OSDC 2018 Recap: The Archive is online

Open Source Data Conference| JUNE 12 – 13, 2018 | BERLIN
Hello Open Source Lovers,
as we know all of you are most of the time focused on the things to come: An upcoming release or a future-oriented project you are working on. But as Plato said, “twice and thrice over, as they say, good is it to repeat and review what is good.”

OSDC Archive is online, giving us the occasion to do so.

OSDC 2018 was a blast! Austria, Belgium, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Czech Republic and the USA: 130 participants from all over the world came to Berlin to exchange thoughts and discuss the future of open source data center solutions.
„Extending Terraform“, „Monitoring Kubernetes at scale“, „Puppet on the Road to Pervasive Automation“ and „Migrating to the Cloud“ were just a few of many, trailblazing topics: We are overwhelmed by the content and quality of speakers, who presented a really interesting range of technologies and use cases, experience reports and different approaches. No matter what topic, all of the 27 high-level speakers had one goal: Explain why and how and share their lessons learned. And by doing so they all contributed to Simplifying Complex Infrastructures with Open Source.
Besides the lectures the attendees joined in thrilling discussions and a phenomenal evening event with a mesmerizing view over the city of Berlin.
A big thank you to our speakers and sponsors and to all participants, who made the event special. We are already excited about next year’s event – OSDC 2019, on May 14 to 15 in Berlin. Save the date!
And now, take a moment, get yourself a cup of coffee, lean back and recap the 2018 conference. Have a look at videos and slides and photos.

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.

The Future of Open Source Data Center Solutions – OSDC 2018 – Day 1

Now for the fourth time OSDC started in Berlin with a warm Welcome from Bernd and a fully packed room with approximately 140 attendees. This year we made a small change to the schedule by doing away with the workshop day and having an additional smaller conference afterwards. The Open Source Camp will be on Foreman and Graylog, but more on this on Thursday.
First talk was Mitchell Hashimoto with “Extending Terraform for Anything as Code” who started by showing how automation evolved in information technology and explained why it is so important before diving into Terraform. Terraform provides a declarative language to automate everything providing an API, a plan command to get the required changes before you then apply all this changes. While this is quite easy to understand for something like infrastructure Mitchell showed how the number of possibilities grew with Software-as-a-Service and now everything having an API. One example was how HashiCorp handles employees and their permissions with Terraform. After the examples for how you can use existing stuff he gave an introduction to extending Terraform with custom providers.
Second was “Hardware-level data-center monitoring with Prometheus” presented by Conrad Hoffmann who gave us some look inside of the datacenter of Soundcloud and their monitoring infrastructure before Prometheus which looked like a zoo. Afterwards he highlighted the key features why they moved to Prometheus and Grafana for displaying the collected data. In his section about exporters he got into details which exporter replaced which tools from the former zoo and gave some tips from practical experience. And last but not least he summarized the migration and why it was worth to do it as it gave them a more consistent monitoring solution.
Martin Schurz and Sebastian Gumprich teamed up to talk about “Spicing up VMWare with Ansible and InSpec”. They started by looking back to the old days they had only special servers and later on virtual machines manually managed, how this slowly improved by using managing tools from VMware and how it looks now with their current mantra “manual work is a bug!”. They showed example playbooks for provisioning the complete stack from virtual switch to virtual machine, hardening according their requirements and management of the components afterwards. Last but not least for the Ansible part they described how they implemented the Python code to have an Ansible module for moving virtual machines between datastores and hosts. For testing all this automation they use inSpec and the management requiring some tracking of the environment was solved using Ansible-CMDB.
After lunch break I visited the talk about “OPNsense: the “open” firewall for your datacenter” given by Thomas Niedermeier. OPNsense is a HardenedBSD-based Open Source Firewall including a nice configuration web interface, Spamhouse blocklists, Intrusion Prevention System and many more features. I think with all these features OPNsense has not to avoid comparison with commercial firewalls and if enterprise-grade support is required partners like Thomas Krenn are available, too.
Martin Alfke asked the question “Ops hates containers. Why?” he came around in a customer meeting. Based on this experience he started to demystify containers in a very entertaining and memorable way. He focused on giving OPS some tips and ideas about what you should learn before even thinking about having container in production or during implementing your own container management platform. As we do recording I really recommend you to have a look into the video of the talk when recordings are up in a few days.
Anton Babenko in his talk “Lifecycle of a resource. Codifying infrastructure with Terraform for the future” started were Mitchell’s talk ended and dived really deep into module design and development for Terraform. Me being not very familiar with Terraform he at least could convince me that it seems possible to write well designed code for it and it makes fun to experiment and improve with your own modules. Furthermore he gave tips for handling the next Terraform release and testing code during refactoring which are probably very useful for module authors.
“The Computer Science behind a modern distributed data store” by Max Neunhöffer did a very good job explaining theory used in cluster election and consensus. The second topic covered was sorting of data and how modern technology changed how we have to look at sorting algorithm. Log structured merge trees as the third topic of the talk are a great way to improve write performance and with applying some additional tricks also read performance used by many database solutions. Fourth section was about Hybrid Logical Clocks to solve the problem of system clocks differing. Last but not least Max talked about Distributed ACID Transactions (Atomic Consistent Isolated Durable) which are important to keep data consistent but are quite harder to achieve in distributed systems. It was really a great talk while only covering theoretical computer science Max made it very easy to understand at least basic levels and presented it in way getting people interested in those topics.
After this first day full of great talks we will have the evening event in a sky bar having a good view of Berlin, more food, drinks and conversations. This networking is perhaps one of the most interesting parts of conferences. I will be back with a short review of the evening event and day 2 tomorrow evening. If you want to have more details and a more live experience follow #osdc on Twitter.

