Eric D. Schabell: Open Source 101 2023 - Visualization Workshop and Observability Treats

Monday, January 9, 2023

Open Source 101 2023 - Visualization Workshop and Observability Treats

The team from All Things Open conference, a really fun event hosted every year in Raleigh, NC, has launched a new event venue early in 2023 that I'm going to give my best effort to attend. 

They call it the Open Source 101 series and are planning to host it in Charlotte, NC on 23 March 2023, so of course I have to jump in with both feet. The call-for-papers (CFP) for Open Source 101 closed this week and the 2023 event is looking for world-class speakers to deliver a variety of topics to attendees, so I put my best foot forward to submit. 

Here are my submissions and hope to see you there in Charlotte in March.

I submitted a variety of talks, from workshops to normal sessions. This first one is a workshop about the new dashboard and visualization open source project called Perses.

Perses - Beginners Guide to Open Source Dashboards

Are you interested in the concepts of cloud native observability (o11y), where monitoring, dashboards, and all that goes with that play a central role in your life? Are you part of a DevOps team looking to put together some simple yet powerful custom dashboards but are not sure where to start? This session will take you through the freely available online workshop that teaches you everything you need to know about Perses, the newest member of the CoreDash community. It's a project providing you the tooling you need to create crisp, clear, and informative dashboards for your cloud native o11y needs. Join us for an hour of power where attendees will be guided through what the Perses project is, how to install the project locally, and get started building your first dashboard(s). 

Key Takeaways - Attendees to this session will go hands-on with labs for learning what Perses is, how to install it locally, and get started building their first dashboard(s).

Track: 2.5 hr extended session

This next session is to help with getting our stories told to management and leveraging your production incidents to do that.

Telling Effective Tales about Production

Storytelling is as old as time itself…. Since the beginning of humankind, we share our experiences, we teach, we inspire, we relate to stories as told all around us. How can we learn to use this powerful mechanism to tell effective tales about our production environments when dealing with our management teams? 

Learn how humans listen to stories (tales) more than they pay attention to pages of charts, dashboards, and data. If you want to learn how to make sure your message lands and how to effectively manage upwards in your organization, this is the session for you. Attendees will depart with a small yet powerful set of actionable examples that almost ensure your stories will capture your management's attention. One thing is certain, stories are being told, but what are your production stories and how can you become adept at telling them?

Key Takeaways - Attendees to this session will be given a small yet powerful set of examples to help them effectively communicate system risks and opportunities upwards to leadership and across engineering domains.. Humans listen to stories (tales) more than they pay attention to pages of charts, dashboards, and data. Learn how to tell your production stories and ensure your message lands with your management.

Track: 90 min session

This next session is a co-presenting effort on adventures in tracing your cloud native environments.

Tracing Adventures from Pull Request to Production in a Cloud Native World 

Many things can go awry on the journey from pull request (PR) open to merge to production deployment. Issues can arise from the application code, layers of YAML configuration, underlying infrastructure or pipeline logic itself. How can distributed tracing and trace-derived metrics bring developers and operators together for troubleshooting paradise? We'll unpack a deploy gone bad from both vantage points, gaining an empathy for the engineer who needs to deploy their changes and an operations engineer who is responsible for keeping the CI/CD systems up and running. With signals from openTelemetry we will demonstrate how increasing the observability of your deploy system can facilitate better collaboration and quicker troubleshooting.

Benefits to ecosystem

openTelemetry has been a gift to those debugging a constellation of microservices in production but many organizations continue to face challenges adopting it across their stack. Introducing tracing to CI/CD system and familiarizing developers with how to understand and interpret trace data is a great first step to adopting tracing more broadly. 

Examining how tracing added to argo helps operators, maintainers, and ultimately the developer end user deliver their code efficiently at scale tells one side of the story and highlights the use of examining singular traces. The other side about tracing pipelines helps folks understand the value of trace derived metrics to spot trends and identify where in the stack to start debugging if the deploy status goes red.

Track: 90 min session, co-speaking with Paige Cruz, Chronosphere    

Finally, this one is a session covering an overview on financial solutions architectures with a neat tie in to some of the observability issues to consider at cloud native scale.

Going beyond observability for running complex applications at cloud native scale

For many organizations, reliance on business-critical applications that need to be running 24/7, at scale, and with great resiliency has become a way of life. Among examples from many industries, the payments use case from financial services is one of the most illustrative: customers and merchants increasingly rely on real-time payments systems to carry out their day-to-day interactions.

This talk is based on real researched customer solutions focusing on open standards and open source tooling in the real-time payments domain as a foundation to discuss the problems of quickly identifying and remediating faults in complex business-critical applications. In such scenarios, it is not enough to simply collect, visualize, and aggregate data, but also to conquer the data overload and separate signal from noise.

Finally, the attendee will be presented with the observability pitfalls of running real-time payments at cloud native scale. We’ll share the challenges with observability data when using open source tooling like Prometheus, PromQL, OpenTelemetry and their open standards when your solution reaches true cloud native scale. Attendees take home actionable insights based on a real life large scale cloud native deployment and observability solutions.

Key Takeaways - Attendees to this session will learn about the challenges to be faced when implementing solutions at cloud native scale, based on a real-time payments use case supported by multiple researched customer solutions. They will leave with actionable insights for their cloud native observability and solution architectures.

Track: 90 min session, co-speaking with Marius Bogoevici, Red Hat

 Now it's time to cross our fingers and hope we are all going to see each other in Charlotte, NC in the Spring!

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