Day Two of SELF was a bit of a whirlwind. While I love going to conferences, “booth duty” can sometimes be a bit tiring, but for some reason the time just seems to fly at this conference.
Speaking of booths, I got to stop by the Rackspace table. I have a soft spot for Rackspace since they were our first major customer at OpenNMS and if it weren’t for them we probably wouldn’t be here.
They have a reputation for hiring top-notch people, and at the show they have a little “break/fix” challenge. You are given ten minutes to complete eight tasks, and like Spinal Tap the score goes to eleven.
I was a little disappointed with my score of seven, but I can always claim I was distracted by a couple of people coming by to say “hi” while I was taking the test. Not that it would have made any real difference, but what is a day without at least one good rationalization.
I asked Jesse to give it a shot and he score a more respectable nine, and I didn’t hear of anyone getting it completely right, but it was fun to do.
Speaking of fun (well, if you are a network management geek) we set up some more data collection on the show network. We added graphs for the number of people connected to each SSID, as well as the max and average association time between devices and APs. It was cool to see a dip around lunch time as a number of people left to get food, and then it came back up as they returned.
I often talk about how important it is to not only be able to collect data about the network but also to understand why the data is what it is, and it was cool to be surrounded by other geeks who liked to look at the output from OpenNMS and to understand it.
That evening there was a social gathering sponsored by Linode. I was able to hang out until a little after midnight and everyone seemed to be having a good time. There was the obligatory Cards Against Humanity game going on, and it was one of the largest I had seen. Not sure the game play works that well with so many people but those playing seemed to enjoy it.
As I am fond of mentioning, I really like regional Linux conferences. This weekend we are proud to be a Platinum sponsor of the SouthEast LinuxFest (SELF) which is being held at the airport Sheraton in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Usually the first day consists of classes with the weekend reserved for presentations, but this year my talk was on Friday afternoon. As I’ve been suffering from a sore throat for about a week, this worked out well, since I doubt my voice will make it through Sunday (hard to believe, I know).
I did my “Open Source is Dead” talk from SCaLE with a few revisions, and I was happy that only one person had seen it before. I made a few changes to the slides (Red Hat’s market cap is up a few hundred million from February and I removed my slide promoting the OnePlus One handset since I can no longer recommend them due to horrendous product support). I think the talk was well received. Christine Hall from FOSS Force wrote about it and even included my “Ché Stallman” graphic in her post.
We have a booth staffed by Jesse and Jessi (and me), and it’s right next to the GlobalVision table. GlobalVision is providing the network for the show and they are also a VoIP service provider. They had a cool phone from Ubiquiti. It looks like a sleek executive phone:
but what’s cool is that it is based on Android. They’ve replaced the default phone app with a SIP client, but otherwise it is similar to any other Android device, and so it can do things like play YouTube videos:
Day One was a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to the rest of the weekend. Hats of to the organizers, including Jeremy Sands, who needed a little break come Friday afternoon.
As in past years we’ve opted for a four day format. The main conference will happen on Wednesday and Thursday, and will feature presentations from OpenNMS users from around the world on how they use the software. It will also have the usual “State of OpenNMS” keynote which will cover a lot of the new shiny that has been recently added to OpenNMS.
If you want a more in-depth look into the new stuff, come a day early as on Tuesday we will offer a full day of advanced training, including the Grafana integration, Newts, and the Minion distributed poller architecture.
For those of you new to OpenNMS come on Monday and I’ll personally try to squeeze a week’s worth of training into a single “Bootcamp” day. I’ll be sure to hit all of the concepts you need to get started with OpenNMS.
Since this is the third year, we thought it would be cool to bring in three fourths of the Bad Voltage team in to do their second ever Bad Voltage Live show, which I’m kind of thinking is more like “Bad Voltage: European Vacation“. We’ll be missing Bryan Lunduke, at least in person, as the next iteration in the Lunduke family is expected that week (plus, I think he secretly hates me) but Jeremy, Stuart and Jono will be there to deliver their own special brand of open source and technology commentary and humour.
