DevOpsDays Ghent: Day 1

So amazing DevOpsDays day one is over. I was in Barcelona last year and Ghent event has been MUCH bigger. Around 400 people were here compared to some 50 in Barcelona. This has the good side of more knowledgeable people to get in touch with and the downside of trickier organization of the Open Spaces, but overall DevOpsDays Team has done a fantastic job. 

Let me quickly recap my notes for those who may be interested!


5 years of metrics and monitoring

In his talk Lindsay Holmwood, went over the "history" of metrics and monitoring. Some great sentences:

"Ops must be enablers not gatekeepers"

"Alert fatigue has become a recognised problem"

We went over statsd & collectd, for log aggregation, monitorama as the definitive place to be if crazy for the topic, serverspec and sensu

All of these will be handy links for me too! 


Ignite Sessions

A lot of interesting stuff was also on display in the insane ignite sessions (20 slides, switched automatically every 15', so 5 min in total).

I learnt about aptly to manage your Debian repositories as artefacts.

I heard for the first time about chatops (sorry...) and how good it can be to improve teams learning processes and engage people outside ops to use ops in a friendly and controlled (...) way. Note taken to check hubot and lita in this context.

Michael Ducy had an inspirational moment and produced five minutes of art in which he walked us into a not so distant future in which robots take over DevOps and just use humans as a kind of code-writer bots. Very cheering! :D


Open Spaces

This is, from my experience, the most interesting part of DevOpsDays. People propose a wide range of topics for discussion, then post it on a board and items are grouped (by the same people) into related topics and then allocated a time slot in different rooms. Rooms are fitted with a circle of chairs and people just go there and openly discuss whatever they want about the specific question. You learn A LOT and today I listened a lot. Some interesting stuff:

In the monitoring room, we went over skyline anomaly detection, splunk (very expensive!) and logstash/kibana. Graphana annotation and templates, also got a fair amount of attention.

I was very interested in the docker rooms. There were a couple, one dealing with data persistence in docker and the other more general about the value of docker, how it relates to config management tools and the upcoming orchestration frameworks. I was surprised, given the talent that was gathered in both sessions, that no one but one person was using docker in anything remotely close to production. In fact, people seemed quite unmoved by docker perceived hotness. It was obvious too that no real solution exists for data persistence within docker infrastructure. The flocker project was mentioned, even if it is far from being ready for anything but testing. Some people did persistence at the host level, but this was regarded as nearly as bad as having a dedicated storage docker container. 

Security in docker and containers in general, was also severly bashed. "Containers don't contain" was quoted as a summary of security position of containers. It is (supposedly) much easier to attack a host from a container than it is from a VM. 


Farewell to Patrick Debois

After a healthy dinner and some healthy Belgian beers a surprise (I suppose) farewell party for Patrick Debois (DevOpsDays father) was organized. It was really nice with some short recognition videos from people all over the world and a couple of standing ovations from the crowded room. 

Just to top it all, there was a hilarious ignite karaoke session, in which a few selected speakers needed to improvise over randomly selected slides related (or not) to DevOps. It was a really great end to a great day.

And tomorrow even more!