March 2011 Meeting

This month we're meeting Thursday, March 31 (6:30 PM EST) at OmniTI's Columbia Office.

We have a special guest speaker (Stephen Nelson-Smith) who will be giving a remote talk from the UK.

After the talk, we will head over to Victoria Gastro Pub for dinner and drinks.

Below is what Stephen sent regarding his talk (and his background):

Title: FreeBSD system automation with pc-sysinstall and Chef


Although FreeBSD is in many ways one of the most advanced operating systems in the world, boasting access to a vast array of current, upstream software, and with ZFS and dtrace increasingly mature in the latest releases, it still has a reputation for being difficult to manage and automate, compared to Linux. This talk looks at system automation and configuration management strategies on FreeBSD, exploring unattended installs using the pc-sysinstall tool, system management using Opscode Chef, and options for running FreeBSD in the cloud.

Prequisites: None

Tags: FreeBSD, pc-sysinstall Installation, Automation, Chef, Devops, Infrastructure-as-code, configuration management


Stephen Nelson-Smith is an experienced agile infrastructure consultant, UNIX system administrator and Ruby and Python programmer. As principal consultant at Atalanta Systems, he evangelises 21st century systems infrastructure, and specialises in system automation, monitoring, and the application of lean and XP-derived principles on the operations side of the business. A ruthlessly logical problem solver, powerful communicator, and enthusiastic mentor and motivator, his skills have been employed by household names such as Sony, Motorola, the AA, the Department of Education, and a host of young, technology-driven enterprises. A thought leader in the emerging infrastructure-as-code community, his blog is essential reading for anyone building software today.