My Seven Point Guide to Slashing Stress

stress therapy and management helps in relaxation reduce tension

Let me introduce myself, if you came on my blog for the first time. I am Giuseppe Paternò and — although you may not have heard of me — I’m one of the world’s top IT consultants, at least according to HP and Forrester Research. Most of my life is spent working and travelling around Europe. While I own two companies and have my own team, I’m still something of a one-man band. I’m bombarded by phone calls and e-mails (something like 1,500 daily), clients always want things done yesterday, and the demands on me grow greater every day. I was finding it tough to cope with the resulting pressure and really suffering until I came up with these seven simple strategies to make my life easier. I hope they will help you too. Although of course you’ll still have challenges, your life should become more manageable and more enjoyable.

  1. I’ve scrapped all the social apps on my phone. I noticed that social media like Facebook and Twitter were adding to my anxiety. Since I use them for business, as well as for keeping in touch with friends, more people were messaging me about professional matters on Facebook and wanting me to constantly keep checking-in whenever I arrived somewhere for a business appointment. I found that my first chore every morning was checking social media over breakfast. I’d had enough of it. Now if I have to post something for a particular deadline I use a social media manager like Hootsuite. Uninstalling social media apps from my mobiles really eased the pressure on me.
  2. I took off my watch. I didn’t plan this, but one day the battery on my favourite timepiece ran out. I didn’t have a chance to replace it, so I just went out without a watch. That’s when I realized that I had been clock-watching all the time and stressing-out if I was just a little late or didn’t feel I had enough margin between meetings. Now if I need to know the time I just check on my mobile. I accept that there’s nothing I can do if I’m caught in a traffic-jam or my plane is held up. As a result I’ve become the master of time, not its slave.
  3. I banned instant messaging. One of the first things I realized was that I wasn’t able to get any real work done when people were showering me with instant messages. As soon as I launched Skype, for instance, half a dozen people would be messaging me. So I abandoned Skype, along with WhatsApp, Telegram, IRC and the rest. Now I can finish my work in peace.
  4. I forwarded my calls. People feel entitled to call me 24/7 and are quick to take offence if I’m unreachable. But why? In most cases it is something routine which could easily be handled by email. One day a colleague happened to mention a “virtual secretary” service he uses to take calls to his landline when he’s out. So I began using it for my mobile. Callers are happy to get an answer even when I can’t pick up or am out of contact, and the secretary emails me with their messages.
  5. I email at set times. When the internet first took off I recall logging onto my emails once a day and answering every message, out of respect for the sender. But these days people are using emails for chat and, with a daily influx of 1,500 or so, I clearly can’t respond to them all. So I’ve gone back to my original practice of dealing with emails at set times, once or twice a day. If it’s urgent, I ask people to text my mobile instead. So I now enjoy more uninterrupted time every day.
  6. I watch some bedtime television. These days there’s a lot more pressure on me than back when I was 19 and working for IBM. But even though I’m now a consultant, I still like to express my “inner geek” by playing around on my laptop in the evening. The downside is that there’s still code whizzing around in my mind at bedtime. The solution I’ve found is to switch off at the end of the day by watching 30-60 minutes of TV shows (movies are too long), either broadcast or via a streaming service like Netflix or Sky Go (for those in EU). So now I go to sleep more easily. See if it works for you too!
  7. I spend time with my partner/family. A big benefit has come from making sure to spend quality time with my wife. I’m abroad a lot of the time and weekends just fly by with necessary chores like housework, shopping and so on taking forever… It’s a problem we all face. But my wife is sometimes able to take a day off in the week, due to the shift system she works, and wherever possible I also take the day off to share time with her. Business pressures fade away and I can feel my batteries being recharged when we take a simple walk together or stroll around the shops. Okay, I admit it may be easier for me as a consultant to book a day off during the working week, but I think it is something most of us can arrange now and then if we just give a little thought to it.
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From 0 to Docker, the training

[ English ] My colleague have organized a training “From 0 to docker” in Italy. If you’re interested having the training in your country, please contact info@garl.ch.

