OSMC 2021 A retrospec - Sun, Nov 21, 2021
About 2 weeks ago, OSMC happened, the Open Source Monitoring Conference, a conference that normally takes place every year and as a habitual visitor and speaker. The conference takes place in Nuremburg, Germany and is for 3 days, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. As most conferences, OSMC 2020 didn’t happen, but 2021 was able to run. It was a close call, as the situtation changed over the weekend before the conference for Germany. The complete conference was “3G” safe, and while we did need to wear masks for a lot of the conference, it was still doable, and there was a safe zone where you didn’t need to wear the mask all of the time. There was also enough opportunity for hall way track discussions and extracurricular activities.
On day one of the conference, the opening was about the logistics of the conference and
how we’re all happy to back on an in-person event.
Next I learned about
Merlin and Neamon, a good presentation, where the demo failed,
however still interesting.
After that I saw Fue talk about
Contributing to Open Source, while I already contribute to open source in many ways,
it still is good to get others opinion and this presentation was good, and reminds us that not only code makes up open source.
Any contribution is welcome, from documentation to hosting events, spreading the word and being a good user.
After lunch I saw the ignites, Lennart presented his
Icinga-Installer more as a lighting talk,
then Bram did his
Overengineering your personal website, which with every run adds more complexity.
Finally Kris did his
Dashboard as Code, which is a nice tool, however impressive, the tool that runs the ignite,
seemed to have an NTP issue, and didn’t adhere to the 15 second per slide setting, but all went well.
I then saw
Monitoring Open Infrastructure, a talk I had already seen from Marcelo, and so I switched to Bram’s talk,
Gamification of Observability, in which he advises to train for outages like fireman.
We have never actually tried this ourselfs, and I have always been able to confince customers to create check lists,
and have emergency lists, similar to what pilots have, where in an outage, means grabbing that check-list.
While we do not advice customers to do this as a general practice, simulations are adviced.
However Bram’s presentation hightlights why training is vital, and not just for operators.
I then saw the presention on
Thola, a tool which I have played with, but not in full detail,
the presentation gave a good overview on the tool and how to extend it, a very nice piece of software.
And to close the first day, the usual,
Current State of Icinga, where Bernd presented 2 years of Icinga development in one hour.
It was very interesting with a lot of German jokes.
On day two, I opened with
Monitoring Open Source Hardware, in which I spoke about open source hardware,
the choices available today, the projects in working, like OPAL, an open source firmware for POWER systems,
the LibreBMC project an open source hardware project.
And then how monitoring can be used from the inside out, letting us get more information with less overhead.
After my talk, I saw
Open Source Application Performance in which a large Java stack gets monitored, using open source tooling.
I then saw Philipp’s talk about
Observability, in which he reminds us that tools are just tools, similar to using Linux,
which distribution you favour doesn’t make a differnce, or for DevOps, which tooling you chose,
the tool doesn’t mean anything unless to use and make use of it correctly.
After which I saw
Still directing the director, in which the Icinga Director, Icinga Business Processes, and Ansible, are glued together.
Then Kris gave his
Observability will not fix your broken Monitoring, in which he spoke about the misconceptions of a hype.
The hype of observability, that will solve problems like monitoring, alerting, or culture, does not exists, there is no magic.
If you want to achieve real observability, you need tranditional more than just monitoring tools, logging tools,
and alerting tools that can work together, you need to use those tools to achieve better insights,
that you then use to better understand and improve your infrastructure.
Last I saw the
Icinga for Windows presentation an update of the work around Icinga2 on Windows.
Overall the whole conference went soomthly and the talks were good, the number of attendees was less than in a normal year. We all enjoyed the whole conference and it was good to be again at an in-person conference.