2019 Talks

Cloud Bending Using the Latest Terraform

Terraform is an open-source infrastructure as code software tool created by HashiCorp. It enables us to define and provision infrastructure using a high-level configuration language HCL and lets us build richer, more complex infrastructure, but with a much less complex configuration. This intermediate level (300) talk focuses on the upcoming features of latest Terraform 0.12 release and things we should be aware of before upgrading to latest release.


Marko Bevc

Infrastructure System Engineer and Architect

Marko has almost two decades of experience working as infrastructure System Engineer and architect. His enthusiasm for new technologies and automation made him interested in cloud services and configuration management. He works with AWS infrastructures pretty much every working day, and has been using Linux and open source solutions for over 20 years. Working at The Scale Factory as a DevOps Consultant has earned him AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate qualification and other AWS competencies: AWS Technical/Business Professional. Marko also has following certifications: RHCE, RHCVA and VCP.

Evidence Extraction, Investigation and Evaluation Environment – A DIY Experiment

There are a lot of really cool things out there in the open source space that have been designed to do one thing, and to do it well. Sometimes you need to consolidate all of the outputs of these things into something greater (hopefully) than the sum of its parts. The project is currently live and ongoing, so I don’t want particularly to quote exactly what tools are going to be used at the end of the day but they are likely to include : ElasticSearch, Tika, The Sleuth Kit, Exiftool, EWFlib and a few of the standard UNIX tools (file for example), and will build a distributed digital forensics environment leveraging older hardware in parallel to speed up the digital forensics process.

Provisional talk description

Si Biles

Digital Forensic Analyst and Information Security Specialist

Simon Biles is a highly experienced digital forensic analyst and information security specialist with over 15 years’ experience in working with Microsoft, UNIX and assorted LAN, WAN and mobile networking products.
During the course of his career, Simon has obtained significant exposure to infrastructure and network architecture and holds technical skills and architectural expertise across a wide variety of technologies, including Cloud (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS), Virtualisation, E-commerce and Social Media.
Simon also has extensive experience of creating policy and procedure to support Information Management, including Disaster Recovery (DR), Business Continuity (BC), Security, Incident Response (IR) and Data Protection. He is also certified as a Lead Auditor on ISO 17799, the predecessor to ISO27001, with experience of implementing both standards.
Simon’s experience and expertise have been utilised across both private and public institutions, including: Banking and finance, software and hardware development, national and international charities, criminal defence, central government and the NHS.

How I Accidentally Became an Electronics Engineer (Actually I Didn’t)

AWS, DNS, K8S. We’re being exposed to IT so much at work that some of us just call it a day and refrain from any hobbyist computer stuff in our private time and maybe you have also more important responsibilities to take care of such as family. But maybe you do still from time to time try to pursuit a fun project. If so, and if you know the “bottom drawer syndrome” (enthusiastically started something, first lost time, then interest, now stored things away out of sight) or if can relate to “buy first, think of a purpose for it later”, this talk is for you.

My motivation was to bring both purpose and order to two such gadgets in my drawer, a Raspberry Pi and a LED stripe and in my search I accidentally ended up designing a PCB, the PiStripe uHAT. In this talk I will recap and take you along on my journey during which I had to leave my usual comfort zone, that is software, and delve into hardware and electronics. Don’t worry, this is not going to be a electronics 101 course. Instead I want to remedy some unwarranted fears and encourage you to look beyond the end of your (software) nose as electronics illiteracy did not stop me either from being successful as proven by my PCB which I’ll bring along (and maybe give away one or two).


Pieter Hollants

Independent Developer, Consultant and Occasional Involuntary SysAdmin

Pieter Hollants solaced himself over the downfall of Commodore and the beloved Amiga world by discovering the Un*x/Linux world at the end of the 90s. After fulfilling his duties at the IT support front, promoting himself to “Senior Intern” at Linux outlet SUSE and abusing his position as Linux Systems Engineer at German Air Traffic Control to become a resident conference wh^Wvisitor, Pieter has returned to enjoying the freedom as an independent developer, consultant and occasional involuntary sysadmin. He runs some small Open Source projects of his own but mostly contributes every now and then, here and there.

Keeping PostgreSQL Up With the Cool Kids

PostgreSQL has a long history of innovation, extensibility and adaptability, it was conceived that way. Over recent years we’ve seen a plethora of new data technologies. At the same time PostgreSQL has evolved to offer comparable features. This talk will look at a number of features which PostgreSQL offers to keep up with the ever evolving data landscape. I want to show how PostgreSQL is a truly general purpose database which can do way more than SQL92 via your ORM. From document storage, time-series data, sharding to complex data analytics PostgreSQL really has it all.


