An Introduction To Docker From MWLUG 2017

Last week I attended and presented at MWLUG in Alexandria, VA.  This was my third MWLUG event and the biggest so far.    Lots of great and varied content, I even went to a couple of developer sessions, thanks to Richard Moy and the rest of the MWLUG team for putting on another great show.  Next year the conference is getting a new name and a new location in Ann Arbor MI.

This session has been changed from the one I gave previously to reflect changes in Docker storage and networking behaviour.

MWLUG – Sessions upon Sessions (Some From Me)

What are you doing this August?  If you’re interested in ICS technology then then you want to make your way to Washington, DC and MWLUG.  The Midwest User Group conference has once more moved to a new location for 2017 and will be held at the Hilton Mark Center, Alexandria from August 8-10.

Sessions have started to be announced and as well as the usual popular topics there are new Watson Work and Innovation tracks to play in.  Take a look at the list of announced sessions here .

I’ve attended and spoken at MWLUG for the past 3 years and it’s an event I look forward to thanks the the number and breadth of sessions and a chance to meet customers and spend time with the ICS community.  This year I’m speaking again and I’m very pleased to have three brand new sessions and one new speaking partner(!).

In the Best Practices track I’ll be showing you how to architect and configure a hybrid cloud solution for Domino

Setting Up a Hybrid Domino Environment to Ease your Way to the Cloud

Are you looking at Cloud options and wondering how and if you can get there from where you are? If you have Domino on premises and are considering Cloud then a good option is a hybrid architecture which maintains all your on premises configuration managed by your own administrators but adds Cloud client access managed by IBM. We will look at how simple it is to create this hybrid solution using Domino passthru servers and review how things like user and directory maintenance, client access and mail routing will then work. From Domino Admin to Domino Hybrid Admin in a few simple steps.

In the Innovation track I’ll be discussing IoT in the Enterprise, security implications and opportunities

IoT In The Enterprise Brings You Industry 4.0

IoT brings us to the beginning of Industry 4.0 and with the opportunities for improved delivery, services and customer relationships comes challenges of data management, creative process re-engineering and most of all security. IoT devices are arriving through the door each day, meanwhile the introduction of GDPR compliance next year brings additional responsibility for data ownership and privacy. . In this session we will investigate the opportunities for IoT in different business sectors alongside the risks of the IoT experience. We will discuss how to defend and protect against today’s IoT’s vulnerabilities and review how security offerings such as blockchain are evolving. We wil also offer a checklist for how your enterprise can plan for and benefit from the emergence of enterprise IoT.

Finally , in the System Administration track I’ll be joining Linux expert Bill Malchisky  to discuss Docker on Linux and what you need to know

Running Docker and Linux Together

The introduction of docker within IBM’s product strategy as well as the popularity of containers as a solution means it’s time to learn some new tools. Join Gab & Bill as they offer architectural insight for both Linux and Docker along with storage and network isolation tips. Curious about good and bad devops processes, deployment, upgrades and backups? You will receive technical explanations with examples. If Linux is the path ahead, Docker is the depolyment conduit. Let’s get you ready for the journey.

Thank you in advance to the NH / Maine convoy that will help get me from NY to VA,  I’m looking forward to sharing these new sessions and learning some new stuff myself.

Sametime Client Update Breaks Single Sign On

I recently built a new Sametime Complete environment for a customer that included an Advanced and Meeting server.  When I had completed the build I tested a new standalone Sametime client in a VM to confirm that I could login to the new Community server and it would log me into the Advanced and Meeting servers.   Having added the necessary lines to plugin_customization.ini to enable  Sametime Advanced* I was able to login to the Community server successfully and be automatically logged into the Meeting and Advanced servers.   However, when I handed over to the customer for testing I was surprised that they couldn’t actually login to the Meeting server at all through the Sametime client. They got a server unreachable error.

So I did further testing

  1. On my client I was configured to use SSL for both the Meeting server and Sametime Advanced. I could login to the Community server and that logged me in securely to Meetings and Advanced.  That same configuration on a test workstation of theirs failed to login to the Meeting server saying server not responding (although it did successfully log in to Advanced)
  2. If I removed the Sametime Advanced servers from the Sametime workstation client it could suddenly log in to the Meeting server
  3. If I changed the Meeting server configuration in the workstation client to use HTTP (80) instead of HTTP (443) I would be logged in to the Meeting and Advanced server
  4. On the test workstation I could always login to the Meeting server securely through a browser and open a tab to the Advanced server and be automatically logged in there even when the Sametime client claimed it couldn’t reach the server.

