IT Management and Cloud Blog

AWSome Atlanta February 2010

By John | February 10, 2010

Last night’s AWSome Atlanta meeting was one of the best attended that I can remember. The main topic was the Chef configuration management tool for computer infrastructures. The crowd was a mix of the ‘usual suspects’ and quite a few new faces.

Read Chris Curtin’s blog for the rest of the story….

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Does Automation Replace Humans?

By John | February 8, 2010

Somewhere in a land a long time ago, there was this steel factory in the heartland of Pennsylvania.  In this steel factory there was a bulletin board on a factory floor room, and on the board were two large posters.  The first poster was a reminder of the upcoming layoffs on Friday with procedures for filing paper work and such.  The other poster was an announcement of the new IBM mainframe computer that was arriving that week.  This new marvel of modern technology just happened to be arriving on that same Friday.  The IBM poster encouraged employees to gather and witness this historic event, and that they did.  So when Friday rolled around, the poor IBM’rs with their blue suites and dark ties were meet with harsh resentment.  The factory floor workers harassed them unmercifully, and in some cases they were actually spat on.  I take it you see the irony of the poor steel workers assumed correlation between the new computer and the layoffs.  It’s easy to see now that the new “computers” had nothing to do with the layoff… Or is it?

Read the complete post…

Topics: chef, devops | 1 Comment »

Opscamp Austin Roundup

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 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.

Topics: opscamp | 9 Comments »

Chef Comes to Atlanta

By John | January 28, 2010

The week of February 8th Opscode will be having some fun in Atlanta.  Josh Timberman @jtimberman, one of the Opscode senior engineers, will be in Atalanta do some work with Chef.  Here are some of the highlights.

Chef “Bootcamp Workshop” Sprint

Ignition Alley, Monday February 8th – 10th (9am to 5pm)

If you are interested in learning more about the Chef open source project feel free to join us in defining and developing the Chef bootcamp training material.

Awsome Atlanta Cloud Computing Group

Georgia Tech ATDC , Tuesday February 8th ( 7pm to 9pm)

Configuration Management and Provisioning in the Cloud using Chef

Ignition Alley “Lunch and Learn”

Ignition Alley, Monday February 10th (11:39am to 12:30pm)

Configuration Management and Provisioning in te Cloud using Chef

Atlanta Ruby User’s Group

Georgia Tech ATDC , Tuesday February 10th ( 7pm to 9pm)


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CloudCamp to Hold First OpsCamp for Cloud Operations and Development Professionals

By John | January 21, 2010

January 19th, 2010 – (Austin, TX) CloudCamp, an organizer of local events to exchange ideas, knowledge and information in a creative and supporting environment, advancing the current state of cloud computing and related technologies, today announced the first OpsCamp for systems management and cloud development professionals. OpsCamp is an event aimed at bringing together IT professionals who are interested in the evolution of systems management and application deployment as it bridges physical and virtual infrastructure and especially cloud computing technologies. The event will be a participant driven unconference style event made popular by events like BarCamp, Bloggercon and Mashup Camp.

Event Details

The event will be held in an unconference format starting with an Unpanel discussion about cloud computing followed by a self-organizing conference format where topics are proposed and then voted on by the attendees.

Saturday, January 30, 2010
8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Spider House Cafe
2908 Fruth St.
Austin, TX 78705

While attendance is free, RSVP is required:

Event Sponsors

This free event is being made possible by the generous donations from the following sponsors:
Bitnami - Cloud Deployable Software Stacks
Reductive Labs - Open Source Data Center Automation
Zenoss - Unlegacy IT Management Emphasizing Virtualization and Cloud Management

Supporting Quotes

Dave Nielsen, co-Founder CloudCamp

“With rapid change occurring in IT operations, we realized that a place is needed where operations personnel and sysadmins can meet to share their experiences, challenges and solutions. OpsCamp is organized as an unconference which encourages the open exchange of ideas around next generation technologies and strategies for IT Operations. End users, IT professionals and vendors are all encouraged to participate.”