Chris Ellis

Independent PostgreSQL Consultant

Chris is a computing and electronics geek, who loves working with Open Source software. He is an independent PostgreSQL consultant, currently working on IoT and smart energy insights. As well as running the Bergamot Monitoring project.

Manage your Cloud Infrastructure through Open Source

Public clouds have been continually expanding its fleet of cloud services and is launching products to its large catalog. Their existing services also keep receiving regular updates to add the capabilities they have to offer. Since the past few years, AWS, Google Cloud and Azure have consolidated a lot of management features to operation services, and added more administrative capabilities. More significantly, thanks to a strong user base, there are also pretty useful and effective open source tools built by the community that exist in the wild that have proved to be extremely useful and reliable for daily operations and deployments.

This talk uncovers a suite of cloud provider services in combination with open source tools that allow the infrastructure and platform teams running the cloud to effectively control their regular cloud operations. This includes handling and all the existing computation workloads and CI/CD pipelines and transitioning them to Infrastructure as Code by leveraging these relatively unknown powerful options. The workflows introduced allow for comprehensive monitoring and securing the resources and can be applied wherever the customer are in their cloud journey.


Syed Hamid Rasool

DevOps Systems Administrator

Syed Hamid Rasool is a DevOps Systems Administrator managing a multi-cloud platform supporting different teams at Catapult Sports. Previously, he had been integrating networking features for a virtualization product and maintaining physical server hardware for a company focused on OpenStack and NFV. He has also undertaken research and academic publications on Software defined networking and adaptive video streaming delivery during his graduate program. He started his professional career as a RF Field Engineer with Ericsson.

Using Raspberry Pis to Squish Performance Problems

A key business application has become painfully slow. Something must be done to fix it! User reports suggest it’s faster on some campus networks than others. Is this anecdotal observation accurate? We need hard data!

A whistle stop overview of building a network of Raspberry Pis to gather benchmarks to answer the questions of why is it slow and how it can be be fixed. The talk will cover the Selenium tests we developed and recording and analysing the data using open source tools (InfluxDB and Grafana).


Peter Jackson

DevOps Developer

Peter has been wrangling databases and application servers to host web
applications at University of Edinburgh for well over a decade. Now a
Senior System and Database Administrator responsible for delivery of
projects, Peter’s current interests include Puppet automation, Docker
and recording all the metrics.

Virtual Reality for All

Virtual reality is an artificial environment that is created with software and presented to the user in such a way that the user suspends belief and accepts it as a real environment. On a computer, virtual reality is primarily experienced through two of the five senses: sight and sound. Since the past few years, virtual reality has been a rising trend and the market is filled with a number of headsets have their own delightful features. As a developer, creating VR becomes tedious as there are a number of Proprietary tools for creating VR experiences which have their own requirements for ecosystems, controllers, software installations etc. Even simplest of applications needs a lot of complex code to be written to manage the two primary engaged senses in VR – sight and sound. A-frame is a web framework for building Virtual Reality experiences. It is an open source tool which provides cross platform compatibility and immediate deployment of applications without the gateways of proprietary VR app stores. The talk will cover virtual reality, its basics. Building a web VR hello world scene, Using the inspector; Building a basic 360 degree gallery, Components; Entity-Component system Using Javascript and DOM APIs, using with three.js Interactions & Controllers, tips and diving deep into it. The talk will enable participants to gain knowledge and build web based Virtual reality environments for games, work or fun!

When Life Gives you Orange, Make Data Speak Volumes!

In this talk we will walk through the concept of Data mining and visualization right from the basics. A free and open source tool for data visualization -Orange from a beginner to an advance level will also be covered. We will also cover the concepts of data mining and data warehousing to gain a deeper insight into the concept and help understand the process form the core level. Data mining refers to an autonomous process of discovery of previously unknown patterns which are valid, potentially useful or novel from large database.Orange is Open source machine learning, data visualization and data mining toolkit.
Orange features an interactive data visualization platform. The platform provides a wide variety of data analysis and visualization by statistical distributions, scatter plots, box plots, decision trees, heat maps, linear projections to name a few. By carefully selecting attributes in the dataset we can drill down multidimensional data to 2D. It helps in fast prototyping of data analysis workflow. The talk will also cover the recent and diverse existing use cases of Orange like: 1. Analysis of hyperspectra images from the Ryugu asteroid 2. Language support for 50 languages 3. bioinformatics, and many more. By the end of the talk attendees would have a clear knowledge of • What Orange is • How they can use it in work or side projects • Be able to use it as a separate tool or embed it as a library in their existing Python projects And use all functionalities of Orange of data mining and visualization to the fullest!


