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DevOpsGroup Blog Snapshots from WinOps Conference 2018

Snapshots from WinOps Conference 2018

Great to be back at WinOps London 2018!

WinOps is a two-day conference filled with workshops, keynotes and track sessions. Each year at the conference the WinOps community comes together to share experiences of ‘DevOps in a Windows World’.

On day 1 of the conference, there were workshops run by sponsors GitHub, Chef Software, Microsoft, Docker, Inc, Accenture, and Chocolatey. Today we’re sharing some photo highlights from the keynotes and track sessions on day two!

Day two of WinOps Conference, let’s go!

It’s registration time on Day 2 of WinOps London 2018. From left to right, Greg Sharpe our Graduate DevOps Engineer, Katherine Axten our Engineering Intern and Zakriya Mohamed our Graduate Engineer are doing a great job!

CodeNode in London is beginning to fill up before the welcome introduction begins at 9.30am.

WinOps Conference London has officially begun with a welcome intro from conference co-founder Stephen Thair. This years agenda is looking great!

The room is filled for the first keynote of the day from ASOS: Monolith to Micro-Services, Scaling a Digital Platform for the Cloud.  Programme Manager, Ian Margetts and Principal Software Engineer Scott Frampton begin sharing their DevOps journey as ASOS grew from a team of 6 to close to 80 teams now. Both Scott and Ian delivered a great session “sharing just the tip of the iceberg” of their DevOps journey. Scott ended the keynote sharing one of the things he is most proud of: Zero incidents over a 6-month period, he ended by saying “If you commit to doing software engineering right the benefits are unstoppable”.

Read more: How DevOps helped ASOS become the top online fashion retailer

Our second keynote of the morning is from our very own Principal DevOps Consultant Raj Fowler has begun. Raj shares with the audience how BAE Systems changed their ways of working for strategic internal products. This resulted in some of the following highlights:

  • 30% service improvement
  • 300% throughput improvement
  • 25% improved customer satisfaction
  • 100% improvement in team morale.

Raj ended the keynote by sharing some motivation for the audience around unleashing your superhero. Having new heroes is something he says is an important factor of a successful transformation.

Time for a quick Coffee break before the track sessions from Microsoft, Active Solution, Hashicorp and Accenture start in 20 minutes time!

In the CTRL Room at CodeNode, Steven Murawski from Microsoft kicks off his site reliability engineering introduction session with an SRE 101. Throughout the session Steven answers the following:

  • What is Site Reliability Engineering?
  • How does this differ from DevOps?
  • What does Site Reliability Engineering at Microsoft look like?
  • Do I need to be Microsoft, Google, or Facebook scale to need to care about SRE concepts?

Over in the Tab Room at CodeNode, Mark Solomon, UKI DevOps Platform Lead for Accenture gives his perspectives on how to craft your transformation journey and how to turn speed and quality into measurable value. He looks at two very important areas, including:

  • Is your organisation getting the best return on your DevOps transformation investment or are you wondering if it could achieve more?
  • Does your transformation roadmap move beyond mere automation and into a level of value realisation that will help your organisation survive in the age of disruption?

Over in the CMD Room at CodeNode, Jakob Ehn from Active Solution is running a track session on Delivering Microservices with Visual Studio Team Services and Azure Kubernetes Services. In this session, conference attendees are learning about how Kubernetes works, how to create a managed Azure Kubernetes cluster and how to build, deploy and monitor microservice containers using Visual Studio Team Services and Application Insights.

The Alt Room track session from HashiCorp was jam-packed, in fact, we struggled to get in!

Inside the room, Tom Harvey explored Infrastructure as Code with Terraform on Azure. Tom looked at Infrastructure as Code, where you model and create infrastructure using a highly declarative language similar to application code.

We are back upstairs in the CTRL room now for a session from Microsoft’s Marcelo Bellinaso: The Evolution of Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) at

In this session Marcelo answers the following and shares lessons learned and best practices that can be leveraged by Ops and Dev teams alike:
Want to learn more about what SRE is?
Curious to understand how SRE and DevOps relate to each other?

Over in the Tab room, Stuart Preston from Chef is running a demo-rich session discussing the tools and techniques you can use to deliver value to your projects using Chef on the Azure platform. The newest project, Chef Workstation, is available directly within Azure Cloud Shell and Stuart is demonstrating how to get started with ad-hoc Chef commands and more complex scenarios. He is also demonstrating how you should be testing in and outside the VM by using compliance toolset, InSpec.

At the same time in the Alt Room, Elton Stoneman from Docker, Inc. is running a session on App Transformation with Containers. 

