By John | February 1, 2010
The inaugural Opscamp meeting went really well. About two years ago Mark Hinkle and I tried to run a barcamp called BarcampESM. There were only around 20 people at the event. We had a great time. The bottom line was that there really wasn’t as much interest in the topic of “Operations/Systems Administration” in 2007 via a barcamp. Two years later. . . BOOM, it is a “Cloudy” world and 130 people register for a Saturday meetup on the same subject. The idea of changing our small barcamp style idea into a larger more impactful event was due in part to the help of the “CloudCamp”, Dave Nielsen. Dave was instrumental in helping us get this first CloudCamp (opscamp) vertical off the ground.
All told, we wound up with around 95 attendees. Zenoss was our platinum sponsor providing the venue, breakfast, lunch and non-alcoholic drinks. Rackspace and Reductive Labs were the Gold sponsors and Spiceworks, Opscode, and Bitnami were all Silver sponsors. Opscamp Austin seemed to have a really good mix of vendors and non-vendors enabling the sessions to have a good mix. Some other vendors that were in attendance were DTO Solutions, Groundworks Open Source and Cloudswitch. We were also fortunate to have some of the big guns like IBM and Dell, and let’s not forget our favorite analyst, Michael Cote from Redmonk (also a media Sponsor). Here is a link to the Redmonk “IT Management Guys” podcast we did at the after hours free drinks party.
The conference really started to kick into gear once the un-panel started. Monitoring seemed, as it usually does, to dominate the discussion. However, it set the stage nicely for the rest of the conference. In classic “CloudCamp” style we setup the open session agenda for the rest of the day based out of two themes that evolved from the un-panel, Configuration Management and Monitoring. To make it sound cooler, we called the themes Service Delivery and Service Assurance.
On the service delivery side we talked about how to identify services and workloads. Some of the participants described their process of trying to take workloads and define them into ensembles. We even started a little bit of an “Agile Operations” discussion. Later in the afternoon we had an operations tool chain session that seemed to get a little heated; however, no harm, no foul. This reminds me of a great quote “Strong opinions loosely held.”
Over on the service assurance side, we had some great discussions about monitoring with plenty of experts from Zenoss, Groundwork, and IBM. One of the early sessions focused on a discussion about “agents” for monitoring. This lead into the age old agentless vs. agent based discussion. There was also a fair amount of non-open source enterprise people to contribute from the IBM Tivoli, IBM Micromuse, and BMC Patrol perspectives.
I saw a lot of video cameras and flips floating around, so I am sure there will be a lot of Youtube and Blip.tv videos showing up in the next few weeks. Opscamp will try to coordinate a summary links page for all the blogs, podcasts, and videos that surface up.
Opscamp Austin was sort of like a “Beta” for future Opscamps. We had a few bugs in the beginning transitioning from the lighting talks to unpanel to open sessions. However, we collected some positive feedback on how to make this a little smother for the next time. I think Opscamp Austin proved that this new CloudCamp vertical called Opscamp is ready for GA. We look forward to seeing you in a city near you.