[ Italiano ]

In occasione dell’incontro DevOps Italia, il mio collega Ettore Simone ha preparato un corso intensivo di Docker per chi vuole avvicinarsi al mondo dei Container Docker in modo pratico, basandosi su esempi ed esercizi, per creare una solida base immediatamente utilizzabile.

L’obiettivo e’ rendere autonomi gli studenti nella creazione ed integrazione dei container attraverso metodi pratici di gestione del ciclo di vita dei Container (senza l’ausilio di Swarm, Kubernetes, fleet/etcd…). Il corso partira’ con una introduzione a Docker e coprira’ i seguenti temi:

  • Il Layering, la gestione delle risorse ed altri concetti alla base del successo di Docker.
  • Differenza tra Machine Container e Application Container e suggerimenti su quando usarli
  • Creazione dei Container? Build, versioning, tagging e debug
  • Organizzazione dei Container: utilizzo di Registry pubblici e locali
  • Gestione dei dati e servizi nei Container
  • Esposizione di servizi e utilizzo dei volumi
  • Creazione e gestione di Registry con autenticazione.

Durante il workshop verranno create varie applicazioni, stateless, stateful e multi-tier come esempio.

  • Per partecipare, lo studente deve:
  • avere un portatile con almeno 2GB di ram e 2GB di spazio disco libero
  • esperienza  sistemi GNU/Linux, file system e principi di virtualizzazione in generale
  • basi di shell scripting e networking

Il corso si terra’ il 31 Marzo a Bologna presso l’hotel Novotel Bologna Fiera, per partecipare registratevi su Eventbrite

[fruitful_btn link=”https://www.eventbrite.it/e/biglietti-from-0-to-docker-in-practice-21251230001″]Iscriviti al corso![/fruitful_btn]

Backing up GitLab on OpenStack

When I walk in a new customer, is not just about OpenStack, but also help them automating their internal processes, usually with Ansible. As soon as I have OpenStack up&running, the first thing I do is deploy an internal Gitlab.

I use git to keep track of the changes and the stable releases of the Ansible scripts I use to customize OpenStack images after provisioning.

Backing up Gitlab is very critical, as it holds many hours of my job. As I’m an OpenStack maniac, I find very handy to use Swift as a backup area. It is technically possibile to backup Gitlab on Swift, but in my opinion poorly documented. Here’s a quick howto I decided to share.

In Gitlab configuration file /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb add OpenStack as follows:

gitlab_rails['backup_keep_time'] = 604800

gitlab_rails['backup_upload_connection'] = {
'provider' => 'OpenStack',
'openstack_auth_url' => 'http://keystone.openstack:5000/v2.0/tokens',
'openstack_username' => 'admin',
'openstack_api_key' => 'admin',
'openstack_tenant' => 'admin'
}
gitlab_rails['backup_upload_remote_directory'] = 'gitlab'

Note that the keystone endpoint (auth uri) MUST include the version 2.0 and MUST end with “tokens”, otherwise the fog component will fail (the ruby library used by Gitlab). As openstack_api_key specify your keystone password. If your OpenStack installation has  multiple regions, you need to add the following to the previous:

'openstack_region' => 'region-two'

Now that the file editing is done, you have to refresh the Gitlab configuration with:

sudo gitlab-ctl reconfigure

You can test if the backup is working by using the Gitlab backup command with the following command:

gitlab-rake gitlab:backup:create

In my setups, ansible files aren’t changed that much once done. I usually create a script in /etc/cron.weekly/ to backup the files every week.

Et voila’, bon appetit 🙂

The “Worse Passwords Chart” of 2015

Here are the worse passwords of 2015, with the positions as in a real music chart. Looks like I’m a DJ …. 🙂

1. 123456 (Unchanged)
2. password (Unchanged)
3. 12345678 (Up 1)
4. qwerty (Up 1)
5. 12345 (Down 2)
6. 123456789 (Unchanged)
7. football (Up 3)
8. 1234 (Down 1)
9. 1234567 (Up 2)
10. baseball (Down 2)
11. welcome (New)
12. 1234567890 (New)
13. abc123 (Up 1)
14. 111111 (Up 1)
15. 1qaz2wsx (New)
16. dragon (Down 7)
17. master (Up 2)
18. monkey (Down 6)
19. letmein (Down 6)
20. login (New)
21. princess (New)
22. qwertyuiop (New)
23. solo (New)
24. passw0rd (New)
25. starwars (New)

Please note the introduction of starwars, Seems that the movie did its job 🙂

If you’re a sysadmin and sick of being a potential target due to your users, please consider my free project login.farm or the commercial project SecurePass.

