First day at #flossuk Spring Conference and there is a lot of talk on configuration management, logs, monitoring and devops.

Matthew Bloch of ByteMark gave a great insight into their BigV visualization with lots of interesting details. I think the most surprising thing was that they where using nbd for all their disks. Really simple way to get cheap VM migration and so far really reliable.

Kris Buytaert's 7 Tools of ?DevOps talk gave all the usual CI, monitoring, config management tools but also was keen to stress how important the whole talking and interacting part was. Devops is not about one tool set but more about making sure the communication happens. A lot of the ?DevOps tools are there to help start these conversations. Being able to talk to people about graphs and changes in tangible ways is really useful.

I heard some good reports about the asciidoc talk. Anything that makes documentation easier has to be good. My current thoughts would be to move more of our documentation into the puppet config as Markdown files and api docs. Then run a tool against the repo on check-in to create a web tree.

The talk by Bernd Erk about Icinga, a fork of Nagios, was quite interesting. Nice to see people developing Nagios. They have dome some crazy things like using LDAP to populate the config and adding graphing to the monitors. I think that personally it would make more sense to move this sort of thing into our puppet config but maybe having a node assigned with services in an LDAP tree could be used to provision it with puppet and then also test that service with nagios. As for the graphing I think that feeding those checks out into Graphite is still my preferred option. And I think Patrick Debois has some interesting suggestions for linking tools like graphite, collected, nagios and Ganglia together

Some other small themes that seem to keep cropping up. Ruby is what the cool kids are using. Java is not getting much cheerleading but is used a lot. Chef and puppet seem to be being used or considered by a lot of people.

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