stackconf online – Recap of Day 01

It finally happened – after months of preparation, today was the first day of the very first stackconf online!

Getting Started

For the most attendees, online conferences are a new experience too. The Events team of NETWAYS did a great job in picking up every attendee and providing all the required information just in time. Besides the link to the conference stream, attendees received login data to attend multiple live chats. Starting Day 1 at stackconf felt almost like entering a conference venue. People were gathering in the chat rooms already, socializing and networking. Christian and Bernd, the moderators of this event, provided a warm welcome to everyone and introduced us to the day – not leaving any questions open.

Then the time came for the first talk of the day. David Pilato from Elastic started his session about visualizing threats. During that, David gave insights how the Elastic Stack is used to collect metrics that are relevant to security issues in your environment. The whole talk was a great summary of the capabilities Elastic provides in the SIEM field. One part that stuck out was Auditbeat. Even though it exists for more than two years now, it seems like the tool does not get the attention it deserves. Chatting with the speaker during his talk (which was pre-recorded) is definitely a huge benefit of online conferences. Attendees got their questions answered immediately by the speaker and discussed with other attendees at the same time.

The first talk was a really nice warm-up for the day, followed by a short break. With a fresh and warm coffee in my hands I followed the moderators discussion about monitoring in general and how enterprises are transitioning from restricting access to certain data to departments to being more open and collaborative within the whole company.

stackconf continued with the next talks by Paolo Mainardi about the path to a Serverless era with Kubernetes and another talk by Jan-Henrik Peter about CI/CD Integration Testing.

After Lunch

After the lunch break stackconf continued with Ignite talks. Personally, Ignites are my favourite part of every conference. An Ignite talk differs from a regular talk mainly in the duration. These kind of talks take only five minutes. The clue is that the slides rotate automatically – 20 slides, 15 seconds per slide. The speaker is required to have a really good timing. The advantage for the audience is that there’s no time wasted, speakers have to come to the point very fast! The format is really entertaining and fun to watch. The Ignite talks of today included topics about why monitoring is a critical mess, how operators can work together with developers on infrastructure requirements and how you can build your own S3 storage.

Monika Khanna continued with her talk about keeping your customers happy and satisfied. I was glad Monika’s session made it into the program, even though stackconf is a lot about very technical topics. Keeping customers satisfied is a challenge many of us face on a daily basis. Monika shared great insights and tips on how we all can get better here.

During many sessions of the day it became very clear that Kubernetes is still on the rise. This years stackconf speakers shared different stories and insights about different Kubernetes topics. Paul Stack shared some details about Pulumi, a fairly new product which aims to help operators handle infrastructure as software. Other tools like Puppet, Chef and Ansible share the same goal. The special feature about Pulumi is that it allows you to actually write code in different programming languages like Python, DotNet or Go. Writing actual code may seem much more complicated, but the folks of Pulumi manage to provide many useful libraries for different languages. Pulumi becomes extremely useful when you have to meet very special requirements, such as calling multiple APIs and combining different platforms. For me, Pulumi is like a mix of Terraform and Puppet – but with the advantage of the flexibility of a real programming language.

Day 01 – Conclusion

I admit that I was sceptical about loosing the socializing and networking part which a regular conference has. stackconf online demonstrated today that you still can hang out with your peers and have different discussions without meeting them in person. The talks presented today were mixed nicely so there was no risk of boredom at any point. My personal highlight were the two moderators, Christian and Bernd. They managed to guide us through the day with a lot of fun and side stories. Looking forward to tomorrow!

Blerim Sheqa
Blerim Sheqa
Product Manager

Blerim ist seit 2013 bei NETWAYS und seitdem schon viel in der Firma rum gekommen. Neben dem Support und diversen internen Projekten hat er auch im Team Infrastruktur tatkräftig mitgewirkt. Hin und wieder lässt er sich auch den ein oder anderen Consulting Termin nicht entgehen. Inzwischen ist Blerim als Product Manager für Icinga tätig und kümmert sich dort auch um die Partner.