So why did it fail on every one of their workstations and not for me? It turns out they were using the latest Sametime client I had downloaded from Fix Central (20170402-0344) for them whereas I was using the 2016 build (20160624-0209).  I took a snapshot of my VM and upgraded my Sametime client to the April 2017 one and I immediately was unable to log in to the Meeting server. I rolled the snapshot back to the 2016 client and everything worked again.

One of the major updates in the 2017 client was SAML functionality and it does seem that the single sign on logic has been broken in some way by that 2017 update.  Everything is working with the 2016 client so for the time being (and whilst IBM investigate the PMR) we are rolling that out.  One to watch out for though – newer is not always better and you might want to avoid the latest 20170402-0344 update.

 

*for Sametime Advanced login to work at all in the client you must ensure “remember password” is checked and the following two lines are in the plugin_customization.ini

com.ibm.collaboration.realtime.bcs/useTokens=false
com.ibm.collaboration.realtime/enableAdvanced=true

The Word For The Decade Is “Disruption”

“Disrupt” “Disruption” we hear those words in conference sessions offered with no context as if the very act of disrupting is by definition a good thing.  We see articles about start ups who promote their ability to disrupt the market as their primary differentiator and it has made its way into common usage which is why it’s stuck in my head and I have developed a twitch everytime I hear someone say it like it’s a magic answer to any and all questions.  However I’ve also been doing a lot of work this year in the IoT space and found myself talking about how IoT devices will completely change how businesses and processes work, in much the same way the arrival of the internet itself did.

So if I find the idea of IoT innovations changing customer relationship models, supply and production and delivery models, if I find all of that interesting, exciting and presenting huge opportunities, what’s my problem with “disruption”.

From the Oxford English Dictionary

Disturbance or problems which interrupt an event, activity, or process.

So yes.  The idea of disrupting established industries, rethinking the very core of how they work sounds on the surface to be just an extension of innovation.  Instead of innovating within industries, you disrupt their existing models to innovate outside of the parameters they are forced to work within.  Some of the most famous disrupters include obviously Uber and AirBnb but you could include media content sites such as Buzzfeed or even vaping products.  All of those things have brought huge benefits to their customers delivering services that are a closer precise fit to their needs.  However all of this was done by benefitting from the other aspect of disruption which is talked about a lot less

Disruptor companies often get to ignore existing regulations that exist for the industries they are disrupting.

That’s why Uber gets to be successful, because they avoided having to abide by the same rules as taxi companies, AirBnb avoided rules around hospitality and Vaping companies avoided rules around health regulations. They all take advantage of gaps in the law.  You may say “good for them. I love what they do” and it’s true many industries have not evolved cleanly, they have more and more outdated regulations and they no longer meet the needs of their customers.  However, by dancing through the gaps in the law the customers and employees remain exposed by the lack of protection those laws were put in place to enforce.

I may choose to book an Uber or an AirBnB , assuring myself I know of the risks I take in doing so and you may do the same but regulations are there to protect everyone, even people who don’t understand what they are giving up in using an unregulated service.

I realise this isn’t news to anyone. You all know this and have your own opinions but for me I had to think it through.  I believe in innovation, I believe in the importance of disrupting existing established and outdated working practices,  but I don’t support slicing through protections that are there for customers and employees in order to achieve a goal.  If regulations need changing, if services need to be different then disruption needs to happen by innovating within those existing parameters or campaigning to change them.

Our company has always worked to deliver innovative systems and rebuild / rethink existing processes and we continue to do that.  So where does this take me? I have more thoughts on that but maybe for another day.

Engage – Was It Really Over A Week Ago?

It’s 2am so apologies in advance for any rambling in this post but I’ve been wanting to write about the Engage conference in Antwerp ever since I got back last Thursday (and if I leave it much longer I might as well write about next  year’s conference).

This year Engage was held in Antwerp which is only a 3.5hr drive for me so we met everyone else there who came by train.  Top tip – don’t try and drive in Antwerp, the one way systems will get you every time.  Yet another beautiful city and conference location by Theo and the Engage team.  The Elizabeth conference center was spacious and since there were 400 of us and the Engage team had made sure to provide lots of seating / meeting areas, it felt right.  One thing I really enjoy at conferences is the opportunity to meet people (OK I hate approaching people to talk but I like being part of a conversation) and I had the opportunity for some great conversations with sponsors and attendees. I managed to bore people to death about my latest obsession (docker).  IBM also sent a lot of speakers this year with Scott Souder and Barry Rosen updating us on Domino and Verse futures and both Jason Roy Gary and Maureen Leland there to sprinkle some (Connections) pink around.  There was a lot of open discussion about technology now and what we were each learning and working with along with a fair amount of enthusiasm for what we’re each working with, so thanks to everyone for that.