Drishti Jain

Samyak Drishti Foundation

Drishti is a Computer Engineer at heart and a technology enthusiast. She loves to use technology to help the less fortunate. She believes in democratizing opportunities and brings knowledge of the latest developments in the fast-moving field of technology to deserving students, and keep them up to date and well-equipped for their respective professional careers. She has spoken at 12+ conferences across the globe and is also a social entrepreneur. Her non-profit organisation – Samyak Drishti Foundation works in environment, education and healthcare sectors and operates in 10 cities across India. In her spare time, she likes to paint nature, explore new places and anchor live shows

The death of KISS

The world is moving on a super highway of data, and response time needs to be short to cater to the mass market. We, the ones making it work – either in code or operations ,needs to ensure we answer that demand, but does it really have to be so complex ?  Why are “simple” solutions frowned upon ? where did it all go wrong?


Assaf Flato

Network Administrator

Assaf Flatto has been a working in the Open Source community since 1995, starting with Slackware and has started working with NetSaint (now Nagios) since version 0.6, since then he became a Linux Administrator and Nagios certified. He has been active in supporting the Nagios community by offering help and advice via the IRC channel and the (now dead) mailing list.
He is an active team member of Icinga since 2011.

He has been a Linux Administrator and done Network Management for companies like the BBC, SKY, and LOVEFiLM in the UK and VoxPopuli, Atelis, and M-Wise in Israel. Currently working as a consultant in IT/DevOps and Network Management implementations for various companies.

Reducing the boot time of Linux devices

A pragmatic approach

We all want our devices to boot faster, but how much effort do you want to dedicate to optimizing and maintaining a custom kernel and apps? This presentation offers a graded list of things you can do to reduce boot time. They start with simple changes, such as adjusting the position of your main application in the init sequence.

Then there are the changes you can make to the kernel and bootloader configuration to speed things up, and finally, there are moderately advanced techniques such as using U-Boot in falcon mode. All of this can be done using standard configuration techniques, with the idea of being able to maintain these changes in the future. I will show the effect of each of these changes
on typical a embedded dev board so that you can judge for yourself where on the journey you want to jump off.


Chris Simmonds

Embedded Systems Expert

Chris Simmonds is a software consultant and trainer living in southern
England. He has spent almost two decades designing and building
open-source embedded systems of all shapes and sizes, and he has
encapsulated much of that experience in his book, “Mastering Embedded
Linux Programming”.

He is a frequent presenter at open source and embedded conferences,
including the Embedded Linux Conference and Embedded World. You can see some of his work on the “Inner Penguin” blog at www.2net.co.uk

Chatops Deluxe

I don’t know about the rest of you, but almost every sysadmin I know has at one point written an IRC bot or at least grumbled about the existing ones and thought about it.

These days, in the brave new world of slack and hipchat and mattermost and CLOUD CLOUD CLOUD CLOUD writing bots has been rebranded as ‘chatops’ – and since I was looking at setting up some systems bots, I investigated the current state of the art.

Apparently unified authentication and authorisation isn’t web scale.

So I stopped, stepped back, and asked: in 2019, what do I actually want out of a bot?

  • Easy and unified configuration
  • Language agnostic for plugins
  • That includes being able to write commands as shell scripts
  • Authentication and authorisation as a core concept
  • Uptime-maximising multi process architecture
  • Uniform access to whichever chat system you’re using

So I built something that provides all of those, and in this talk I’ll introduce you to the end result, the architecture, and most importantly, how to go as quickly as possible from zero to a deployment that’s actually useful for day to day sysadmin and operations work.

Hopefully you’ll find the end result involves less grumbling for you too.


Matt S Trout

CTO Shadowcat Systems

Matt S Trout was thrust into Perl at the tender age of seventeen by a backup accident. Two weeks later he realised that he was in love with the language and has been happily using it for systems automation, network, web and database development ever since.

He is co-maintainer of the Catalyst web framework (and co-author of The Definitive Guide to Catalyst), the creator of the DBIx::Class ORM, and a core team member for the Moose metaprotocol and object system, as well as contributing to assorted other CPAN projects.

Matt spends his days leading the technical team at Shadowcat Systems Limited, an open source consultancy specialising in Perl and Javascript applications deployment and systems architecture.

Prometheus, The Age of Maturity

Prometheus is now one of the top references in the open source monitoring landscape. It still remains far from its competitors. Let’s have a look at the history of Prometheus, its future, and the gaps that still(will) remain between this tool and the traditional monitoring market.


Julien Pivotto

Julien Pivotto is a young Open-Source consultant at Inuits where he is helping organisations with the deployment of long-term solutions based on Open-Source infrastructure. He is a strong believer in the devops movement and has technical focus towards infrastructure automation, continuous integration, monitoring and high availability.