Countdown challenge | Prepare for stackconf in 7 steps

Only one more week until stackconf online starts! We have prepared a 7 steps day-by-day guide to help you get perfectly ready for the event. Here are our challenges for you:

07: Buy Ticket

It’s 7 days till stackconf online. Welcome to day one of our preparation challenge! The first thing you wanna do, to make sure not to miss anything, is register for the event! After your registration you will receive your conference pass and all important information about how the event works from our Events Team.

06: Study Schedule

Now that you have your ticket, you might want to dive a little deeper into the program. Take a look at the schedule, figure out which talks and topics meet your interests best, and which speaker you definetely have to have on your personal agenda. Define your personal stackconf highlights!

05: Prepare Questions

You’ve defined your highlights now. What is it that interests you most about these topics? Is it just a general curiosity about something new to you? Or have you been struggling with specific issues? Write your thoughts and questions down! You will get a chance to chat with the experts. Be prepared! Make notes on what you’ve always wanted to know, but never dared to ask!

04: Invite Colleagues

Where do your questions come from? Is it all issues that you alone have to deal with? Or do they affect the work of your whole team? Is it even something that you’ve been discussing with certain colleagues over and over again? You should definitely invite your fellows to join stackconf too! Send them an invitation!

03: Set Your Stage

stackconf is online. Means you will sit at home or at your desk at work. Prepare your own stage. Get nice light, banish what might distract you. You want to have it comfi: Get your favourite chair, delicious snacks… You might wanna do a video chat: Position a nice plant in the background, or impress other attendees with the newest edition of current IT literature. Set your own stage!

02: Share with Friends

Now you have access, you have an overview, you’ve your questions and your friends, you are mentally and physically prepared. Let your followers know on your social media channels: “I attend #stackconf online! This week, June 16 – 18, 2020. Who else is there? Hope to see you!”

01: Meditate

And now, you are perfectly good to go! Time to sit back, relax and clear your mind. There is nothing more to do today. See you soon!

Get posted on the latest expert knowledge on open source infrastructure solutions! We look forward to seeing you online at stackconf, June 16 – 18, 2020.
More information, tickets and FAQ at stackconf.eu.

Julia Hornung
Julia Hornung
Senior 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.

Your Benefits. Or: How you make the most out of stackconf 2020

The core of stackconf is of course the line-up of speakers and the talks & topics in the schedule. I have given you some hints on main topics & highlights on our agenda in my last blogpost. But equally important for a conference is the surrounding festivities and chances to network and interact. We’ve got it all! Here is what’s in for you at stackconf:

Stream and Learn

You are the binge watching kind of person? Voilà! One stream, three days. All stackconf talks have been recorded in advance and will be presented in a single track over the course of three days from June 16 – 18, 2020. And you don’t even have to have a guilty conscience. It’s all education!

  • Learn how to deploy and automate your infrastructure
  • Learn about cutting-edge solutions in the spectrum of container, hybrid and cloud technologies
  • Learn about bridging the gap between development, testing and operations
  • Gain a deeper understanding of open source infrastructure solutions

Chat and Network

In various chat channels you have the opportunity to join discussions or meet someone in private. Exchange with like-minded people! Stay connected!

  • Chat with the experts. They answer your questions live during their talk.
  • Get ready to mingle. Join the conversation in the hallway channel.
  • Spice up open & moderated discussions with your thoughts. The topic-related channels thrive with your comments.
  • Meet friends and fellow infrastructure experts in private chats. Video calls are possible.

Play and Have Fun

A community evening will take place at the second conference day – Wednesday, June 17, 2020.

  • Meet the community and network with new and old friends.
  • Continue conversations from before.
  • Play one of our community games and set the highscore.
  • Enjoy for the sake of enjoying.

I hope, I could convince you to take part! 😉 If you have any questions don’t hestitate to contact our Events Team: events@netways.de
We are happy to see you online at stackconf, June 16 – 18, 2020.

More information: stackconf.eu
Schedule: stackconf.eu/schedule
Tickets: stackconf.eu/tickets

Julia Hornung
Julia Hornung
Senior 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.

stackconf online: stream, chat, network

stackconf is coming! We have crafted an inspiring agenda for you! Here are some highlights that you surely don’t wanna miss.

