LOPSA Rhode Island

A RI chapter of the League of Professional System Administrators is now forming. Follow us for news, tweet us if you want to participate. Meetings monthly.

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Upcoming Events

None found.

Past Events

Thursday
Mar 26
6:00 PM

LOPSA Rhode Island

Puppet, Vagrant, and r10k

Mike Marseglia, a systems engineer at Hasbro, will be talking about how to do Puppet development using Vagrant and r10k. Together we'll stand up a working Puppet Enterprise environment with r10k, do some local development, and then test the code.

The demo will include this GItHub repo.

As usual, pizza, beer, and other refreshments will be provided by our venue sponsor, Swipely. Don't worry if you can't make it for 6, the talk doesn't start until 7PM.

Thursday
Jan 8
7:00 PM

LOPSA Rhode Island

Can you fix it? Troubleshooting a Mac: The Basics

What do you do when the computer that "just works" doesn't?

Many IT pros come across Macs in their environments regardless of whether they fully support them. It may be some executive users or a department with special software needs. Knowing how to troubleshoot and fix problems on a Mac means your users are more satisfied and your resume is more powerful.

Adam Codega is an IT Specialist at Swipely, a four year old tech startup with almost 150 users. His company is 100% Mac based but from past jobs he knows the pain of supporting multiple platforms without official training.

Adam will review basic troubleshooting steps and software tools (Activity Monitor, Console, Recovery Mode, single user mode) you can use in your own environment. He'll also review some of the popular hardware repairs you may come across along with a review of additional Apple resources you can use to dive deeper.

As usual, pizza, beer, and other refreshments will be provided by our venue sponsor, Swipely.

Thursday
Nov 6
6:00 PM

LOPSA Rhode Island

What's in the box?

Tom McLaughlin from Hubspot is going to be talking about how they implemented Packer to make the creation of OS images faster and easier. Packer is a tool for creating identical machine images for multiple platforms from a single source configuration.

At Hubspot, It replaces a previously error prone process that required the developer to frequently spend large periods of time waiting to proceed to the next step over the course of at least an hour and a half. The new process takes about a third of the time and can be performed in nearly a single command. The HubSpot TechOps team produces images for AWS EC2, both HVM and paravirt, and Vagrant. An important goal in building images is ensuring that all three vary as little as possible so instances are predictable no matter what image someone is developing or testing on. While Packer attempts to create images as similar as possible it cannot in all situations as the build process can differ significantly from image type to image type. Instead they use Packer to build a master image that is reprocessed for each platform's needs. This ensures a large degree of parity between images and has proven to make the image development and testing process much faster.

As usual, join as at 6PM for drinks and social time before the talk begins around 7PM.

Thursday
Sep 25
6:00 PM

LOPSA Rhode Island

Who Pressed That Button? Using Change Management and Postmortems to improve IT

How do you implement configuration changes in your environment? From changing port VLANs, installing a replacement switch, or changing group policy, success depends on proper planning. By implementing change management, you'll learn how to minimize risk while improving department communication and deliver more reliable service to your company.

Adam Codega, IT Specialist at Swipely, will walk us through how he's used this seemingly bureaucratic tool in a fast paced startup environment to improve IT service to his co-workers.

Change management can help you plan to avoid disruptions, but when things do go wrong, how do you react? Postmortem documentation can help you dissect and learn from outages while implementing the proper corrections to keep it from happening again. Adam and fellow LOPSA member Jen will show real world postmortems and show you what they learned and how they've used blameless postmortems to increase reliability.

We'll have social time before the talk, so don't worry if you can't arrive at 6 PM. Complimentary pizza, drinks, and beer provided by our venue host, Swipely.

Thursday
Aug 21
6:00 PM

LOPSA Rhode Island

August LOPSA RI Meetup

For August only, the monthly meetup will be the third Thursday of the month.

Come network with local IT pros and share stories, ideas, and business cards.

August's talk will be announced soon!

Thursday
Jul 10
6:00 PM

LOPSA Rhode Island

Leveraging Good User Mojo to Simplify your IT Day-to-Day

If we have ten or more attendees we'll be raffling off two O'Reilly Media books so bring a friend!

Keeping end users happy can be one of the toughest parts of an IT pro's day-to-day. Join Matt Simmons to learn some tips and tricks on how you can avoid fear and loathing of users (never a good thing!) and leverage good user mojo to go further in your company and career.

You'll walk away knowing how to:

• Identify your customers and make sure they have what they need (without breaking yourself in the process)

• Prevent customer service avalanches by not letting problems snowball

• Enrich relationships with your users so that they trust you enough to tell you when something’s wrong

Plus, enjoy some stories from Matt on how he's screwed up in the past (and the times he’s gotten things right).

Matt Simmons is a Network, Virtualization, and Research Cluster Administrator at Northeastern University and is currently serving a term on the LOPSA Board of Directors. He will be at SpiceWorld 2014 in Austin, TX delivering this same talk. Matt is very active in the sysadmin community on Reddit, LOPSA, and elsewhere. You can get caught up on his blog here.

Thursday
Jun 12
6:00 PM

LOPSA Rhode Island

Managing Macs - June LOPSARI Meetup

Adam Codega, IT Specialist at Swipely, manages over a hundred Mac computers in a tech startup environment.

Whether you're already a Macadmin or looking for ways to better integrate your Mac minority into your Windows Active Directory infrastructure, this talk will help. Adam will talk about why his company uses Macs, what benefits and problems it gives them and what tools they use to manage their Macs from deployment to retirement.

Both open source and commercial tools are available and we'll discuss most of them along with a discussion on where to go for help, official and otherwise.

Don't have Macs in your environment? That's okay, every meetup features an hour for meet and greet time so come and network with local IT pros.

Complimentary pizza, drinks, and beer provided by our venue host, Swipely.

Thursday
May 8
6:00 PM

LOPSA Rhode Island

LOPSA RI Monthly Meetup

May's Talk
Continuous Integration of Infrastructure, an updated talk from BBLISA June 2013

Stability is the name of the game for systems and networks operators. It's what we expect and what our end-users expect, but it can be incredibly difficult to achieve - a constant stream of security patches, dead-end releases, broken software, broken hardware, and demands from other internal stakeholders force change. Constant, never ending change.

Complicating this is the fact that these changes are rarely isolated. A change on one system (particularly a lower-layer system like a router) can ripple through entire services. We have, in effect, an integration problem with every software update or configuration change we apply. So to solve this, we look to the software development world to see how they deal with it, and the answer is continuous testing and continuous integration.

At TERC, they are currently combining configuration management (Puppet), hierarchical configs (Hiera), monitoring (Nagios), test software (RSpec/Cucumber), and a software development CI stack (Jenkins/rake/vagrant) in order to address this. This talk will focus on Nick's experiences in rolling all of this out, what the limitations of current software are, and touch on what his plans are to improve it.

Nick Cammorato is a former software engineer who currently heads up the ops team for TERC, a non-profit educational research institution in Cambridge, MA. He has over a decade of experience in system and network administration, most of which has been spent trying to automate himself out of a job.

Complimentary pizza, drinks, and beer provided by our venue host, Swipely.