September Meeting- The Tech and Business Behind 3D Printing

3D printing is the future, 3D printing is growing rapidly, 3D printing is here! Every industry and corporation with a pulse is paying attention to, or investing in some form of 3D printing. The possibilities seem endless and the applications are astounding. Please join us for our quarterly meeting as we learn about the tech behind this emerging and exciting industry. Our speaker is Michael Raphael, President and CEO of Direct Dimensions, Inc. the largest 3D printing company on the east coast. You can visit his Maryland based company’s website here at and feel free to check out his bio here. I encourage everyone to bring a friend and enjoy free soda and pizza as we pick the brain of Michael Raphael and listen to his is awesome presentation on 3D printing.

Speaker Bio:

3d.png Michael Raphael is President and CEO of Direct Dimensions, Inc a world leader in 3D printing. He has his Bachelors in Engineering Science and Mechanics from Virginia Tech and a Masters in Engineering Administration from George  Washington University. He founded Direct Dimensions after leaving the Aerospace field in 1995 and has grown his company to 25 employees while becoming a leader in the field of 3D printing.




March Meeting – The Practical Gamemaster: Design & Execution of IT Emergency Operations Drills

Practical IT drill design brings together emergency response and operations, business continuity, disaster recovery, and IT architecture. During this talk, you will learn key concepts in emergency operations center and incident headquarters design, methods of introducing such concepts to your organization, and a sequence of basic-to-advanced drill designs.

Keeping IT folks engaged in a drill simulation can be very challenging. Become a practical gamemaster worthy of designing and executing drills on likely emergency scenarios and realistic function failures for your organization.

d10s included.

Speaker Bio:

Adele Shakal currently heads up project and knowledge management at Metacloud, Inc., a cloud solutions company providing Carbon|OS, non-stop private cloud based on OpenStack.  In her prior work in technical project management at USC ITS, she designed IT emergency operations and the ITS Great Shakeout 2011.  She has more than two decades of experience in IT project management, business process design and continuity, knowledge management, emergency operations and drill planning, service management and system administration, with Bachelor of Science in geochemistry from California Institute of Technology.  She has presented at CENIC, EDUCAUSE, APRU, USENIX LISA and CascadiaIT conferences.

February Meeting – Vagrant: Not Just for Developers

February’s meeting promises to be a good one as OmniTI’s own Mark Harrison will be giving a talk on Vagrant.


Vagrant’s tag line is ‘Development environments made easy’, and it is indeed a tool that vastly improves working with developer virtual machines. However, it can also make the life of a Systems Administrator much easier, providing throwaway test environments to help with troubleshooting, deploying new infrastructure, and playing with new technologies.

This talk will introduce you to the fundamentals of vagrant, what it provides over and above virtualbox/vmware alone, getting your first virtual machine running, setting up networking, and provisioning with configuration management tools.”


Mark Harrison is the Lead Site Reliability Engineer at OmniTI Computer Consulting, Inc and has been in Systems Administration for 8 years. At OmniTI he helps clients scale their web architectures as well as keeping OmniTI’s systems infrastructure running smoothly. He’s passionate about automation and operations tools, and has made several open source contributions to tools that assist with web operations.

January Meeting: Deep Sea Exploration with Jeremy Potter

Happy New Year everyone! I’m excited to announce the first meeting of 2014: Jeremy Potter from NOAA will be presenting on his experiences with the Office of Ocean Exploration on deep sea expeditions. This promises to be a very interesting talk.

NOTE: Because New Year’s Day is the first Wednesday of the month, we’ll meet on the following Wednesday, January 8, 2014.

Here are some details about Jeremy and his presentation:

Ocean Exploration: How technological advances are driving more collaborative exploration
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) established the Office of Ocean Exploration (OE) in 2001 as a focal point for exploring unknown and poorly known ocean areas and phenomena in support of NOAA and national priorities specific to marine science and marine resource management. The mission of OE is to evolve and sustain a national program and multifaceted capability to explore the world’s ocean, and to provide cutting-edge products and services that provide an accessible legacy of information—information that others can build upon. By investigating new areas and phenomena and catalyzing key research to transform discoveries to useful knowledge, the OE provides a foundation of information to help the Nation respond to new and emerging issues.

The informal talk will provide a high level overview of some of OE’s most complex deep sea expeditions from around the globe and describe how advances in technology are making scientists rethink their approach to exploring the ocean. The presentation will include underwater video and still imagery from expeditions in the Gulf of Mexico, Arctic, and Indonesia.