This session is showing attendees how to bring old apps into the modern world, and integrate them with Docker – without changing code. Covering patterns for all the core application concerns:

  • Logging
  • Configuration
  • Monitoring
  • Health
  • Dependency Management

In the CMD room, Neil Peterson from Microsoft is running a session on Governance in Kubernetes: policy driven protection for Kubernetes applications and resources.

In this talk, he is discussing and demonstrating multiple methods for enforcing governance in a Kubernetes cluster. Topics include:

  • Securing access to the Kubernetes cluster API server
  • Securing and rationing Kubernetes compute resources
  • Controlling application configuration and acceptance criteria
  • Providing quality of service for critical workload
  • Mechanisms for chargeback

Time for some refreshments, networking and gathering further insight from the sponsor’s exhibition stands: AWS, SquaredUp, Redgate, Github, Docker, Octopus Deploy, Chef and Accenture Technology. 

The afternon

After a great lunch, we’re back in the CTRL room with Trond Hindenes from Riks TV. We are looking forward to getting hands-on with SRE and learning more about how Riks TV went from 3weeks – 14mins after moving their services to the cloud. Trond shares his story about moving from traditional hosting to the cloud, and the difference between “click-next” cloud usage and real automation through modern tooling. It’s also a story about getting developers involved (and even excited!) in conversations around infrastructure and celebrating victories, also the small ones.

How do you survive a DevOps Transformation? Our DevOps Product Manager shares his experiences of working with enterprise clients. Change is hard and can take its toll on those involved in leading a transformation. Ed talks about his transformation journey and looks at the strategies the audience can employ to help create a sustainable rate of change within their organisation.

Over in the Tab Room, Rob Reynolds at Chocolatey is running a session on Software Deployment Automation with PowerShell and Chocolatey.

During the session Rob is answering some of the following questions:

  • Have you ever wanted simpler software deployment automation?
  • Have you ever wanted to manage software by writing PowerShell?
  • How about building that deployment package once and then using any deployment engine to work with those software installations?
  • Have you ever wanted to track all aspects of Windows software – zips, scripts, binaries, and yes software installed in Programs and Features (installers) as well?

We are back in the CTRL room for a session with Microsoft’s Alessandro Vozza: Blue/Green and Canary Deployments with Azure DevOps, Istio and AKS. This is a demo-driven talk where Alessandro shows how you can implement advanced DevOps concepts like blue/green and canary deployment using Azure Pipelines targeting a polyglot application deployed to an Azure Kubernetes Cluster using Helm. Istio is used to shape traffic to different versions of the same microservice giving full control on what your users see and controlling the flow of releases throughout the pipeline.

Alex Yates from DLM Consultants is now in the Alt room for his session: DevOps, Dev Data and Data Breaches: 5 Solutions

In this session, Alex talked about the GDPR, anonymisation, pseudonymisation and shared 5 techniques you can use to provide appropriate data that is as “production-like” as possible (within the legal and technical constraints). He is running demo’s on these techniques both in raw T-SQL and using some of the Microsoft and third-party tools that are available to make the task easier.

Oliver Pomeroy and Elton Stoneman are in the TAB room running a session on Understanding the Secure Software Supply Chain with Docker on Windows.

Coffee time before the next sessions from Thoughtworks, Microsoft, Capgemini and Octopus Deploy.

Senior Cloud Ops Advocate @ Microsoft Phoummala Schmitt is now running her session: DNR” Your Windows Server 2008 R2 or Maintain Life support: Know your EOL options before the plug gets pulled. This means that Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will no longer receive security updates. In today’s modern IT, security breaches are on the rise which can have a multitude of negative effects when you are running on unsupported software. Don’t be left caught off guard when the plug is pulled. Phoummala teaches us about our options for upgrading to the latest OS or for those that need more time to consider migrating 2008 to Microsoft Azure where you can get three more years of extended security updates.

Derek Campbell from Octopus Deploy is walking us through some real-world DevOps enablement strategies. Drawing from his own experience and showing some real-life case studies from some of the biggest companies in the UK and how they have automated their CI/CD pipeline.

We’re ending the day in the CTRL room with Steven Murawski as he discusses moving up the monitoring stack.

A future of Operations Roundtable is now taking place in the CMD room with Stephen Thair, DevOpsGroup Co-founder and Microsoft Regional Director.

The final session of the day is a panel session discussing the next 12 months of DevOps on Windows.

On this panel hosted by Stephen Thair we are joined by, Elton Stoneman from Docker, Inc. Ian Margetts from ASOS, Phoummala Schmitt from Microsoft and Raj Fowler from DevOpsGroup.

WinOps 2018- done!

Superb work from all of the organisers, sponsors, speakers and of course the attendees! Don’t forget all of the sessions have been recorded and will be shared here.

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