Hybrid cloud environments

Hybrid cloud environments were never easy and mostly just an idea. With Kubernetes though it is easy to deploy your infrastructure on premise and to a cloud provider.

This is where you learn more about hybrid cloud environments:

Containers

Increased portability makes containers so powerful. A big plus is that it can prevent a vendor lock-in. Applications running in containers can be deployed easily to multiple different operating systems and hardware platforms.

Learn more about containers in these talks:

Agile methods & continuous integration

Good IT is not possible with just the right tool. It is important that you have your communication and processes in shape. DevOps, agile, you name it always comes down to communication and transparency. Tear down silos to make your IT infrastructure and business as fast and efficient as possible.

Get to know agile methods and continuous integration practices in these talks:

And we have even more for you: Find the full schedule at stackconf.eu/schedule.

This is how it works: stream, chat, network

All the recorded talks will be presented in a single track over the course of three days from June 16 – 18, 2020. You can easily attend and watch!

Just watching, or what? Of course not! stackconf is a highly interactive online event – if you want it to be! Chat with the experts. Spice up open discussions with your thoughts in the hallway channel and in various topic-related channels. Meet friends and fellow infrastructure experts in private chats. Plus, there might be one or another challenge or gaming opportunity.

Short: There is plenty of opportunity to learn and have fun!

Fruitful discussions and hardest questions

While you watch a talk in the stream the speaker will be present in a parallel live chat to answer your questions. Feel free to comment the presentation, add your thoughts to it and ask your hardest questions! We are looking forward to a fruitful and inspiring exchange of ideas.

During lunch break a moderated discussion will take place. Join in and contribute to it. There will be additional room for networking and informal get-together during the community evening at the second conference day – Wednesday, June 17, 2020. We’ll continue the topic-related discussions, and open the gaming arena, where you can compare your gaming skills.

Stay up to date

Get posted on the latest expert knowledge on open source infrastructure solutions! We look forward to seeing you online at stackconf.

stackconf online takes place June 16 – 18, 2020. More: stackconf.eu

Julia Hornung
Julia Hornung
Senior 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.

Pretalx Verwaltung

PRETALX

Ich habe vor kurzem in unserer Abteilung ein Projekt bekommen. Es ging um die Pretalx Installation und Verwaltung, aber was steht eigentlich hinter diesem Programm. Pretalx ist ein Open Source Programm für Konferenzen, Events, Organisation von Speakern und Zeit Planung(en).

Der Gedanke dahinter war die Erleichterung für unsere Event Abteilung bei der Planung von Konferenzen. Zudem ist es besser für die Kommunikation zwischen Abteilungen bei Konferenzen so hat man ein Programm für alle Abteilungen, welches von allen eingesehen werden kann, wo aktuellen Events, Änderungen und Neuigkeiten auf einer Seite für alle Abteilungen verfügbar ist.. Ich habe die Installation vorgenommen und möchte hier teilen, was ich bei der Installation des Programms herausgefunden habe. Nachdem man das Programm installiert hat und ein Event angelegt hat, unter /Pretalx/Dashboard sieht man die Verwaltungsoptionen.

Einstellungen

Allgemein: Unter Einstellungen sieht man zuerst die Allgemeinen Einstellungen wo man z. B. Event, Namen, Datum sowie die Zeit, Sprache, die Mails des Admins, Logo und Farbe für das Event einstellen kann.

Team: Hier kann man mehrere Teams je nach Bedarf anlegen, außerdem kann man jedem Team Rechte für die Bearbeitung von Events geben. Ein Team kann für mehrere oder nur ein Event zuständig sein.

Call for Papers (CfP)

Inhalt: Hier kann man den Inhalt für das Event oder die Konferenz angegeben um was es genau geht, was vorgestellt bzw. worüber Informiert wird. Dieser Inhalt kann in der Veröffentlichung angezeigt werden. Außerdem kann man auswählen welche Informationen beim anlegen eines Prozesses abgefragt werden sollen z.B Bild, Beschreibung oder Tracks.