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.

The first speakers of Open Source Data Center Conference 2018 are fixed!!

We have already received multiple super proposals from various countries. There are excellent talks with the topics Modern data center, Data Science toolkit, Distributed monitoring, Hitchhiker’s Guide and more. We are super excited to present:
Ander Juaristi Alamos | Senior Security Researcher | Hitchhiker’s guide to TLS 1.3 and GnuTLSAnder
Akmal Chaudhri | GridGain System | Apache Ignite: the in-memory hammer in your data science toolkit
Mike Place | SaltStack | Introduction to SaltStack in the modern data center
Mitchell Hashimoto | HashiCorp | Update on Terraform
Gianluca Arbezzano | InfluxData | Distributed monitoring
And counting….
We are looking forward to welcoming the speakers in Berlin. We are also awaiting your proposals on https://osdc.de/submit-a-talk/ . Only two weeks left to submit your proposal to be a speaker at the International Open Source Data Center Conference 2018 in Berlin.
Don’t miss it!

Keya Kher
Keya Kher
Marketing Manager

Keya ist seit Oktober 2017 in unserem Marketing Team. Sie kennt sich mit Social Media Marketing aus und ist auf dem Weg, ein Grafikdesign-Profi zu werden. Wenn sie sich nicht kreativ auslebt, entdeckt sie andere Städte oder schmökert in einem Buch. Ihr Favorit ist “The Shiva Trilogy”.  

