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Thoughts from FOSDEM

I had the pleasure of attending FOSDEM, the Free/Open Source Developers European Meeting this year. There are always interesting folks in attendance, and getting to meet folks you only know via IRC or or a mailing list is great. I also always pick up lots of interesting information.


In short, if you can make FOSDEM, you should do so. That isn't really what I wanted to write about though. FOSDEM always has a lot of related conferences; this year they included the CentOS Dojo, CfgMgmtCamp, and Each of those could easily fill several blog posts, but the most poignant thing in my trip this year happened at


 I often cite John Vincent with his 'Monitoring sucks' tagline. Not because monitoring sucks as a practice, but because the tools for monitoring are generally comparatively archaic, and painful to use. As a recovering sysadmin, I understand the pain behind 'Monitoring Sucks' well; and thanks to a conversation from Kris Buytaert I realized that many of John's complaints around monitoring, aren't monitoring specific at all, and that caused me to go back and reread John's original post from 3 years ago. These truths should be evident, but I think it's all too easy to forget them, and see plenty of software that ignore them. Specifically, any systems management software should keep these items in mind and avoid them:


  • Collecting metrics (or any information) twice 
  • Having to choose between good tools and a good UI 
  • Dealing with a system that thinks (dictates?) that it is the system of truth
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David Nalley is currently employed by Citrix as the Community Manager for the CloudStack project. In addition he's a long time contributor to the Fedora Project, where among other things he is currently serving on the Fedora Project Board. He's also contributed to in various forms to Cobbler, Zenoss,, OLPC Math4, and Sahana. He is a frequent speaker at Free Software conferences around the nation, and writes for a number of technical and open source media publications including Linux Pro Magazine and
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Guest Saturday, 19 July 2014


Citrix supports the open source community via developer support and evangeslism. We have a number of developers and evangelists that participate actively in the open source community in Apache Cloudstack, OpenDaylight, Xen Project and XenServer. We also conduct educational activities via the Build A Cloud events held all over the world.