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2019-07-15

Red Hat EMEA Partner conference

2019-07-15
This years Red Hat EMEA Partner conference was in Prague. From the 25th to the 27th of June, some representatives from Redpill Linpro attended several talks, labs, workshops and discussions about all kind of topics within the realm of Open Source and Red Hat.

The agenda included technical topics like the newest OpenShift features, Ansible and Red Hat Virtualisation Middleware integration and optimization as well as wetware topics about how and who to hire, motivate and getting people to care about solutions.

With about 500 to 600 attendees and about 250 from the Red Hat staff, quite intense interactions and discussions were guaranteed. But lets start at the beginning:

Location, date and time

The conference was held in the beautiful town of Prague in the Czech Republic. Rather uncommon for Prague the temperatures climbed up to 36dg celsius. This kept most attendees happily inside the complex and even smoking breaks needed to kept rather short, since the conference terrace was rather hot.

Prague known for its beauty and hold history had to be kept on hold for another visit. The temperature and the daily schedule rather limited further exploration of the city.

Breakouts, labs and keynotes

The conference was organized in keynotes for all attendees and smaller groups which otherwise could join breakout sessions and labs. For more on sales than technical topics oriented conference, it was sometimes delicate to balance the breakouts in way the could entertain tech-people.

I, myself joined the following topics:

  • The OpenShift Experience 1,2,3 (consecutive breakouts). An overview about OpenShift, the advantages and disadvantages you face when introducing it and how to handle it. This consecutive breakout gave a quick introduction and technical overview about OpenShift.
  • Building a RHEL Gold Image for Azure (Lab). A practical hands-on lab in cooperation with Microsoft. Showing the tools need-to-know steps for creating custom images for Red Hat machines in Microsoft Azure.
  • Getting Started with Red Hat Virtualization (Lab). This lab provided a quick hands-on experience with the technology behind Red Hat virtualization. You got a feeling for the single components performed under certain circumstances and deepened the understanding.
  • Red Hat Satellite 6: Provisioning RHEL on 1200 trains in SBB. A tale from the life of consultants. The goal of the project was to improve the rather manual deployment process for the swiss national transportation agency and get Red Hat Linux Enterprise rolled-out on the (moving) trains.
  • Red Hat CloudForms extensibility with Ansible and how it allows for better management of on premise resources. Red Hat cloud forms for hypervisor and host management. Together with Ansible and Ansible Tower the functionality extends and provides even more possibilities.
  • Using SELinux with container runtimes. The breakout session with the Guy who's actually maintaining SELinux and some other tools related to it. This provided a quick introduction into the most disabled tool in the enterprise environment (Quote: "It's not rocket science!", use cases for containers and other useful information: https://stopdisablingselinux.com/
  • Best practices for working with Red Hat Support (and beyond) to maximize the value of ourpartnership. The ultimative guide on how to get support when you actually need it. This breakout helped to understand what is actually happening on the other side of a support call. It also gave some insights into other tools available when dealing with Support.
  • Day 2 Ops on OpenShift: Operators = Your New Ops Crew Nestor Salceda, Integration Engineer, Sysdig

Networking

Besides the events on the agenda networking was an important part of the conference. We talked to some great vendors and used the chance to talk to the engineers. "Meet the engineers" provided way of direct picking the brain of the people working and developing the products we use day to day. We discussed issues and bounced off some ideas of each other, but also exchanged some ideas and concepts.

In the "Learn about OpenTraining" section Partners could get more information on how to develop more competence and make use of the trainings Red Hat offers.

Summary

Red Hat made a considerable effort to appreciate the work and contributions of their partners with this conference. The whole agenda was built around that and you got the message clearly: Red Hat believes in their partners, needs their partners and wants them to succeed in order to succeed itself.

Everything was taken care of. The whole amount of people and their openess made networking very easy and created and strengthened connections between the partners and colleagues.

Written by Daniel Buøy-Vehn