And there will be beer.
The conference is not free, but it is reasonably priced and it is the main way the Foundation is funded. The Bad Voltage show is open to anyone, not just conference attendees, but since space is limited we did ask for a token 5€ registration fee which is cheap at three times the price (okay, twice the price). And did I mention there will be beer? The Bad Voltage team will be in Fulda for the entire conference, so for conference attendees there should be ample opportunity for you to meet the guys outside of the show.
We are also working on a live stream so that those of you who can’t make it can still watch, and as before it will be posted it to the YooToobz for posterity and maximum embarrassment.
Hope to see you at the OUCE, and if you missed the first Bad Voltage Live show, here it is:
Things have been as busy and crazy as usual here in OpenNMS-land, so I often can’t find the time to talk about all the cool new shiny that is available. As my truck wouldn’t start this morning (it’s on the charger now) I thought I’d take some time to talk about a cool new plugin available since Horizon 16 was released.
One of the things I think will be needed in the next few years is a management platform that can scale to Internet of Things (IoT) levels. I also think that the only way to overcome the “Internet of Silos” effect will be to make that platform open source. I’d like OpenNMS to fill that role.
To that end we’re working on our “minion” project. These are lightweight remote processes that do data collection and monitoring and report up to a master OpenNMS instance, or even a cluster of OpenNMS management stations. In order to scale to the massive amounts of data generated by the IoT, we’ve created the Newts project to store time series data on top of Cassandra. Both of those projects are well under way and available for testing in various OpenNMS code branches.
Then we were faced with how to display all of this information. Jesse decided to do an integration with the Grafana project, and now this functionality is available as a plug-in (click to embiggen):
It’s pretty cool – Jesse translates the syntax used for RRDTool reports into a form that Grafana can use, and since this is hosted on the Grafana server you can integrate data points from multiple OpenNMS instances or pretty much data from any source that Grafana can access. Details available on the Wiki.
Hat’s off to the Grafana project for making such a cool application, and as usual we hope you find this new addition to OpenNMS useful.
OpenNMS has positioned itself as a platform versus an application, and so it can respond quickly to changing technologies such as Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV). We are happy to be working at the TMForum with such great companies to demonstrate how we can monitor these emerging technologies.
Hey. Lots to catch up on in this post, but the TL;DR is that the OpenNMS Group is hosting a free concert to coincide with this year’s OSCON conference in Portland.
(Please read to the bottom to see how this ties in with the EFF and Ulf)
It will be held Thursday night, July 23rd, at Dante’s, which Google Maps describes as a “Hip, dungeonlike rock venue”.
Lookie there – we’re “hip”.
The Concert (note how I capitalize it because it is just that epic) will feature MC Frontalot along with his band. This will be the first time I’ve ever gotten to see a Front show with the band (thus “epic”) and I’m really looking forward to it.
And just to throw a little whipped cream and a cherry on top of this huge nerdy/geeky sundae, the opening act will be the Doubleclicks. Yes, you read that right, Angela and Aubrey will be there bringing their unique brand of nerd-folk to the same stage as the man who invented nerdcore rap.
And did I mention it is free? Doors open at 8pm, show starts a little after 9pm.
Plus, for you free and open source software fans, there might be a little extra surprise. Be there to find out what it could be.
Now, the long version on how this all came about.
Chris Dibona once said that his job was to give money to his friends. While our budget here at OpenNMS doesn’t come close to his, I did take his words to heart and we strive at all times to support the FOSS community.
I consider part of that community to be the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). If it wasn’t for the EFF defending a free and open Internet, open source would have a much harder time existing. Usually we give a fairly large donation at the end of each year to support them.
Last year I didn’t. To be honest, 2014 kind of sucked for me for a variety of reasons, and we really weren’t doing well enough to support a donation.
