AnsibleFest was amazing, it always is. This has been my Third one and it's always one that I look forward to attending. The Ansible Events Team does an absolutely stellar job of putting things together and I'm extremely happy I was not only able to attend but that I was accepted as a speaker.
Kick Off and Product Announcements
As an avid fan of Open Source Software, the announcement and immediate release of Ansible AWX was the headliner of the event for me. This is the open source upstream to Ansible Tower that Red Hat made the commitment to release once Ansible was acquired in accordance with their continued commitment to Open Source. If you live in Ansible user or contributor land, you know this is something that's been a hot topic for quite some time and I'm so glad it's been launched officially. I've been learning Django over the last week so I can start contributing. Looking forward to it.
Ansible Community Leader and Red Hat CEO Fireside Chat
Immediately following the Ansible AWX announcement was a fireside chat with Ansible Community Leader Robyn Bergeron (who is also previously the Fedora Project Leader) and Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst to discuss various market trends in the realm of infrastructure automation, the ability to deliver faster and more rapidly, and the challenges business are having with the concept of "Digital Transformation." This was a really cool thing to get the perspective of things from both an open source community perspective and that of a business minded individual, and to see where those two perspectives met in the middle and/or overlapped.
Ansible Community Days
The day before and the day after the main headline of AnsibleFest was the Community Days, the day before AnsibleFest focused entirely on topics around Ansible Core and the greater Ansible Community. The day after AnsibleFest focused on Ansible AWX in the morning, explaining architecture and various technical implementation details to try and get some exposure to things for those of us in the room who weren't previously privy to that information. The afternoon of the second day involved the "Ansible Ambassadors" community (I'm not sure if this is an official term)
Ansible All The Things
I gave a presentation that I like to call "Ansible All The Things" or "Ansible Everything" (depending on who my audience is and how acceptable they are of meme jokes). The basic idea though is to look at Ansible not as a configuration management tool, which I feel a lot of the "Tech Media" (for lack of a better term) has classified it as and therefore it is often known as to the more broad audience, but instead think of it like a Task Automation utility. This particular task automation utility also comes with a nice python API and a way to interact by anything that can "speak JSON." This has some advantages if you step back and thing about this abstract concept of a tool with a programming interface that is ultimately as generic as passing JSON around (with added convenience for python programmers). Effectively you have a method of running a task, or series of tasks, on one or many systems in your infrastructure. This is powerful enough to be used for all sorts of things like configuration management (yes, Ansible can perform configuration management tasks but it's also so much more than that), provisioning, deployment, orchestration, command line tooling, builds, event-based execution, workflow automation, continuous integration, and containers.
For those who would like to check you my slides, they are here.
Infrastructure Testing with Molecule
I had the opportunity to attend a presentation about Molecule, which I was really excited about because this is a toolchain I've wanted to dig into for a while. This is effectively the goal: Infrastructure as Code, TDD/CI on your Code, and transitively your Infrastructure. What a time to be alive.
Anyways, the talk itself was absolutely fantastic. Elana Hashman is a spectacular speaker and the amount of research she put into the talk was apparent. The room was captivated and the questions and conversations were enthusiastic, this was clearly a topic space people were interested in. I also have to give a tip of the hat to the live Demo that went off flawlessly, I've never personally pulled off a live Demo without at least one goof that contained the amount of live editing of code that was contained in this one. Kudos.
For those who are interested in the presentation materials, check them out here. (Do it, it's really good.)
The event was wonderful and I hope to have the opportunity to go next year to the North America based AnsibleFest (they also do one in the EU/UK but it's not often I can pull together the funding to that trip).