Like meeting the family – OSDC 2017: Day 1

I was happy to join our conference crew for OSDC 2017 again because it is like meeting the family as one of our attendees said. Conference started for me already yesterday because I could join Gabriel‘s workshop on Mesos Marathon. It was a quite interesting introduction into this topic with examples and know how from building our Software-As-A-Service platform “Netways Web Services“. But it was also very nice to meet many customers and long-time attendees again as I already knew more than half of the people joining the workshops. So day zero ended with some nice conversation at the hotel’s restaurant.
As always the conference started with a warm welcome from Bernd before the actual talks (and the hard decision which talk to join) started. For the first session I joined Daniel Korn from Red Hat’s Container Management Team on “Automating your data-center with Ansible and ManageIQ“. He gave us an good look behind “one management solution to rule them all” like ManageIQ (the upstream version of Red Hat Cloudform) which is designed as an Open source management platform for Hybrid IT. So it integrates many different solutions like Openshift, Foreman or Ansible Tower in one interface. And as no one wants to configure such things manually today there are some Ansible modules to help with automating the setup. Another topic covered was Hawkular a time series database including triggers and alarming which could be used get alerts from Openshift to ManageIQ.
The second talk was Seth Vargo with “Taming the Modern Data Center” on how to handle the complexity of data centers today. He also covered the issues of life cycles shrinking from timeframes measured in days, weeks and month to seconds and minutes and budget moving from CapEx to OpEx by using cloud or service platforms. With Terraform he introduced one of HashiCorp’s solutions to help with solving these challenges by providing one abstraction layer to manage multiple solutions. Packer was another tool introduced to help with image creation for immutable infrastructure. The third tool shown was Consul providing Service Discovery (utilizing DNS or a HTTP API), Health Checking (and automatic removal from discovered services), Key/Value Store (as configuration backend for these services) and Multi-Datacenter (for delegating service request to nearest available system). In addition Seth gave some good look inside workflows and concepts inside HashCorp like they use their own software and test betas in production before releasing or trust developers of the integrated software to maintain the providers required for this integration.
Next was Mandi Walls on “Building Security Into Your Workflow with InSpec”. The problem she mentioned and is tried to be resolved by InSpec is security reviews can slow down development but moving security reviews to scanning a production environment is to late. So InSpec is giving the administrator a spec dialect to write human-readable compliance tests for Linux and Windows. It addresses being understandable for non-technical compliance officers by doing so and profiles give them a catalog to satisfy all their needs at once. If you want an example have a look at the chef cookbook os-hardening and the InSpec profile /dev-sec/linux-baseline working nicely together by checking compliance and running remediation.
James Shubin giving a big life demo of mgmt was entertaining and informative as always. I have already seen some of the demos on other events, but it is still exciting to see configuration management with parallelization (no unnecessary waiting for resources), event driven (instant recreation of resources), distributed topology (no single point of failure), automatic grouping of resource (no more running the package manager for every package), virtual machines as resources (including managing them from cockpit and hot plug cpus), remote execution (allowing to spread configuration management through SSH from one laptop over your data center). mgmt is not production ready for now, but its very promising. Future work includes a descriptive language, more resource types and more improvements. I can recommend watching the recording when it goes online in the next days.
“Do you trust your containers?” was the question asked by Erez Freiberger in his talk before he gave the audience some tools to increase the trust. After a short introduction into SCAP and OpenSCAP Erez spoke about Image inspector which is build on top of them and is utilized by OpenShift and ManageIQ to inspect container images. It is very good to see security getting nicely integrated into such tools and with the mentioned future work it will be even nicer to use.
For the last talk of today I joined Colin Charles from Percona who let us take part on “Lessons learned from database failures”. On his agenda were backups, replication and security. Without blaming and shaming Colin took many examples which failed and explained how it could be done better with current software and architecture. This remembers me to catch up on MySQL and MariaDB features before they hit enterprise distributions.
So this is it for today, after so many interesting talks I will have some food, drinks and conversation at the evening event taking place at Umspannwerk Ost. Tomorrow I will hand over the blog to Michael because I will give a talk about Foreman myself.

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.

Ready, Steady, Go! — The faster the better!

This is your LAST CHANCE to be part of the best open source conference this May in Berlin!
On May 16 to 18 it’s all about open source data center solutions for complex IT infrastructures once again. Three days of hands-on workshops, presentations and social networking in a super relaxed atmosphere with a bunch of really great people is what you can expect. The 2017 main conference topics are
Containers and Microservices
Configuration Management
Testing, Metrics and Analyses
Tools  & Infrastructure
Join the open source community, learn from well-known data center experts, get the latest know-how for your daily business and meet international open source professionals.
So hurry up if you want to grab one of the last remaining tickets for OSDC 2017 and register now at www.osdc.de!

Pamela Drescher
Pamela Drescher
Head of Marketing

Pamela hat im Dezember 2015 das Marketing bei NETWAYS übernommen. Sie ist für die Corporate Identity unserer Veranstaltungen sowie von NETWAYS insgesamt verantwortlich. Die enge Zusammenarbeit mit Events ergibt sich aus dem Umstand heraus, dass sie vor ein paar Jahren mit Markus zusammen die Eventsabteilung geleitet hat und diese äußerst vorzügliche Zusammenarbeit nun auch die Bereiche Events und Marketing noch enger verknüpft. Privat ist sie Anführerin einer vier Mitglieder starken Katzenhorde, was ihr den absolut...

