Over the last weekend, I attended FOSDEM, an absolutely mind blowing conference bringing together Free and Open Source developers from all over Europe. The scale of the conference, attracting as it does thousands of developers, and accommodating hundreds of different talks over 2 manic days, really can’t be described. You have to be there to experience it.
I made the journey to Brussels by train, a most civilised way to travel – especially given that Eurostar are quite happy to replace lost return tickets for a small fee! The weekend started with the infamous beer event on the Friday night (hence the lost ticket), before getting down to business on the Saturday. It’s hard to pick particular highlights from such a packed program, but the perl6 talk managed to be both fascinating and scary at the same time and the cmake talk was very useful given the way Stephen is going with build tools. In the dev rooms, Dan Mosedale unfortunately didn’t make it for the Thunderbird talk, but an productive discussion was had none-the-less, and Jens Kuehnel’s introduction to SELinux in the Fedora devroom helped overcome a lot of my fears (and, in fact, has succeeded in its goal, as I no longer just switch it off). The sight of 100+ folk all participating in a PGP keysigning had to be seen to be believed (eventually, we just had to go outside, as the lecture theatre just wasn’t big enough)
I signed up a few months ago to present a Lightning Talk on OpenAFS, in an attempt to grow awareness, and attract new developers. That talk certainly helped me with talking to other people at the conference, as well as being pretty well received. Both slides, and video, of the talk are available from the FOSDEM site.
As previously trailed, I presented as part of this year’s UKUUG Files and Backups Seminar on the 19 Feb. My talk, on OpenAFS, was a revised and extended version of the paper Craig and I wrote, and I presented at UKUUG’s Spring Conference the year before. Whilst that paper concentrated on Informatics’ experience in deploying OpenAFS, the seminar talk was far more outwards facing, discussings the pitfalls and benefits of any OpenAFS deployment across many different types of organisation. A copy of the slides is available from the UKUUG web site.
Both days of the seminar were a very interesting opportunity to take part in a number of focussed discussions about storage issues, as they affect a wide variety of different businesses. Charles Curran’s discussion of CERN’s data management issues (with LHC producing around 15PB of data every day) was a hilarious tour through the issues involved in managing vast amounts of experimental data, and Kern Sibbald’s talk on Bacula was a fascinating discussion of what must be the industry’s leading Open Source backup technology. Kern and I had a chat afterwards about the issues involved in making Bacula AFS aware, such that it could easily handle both backup, and restoration of files from AFS volume dumps.
I’m giving a few talks over the next couple of months
- UKUUG Files and Backup Seminar I’m giving a general overview of AFS from a users and administrators perspective, particularly focusing on features that will be of interest to new deployments
- FOSDEM I’m giving a developers overview of OpenAFS as a lightning talk
- UKUUG Spring Conference I’m currently scheduled to give two talks. The first is an overview of our monitoring system, talking in particular about the benefits (and challenges) of integrating it with LCFG. The second is about our in-development account management system, prometheus, and some of its unique features.
- AFS & Kerberos Best Practices Workshop