December 2015 LOPSAgram - LISA 2015, New website and more.

11 Dec 2015 10:22 PM | Anonymous

1. President's Corner - What I learned at LISA 2015

2. New Website -

3. LOPSA-East - Call for Proposals

4. LOPSA Cascadia IT Conference - Call for Proposals

5. Thank you to our sponsors

6. Comments or suggestions?

December 2015 LOPSAgram

1. President's Corner: What I learned at LISA 2015

LISA 2015 was my first LISA as LOPSA's president. I took the opportunity to talk with many of the past presidents to learn more about LOPSA's history and to talk with members about their experiences with LOPSA.

LOPSA was founded in 2005 after close to 10 years of discussions about creating an organization that was more focused on the practical aspects of system administration. In the late 1990s and early 2000's, USENIX and SAGE (the precursor to LISA) were more focused on academic aspects of system administration. LOPSA expected to start with thousands of members and lots of momentum. Unfortunately this did not happen and LOPSA ended up with a significant amount of debt. I cannot thank all you enough who hung in there over the years to help LOPSA pay off its debt last year.

I also learned that many people are burned out on LOPSA after supporting it for many years and not seeing much happening. I completely understand where they are coming from and hope that over the next year we can show you that LOPSA has cleaned up its internal issues and is still relevant to system administration. When LOPSA was founded, membership based organizations like ACM, IEEE, and SAGE were doing well with robust membership bases. Unfortunately, fast forward 10 years, and almost all membership based organizations are shrinking because of local, specialized meetups; sites like ServerFault for help; specialization of system administration and the decline of the generalist; and vendor supported organizations such as VMUG or Spiceworks. So given that, what can LOPSA do that will benefit the community and keep LOPSA healthy?

LOPSA's most successful activities over the past few years have been the Cascadia IT and LOPSA-East conferences; its Mentorship program; and its scholarships for students and Women in Advanced Computing. One thing that all these activities have in common is that they help members of our community improve their skills and when one person improves their skills we all benefit. I feel that LOPSA can build upon these strengths and be relevant by focusing on ways to improve the skills of system administrators.

LOPSA can support small 1 - 2 day conferences where system admins who cannot afford to go to LISA or vendor training can improve their skills. If you are interested in holding one in your area, please contact and we will help you get started and make it a success. If you know of a local conference in your area that is good for system admins please contact us and we will work to partner with them for possible scholarships for attendees and providing speakers and tutorial instructors. Finally, I would like to see our Mentorship program expand to match up students in system admin degree programs with experienced system admins willing to help them out.

If you can think of any other ways that LOPSA can help system admins to improve their skills, please send your ideas to Together we can make a difference.



2. New Website

As you know, LOPSA's website was a wee bit outdated (actually very outdated). After looking at our options, the board decided to go with a hosting provider (Wild Apricot) that specializes in hosting websites for non-profits like LOPSA. This will enable us to focus on providing services to the community instead of trying to figure out what to do about the website. After much work, LOPSA's new website went live at LISA 2015. After several startup issues with our cert, it is now completely secure. The new site has much better member management tools, is supported on phones, and is much easier to maintain. If you have not already checked it out, please go to and login to see all the content. Please email with any idea you have to improve the website.

3. LOPSA-East - Call for proposals

The organizers of the LOPSA-East Professional IT Community Conference invite you to submit proposals for presentations at LOPSA-EAST ’16.

LOPSA-EAST ’16 aims to bring together IT professionals from all walks of life in the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond to share war stories, learn for each other’s experiences, and network with industry peers. The conference includes acclaimed speakers and keynotes, expert-lead training designed to build the skillsets and confidence of attendees, lightning talks, and a “Birds of a Feather” track where attendees propose and host their own topics during the event.

Attendance for this year’s conference is expected to be between 200 and 250 IT professionals from companies large and small, local government, and academia. Our attendees are primarily from the Mid-Atlantic region including New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC. As IT professionals we go by many titles but everyone is invited: system administrators, network administrators, network engineers, Windows, Linux, Unix, DBAs, security professionals, technical managers, and beyond.

This year’s conference is going to be focused on developing scalable infrastructures through industry best practices, the implementation of cutting edge technologies, a deeper level understanding of the core concepts that enable our work, and ensuring continued operational efficiencies. LOPSA-EAST is OS-agnostic and welcomes presentations on any operating systems whether it be Windows, Linux, Unix, etc.

