Today I attended Juku’s “unplugged” (www.juku.it) event in Bologna, organized by my friends Enrico Signoretti (@esignoretti) and Fabio Rapposelli (@fabiorapposelli).

Juku’s slogan is “think global, act local” and let me say that imho this is the perfect statement to concisely describe the “unplugged” event. Enrico and Fabio are well known experts in the IT enterprise market, with a strong focus on storage, cloud computing, and virtualization.

What they managed to setup is an informal and very interesting series of meeting with lots of great presentations about “hot themes”: ranging from cloud paradigms to chargeback processes, from storage for virtualized environments to stretched lans, Fabio and Enrico managed to share great information while keeping their feet on the ground (a much needed approach in a market that too often tries to address all but real world scenarios), and explaining even complex stuff with a language and examples much aligned with our day-to-day headaches.

Their knowledge though comes from an explicit passion for IT, and goes far beyond their daily duties: rather it comes from technical deep dives in new technologies coming from major vendors, mixed and blended with real world scenarios and feedback they’re getting from REAL users.

That’s it: thnk global, act local. Kudos to Juku for this effective approach. I really enjoyed the event.

I’ve been writing a module that takes care of managing IBM Websphere MQ servers and clients (I know , I know… 😉 ). It is quite amazing how much it pays back to write a puppet module: you get a lot of insight about how a package should be installed and configured.

The simple fact of describing how to install, configure, run, update a software forces you to document each process, to make it repeatable (that’s THE requirement). This is just to say that there is WAY MORE than pure automation (which alone is a LOT). Describing an environment through recipes and modules, tracking changes through the puppet dashboard, versioning your changes, etc. it’s not just cool devops stuff. It’s a smarter way of doing things. No downsides, period.

Just a couple of notes about the actual modules: it’s kind of funny that IBM did a good job at packaging (rpms) its software, but at the same time force you to go through an interactive (#fail) shell script that makes you accept the license agreement. The upside is that I didn’t have to take care of executing that script in my modules: I eventually found it writes out a dummy file in /tmp/blablabla: puppet file resource to the rescue. Done.

Another upside of puppetizing the whole thing (e.g. managing queues, listeners, channels, and the like) is that besides getting rid of the java (cough cough) gui, it allows me to forget the insane naming convention that Big Blue decided to use for the dozens of binaries you get with the MQ install. Let puppet take care of that (well, at least after I’ve done my homework).

Wanna talk automation? I don’t think there’s a better way to do it.

Well, actually I’m posting from my iPod touch, but you get the point… Very cool app from the appstore….

This is the coolest thing of the year, at least for me… I’m going to attend the VMWorld 07 in Moscone Center, San Francisco, CA. Since I’m very fond of the US, actually LOVE California, really DREAM about SF, and believe the VMWorld is probabily the coolest IT event worldwide… you can imagine how I’m thrilled.

Lots of things to see, and btw, me and the almighty GUM (who is coming with me), are planning a trip to the Silicon Valley firms, for the traditional photo in front of the buildings (too bad most of them can’t be accessed… it would be HUGE to visit Googleplex…).

I’ll let ya know.

Ready to jump…

January 31, 2007

… on the other side of the river.

After too much time wasted living on my desktop with MS windows xp on it, during the end of 2K6 I finally decided that: a) it was time for a hw upgrade. b) time for a reassessment in terms of OS.

I’ve never been too much Win-oriented… linux has always been way more near to my taste. And for some time I lived in the macos area (during the 7,8 rel times). As a first approach I was blindly choosing the way of switching back to linux, which I’ve been using for ages now… and use all the day on my servers. No more windows… since all in all it’s really crap. Way better than the past.. but still not sexy… and crap.  Then, while choosing for the uber-notebook of the moment, I stumbled on Apple’s Macbook PRO 17″ . Lost some sleep on that, and I finally decided to give apple another chance (and my recent trip to Washington DC surely moved me into this direction… tons of folks are having fun with those sexy apples). So, probably within this week my macbook pro 17 is coming in… and I’ll surely have a hell of a party deciding what to put on it. Probably, it would end up having osx tiger (then leopard) as the primary os, with a couple (at least) vmware fusion images of xp (just for running windows-based crap I can’t get rid of) and the usual centos/redhat box to play with.  Vista… well… I’m not interested. not sexy enough 🙂

cool. this is my first post from my primary mobile device (imate jasjar). wordpress is indeed cool and renders just fine on opera mobile @640×480. now this is way cool stuff 🙂