A few months ago I got introduced to Chad Essley. He is the animator behind the MC Frontalot video for the song “Shudders”. While I had yet to meet him, he shared my love of the EFF’s work and decided to auction off some of the artwork from that video and to donate the proceeds. The “grand prize”, if you will, was to have a special remix of “Shudders” made to include some new artwork. Since 2015 is going much better than last year, we decided to bid on that prize and we won, so now I can present the new and improved “Shudders”, which includes everyone’s favorite kiwi, Ulf.
Note that about 1:25 minutes in you can see a pretty accurate rendition of the OpenNMS headquarters.
Anyway, I really enjoyed working with Chad, and I found out he lives in Portland, Oregon. Portland is also the usual venue for the O’Reilly Open Source Conference (OSCON). While OSCON has definitely become much more focused on the latest Valley fads over FOSS, it is still the one place I can be sure to see all of my FOSSy friends each year, so I never miss a chance to go. Now I can add Chad to the list of people I get to see.
Then it dawned on me – why don’t we do a little guerrilla marketing and host a show? Thus after all the swag laden Docker parties are over, people can come by and enjoy some geek-centric music in a cool place.
So I approached Frontalot about doing a concert and, again, since we’re doing better this year, I felt we could spring for the whole band. He agreed, and then used his powers of persuasion to get the Doubleclicks on board. Dante’s is also helping us out, so be sure to come out and buy lots of beer in appreciation.
If you are new to the Doubleclicks, as I was, this is one of my favorite songs of theirs:
The show is open to everyone, so you don’t need an OSCON pass to attend. But I’ll be wandering around the OSCON Expo floor handing out some goodies that are just for conference attendees. I’ll post more when it gets closer to the date, and I’ll tell you how to find me.
I am extremely excited that we are able to do this. It promises to be a great time.
Ten days ago I did a post about touchscreen issues I’ve been having with my (previously) beloved OnePlus One smartphone. Since then all I’ve experienced from OnePlus customer “care” are delaying tactics and an obvious reluctance to address a systemic problem with their phone design. While I loved this handset while it worked, I won’t be owning another OnePlus product and I encourage my three readers to avoid the company like they would the plague.
I really didn’t expect much from the support process and I wasn’t disappointed. OnePlus has always struck me as a company with great ideas but they’ve always seemed a little over their head when it comes to actually implementing them. But I decided to soldier on and go through the process. I sent in a support ticket on May 11th:
The next day (well, about 13 hours later) I got a reply. Not bad, actually, and I developed some false hope that this would work out.
So “Kathy” wants me to send in a video. Okay, no worries. I made the video and sent them the link. This seemed to satisfy Kathy who escalated my issue, but then “Leah” also asked for a video.
WTF? Okay, definitely a FAIL on reading comprehension, but I replied with a link to the original video and asked them what else they wanted to see. The next message, from Canoy Gem, asks for, you guessed it, another video:
At this point it time it has become obvious to me that they are just stalling. There are a number of threads about this issue on their forums (here is the first one and now there is a second – both with pages and pages of comments). So I write back to Gem, again with a link to the video, and he replied with even more requests, this time for pictures:
As I’ve seen with the replies from others on their forums, this seems to be pretty common – asking for videos and pictures. I waited until I had some decent light and took really nice pictures of my undamaged phone. However, I was unable to get the back cover off for the final picture. I’ve disassembled a number of devices over the years and while I could probably get this cover off it wouldn’t be without damage. If I damaged it, OnePlus would use it to deny warranty coverage. However, it looks like they are not going to proceed until I do.
Note that in this entire exchange they have never mentioned that it might be corrected with a firmware fix (as talked about in the forums). I doubt this is the case with my phone as a) it just started happening and b) it seems restricted to the upper half of the screen, but I would have been willing to test it for them if they’d bring it up.
Also, I’ve noticed that most of the people responding to me have female names. This is a tactic in customer support as women are often treated better in such situations. While they may exist I’m pretty sure OnePlus technical support consists of one overworked guy named Zhang Wei.
