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PDXCloud September Gathering

Elemental Technologies
225 SW Broadway, Suite 600
Portland, OR 97205, US (map)

Access Notes

Doors to the lobby are locked at 5pm. Check with event organizer for access information.

The door to the building is locked in the evening, but there will be someone there to let you in from 6:30 to 7:20 pm.



This week we have a great presentation lined up from Matthew Hooker called "Cloud-Native DevOps". Matthew works for Simple.com, the innovative finance company that wants to replace your bank.


The role of IT administrators is constantly evolving. We've been burdened (bestowed?) with the task of automating as much as possible as our infrastructure changes faster than we can keep up.

Until 2005, you were probably using CFEngine or shell scripts and whatever package manager your OS supported. Around that time Puppet and Chef dropped, and it was enlightening. Then, in 2008, EC2 went stable, and the term DevOps started gaining popularity the next year.

Unfortunately, both Puppet and Chef arrived just on the cusp of the transition to IaaS, before we understood best practices for operating in this new environment. These tools were the product of years of experience operating raw hardware. There is something lost in translation when we apply these tools to the cloud.

This talk is about how we've worked to bridge the gap, to go Cloud-Native. I'll demonstrate the impedance mismatch that occurs when you run chef in the cloud, and how we created a system better adapted to this new environment. I'll argue that instances need to be treated as ephemeral; that the ability to quickly launch instances is critical to agility; and reinforce the idea that automation is essential at every step of the process.

By the end I hope I can convince you that there are ways to operate with more agility, to insulate yourselves from failure, and let every engineer sleep better at night.

I also hope to inspire you to look for the gaps, and to come up with better ways to close them. This is only the beginning. We need fresh eyes and new ideas.

See you on Wednesday night, and always there will be pizza and refreshments. Doors open at 6:30pm and presentation starts around 7.