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Codemotion Milan 2016: thoughts

I have never written a review on a conference and this isn't one: this is a brain dump (hence the lack of form and structure) that I quite simply needed to get out here. It might be incomplete, biased or what else: if there is anything that I should know then let me know in the comments. If you think I'm wrong then let me know that too, but please elaborate :-).

Last week I was, for the first time, at Codemotion in Milan. A first time doubly so: I had never been to a generalist conference before. Being I a generalist person I appreciated the format, even though I found some of the technical talks too light on actual details.

The talks that I liked the most were those of the inspirational track. I went to thesetwo among others and I heartly recommend that you watch them (heck, have all your team watch them!). Maybe because I'm old and I have recently realized that people matter more than tools or technologies?
Overall I would rate the conference an 8 out of 10 just for tho…

A not so short guide to TDD SaltStack formulas

One of the hardest parts about Infrastructure As Code and Configuration Management is establishing a discipline on developing, testing and deploying changes.
Developers follow established practices and tools have been built and perfected over the last decade and a half. On the other hand sysadmins and ops people do not have the same tooling and culture because estensive automation has only become a trend recently.

So if Infrastructure As Code allows you to version the infrastructure your code runs on, what good is it if then there are no tools or established practices to follow?

Luckily the situation is changing and in this post I'm outlining a methodology for test driven development of SaltStack Formulas.

The idea is that with a single command you can run your formula against a matrix of platforms (operating systems) and suites (or configurations). Each cell of the matrix will be tested and the result is a build failure or success much alike to what every half-decent developer of…

From 0 to ZFS replication in 5m with syncoid

The ZFS filesystem has many features that once you try them you can never go back. One of the lesser known is probably the support for replicating a zfs filesystem by sending the changes over the network with zfs send/receive.
Technically the filesystem changes don't even need to be sent over a network: you could as well dump them on a removable disk, then receive  from the same removable disk.

SaltStack targeting: storing roles in pillar

This is an attempt to record my thoughts and describe a solution with regard on how to target/classify minions in a SaltStack environment.

An interesting discussion on the topic can be found in this (rather old) thread on the Salt-User mailing list:

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/salt-users/R_jgNdYDPk0

Basically I share the same concern of the thread author Martin F. Kraft, who in an attempt to put and end to this madness ended up writing reklass.

Roles seem to be easy enough to understand and provide for a clear separation between the actual infrastructure and the desired configuration state, while allowing extensibility and customization (a more specific role can override some settings from another role).

Schedule a job every 5 minutes with Oracle DMBS_JOB

For all those struggling to schedule a job every 5 minutes without drift here's a "simple" interval expression which can be easily adapted to other intervals (every 10 minutes, 20, etc):

select sysdate, trunc(sysdate) + ( ( to_number(to_char(sysdate, 'HH24'))*60+floor(to_number(to_char(sysdate, 'MI'))/5)*5 + 5 ) / 1440) from dual;
Btw, the espression is in the second column of the query.

OTRS embedded images and Lotus Notes

Emails with embedded images sent to OTRS from Lotus Notes can reach OTRS rendered as text with the embbeded image placed in a separate attachment.
The problem in not on OTRS side, but rather in the Lotus Notes client and server configuration.
To fix the issue on the Lotus client make sure that the option "Format for messages addressed to internet addresses" is set to MIME. Then on the sever apply the following settings:
In the Domino Admin open the "Configuration" tab Choose "Server" Choose "Configurations" Choose the appropriate server Choose tab titled "MIME" Choose "Conversion Options" Choose "Outbound"
Change the setting for "Message Content formatting" to the bottom option called "Create Multi-part alternative ...".
Email should now reach OTRS properly formatted with embedded image displayed inline.
Original source for solution: https://support.software.dell.com/it-it/coexistence-manager-for…

4 podcasts to follow

4 podcasts to listen to while commuting (in no particular order):
DevOps cafรจ : hosted monthly, features great guests and packs a tremendous amount of valuable information. Warm up by listening to a great episode with with Tom LimoncelliMagPipe Talk show : I discovered this gem because it recently featured Martin FowlerThe Changelog: more targeted towards developers than the previous two. Make sure you listen to the recent episodes with Yehuda Katx and Mitchell HashimotoHansel Minutes. Usually this one is mostly of interest to Windows people. Useful if one wants to keep an eye on the ther side of the pond or catch the occasional high-level talk

One-liner libvirt KVM guest

Boot and install a new KVM guest with guest agent support with this super simple libvirt one-liner (great for scripts and CI deployments).
Tested on a Centos 7.1 host creating a Centos 7.1 guest from a basic Kickstart file.

Parameters should be quite self-explanatory, in any case here's the documentation for virt-install. Important: remember to change the unix socket path on the last line.

File: virt-install_auto.sh -------------------------- virt-install --name "guest01" --memory 2048 -l http://your.ris.server/ris/centos71 -x "ks=http://your.ris.server/ris/ks.cfg console=ttyS0" --disk size=8,pool=your_pool,bus=virtio,format=qcow2 -w default --graphics vnc --channel unix,mode=bind,path=/var/lib/libvirt/qemu/guest01.agent,target_type=virtio,name=org.qemu.guest_agent.0