CfP Editor: Dieser Editor erlaubt es die Überschrift und den Text aller einzelnen CfPschritte zu speichern, man kann auch einen eigenen Hilfstext für einzelne Eingabefelder angeben.

Fragen: Bei Fragen kann man je nach dem Event, Umfragen erstellen die von den Vortragenden gestellt werden, wie zum Beispiel ob jemand Fleisch isst oder nicht, Fragen können pro Einreichungen oder pro Vortragendem gestellt werden.

Tracks: Mit Hilfe der Tracks kann man die Vorträge in Kategorien unterteilen, man kann für jeden Track eine eigene Farbe auswählen, so können die Teilnehmer sich besser zurechtfinden. Es gibt die Einstellungsmöglichkeit für den Vortragenden den Track abzugeben.

Einreichungsarten: Jede Konferenz kann unterschiedlich lange Talks haben. Hier kann man verschiedene Talks anlegen z.B ein Willkommens Talk welcher 45 Minuten dauert oder einen Talk welcher eine Stunde oder länger dauert.

Einreichungen

Einreichungen: Zunächst unter Einreichung geht darum einen Talk anzulegen, hier wird der Vortrag und Vortragende mit seiner/ihrer Email angegeben, außerdem kann man Beschreibungen, Dauer und die Sprache des Talks eingeben. Der Status von jeder Einreichung kann ausgewählt werden.

Statistiken: Wenn man alle Einreichungen angelegt hat, gibt es die Möglichkeit eine Statistische Übersicht zu schaffen. Alle Vorträge werden mit einem Kreisdiagramm nach Tracks, Art und Status gezeigt.

Vortragende

Vortragende: Hier sieht man die Vortragenden und kurze und Information über sie. Die Vortragenden sehen hier ob die Vorträge angenommen worden sind, sie können ihr Passwort ändern und in einer Tabelle die Verfügbarkeit angeben, an welchem Tag und in welchem Zeitraum.

Informationen für die Vortragenden: Falls es wichtige Informationen oder Nachrichten für die Vortragenden gibt (z.B sie sollen HDMI Kabel mitbringen) gibt man das hier an. Diese Information wird oberhalb der Einreichungen angezeigt.

Programm

Räume: Natürlich wird jeder Talk in einem anderen Raum gehalten. Das liegt daran, dass die Events an einer oder mehrerer Locations veranstaltet werden können. Man kann hier die Räume Anlegen und unter dem Editor jeden Vortrag zu einem Raum zuweisen.

Editor: Unter dem Editor werden die angelegten Einreichungen in dem geplanten Raum, Uhrzeit, Pause Zeiten oder die Zeit wo jeder Raum frei oder Besitzt ist eingeben. So schafft man es einen Überblick über Vorträge, Räume und über die Einreichungen zu schaffen.

Export: Wenn man die Informationen bzw. die Planungsdatei exportieren möchte gibt es unter Export die Möglichkeit das Dateiformat auswählen und sie zu exportieren.

E-Mails: Unter E-Mail hat man die Standardmäßig die Erhaltenen und Geschickten Mails und man kann natürlich E-Mails schicken, dafür gibt auch Vorlagen welche man häufig brauchen kann, aber ein Teil der E-Mails, die geschickt werden sollen, werden während des Planungsprozesses Automatisch angelegt und müssen nur noch abgeschickt werden.

Damit habe ich die wichtigsten Dashboard Optionen in Pretalx vorgestellt, und würde das Programm für Event Veranstaltern Empfehlen.

Saeid Hassan-Abadi
Saeid Hassan-Abadi
Junior Consultant

Saeid hat im September 2019 seine Ausbildung zum Fachinformatiker im Bereich Systemintegration gestartet. Der gebürtige Perser hat in seinem Heimatland Iran Wirtschaftsindustrie-Ingenieurwesen studiert. Er arbeitet leidenschaftlich gerne am Computer und eignet sich gerne neues Wissen an. Seine Hobbys sind Musik hören, Sport treiben und mit seinen Freunden Zeit verbringen.