John M. Willis, Author of Cloud Computing and Systems Management Blog, co-hostIT Management Podcast and the Cloud Cafe

“While the cloud has lowered the barrier to entry for businesses to own a data center; it has not decreased the complexity of managing complex applications and data center operations.  OpsCamp is about exploring the opportunity to intersect ideas like agile development, continuous deployment, and data center operations to promote the rise of a new movement that breaks down the traditional walls between development and operations (i.e., DevOps).”

Mark Hinkle, VP of Community, Zenoss

“Operations personnel and sysadmins are becoming programmers because of the virtualization/cloud and automation trend where everything is managed through an API. The line between application developers and IT operations is becoming blurred. Many of the principles that apply to Agile application development translate to operations. So if you are a developer with a interest for system administration, or a systems administrator interested in development, OpsCamp is the place to be.”

Michael Coté, Analyst at Redmonk, co-host IT Management Podcast

“After many years of steady pace in the IT world, the tools and technologies used to do the daily work of operations are rapidly changing. Thanks to virtualization and cloud computing moving mainstream, new, hopefully better ways to deliver IT are emerging. These things aren’t always fully baked yet, but the thought-leaders and early adopters are quickly crystallizing. OpsCamp is an exciting chance to get involved in these conversations whether you want to start directing this shift in operations, figure out if it works for you, or just check it out. And, not only is it free, it’s in a damn fine spot: Austin.”

Luke Kanies, Founder of Puppet and Reductive Labs

“OpsCamp is a great opportunity to share expertise and experience in managing operations in the cloud.  The unconference setting provides a perfect mix between learning and sharing, and the intimate setting guarantees everyone gets something out of it.”

Erica Brescia, CEO, BitRock and Bitnami Project Lead

“In rapidly evolving disciplines such as how to deploy and manage software in the cloud, the one-way dialogue found at typical conferences just doesn’t cut it. OpsCamp will give early adopters and innovators the opportunity to share best practices and guide the development of the next generation of cloud operations tools and services.”

About CloudCamp

CloudCamp is an unconference where early adapters of Cloud Computing technologies exchange ideas. With the rapid change occurring in the industry, we need a place we can meet to share our experiences, challenges and solutions. At CloudCamp, you are encouraged you to share your thoughts in several open discussions, as we strive for the advancement of Cloud Computing. End users, IT professionals and vendors are all encouraged to participate. For more information about future CloudCamp events visit

About Zenoss

Zenoss is a leading commercial open source provider of Unlegacy IT enterprise management products. Zenoss Enterprise is a single model-based product that enables organizations to seamlessly manage physical, virtual and cloud based infrastructure with unprecedented power, agility and value. Leveraging a commercial open source model, Zenoss products monitor over one million network and server devices daily and are used in over 25,000 organizations in 180 countries around the world. Commercial customers include leading companies such as Rackspace, VMware, WebMD, LinkedIn, Tyco Electronics, Carlson, Motorola and Deutsche Bank. To learn more about Zenoss’ award-winning IT operations management software, visit

About Reductive Labs

Reductive Labs provides a comprehensive set of enterprise-class software, support and services directly from the developers of the Puppet project. With a global team of trained and experienced experts, Reductive Labs can deliver training, consulting, and technical support services to help customers deploy, develop and maintain their infrastructure. Customers get access to features, tools and technical support not otherwise available. For a single annual fee, a Reductive Labs subscription offers a unique combination of support, sophisticated management tools, and reduced total cost of ownership (TCO), making it a must-have for enterprise-level deployments and mission-critical applications. For more information about Puppet and Reductive labs visit

Bitnami simplifies the process of deploying web applications natively, virtually and in the cloud. Each BitNami Stack contains an application that is fully integrated with all of the software it requires to run. BitNami Stacks are available free of charge as native installers, virtual machine images and cloud templates, so they can easily be deployed in any environment. Popular BitNami-packaged applications include Drupal, Joomla!, WordPress, SugarCRM, Alfresco, Redmine, Subversion and many more. For a complete list, visit
For additional information please contact the conference organizers:

John M. Willis –
Mark Hinkle –
Damon Edwards –

For sponsorship opportunities contact Dave Nielsen:

Topics: other | 1 Comment »

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