This year the agenda expanded to including emerging technologies and one of my sessions was in that track – on IoT in the Enterprise, GDPR and data.  I try to aim my presentations at the audience I’m talking to and when it comes to IoT the IT audience naturally has a lot more concerns then line of business managers.  Outside of IT IoT is purely about opportunity but since IT need to take care of the rest my presentation was more technical with a security checklist for deploying IoT devices.  All the opportunity for businesses will inevitably involve a lot of work from IT in the areas of data retention, data analysis, security and process redesign.  Some really interesting technologies are evolving and IoT is very fast moving as evolutionary technologies are so now is the time to start planning how your business can take advantage of the incoming swarm of data and tools.

My second session was on configuring a Domino  / Cloud Hybrid solution with step by step instructions for setting up your first environment.  That presentation is on my slideshare and also shared below.  The key thing to understand about hybrid cloud is that as a Domino administrator you still manage all your users, groups, policies and your on premises and hybrid servers, in fact the only things you don’t manage are the cloud servers themselves.  Getting started with a hybrid cloud deployment is a good way to understand what the potential might be for migrating or consolidating some of your mail services.

As always the Engage team put on an amazing event, lots to sessions to learn from, lots of people to meet and a lot of fun.  I was very pleased to see Richard Moy who runs the US based MWLUG event there for the first time and I’m looking forward to attending his event in the US in August.   Finally my crowning achievement of the week was when no-one on my table could identify either a Miley Cyrus or Justin Bieber song at the closing dinner and none of us considered cheating by using Shazam (I’m looking at YOU Steph Heit and Amanda Bauman :-)).  Theo promises us Engage will be back in May 2018 at a new location.   See you there.

Thoughts On Think

IBM have announced their new one-size-fits-all conference Think 2018 which will take place in Las Vegas next March.  This will consolidate several existing conferences including Connect (previously San Francisco and before that Orlando) , InterConnect (Las Vegas) and World of Watson (Las Vegas).

So to start with I’d like to say this is a great idea and what, as a 20+ year veteran of Connect (Lotusphere) and a newbie to InterConnect, I had hoped for.  However it’s also a lot of content, brands, interests, objectives and attendees to merge together so IBM to their credit are inviting feedback in their JAM session on June 20th on how best to do this.  I couldn’t wait until then and my friends are bored of hearing it so here are my top level ideas

  • Of all things let’s not separate brands into their own locations, especially ICS.  There is enormous value in being part of a larger pool of content, products and speakers
  • How about having a “brand” day at the end of the event or even the beginning so the brand focused strategy sessions could be presented to the brand focused audience.  Those brand days could be held at any hotel in Vegas
  • I’d hope that IBM maintain a single conference location for the main conference even if that means fewer and shorter sessions from everyone.

    To that end, I noticed InterConnect did not have the low level “how to” sessions that we’re used to in Connect. However there are plenty of great ICS user groups all over the world that do have those sessions.  Can we give up trying to find room for them in Think in favour of higher level more strategic sessions ?  I think so.

  • Why not group sessions together by interest area not brand.  ?
    • For developers working with ICS products, wouldn’t they also be interested in other development technologies and opportunities?  Why not have all the developer sessions across all brands near each other
    • As an admin much of my work involves integrating technologies and learning about what’s available across the entire stack.  The most valuable thing would be to make it easy for me to move between sessions / cross brands in one location. Whether it’s ICS, Cognitive, Security or Cloud – it’s all admin and I want to learn about it all.
    • For CIOs attending surely they would be more likely to go to multiple strategy sessions about multiple brands and products if they were located near each other ?
    • Having the opportunity for designated conference areas also increases the opportunities for networking with like minded people
  • Interconnect this year offered pick and go sandwiches and snacks over lunch in the Concourse (showfloor) which was a lot faster and easier than marching 1.5 miles to the aircraft hanger size room where the formal buffet was.  That’s also a huge space that could be freed up for more sessions.  Why not deliver cold sandwich lunches, more informal seating areas and more stations around the conference centre. There are also many places around to grab your own snacks or lunch.  I didn’t eat in the large hall at all after I realised how much time was wasted getting there and back.

Just a few thoughts that have been burbling in my head.  I’ll definitely be joining the JAM and you can register to do and read more about Think here