Jeremy Potter grew up in the great ocean state of West Virginia. Immediately after college, he became nervous about beginning law school and ran off to Alaska to work as an observer in the Bering Sea crab fishery, and later as an instructor and school bus driver at the Wallops Island Marine Science Consortium. In 1997, he again ran from graduate school to spend one year teaching English in a remote Japanese fishing village. Three years later, he returned to the US to pursue graduate work in international environmental politics, facilitation, and negotiation. His fascination with the deep sea led him to NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration (OE). He has spend most of his 11-year federal career organizing major expeditions to explore the deep ocean. Many of these took place off the southeast US, Gulf of Mexico, Arctic, and in the Western Pacific.

December Meeting Update – HPC & 10GbE Networking (or How I Learned to Love Dell Networking)

Scott Roberts has volunteered to present at our December meeting! A description of what you can expect is below:

Background: Scott is an IT manager and professional system administrator with a proven track record of systems analysis and design, project management, information security, programming, and innovating solutions. He has a diverse background in computing, networking, and programming technologies, and is an engineer at heart.

Topic Summary: While there is a case to be made for Infiniband, not everyone has the time or a consultant budget when it comes to implementing high speed low latency networking.  Join Scott on the path down the rabbit hole where Scott and his staff found how to get such a network installed and configured in less than 8 hours, 7 hours of which was spent cabling.  He will show you step-by-step how they identified the problem and arrived at the solution for a small HPC environment.  You will also find out just how a fully fault-tolerant Clos network is obtainable on a limited budget.  Scott will also give a demonstration of Dell’s Active Fabric Manager which is the sauce (nay, FM!) behind their Force10 switch deployments.


With any time that may remain after Scott’s presentation we’ll do an end of year retrospective on things – discuss what happened in the world of sys admins in 2013, what the trends were, etc.


Looking forward to seeing everybody there!

December Meeting Announce

We’ve not been able to locate a speaker for our December meeting so I’m proposing one of two possible things for our December meeting:

  • One of you awesome people volunteer to come speak!
  • or

  • We have a roundtable discussion on some topics currently of interest in the sys admin community: data security? DevOps? Nothing is off limits!
No matter what we end up discussing we’ll be meeting Wednesday, December 4th at 7pm at the offices of OmniTI.


Looking forward to seeing you all there!

November Meeting – LISA is here!

Our November aligns with the annual LOPSA meeting at LISA so we’ll be converging our meeting into theirs for the month – everybody is invited to attend!


Full details of the meeting are available here.


In addition, there are some great free events you can take part in for those of you whose employers may not be willing to pay for you to attend. Greg Riedesel (aka SysAdmin1138) from LOPSA DC sent out some great information about these free events. I’ve provided the information he sent out below:
  • Data Storage Day: Something of a tradition, but several big storage vendors are putting together a day of nice presentations of large scale storage. This will be Wednesday, same as the first day of the technical sessions. Details here:


Hope to see you all there!

October Meeting: Slides and Videos

Hey everybody! Thanks to our friend @nathenharvey, we’ve got videos from this month’s meeting available for viewing. The first video is Nathen’s discussion on transforming the way you think about IT.

The slides are available here.

The second video is from Ryan Frantz’s lightning talk on how he tried to change organizational culture by encouraging responsibility and accountability through transparency.

Those slides can be found here.

October Meeting – Nathen Harvey Talks DevOps

This month, Nathen Harvey from OpsCode will be presenting a discussion about DevOps!

DevOps – Transforming the Way You Think About IT

IT has transformed from a back office support function to a primary driver of customer experience. Taking lessons from lean manufacturing, software development, and other disciplines, IT operations is quickly maturing.

“DevOps” is a growing movement and set of practices intent on tearing down silos, improving productivity, and delivering value to customers. This session will explore the DevOps movement, survey some of the tools and practices being implemented, and transform the way you think about IT.

September Meeting – ZFS (Now Supported on Linux!)

Eric Sproul of OmniTI will be doing presenting a discussion on ZFS at our next meeting.

Date: Wednesday, September 4t
Time: 7-9pm

ZFS is a file system that is more than a file system.  It is a file system, volume manager and RAID controller all in one. It’s simple to administer and features transactional semantics, end-to-end data integrity and scalability as well as enough other goodies to make any hardened IT admin weep for joy.  Once you discover how amazing ZFSis, you’ll never want to use anything else.