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Red Hat NA Partner Technical Exchange – Chicago 2016-10-05

Oct 25, 2016

Written by Colin Caprusu, Systems Specialist at HighVail Systems Inc.

Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Red Hat North America Partner Technical Exchange in the windy city, Chicago. During the course of this post I’d like to share with everyone some of the high level lectures and labs I took part of. Red Hat was showcasing the best products from their Ecosystem, so you’re in for a treat. I was also fortunate to meet key players from Red Hat and industry partners.

One of the biggest tracks at this conference was their newly acquired IT Automation product, Ansible. Regardless of where you are on your DevOps journey, Ansible should be part of every enterprises toolbox. If you don’t know what this great utility does, it’s a software platform for configuring and managing your infrastructure. Ansible connects via ssh to nix systems, switches as well as windows boxes via power shell. The power is in your hands! You can hand out commands across hundreds of servers in your desired inventory. True automation comes in the form of playbooks. A yaml to do list where you can write out repeatable commands through easy and consistent code.

In the pre-conference workshops, I managed to get up close and personal with Ansible Tower by Red Hat. This session was a deep dive on Ansible and Tower architecture. I got to write a few real world applicable playbooks, plus went through use cases and demonstrations for customer environments. Ansible Tower was surprisingly simple; I was sending out playbooks to my inventory in less than 5min after install. They have thorough process page, where you can keep track of your playbooks and see Ansible in action. The software is surprisingly verbose as well as idempotent, by the way did I mention it’s also agentless.

Another excellent workshop I attended was dealing with Openshift Container Platform. A CI/CD tool which supports application developers while simplifying the operational side of deploying constantly changing applications. The workshop was an in detail look at container deployment, scaling out applications with ease on Openshift via command line as well as web console. Throughout the workshop, the instructor was also showing common issues and gave some troubleshooting tips. It was my first experience with Openshift and I think it’s a wonderful tool Red Hat has in its arsenal to help your organization succeed in DevOps.

Finally, a great whiteboard session on Container Security was very memorable. We leapt into the issues that companies face on their DevOps journey. How to maximize your container deployment efficiency, while complying with your current security policies. We discussed ways to include security teams and change management in the DevOps process.

The Red Hat North America Partner Exchange was a great summit and I’m very pleased I got to be part of it. I’d like to shootout to a cool app I heard during my networking sessions called x.ai. It’s a calendar AI that takes care of your meetings, learns about your favorite spots for coffee or grub and sets up future meetings for you. Find out more at www.x.ai.

When I was not attending workshops or socializing with my colleagues in the field I had the chance to explore Chicago. Hit up some rooftop bars to enjoy the skyline, opted out for the deep dish and went Neapolitan style baked in a stone oven instead. During one of the rainy days, visited Garfield Park Conservatory which I highly recommend you go see!

For more information, please contact us at (416) 867-3000, or at info@highvail.com. You can also visit us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter @HighVail, and Instagram @HighVailSystems.

Colin Caprusu
Technical Specialist, HighVail Systems Inc.