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The OpenStack Ops mid-cycle, PLUG and Ubuntu & Debian gatherings

In the tail end of August I made my way down to Palo Alto for a day to attend the OpenStack Operators Mid-cycle event. I missed the first day because I wasn’t feeling well post-travel, but the second day gave me plenty of time to attend a few discussions and sync up with colleagues. My reason for going was largely to support the OpenStack Infrastructure work on running our own instance of OpenStack, the infra-cloud.

The event had about 200 people, and sessions were structured so they would have a moderator but were actually discussions to share knowledge between operators. It was also valuable to see several OpenStack project leads there trying to gain insight into how people are using their projects and to make themselves available for feedback. The day began with a large session covering the popularity and usage of configuration management databases (CMDBs) in order to track resources, notes here: PAO-ops-cmdb. Then there was a session covering OpenStack deployment tips, which included a nice chunk about preferred networking models (the room was about split when it came to OVS vs. LinuxBridge), notes from this session: PAO-ops-deployment-tips.

After lunch I attended a tools and monitoring session, and learned that they have a working group and an IRC meeting every other week. The session was meant to build upon a previous session from the summit, but the amount of overlap between that session and this seemed to be quite low and it ended up being a general session about sharing common tools. Notes from the session here: PAO-ops-tools-mon.

In all, an enjoyable event and I was impressed with how well-organized it all felt as an event with such a loose agenda going in. Participants seemed really engaged, not just expecting presentations, and it was great to see them all collaborating so openly.

My next event took me across the country, but only incidentally. Our recent trip back east happened to coincide with a PLUG meeting in downtown Philadelphia. The meetings are a great way for me to visit a bunch of my Philadelphia friends at once and I always have a good time. The presentation itself was by Debian Maintainer Guo Yixuan on “Debian: The community and the package management system” where he outlined the fundamentals regarding Debian community structure and organization and then did several demos of working with .deb packages, including unpacking, patching and rebuilding. After the meeting we adjourned to a local pizzeria where I got my ceremonial buffalo chicken cheese steak (fun fact: you can actually find a solid Philly cheese steak in San Francisco, but not one with chicken!).

Guo Yixuan prepares for his presentation, as Eric Lucas and CJ Fearnley host Q&A with attendees

Back home in San Francisco I hosted a couple events back to back last week. First up was the Ubuntu California Ubuntu Hour at a Starbucks downtown. One of the attendees was able to fill us in on his plans to ask his employer for space for a Wily Werewolf (15.10) release party in October. Unfortunately I’ll be out of town for this release, so I can’t really participate, but I’ll do what I can to support them from afar. After the Ubuntu Hour we all walked down the street to Henry’s Hunan in SOMA for a Bay Area Debian Dinner. There, talk continued about our work, upgrades and various bits of tech about Debian and not. We wrapped up the meeting with a GPG keysigning, which we hadn’t done in quite some time. I was also reminded post-meeting to upload my latest UID to a key server.

Next week rounds up my local-ish event schedule for the month by attending the CloudNOW Top Women in Cloud Awards in Menlo Park where my colleague Allison Randal is giving a keynote. Looking forward to it!