Throwback to AnsibleFest London 2017
On June 22nd 2017 the annual AnsibleFest took place in London. Not far from the stunning Millennium Dome, also known as „The O2“, visitors from all over the world came to the InterContinental Hotel near the Thames for this spectacular Ansible event.
The festivals primary focus is to bring together Ansible users, developers and industry figures. In several lectures, the visitors have the opportunity to educate themselves in certain areas of Ansible or join in question and answer sessions, to get in direct contact with some of the people behind Ansible.
Of course the sponsors were given the opportunity to present their products. Red Hat, being the largest sponsor, offered demo systems to some of their solutions, giving a good insight into their product range.
A colleague of mine, André Nähring and I, Michael Sprengel, represented credativ on site. Both of us deal with Ansible on a daily basis and had the opportunity to share our experiences with other Ansible users and developers at the AnsibleFest.
This year's AnsibleFest was the largest of its kind ever. More than 800 visitors found themselves in the large ballroom of the InterContinental Hotel.
In order to break the ice between the visitors, the first minutes of the first lecture were used to introduce ourselves to the respective seat neighbors in order to exchange our previous experiences with Ansible with the other person. It could be observed, that many visitors wanted to use the event to get first experiences with Ansible.
After these quite interesting two minutes, the following lectures were primarily based on Ansibles existing partnerships with other big players, such as Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and VMWare. A roadmap for future versions of Ansible and Ansible Tower has already been outlined. For example, the focus of future Ansible versions is mainly going to be Python3, the integration of Windows, networking and containers. The release date is currently scheduled for September 24th, 2017. Ansible Tower in the version 3.2 is also to be released in autumn 2017. Speakers like Jason McKerr (Director of Engineering) mentioned that there are plans to offer Ansible Tower under an open source license in the future. Unfortunately an exact date was not given.
The morning program was rounded off by Richard Henshall (Chief Architect for Cloud at HSBC), Lieutenant Colonel Dorian Seabrook, Aidan Beeson (British Army) and Mohamed Ghaleb (Program Manager at Siemens), who presented their and the experience of their teams to visitors in form of an interview with Justin Nemmers (Ansible's general manager). It revealed how Ansible helped them automate many different tasks.
Afterwards visitors were able to strengthen themselves at a really good and varied buffet. From then on, the guests had the opportunity to choose between four tracks with four presentations each.
We could choose between the tracks „Essentials“, „Solutions“, „Networking“ and „Tech Deep Dive“. We participated in a variety of presentations from the tracks „Solutions“ and „Tech Deep Dive“. The tracks could be changed during breaks. Each presentation itself was limited to 45 minutes. We felt, that the presentations sometimes ended too quickly, and exactly then, when they just started to get interesting.
In the end, we still found our perfect mix from all presentations and tracks.
For example, we recieved some really interesting tips and tricks from lectures such as "Running Ansible at Scale", "Automated Management of Shared Secrets with Ansible", "Ansible is in Our DNA: Automation at Illumina" and many more. A small highlight was also the presentation "Automating Your Business Application REST API with Ansible", which was held by our former colleague Roland Wolters, who is now Solutions Architect at Red Hat.
At 17:00, all the lectures ended and the visitors were invited to a cocktail party at the bar to complete AnsibleFest. This was the opportunity to get together with other visitors, but also with the developers of Ansible, to exchange ideas and to let the day end.
This ended an exciting and eventful day full of lectures in the heart of London.