3 minute read

Apologies for the delay in sending this weeks Devops Weekly. I spent most of Sunday on a flight back from PuppetConf and decided to leave the newsletter until I got back. That does mean lots of content from PuppetConf for this issue, but below that the usual collection of articles, events and tools to keep everyone busy.


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The Puppet language hasn’t always evolved quickly. This talk covers why, and more interestingly talks about how to opt-in to experimental new features and what some of the new Puppet language features (like loops) look like.

I had the fortune of being one of the speakers at PuppetConf, talking about module reusability. A discussion of the problem, a bunch of tools and patterns that make life easier and some things I’d like to see from the future versions of Puppet and the supporting tools.

Not all of the talks at PuppetConf focused on Puppet. This talk covered why hiring and new teams probably isn’t the right approach when trying to adopt devops approaches. Lots of good culture content.

Good introduction to Logstash, everyones favourite log processing application. Some notable announcements about the next release due next week. Performance improvements of around 3.5 times the previous version, bundling the lovely looking Kibana 3 plus conditional statements in outputs.

Excellent talk about how GitHub use Puppet. Contains lots of information about code structure, rolling your own tools, deployment and having a wide range of people contributing to your Puppet code base.

Puppet code is code, and using approaches like refactoring is important as your code grows. This presentation introduces the concept and highlights a few code smells common to Puppet code.

Not a great deal of monitoring discussion at PuppetConf but this talk covers much of the ground for what a monitoring stack powered by a configuration management tool requires.

Most of the presentations have been posted here, that’s 82 in total. Apparently we can expect the videos to be made available soon too. So much good content.


Lots of interest in docker at the moment. These two blog posts look at how docker is working under the hood. They are also a great introduction to investigating a new tool in a methodical manner using strace, ps and more.

A good piece on the trade offs of different software release strategies, and how they apply to a specific project; Fabric. The break down into speed, stability and maintenance effort is a nice generalisable approach.

In Search of Certainty - The science of our information infrastructure is a new book from Mark Burgess that is bound to be regarded a classic of our operations discipline. I started reading this on the plane last week and it’s an impressive piece of work.

An interesting discussion of security threats to software build processes and a look at why a deterministic build process is an important part of the answer.

Interesting paper from Facebook entitled Development and Deployment at Facebook. Click the Download File button to download a PDF copy. Lots of interesting continuous delivery content.


Flowcon, the one day conference on November 1st in San Francisco all about Continuous Delivery, have kindly offered a discount code. If you’ve been thinking about going along then maybe 10% will convince you to get round to registering.

The spread of Devops Days around the world continues, with Devops Days Vancouver happening on the 25th and 26th of October. The call for proposals is open so if you have a good story to tell and are in the area why not apply?


A new minor version of Graphite has been released with a few interesting features. Most notable however are security fixes for XSS and remote execution vulnerabilities so everyone is recommended to upgrade.

ZMap is an open-source network scanner which can perform Internet-wide network studies. With a single machine and a well provisioned network uplink, ZMap is capable of performing a complete scan of the IPv4 address space in under 45 minutes. Some interesting monitoring applications.

Rouster is a an interesting programmatic model for working with Vagrant. It was written to underpin integration testing tools but might provides a general purpose interface to vagrant the provisioned virtual machines.

Chocolatey is a package format and manager much like apt, but for Windows. Using configuration management tools on Window without a solid package resource makes this much more complicated so this could be very useful.