachrüstoption von SMSEagle 3G auf 4G.

And the rest of Sales?

With the newest update, STARFACE has improved some functions, but unfortunately an error crept in. If this affects you, read Christan`s advice on how to solve the problem in STARFACE 6.7.0.22 – SIP Probleme beheben. Martin brought up the advantages of our VPN as a service in NETWAYS Cloud: Sichere Tunnel mit VPNaaS

DEV on tour

London calling! Michi shared news after the GitLab Commit in London. GitLab’s first European user conference. Apparently, this month was all about GitLab for Michi. Also read his thorough how-to: GitLab CI Runners with Auto-scaling on OpenStack. And Michi just kept on travelling and writing! It was time for another journey with several NETWAYS colleagues to the DevOpsDays Ghent: Celebrating 10 years DevOps culture. Alexander encouraged us to never give up because nothing is impossible in this technical blog C++Go. Halb C++ – halb Go.

What was on our consultants` minds?

in Data Is Beautiful – Daten hübsch visualisiert Tobias recommended a YouTube channel where data from seemingly random subjects are visualized nicely. Afeef showed us advantages of working with the Icinga Director in Zentraler Director mit verschiedenen Director-Datenbanken als Backend. Alexander and Lennart took a trip to Milan for the Milano – PostgreSQL Conference Europe 2019. Alexander thought it was a great event and shared his personal highlights with us. Why is Dirk talking about setting up a local mirror in Icinga? Read about it in Einmal lokaler Mirror? Kommt sofort!

OpenStack in NWS

Georg showed us how easy it is to log in to the NETWAYS Web Services and start your first OpenStack project. Read OpenStack made easy – OpenStack Projekt starten und die erste Maschine anlegen and see for yourselves how simple the set-up is.

#lifeatnetways

What can a company do in terms of sustainability? Catharina went over the current state at the NETWAYS HQ in Nachhaltigkeit in der Firma?. How does a walk in the forest effect our bodies and minds? Marius explained why a healthy forest is so important, not only for the environment but for each of us individually in Ab in den Wald! At NETWAYS we have a great team and the mix of different ages, interests and types totally works for us. At this moment, we have 15 apprentices learning from us, working with us, and also often teaching us. One of them shared a little information about himself in our series NETWAYS stellt sich vor. Read about Henrik!

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 | Take a glance back

This entry is part of 35 in the series OSMC | glance back

… and get excited about the future!

Today’s video-goodie for you: OSMC 2018 | Observability in einer Microservicewelt by A. Weigel / J. Fels

 #OSMC 2019 will take place next week, November 04 – 07.

Check out who is speaking this year! And don’t forget to grab your Ticket!

See you soon!

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.