Weekly Snap: OSDC 2014, Puppet Camp & GnuPG/GPG Best Practices

weekly snap7 – 11 April was OSDC 2014 and PuppetCamp week, with a few GPG best practices and Python musings slipped in.
Eva ended her countdown to the OSDC with Daniel Kirstenpfad’s talk on ‘Why Virtual Development and Testing isn’t Rocket Science’ and thanked all attendees and sponsors in advance. Dirk and Michael then followed with their highlights from the first and second days at the OSDC 2014.
Continuing with events, Christian announced the next round of webinars featuring Request Tracker, Puppet, Bareos and inGraph and Dirk returned with his review of Puppet Camp 2014.
Thomas then gave a comprehensive rundown of GnuPG / GPG best practices as Alexander shared his thoughts on Python 2.4 and RHEL.
Finally, Georg ended the week by introducing the newest addition to our hardware store: HW Group Poseidon2 3266.

Welcome to Berlin – OSDC 2014 – Part 1

After an awesome trip to Berlin (of course with good music and no beer or was it the other way round? 😉 ), the workshops on puppet, logstash and graphite and some preparation work the conference started with our typical opening from Bernd.
For the first talk Jordan Sissel and Lennart Koopmann combined there knowledge from developing logstash and graylog2 to one talk introducing to log management. They showed all the problems you can face when dealing with logs and gave a short introduction to their tools to solve this problems. A deeper look into this tools was provided in specific talks throughout the day.

The deeper look into logstash and the complementary tools elastic search and kibana was next also provided by Jordan. One sentence every project should adapt is his philosophy that every failed user experience is a bug, a bug in software, documentation or treating people. But not also the philosophy is awesome also the feature set of the ELK stack (elastic search – logstash – kibana) so I would like to encourage everybody to try it also if he does not feel the need for log management. If you have tried it out you will get the feeling you don’t want to miss it. Only thing I hate about it is the default dark theme.
The third talk I was watching was about graphite by Devdas Bhagat from booking.com. After a short introduction to graphite he gave a deeper look into how booking.com scaled up their infrastructure and use it for monitoring and debugging. The really diverse tools that are used for collecting data and pushing them to graphite shows the power of it. Also if the common consents is that the default front-end sometimes sucks. 😉
Ansible is a configuration management solution I was pointed to quite a while ago, so I was really interested in the talk by Jan-Piet Mens, although I personally dislike the idea of using ssh for this kind of automatism. Ansible sounds really powerful and flexible but simple, especially for ad-hoc tasks. The roles provided on ansible galaxy shows the greatness of the community like puppet forge does it for puppet.

After the tasty lunch I had a difficult decision to make and decided in favor of Andreas Schmidt on serverspec. Serverspec are RSpec tests for checking servers are configured correctly. It shows that syntax does not need to be difficult and testing is simple. I would say it is simple enough to satisfy a non-technical auditer, too. Perhaps just missing a gui / report with pie charts! 😀
Lennart gave the audience a deeper look into graylog2 after that. The architectural differences between graylog2 and ELK stack are small but with big effects to consider e.g. data access. The front-end is also powerful, for dashboards not as powerful as kibana Lennart said by himself, but I think it looks nicer. I like the streams you can set acls and alerts on, too. Like always I want the good things of both (in this case graylog2 and kibana) combined! 😉
Last talk for today was Christian Patsch on capistrano and puppet. Capistrano is an orchestration tool using ssh to automatize tasks and Christian showed how to use it for a masterless puppet setup. I would not do it as a default solution but it is a nice setup if you have requirements like ad-hoc configuration. He also mentioned other solutions for those using chef or ansible as an alternative.
Now we will go to the evening event you will find some impressions from this later on and Michi will cover the talks tomorrow in another post.

Dirk Götz
Dirk Götz
Senior 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.

Weekly Snap: OSDC 2014 Program, Coverity & Webinject

weekly snap10 – 14 February covered code analysis, git management and Logstash basics, while announcing the OSDC speaker line up.
Eva started the week by counting 57 days to the OSDC, sharing Andrew Ford’s talk, ‘Software Packaging with RPM Demystified’ and announcing the final OSDC program for 2014.
Thomas then continued his Logstash series, explaining how Logstash works as a framework as Achim showed how to delete files from Git history using ‘git filter-branch’.
Finally, Gunnar shared another tool for static code analysis called Coverity while Markus offered a short guide to end-to-end monitoring with Webinject.