Candidate at the OpenStack Board 2016

Being pushed by some customers and friends, I decided to run as a candidate for the Board of Directors of the OpenStack foundation.  My aim is to fill the gap between who takes decisions and  the real world of enterprises, service providers and outsourcers.

I’ve been around for 22+ years in the IT industry and I know that usually vendors and engineering are a bit far away from the needs of the field. Even if the Board is more focused on the financials, they also take strategic decisions. Most of the board is elected by gold and platinum members, usually vendors, but I’d love to bring the voice of the customers at the table.

To make it crystal clear, I’m not against vendors at all. During all these years, I had the privilege of working with the best people in the industry. This is the reason why I’ve got great relationships with HP, RedHat, SUSE, Ubuntu, Dell, Intel, Fortinet and many many others.

As things are progressing too fast in OpenStack, I just felt it was the right timing to help consolidating and making clear statements on what is key for customers to have a secure and stable OpenStack in production, with less “stable” cycles to make upgrade painless.

It was great to pass the nominations in less than 24 hours, but the real challenge will be the elections from January 11  to January 15. Mind that to be able to vote, you must have joined the OpenStack Foundation as an Individual Member by July 19, 2015.

Wish me good luck 🙂

Check the candidate lists here: https://www.openstack.org/election/2016-individual-director-election/

My profile on the OpenStack Board list: https://www.openstack.org/community/members/profile/21953

Interview with HP on multi-cloud and login.farm

On October 29th I was interviewed by HP on multi-cloud during the 6th episode of “Two Protons and a Cloud“.

We went through how much cloud is being adopted in enterprises and what are the challenges. We explored what is multi-cloud and why enterprises are looking to multi-cloud and the advantages of embracing such architectures. Also covered security and my login.farm project to address identity management across multiple and hybrid clouds. Enjoy the video!

0 comments on “Speaking at Cloud IT & Security Ireland Nov 2015”

Speaking at Cloud IT & Security Ireland Nov 2015

I will speak at the Cloud IT & Security Ireland Conference on 10 and 11 November 2015.

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I am having two presentations, one more business oriented, one more technical. The timing and subject are as follows :


Cost-Aware architecture- How OpenStack can help you drill down costs

11:00-11:25- Tuesday 10 November in Room 3-Cloud & IT Theatre

Openstack/ Opensource Workshop- What nobody tells you about OpenStack

10:30-11:30 Wednesday 11 November in Room 3-Cloud & IT Theatre


 

Entrance is free by registering with the below button. There is no cost to attend any parts of DataCentres Ireland nor the co-located Cloud & Security Ireland which is also running at this time.

[fruitful_btn link=”http://www.datacentres-ireland.com/registration/”]Register here[/fruitful_btn]

 

 

 

 

 

Interviewed on Swiss National Television

RSIXScreenX1 The TV show Falò from the Swiss National Television reports on Swiss-related news.  On October 2015, the national television investigated on the migration of people from the Swiss-italian part Ticino, to Zurich.

During this report, I was interviewed as a “success story” of migration and shows my success in Zürich with RackSpace and HP. If you understand italian, you can watch it here: http://www.rsi.ch/la1/programmi/informazione/falo/Via-dal-Ticino—Dipendenze-digitali-6149179.html

Mentioned on Forrester report on OpenStack

On May 18 2015 Forrester Research Inc, the well-known independent technology and market research company, has published a paper “OpenStack is ready, are you?“.

I’m happy that I’ve been mentioned as a source for their OpenStack security research. It’s a small step, but it’s the top recognition of OpenStack knowledge, along the HP Most Valuable Professional award on OpenStack.

You can download the paper from the link below:

https://www.openstack.org/assets/pdf-downloads/OpenStack-Is-Ready-Are-You.pdf