I replied that my patience was at an end and either they would let me send them the phone that they could then examine to their heart’s content or I would pursue other actions. All I’ve done for now is replace it with a Nexus 6, but it seems to me that this is a prime example of a use case for a class action lawsuit: A large class of consumers has been apparently defrauded by a vendor supplying faulty products.
I’m talking to friends of mine with some experience in this, but if you have any suggestions for a firm to handle a class action lawsuit, please let me know.
Lots of stuff, and I mean lots of cool stuff is going on and to paraphrase Hamlet I have not enough thoughts to put them in, imagination to give them shape, or time to act them in. I spent this week in the UK but I should be home for awhile and I hope to catch up.
But I wanted to put down a at least one thought. When we made the very difficult decision to split OpenNMS into two products, Horizon and Meridian, we had some doubts that it was the right thing to do. Well, at least for me, those doubts have been removed.
It used to take us 18 or more months to get a major release out. Due to the support business we were both hesitant to remove code we no longer needed or to try the newest things. Since we moved to the Horizon model we’ve released 3 major versions in six months and not only have we added a number of great features, we are finally getting around to removing stuff we no longer need and finishing projects that have languished in the past.
In the meantime we’re delivering Meridian to customers who value stability over features with the knowledge that the version they are running is supported for three years. Seriously, we have some customers upgrading from OpenNMS 1.8 (six major releases back) who obviously want longer release cycles, and even if you don’t need support you can get Meridian software for a rather modest fee coupled with OpenNMS Connect for those times when you really just need to ask a question.
Anything OpenNMS does well is a reflection on our great team and community, but I take personally any shortcomings. At least now I can see the path to minimize them if not remove them completely.
In keeping with our new Horizon release policy of a new major release every three to four months, we are happy to announce the availability of OpenNMS 16, codenamed Daredevil.
Most of the changes in OpenNMS 16 are under the covers. We are trying to streamline the code and thus have removed both capsd (which was deprecated) and linkd (which was replaced by enhanced linkd). This version also requires Java 8.
The main visible feature is that the Dashboard has been rewritten and should be a considerable improvement to those who use it.
We are just about a month away from one of my favorite weeks of the year: The OpenNMS Developer’s Jamboree, or Dev-Jam.
This is the tenth one we’ve had, which is hard for me to believe. I think it is a testament to the community around the OpenNMS Project that we can have these year after year (and not a testament to the fact that I’m quickly becoming an “old guy”).
We have people from all over the world who contribute to OpenNMS, and for one week out of the year we get together to hack and hang out. It was an “unconference” before such things were popular.
The first one was held at the Pittsboro OpenNMS HQ in 2005, but we quickly learned that we needed a bigger venue. The requirements for a successful Dev-Jam are as follows:
A room big enough to hold everyone
A place for everyone to sleep
We found a great home for Dev Jam at the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus in Minneapolis, specifically in a dorm called Yudof Hall. We lease the downstairs “club room” which is a large rectangular room that is big enough for our crowd. On one side is a kitchen and on the other side is an area with a television and couches. In the middle we set up tables for everyone to work.
We also get rooms in the same dorm, so people can come and go as they please. Some people like to get up in the morning. Others stay up late and don’t come down until noon. The campus offers a number of places to eat, and in the evening we can walk to a restaurant for dinner and drinks. We try to see a Twins game while we are there as well as take a trip to Mall of America.
This will be the first year that access to the light rail system is available from campus, which will make getting around so much easier.
For those of you who haven’t spend a lot of time embedded with an open source project, you probably don’t understand how much fun an event like this can be, or why just writing about it makes me eager for June to arrive. Technically I’ll be at work, but it is unlike any other job I’ve ever had.
If you would like to come, we still have a few places left. Check out the Registration page for more information. Everyone is welcome, but be advised that this is a “code” heavy conference with little formal structure. For more casual OpenNMS users, there is the User’s Conference in September.
Hope to see you at Dev-Jam, and if not there, at the OUCE.