Evolution of a Microservice-Infrastructure by Jan Martens | OSDC 2019

This entry is part 2 of 6 in the series OSDC 2019 | Recap

 

At the Open Source Data Center Conference (OSDC) 2019 in Berlin, Jan Martens invited to audience to travel with him in his talk „Evolution of a Microservice-Infrastructure”. You have missed him speaking? We got something for you: See the video of Jan‘s presentation and read a summary (below).

The former OSDC will be held for the first time in 2020 under the new name stackconf. With the changes in modern IT in recent years, the focus of the conference has increasingly shifted from a mainly static infrastructure approach to a broader spectrum that includes agile methods, continuous integration, container, hybrid and cloud solutions. This development is taken into account by changing the name of the conference and opening the topic area for further innovations.

Due to concerns around the coronavirus (COVID-19), the decision was made to hold stackconf 2020 as an online conference. The online event will now take place from June 16 to 18, 2020. Join us, live online! Save your ticket now at: stackconf.eu/ticket/


 

Evolution of a Microservice-Infrastructure

Jan Martens signed up with a talk titled “Evolution of a Microservice Infrastructure” and why should I summarize his talk if he had done that himself perfectly: “This talk is about our journey from Ngnix & Docker Swarm to Traefik & Nomad.”

But before we start getting more in depth with this talk, there is one more thing to know about it. This is more or less a sequel to “From Monolith to Microservices” by Paul Puschmann a colleague of Jan Martens, but it’s not absolutely necessary to watch them in order or both.

 

So there will be a bunch of questions answered by Jan during the talk, regarding their environment, like: “How do we do deployments? How do we do request routing? What problems did we encounter, during our infrastructural growth and how did we address them?”

After giving some quick insight in the scale he has to deal with, that being 345.000 employees and 15.000 shops, he goes on with the history of their infrastructure.

Jan works at REWE Digital, which is responsible for the infrastructure around services, like delivery of groceries. They started off with the takeover of an existing monolithic infrastructure, not very attractive huh? They confronted themselves with the question: “How can we scale this delivery service?” and the solution they came up with was a micro service environment. Important to point out here, would be the use of Docker/Swarm for the deployment of micro services.

Let’s skip ahead a bit and take a look at the state of 2018 REWE Digital. Well there operating custom Docker-Environment consists of: Docker, Consul, Elastic Stack, ngnix, dnsmasq and debian

Jan goes into explaining his infrastructure more and more and how the different applications work with each other, but let’s just say: Everything was fine and peaceful until the size of the environment grew to a certain point. And at that point problems with nginx were starting to surface, like requests which never reached their destination or keepalive connections, which dropped after a short time. The reason? Consul-template would reload all ngnix instances at the same time. The solution? Well they looked for a different reverse proxy, which is able to reload configuration dynamically and best case that new reverse proxy is even able to be configured dynamically.

The three being deemed fitting for that job were envoy, Fabio and traefik, but I have already spoiled their decision, its treafik. The points Jan mentioned, which had them decide on traefik were that it is dynamically configurable and is able to reload configuration live. That’s obviously not all, lots of metrics, a web ui, which was deemed nice by Jan and a single go binary, might have made the difference.

Jan drops a few words on how migration is done and then invests some time in talking about the benefits of traefik, well the most important benefit for us to know is, that the issues that existed with ngnix are gone now.

Well now that the environment was changed, there were also changes coming for swarm, acting on its own. The problems Jan addresses are a poor container spread, no self-healing, and more. You should be able to see where this is going. Well the candidates besides Docker Swarm are Rancher, Kubernetes and Nomad. Well, this one was spoiled by me as well.

The reasons to use nomad in this infrastructure might be pretty obvious, but I will list them anyway. Firstly, seamless consul integration, well both are by HashiCorp, who would have guessed. Nomad is able to selfheal and comes in a single go binary, just like traefik. Jan also claims it has a nice web UI, we have to take his word on that one.

Jan goes into the benefits of using Nomad, just like he went into the benefits of ngnix and shows how their work processes have changed with the change of their environment.

This post doesn’t give enough credit to how much information Jan has shared during his talk. Maybe roughly twenty percent of his talk are covered here. You should definitely check it out the full video to catch all the deeper more insightful topics about the infrastructure and how the applications work with each other.

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.