OSDC 2016 – 8th year of glory

Time flies – 8 years Open Source Datacenter Conference (OSDC) already and now the 3rd time in lovely Berlin.
Kicking off with Dawn Foster’s keynote on Open Source – A job and an adventure gave an interesting insight into Open Source careers and living the spirit. As we do at NETWAYS since 1995 inviting everyone onto our journey and happily organising conferences for talks, chats & some drinks together.
And remember …

Next up was Kris talking about Another 7 tools for your #devops stack which is always fun to watch. I couldn’t decide whether to join him or go for Mike Elsmore on NoSQL is a lie … though Daniela approached me and said “go for Mike, it is funny”. And so it was in combination with the interesting technical questions asked.

Tough decisions already in the morning – we’re using CoreOS at NETWAYS too and so I could join Jonathan Bulle on rkt and Kubernetes: What’s new with Container Runtimes and Orchestration … or learning something new, moving away from Puppet and learn about Salt – A Scalable Systems Management Solution for Datacenters by Sebastian Meyer.
A pretty hard one also for the presenters as these talks ended right before lunch break – and as you might know already, food is always so delicious at OSDC.

Finding a place to chill after lunch (oh, it was delicious) should it now be What’s wrong with my Puppet? by Felix Frank or would I go for learning about some monitoring tasks with Hello Redfish, Goodbye IPMI – The Future of System Management in the Data Center with Werner Fischer. I guess I’m more with Puppet these days, less monitoring admin – and the live demo stuff somehow failed but nice to see David Schmitt helping out.

Ever since Elastic announced their Beats toolstack I wanted to learn more about it. I was pretty sad that I couldn’t join Elasticon earlier this year. So I was eagerly waiting for Monica Sarbu telling me more about Unifying Log Management and Metrics Monitoring with the Elastic Beats.

Having the Icinga stack in mind with open APIs and such, this shed interesting insights on how to further push integration with Elastic forward. Oh and I definitely need to learn Golang to hack my own beats based on the libbeat library.

Continuous Integration in Data Centers – Further 3 Years Later with Michael Prokop sounded interesting as well, especially when it comes to Jenkins and Docker integration. Luckily all talks are recorded and made available later in the conference archive so I decided to go for Elastic Beats this time.

Martin Schütte gave interesting insights into Terraform: Config Management for Cloud Services. This tool fits into the devops stack HashiCorp has been building over the last years, including Vagrant, Atlas and Otto. MySQL clusters are overly complicated in my (developer) opinion so I didn’t go for MySQL-Server in Teamwork – Replication and Galera Cluster presented by Jörg Brühe. Again one for the archive watchers 🙂

ChatOps is becoming more important these days. I’ve already seen Martin’s great talk at Icinga Camp Berlin earlier this year – especially his live demo talking to the Icinga 2 API which makes me a proud developer. ChatOps – Collaborative Communication (or: You cannot not communicate) is definitely something everyone needs to consider and play around with. Especially when it is Open Source.

Heading over from Austria left behind my DNS related past though I’m trying to keep with it. Especially since Jan-Piet is talking about DNS for Developers aka “Everything is a freaky DNS problem” 😉

Evening event

Now that we’ve learnt and discussed so much on the first day we are ready for the evening event. This time it located at Umspannwerk Ost which looks nice indeed. Looking forward to delicious food again and later on, some G&T with the OSDC gang 🙂

Michael Friedrich
Michael Friedrich
Senior Developer

Michael ist seit vielen Jahren Icinga-Entwickler und hat sich Ende 2012 in das Abenteuer NETWAYS gewagt. Ein Umzug von Wien nach Nürnberg mit der Vorliebe, österreichische Köstlichkeiten zu importieren - so mancher Kollege verzweifelt an den süchtig machenden Dragee-Keksi und der Linzer Torte. Oder schlicht am österreichischen Dialekt der gerne mit Thomas im Büro intensiviert wird ("Jo eh."). Wenn sich Michael mal nicht in der Community helfend meldet, arbeitet er am nächsten LEGO-Projekt oder geniesst...