What an awesome week this has been! I just got back from OSCON which is the O’Reily Open Source Conference in Austin Tx. This was my first time attending and it was a really good conference! What I especially liked about it was they focused the first 2 days on hands on tutorials. While I think they intention was good, the delivery was a mixed bag. It’s difficult to do BYOD based hands on tutorials, especially when 2 of the 4 sessions I attended passed around a USB key so the attendees could get access to the VM’s needed to do the tutorial. Seriously, in this day and age, passing a USB key from laptop to laptop is just crazy. Don’t get me wrong, I totally get it, conference wifi is HORRIBLE so asking 100+ people to download a a huge VM would be nuts, but there just HAS to be a better, more secure way! I made the best of it, the sessions were chock full of great information so even if you weren’t able to do the labs, you learned a ton just listening.
I thought I’d share some things I learned this week, mostly to help remind me that I need to do more research on some of the companies and information I learned about during this jam packed week !
The EMC Code Team did an AWESOME job representing EMC’s commitment to OpenSource and Community. The booth was AMAZING !! It was interesting being at a show where you would get a lot of “So, what is EMC and what do you guys do” I loved hanging out in the booth just listening to the customer questions and watching the EMC Code team talk about the projects EMC is working on in the Open Source community. Two of the projects talked about most was RexRay and RackHD. RexRay seemed to be the most relevant in my opinion. Mostly because our booth was right across from Docker’s and RexRay is specifically targeted at storage persistency in this new container world we are living in. RexRay. You can find more information on RexRay here: https://blog.emccode.com/tag/rexray/ . The HotAisle recently had Clint Kitson ( @Clintonkitson) from the EMC Code team on their podcast for a deepdive into the technology. You can download and listen here: How REX-Ray Delivers Persistence for Containers. in addition to that, RackHD which is our open source bare metal provisioning was probably the next most talked about project. Lots of customer interested in bare metal provisioning! You can get more information on it here – https://blog.emccode.com/2015/12/08/introducing-rackhd-automate-bare-metal/ .
Finally, and it might come as no surprise to anyone that knows me, but I like customer parties !! The EMC Code Customer Party was AWESOME !! It was done at a bar off of Rainey Street in Austin called “The Container Bar” . It’s a super cool concept using shipping containers stacked in various ways with a food trailer and bar. It was an awesome venue and it was PACKED with customers and partners ! EMC Code even had 3 signature cocktails created for the event. Lots of really cool customer and partner interactions !
The Expo floor was probably where I spent most of my time when not in sessions. Lots of companies contributing in the open source space and with each booth, came a new opportunity to learn. Just to name a few companies that stood out to me:
GitLab: these guys were awesome and fun to hang out with, very social and willing to answer all my crazy questions. Emily and team was just amazing. For those of you unaware of GitLab, it’s a Git repository management system. You can host it yourself or they will do it for you. They have a ton of customers including EMC !
DataStax– okay, these guys are crazy awesome. I sat through one of their hands on tutorials called “Becoming friends with Cassandra and Spark” that was taught by Jon Haddad ( @rustyrazorblade) and Dani Traphagen (@dtrapezoid) . They were awesome !! I also had an opportunity to chat with Patrick McFadin ( @PatrickMcFadin) who is an evangelist (along with Jon) for DataStax. If you aren’t familiar with DataStax, they are commercially available distribution of the Apache Cassandra solution. If you want a cool overview check out Patrick on the HotAisle podcast “ Talking SMACK about Cassandra with Patrick McFadin” They did an awesome job !
NGiNX:– this was another really cool company, I see them all over the place and essentially they are a software delivered high power load balancer used in todays new Cloud Native Apps world. They can do HTTP server, reverse proxy as well as IMAP/POP3 proxy server things. Like I said, I see these guys all over the place in example after example of these new CNA solutions
Jfrog:If you have to maintain distributions of software, this is a solution to help you manage all of that fun ! For example, if you are an Android user, Google uses them to distribute the Android binary ! Jfrog’s solutions basically help you automate that whole distribution process. From the looks of it, and in talking with them, they have a pretty cool customer base. If you aren’t familiar with them, take a moment and read up !
OpenMRS: I’m an old school PreSales Systems Engineer and I’ve ran into my my fair share of electronic medical records systems over the years. It was really interesting to come across these guys at OSCON. Nothing screams “the world is changing” as much as seeing something like Electronic Medial Records software being available like this. I didn’t get a chance to talk to them, there booth had a few people in it but I just remember passing them and being surprised ! Very cool !
Interesting Links and whitepapers:
As you can imagine, when sitting through a ton of sessions, you come across some cool links and further researching opportunities. This is just a loose collection of the ones I wrote down ! Now I just need to find the time to go through each one of them like I’d like to !!
- Hands on Tutorial – Containers at Scale with Kubernetes – towards the end the speaker let us know there was an easier way to do all of this via a Vagrant package ! BAH! Here it is – Single Node Kubernetes Installation with Vagrant & CoreOS
- etcd seems like a solid Service Discovery solution, its from CoreOS and its worth reading more up on when talking to customers about 12-Factor Application development (EMC World 2016 12 Factor App FTW) . it’s not the only solution in the market (Zookeeper among others) but seems to be pretty wildly popular. More info: https://coreos.com/etcd/
- Etcd seems to be loosely based on a Google Whitepaper called Chubby – you can read about it here: The Chubby lock service for loosely-coupled distributed systems
- As I mentioned above, I sat through a Datastax tutorial – one of the presenters Dani Traphagen mentioned a recent blog post she did called “Time series data modeling for medical devices” – if nothing more, this blog post does a pretty good job of walking you through some features and functions of Cassandra database, and is helping me develop some stories to use with customers.
- I sat though a session called “ Friggin’ SWEET Deployment with Docker, Kubernetes, and OpenShift ”. In it, they talk through the various different deployment models used (BlueGreen, A/B, and Canary) if nothing more, that was pretty interesting but he also included a demo and the instructions to setup the demo.
- Docker for Mac – this session walked us through the new beta that Docker has launched for native Docker support in OSX. For those of us that have setup Docker on our laptops, it requires Virtual Box as well as boot2docker to get it all to work. They are working to eliminate this!! I’m going to sign up and hope to get in on the beta ! you can go to beta.docker.com and sign up !
- One of the most fun, and interesting sessions I sat through was put on by Julia Ferrioli (@juliaferraioli ) of Google. She had a session called “ Blocks in Containers: lessons learned from containerizing Mindcraft ”. (<—Preso Link) It was a really cool session that covered basically how to take a legacy app, even something like a game, and put it into a container and run it. Check out some of her blog posts on the subject here: http://www.blog.juliaferraioli.com/ – needless to say, with 3 kids at home I’ll be looking to deploy this soon enough
- HomeDepot.Com had a great session by Christopher Grant titled “Monolith to Microservices, How HomeDepot.Com made the switch”. It was a great overview of the things HomeDepot did to move towards Microservices. Some of their best practices like “1 Microservice per 2 pizza team” as well as a bunch of references to books and blog posts. Here are just a few:
So OSCON was an awesome conference ! I learned a TON ! Now to find some time to go through each of these and learn more !