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EuroBSDCon 2017

Introduction

SoCruel.NU visited EuroBSDcon this year which was held between 21 - 24 September 2017 in Paris, France. This was the fourth time that I've visited a EuroBSDcon after 2011, 2012 and 2016. I don't have any experience in visisting other BSD conferences. Hopefully that will happen one day! The tutorials didn't fit my agenda unfortunately, as they were very interesting (especially the BGP one). But nontheless I went to see 2 full days of nice talks in the city centre of Paris! Here is a summary of the talks I went to see.

Day 1 Saturday

After registration and the opening I went to see the morning keynote (there was also a closing keynote on Saturday). The topic was Software Development in the age of Heroes. I didn't know what to expect up front. The talk was about Greek history gods and heroes mapped to the current world of open source software development and developers. Very clever!

The first talk visited after the keynote was also in the big nice auditorium about Tuning FreeBSD for routing and firewalling. A nice detailed talk about squeezing out the last drop of network performance from FreeBSD. This talk was given by the guy running the BSD Router Project".

After lunch it was time for the My BSD sucks less than yours, Act I and Act II talks. Subject was the strenghts and weeknesess of both FreeBSD and OpenBSD operating systems, looked at from different angles. This was enlightening and entertaining as well. The Act II finished with a big hug respecting each other!

After the afternoon brake I went to listen to FreeBSD as a Hosting Platform, Revisited. The topic was how do you provide system hosting as cheap as possible but with full system 'lookalike' functionality with FreeBSD. The speakers company started of with NanoBSD but ended up with a solution based on jails. In this situation the company is responsible for the jail and the software running in it. So they decided to use a central (not running) 'template' jail and mounting this for each customer jail. On top of this they mounted the writable parts for the customer for logs and stuff. Tools used to set this up where py-iocage and Ansible. A clever solution!

I never went to a BOF before, so I decided to go the BOF about FreeBSD based storage HA concepts and implementations next. The guy chairing it didn't prepair it, but nontheless a discussion started and lasted until the finish line. The conclusion of the audience was that currenlty you can not implement a fully automated FreeBSD based HA storage solution.

My day ended with the second keynote with the title A French story on cybercrime by a colonel from the French police force. I was looking forward to this one and was not let down. The colonel provided a nice overview of how the French police force is dealing with cyber crime. A better closing of this first day was just not possible!

Day 2 Sunday

My second day started of with an OpenBSD talk about what they are doing to make their syslog implementation better. The talk had the title Never lose a Syslog Message.

The second round of talks didn't have an interesting subject for me, so I did some work on the SoCruel.NU infrastructure instead sitting in the back of the auditorium.

After the lunch I went to see the talk of Michael W Lucas about the OpenBSD web stack. I have (read) a lot of his tech books. Also his latest called Relayd and Https Mastery, which was the subject of this talk. Because of this it was very nice to see him presenting live!

Then it was time for Running BSD on AWS! This one was very interesting. Two guys provided an overview of what AWS is and the high level infrastructure it uses. And after that they presented the process of building a FreeBSD AMI and provided some performance figures of different VMs on the way. Learned a lot from this one!

After the afternoon brake I went to see the talk of Theo de Raadt about OpenBSD pledge, which is a new mitigation technique in the OpenBSD operating system. It is used to disable system calls a process is not allowed to call. I've heard of the subject but didn't know what it exactly was. It was presented in a clear and passioned way, such that I now understand what it is. I also noticed that Theo did not introduce himself to the audience before the talk. It seems that some persons do not need this ...

The closing keynote was from Brendan Gregg from Netflix about System Performance Analysis Methodologies. I didn't know that so may different methodologies exist! Some presented methods were familiar and I've even used a couple when I was a system engineer. Especially the heatmaps are very interesting. It was presented in a clear way. A nice closure of two wonderfull days.

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Updated: August 21, 2018