OSDC 2014 retrospective

Published 2014-05-04 by Jochen Lillich

The Open Source Datacenter Conference has been an established DevOps conference even before the term was widely used. For 2014, the Netways team left Nürnberg as their traditional location behind and moved the event to Berlin.

I’m happy that they kept the “conference hotel” concept; nothing beats being able to walk from bed to breakfast to conference session under the same roof. For me, the Hotel MOA in Berlin-Moabit ticked all the boxes. My room was comfortable and spacious, the catering was excellent and there were more than enough seats in the conference rooms for all the attendees.

There is an essential aspect of tech conferences where OSDC 2014 unfortunately left a lot to be desired: reliable internet connectivity. The hotel WiFi clearly was not built to accomodate a crowd of techies who each brought 2 or more WiFi clients. Unfortunately, Netways had not prepared a dedicated network in advance so I had to fall back to my 3G hotspot when my WiFi connection broke down only a few minutes into the introductory talk.

As regular OSDC participants have come to expect, the talks were diverse, interesting and on a professional level. Here is a short excerpt of the session programme:

  • Lennart Koopmann & Jordan Sissel: Intro to Log Management
  • Mike Adolphs: How we run Support at GitHub
  • Martin Gerhard Loschwitz: What’s next for Ceph?
  • Thomas Schend: Introduction to the Synnefo open source cloud stack
  • Michael Renner: Secure encryption in a wiretapped future
  • Christopher Kunz: Software defined networking in an open-source compute cloud
  • Andreas Schmidt: Testing server infrastructure with serverspec

Netways generously published their recordings from OSDC 2014 on Youtube, including my own talk, “Dynamic Infrastructure Orchestration”.

Making our configuration management more dynamic is one of our main concerns at freistil IT. Our infrastructure is growing steadily and we have to make sure that changes are executed in a quick and reliable manner. Conventional configuration management tools like our trusted Chef are limited in terms of change rollout speed because they are based on regular convergence runs. That’s why I took a closer look at serf and etcd. I’ve then summarised my findings in my OSDC talk:

After I watched the recording, I realised sadly that I missed the bar at least on the aspect of “professional presentation”. Judging from the many interested questions during and after the talk, I managed to convey everything I had intended to. But I had not rehearsed the talk enough and that showed clearly in far too many errs and uhms. I apologise to all attendees for not delivering the presentation quality that you can expect at such a conference. I’ll push myself harder in order to always arrive fully prepared when I’m invited as a speaker.

With the move to Berlin, the Open Source Datacenter Conference is on the way from a German IT event to an international DevOps conference. And I’ll be happy to return next year!