3 minute read

I’ve spent the last week organising, talking at and mainly just attending both Devops Days and Velocity in London. Both events have been great, with lots of interesting talks and hallway conversations. Lots of the following content comes from one of the those talks, workshops or chats so thank you everyone who made the events so good.


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One of the workshops I attended at Velocity covered using the Gauntlt tool to test for various security vulnerabilities. The slides cover both why this is important and provide links to some good exercises to get started with.

Another of the workshops, this one covering the Kale anomaly detection stack and how to deal with a large volume of metrics and extract value from them.

A great presentation about how Etsy went about integrating multiple CDNs, including some of the challenges with how CDNs often work and demonstrating some of the tools they built.

Mentioned at Velocity, Sitespeed.io is a very nice looking performance testing tool, ideally suited for use in a continuous integration pipeline. It produces extensive reports across multiple pages, as well as taking screenshots of tested pages if required.

Another tool from Velocity, this WebPageTest script is a wrapper around WebPageTest (a performance testing tool) which provides the ability to easily generate tests and graph results in Graphite.

CDN Control is the tooling from the integrating CDNs talk at Velocity mentioned above. The two projects provide both a command line tool and web interface to manage how you’re CDNs are currently being balanced.


One of the open spaces and later an ignite talk at Devops Days kicked off a much broader conversation about burnout in the IT industry. This post in particularly summed up why I think the talk, and the resulting conversations, are so important.

Devops Days London was only at the start of the week but the videos are already up for all the talks and ignites. Everything from the scientific theory behind configuration management to why security is important to what’s happening in the world of Software Defined Networks.

A nice presentation from the recent Flowcon all about auditing. Lots of detail about what auditing is and why it’s useful, as well as tips for anyone interested in devops in a regulated industry.

Project Sputnik, the Dell project which made the XPS13 developer edition machine possible, is working on some software tools and looking for input/feedback. The profile tool aims to make getting setup and running with software projects, and their dependencies easier.

tcpdump is one of those incredible powerful tools that you could spend an entire career learning to use. This post covers why it’s useful and why to prefer it’s low level power and flexibility over higher level tools.

For most people learning systems administration it’s a matter or experience rather than formal education. This book, and the course that it’s intended to be part of, is one of the first attempts to bring learning systems administration into a university setting.

One of the ignites from Devops Days London covering packaging tools, and some of the high level tools that have cropped up recently like omnibus, fpm and in particular pkgr.

A couple of nice writeups for Devops Days London, covering the talks, ignites and open spaces. Lots more links to books or tools or blog posts mentioned throughout the two days.


ScaleConf will take place on the 10th and 11th of April, in Cape Town, South Africa. It is a 300-person, single-track conference, focusing on scalability and high availability. The conference is also currently looking for speakers.


Leibniz is another take on infrastructure testing, using Cucumber to stand up virtual machines using Vagrant against which tests can be run. It’s currently Chef specific but could in theory be expanded to other tools.

For anyone interested in the Statsd model of data collection but not wanding to run node or anything else, Statsite might be of interest. It’s implemented in C and as well as being fast it also has a number of interesting extension hooks.