DIGS Workshop: Automating Software-Defined Data Center

Network and virtualization vendors have been promoting their software-defined solutions for years. While these solutions solve some of the pressing data center problems (and ignore other more inconvenient ones), they often replace one graphical (or CLI) interface with another one. Ask yourself: is clicking around a software-defined GUI really that much better than finding your way around a traditional one? Weren’t we promised seamless deployment of data center resources?

There’s still a huge gap between the vendors’ offers and the needs of a modern data center environment, and you’ll have to bridge most of that gap yourself. This event will help you understand the shortcomings of common software-defined data center solutions, and the approaches you can use to automate infrastructure and application deployments.

In the associated half-day workshop, we’ll focus on data center infrastructure automation and explore simple solutions to most pressing deployment, troubleshooting, and validation problems. This is a ‘must attend’ event for all of those who are interested in Next-Gen Infrastructure solutions! We are confident that the relationships you develop here will prove to be crucial to your continuing success.


8:30-9:00 Registration & Coffee
9:00-9:30 Automate Data Center Infrastructure (Welcome & Introduction by Ivan Pepelnjak, Network Architect and Independent Blogger at ipSpace)

In the introductory presentation we’ll try to figure out whether it makes sense to automate data center infrastructure, and what level of automation and self-service should be given to application developers.

9:30-10:30 Data Center Applied Automation (Mitja Robas, Senior IT Architect at NIL Ltd.)

There’s no doubt that everyone is hearing or being asked to implement automation. Like cloud, SDN, and other preceding “next-big-things”, automation on its own does not save the day nor does it bring instant benefits. Can it be used to make IT operations better and easier? Definitely.

How and where? There is no universal answer. Where to start? What to start with? Do we all need to become programmers? What framework or vendor to choose to address all of the needs? What do we need to be careful about? Instead of making a grandiose plan for omnipotent automation, we’ll discuss a practical approach to Data Center automation based on real-life examples accompanied with tidbits and gotchas for using tools and frameworks like Chef, Powershell, vRealize, and the like.

10:30-11:00 Break
11:30-12:30 Roundtable Discussion (moderated)

The roundtable discussion following the presentations will be driven by the attendees’ needs and requirements and will focus on real-life aspects of Next-Gen Infrastructure/SDN: deciphering the vendor messages, demystifying marketing materials, and identifying the potential benefits and deployment opportunities. This time, your challenges will be focused on and help will be given for you to figure out how to get started and where to use these concepts in your environment.

Profit from Ivan’s extensive know-how by asking whatever is of specific interest to you during this discussion. You will get answers that will save you time and money and help you avoid bad experiences!

12:30-13:30 Joint lunch