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Foreman Birthday Event 2023 – Recap

by | Aug 2, 2023 | IT Automation, Foreman

Two years ago I started my recap of the event with “Last week on Thursday we had the Foreman Birthday event and I can proudly say it was a big success.” and I can do the same for this one.

At the beginning of the year planning for the event started in the background as we discussed in which form we want it to happen. While I was excited for having an in-person event, I quickly realized that travel restrictions and budget would still be a problem for many people, so we agreed on keeping it online for another round would be the best. So keep the fingers crossed for the next time.
When we finalized the date and it was time to find some speaker, a wild hunt started as many changes of the last year had come together. Some of my usual suspects had changed position or company, environments moved from the classic IT environment managed by Foreman to a cloud native approach managed by Kubernetes and similar effects made me fear I can not provide a good program. So I was even thinking about jumping in myself and give a talk as I still do not own a kettle prod to motivate colleagues. 😉 But in the end I was happy with the four talks we got as it was a good mix.

Thanks to our events team who did so many things in the background which I would have forgotten, the managed services team who provided the servers and Christian who did the streaming setup, we had the same setup like last time. And when I started to adjust the configuration of all the buttons on the stream deck I started to finally remember everything including the mixed feeling of excitement and nervousness. Nervousness reached its top when I started the introduction and was signaled people could not hear me, just to realize one button was still showing me muted while the one I looked showed unmuted. But after this everything went smooth.

Screencapture of the Youtube Stream with Countdown at 0:00

Our first speaker was Christian Stankowic who gave a nice look into his work at many customer projects in his talk “Lessons Learned – Automated installations and hints”. The first part of his talk was about Foreman and alternatives and why people decide for or against Foreman. I like it if a talk is not free of critique and Christian had some good points here even if you do not agree with all. His tips and tricks focus on automated installation and documentation, but there are also some on infrastructure design. And with all the tips given he was so kind to provide an example repository on github, too! Thanks again Christian, I was really happy I convinced you to give this talk.

The second one was Bastian Schmidt with “Provisioning Ubuntu hosts in Foreman” who was also was very involved with implementing the topic. It was a rocky road to get this up and running after Ubuntu moved from Preseed to Autoinstall with 20.04.3/22.04.1. Bastian talk showed how rocky it was and also how good the community was in tackling it. And his talked ended with a demo showing the next improvement currently in the making. Thanks again Bastian for the talk and even more for the hard work on this feature!

Screencapture of the Youtube Stream during the Live Q&A with Bastian Schmidt

Ewoud Kohl van Wijngaarden did his talk live as he just finished it last minute, but this also worked great. In “foreman-documentation: rethinking our documentation” we heard about past, present and future of the Foreman’s documentation. If you have not heard about before the new documentation started as the documentation for Red Hat Network Satellite which was given to the Foreman Project to make this a true open source project with upstream and downstream. From this it was a huge community effort to adapt this for Foreman and Katello while creating a good base not only for the Satellite but also Orcharhino. And now the next step is to get rid of the manual and make it the one documentation. Thanks to Ewoud and all those involved in creating and improving the documentation.

And last but not least we had Samir Jha who demoed the updates from the Katello content team. As an addition Ian Ballou had added a demo focusing on the Alternate Content Source feature and Chris Roberts did send me a demo to showcase Simple Content Access. So we finished with a great look inside the latest improvements to Katello and in the live Q&A Samir also talked about future improvements. Thanks to all of you!

In parallel and afterwards we had again the social event in workadventure which I could only join after the stream ended, but this was still enough to meet some community members. All of them were happy and gave great feedback about the event. In the end I had a quite long and productive discussion with Ewoud and Maximillian about many different topics. So I am really looking forward for the next event where I can meet this great community again!

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.

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