Issue 41 - 9th October

I’m lucky enough to be off on another devops floured trip this week, to Sweden for the third Devopsdays Europe event. Here’s hoping it will be just as interesting, friendly and informative as last year. If you’re going to be attending come find me and say Hi.

News

Really nice article which should be relevant to anyone involved in software development and operations, about how to ensure useful communication in a crisis. Much of this is about up front planning and practice, but the examples and approaches make this article a good read.

http://www.alistapart.com/articles/fire-drills-communications-strategy-in-a-crisis/

As someone who has spent lots of time with Python but who is now mainly writing Ruby this post about Ruby becoming the de facto System Administration programming language is interesting. Some of the comments are also interesting, even if some devolve into language wars a little.

http://devopsanywhere.blogspot.com/2011/09/how-ruby-is-beating-python-in-battle.html

It feels like the Chef Windows support has been coming along nicely of late and people are posting more how-to’s. This one shows how to ensure idempotence by checking whether something is installed in the Windows registry.

http://delivermind.blogspot.com/2011/10/windows-msi-idempotence-with-chef.html

A plea to get rid of silos in organisation which allow one group (lets say developers) to cause pain to another (their operations colleagues). I definitely agree with the theme, though I’m not sure the solution is to get rid of different roles completely, more to improve collaboration and communication.

http://blog.recursivity.com/post/10842820535/developers-must-feel-the-pain-of-operations

The Puppet Labs folk have posted a short list of blog posts from attendees to Puppet Conf last week. I’m still digesting some of the excellent talks. Anyone else who made it along and has written up their thoughts let me know.

http://puppetlabs.com/blog/puppetconf-blog-round-up/

A good set of Vagrant tutorial blog posts taking you from getting started, through creating your own base boxes up to using Puppet to manage software on the virtual machine. Rather that just the facts found in the official docs these posts are a little more flavoured by a real world scenario and make a good starting point for anyone interested in Vagrant.

http://devops.me/2011/10/05/vagrant/ http://devops.me/2011/10/06/building-baseboxes/ http://devops.me/2011/10/07/bootstrapping-vagrant-with-puppet/

One way of updating the puppet modules on your puppet master is using the mcmasterupdate collective plugin. This article shows how this is done using a simple svn commit hook.

http://flybyunix.carlcaum.com/2011/10/automatically-updating-your-puppet.html

Lots of people talk about their software architecture, but fewer talk about mistakes and how they solved them over time. This article about how Etsy has changed over time is interesting, stressing the positive impact of web operations folks on the eventual system.

http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2011/10/when-clever-goes-wrong-how-etsy-overcame-poor-architectural-choices.ars

Events

Camp Devops, which is taking place later this month in Chicago, now has a full line-up of talks announced. With sessions on Continuous Delivery, Puppet, Jenkins and Graphite amongst other topics and a day long hackathon it should be a pretty good tools focused few days.

http://campdevops.com/sessions

Tools

GDash is a nice looking project for anyone using Graphite. It’s a small Ruby web application designed for building customisable dashboards of Graphite metrics. You describe what you want in a simple configuration and you can easily run the dashboard on Heroku if you’re not up on hosting Ruby based web applications.

http://www.devco.net/archives/2011/10/08/gdash-graphite-dashboard.php https://github.com/ripienaar/gdash