All presentations should be focused on issues important to our technical community and speakers should assume that members of the audience have at least some industry experience.

Dates and Deadlines

  • Deadline for all Submissions – January 13, 2016
  • Decisions and Notifications to All Submitters – January 27, 2016
  • Schedule Published – February 1, 2016
  • Registration Opens – February 15, 2016
  • LOPSA-East ’16 Conference – May 6 -7, 2016

For the full CFP go to

4. LOPSA Cascadia - Call for proposals

MARCH 11-12, 2016, SEATTLE, WA

We invite you to present a talk or Training at the 2016 LOPSA Cascadia IT Conference in Seattle. 

LOPSA Cascadia is a gathering of professionals from the diverse IT community in the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia. We gather to learn from each other, share ideas, and meet new friends. Whether you are paid to work with computers or just like to experiment with technology, your time is well spent at LOPSA Cascadia. 

The conference includes presentations, invited speakers and keynote talks, as well as Trainings by top-notch experts. We expect attendance of 100-125 people from the IT community, businesses, and academic institutions in and around Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and British Columbia.


Presentations must relate to using and managing computers, information infrastructure, and/or supporting people who use computer infrastructure. This can be anything from describing how to setup an enterprise quality web service infrastructure to how to manage your relationship with your Internet service provider. 

You may submit as many proposals as you like. The conference committee will select proposals which are submitted with full information and those that we think will most benefit the IT community as a whole.

* Description of a problem solved and how you worked through it.
* Demonstration of a specific technology stack and how it works for your
* Show how non-technical skills were to solve technical problems.
* How you developed your career and how others can benefit from your
* Expert tips on how to use an application or tool such as vim, tmux, or


* Sales Presentations
* Vendor Product Demonstrations
* Proposals or Vaporware (Although works in progress are appropriate for lightning talks)


* An author of an open-source package explains the project, the benefits and how it works.
* A system administrator presents about a new technique, software system, or device he or she created.
* Someone with recent experience in particular technology presents "10 things I wish I knew before I started with [name of product]".
* A Windows engineer describes how they manage their fleet of desktops/laptops.
* "How we manage [Linux/Mac OS X/BeOS] in an Active Directory domain."
* "How to Make Wireless Work in a Conference Setting."
* "Incident Command for IT: What We Can Learn from the Fire Department."
* "Deploying your Application to Cloud: Lessons Learned from Five Different Applications."
* "What System Administrators Can Learn From [other industry]."
* "A Few Thoughts on Uptime: Resisting Entropy."


We are actively seeking proposals for talks and Trainings at LOPSA Cascadia. 

* Talks: 45 minute presentation including Q&A.
* Trainings: half-day, 4-hour sessions. ("Full day" Trainings may be submitted as two half-day Trainings without the assumption that they will both be accepted.)
* Lightning Talk signups will be available during the conference.


Everyone is welcome to present! Public speaking experience is not required. Complete the Proposal form.


Talks are a relatively short 45 minute presentations that are designed to inform participants about a specific topic or subject. Presenters will have access to an overhead projector and may not require participants to bring any materials. 


Trainings are half-day deep technical presentations that are designed to teach participants somthing. Presenters will have access to an overhead projector and may require participants to bring laptops, notepads, or other equipment. 


Lightning talks are very short, 5 minute, presentations designed to spark interest or call to action. Lightning talks do not have access to overhead projectors or any other equipment.

Lightning talk registration will be available at the welcome desk during the reception. 


* 15 December - Proposals due
* 1 January - Schedule Published
* 11-12 March - Conference


Please see: more information on LOPSA Cascadia and presenting at this great event. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to email the organizers at:

5. Thank you to our Sponsors

We'd like to thank our sponsors. We're deeply grateful for their continuing support of LOPSA. More information on how to become a sponsor.

Thanks to our individual sponsors:

Platinum: Jennine Townsend, Dan Rich 
Gold: Ski Kacoroski
Silver: Matt Disney, Lee Damon, Scott Murphy, Ian Viemeister
Bronze: Gary Studwell
unique approach to trading in the financial markets. Our company designs, builds and runs a global trading software platform. We take pride in our software craftsmanship and use Python, Cython and C on Linux to run our global trading operations. We also use open-source tools as much as possible - Python, PostgreSQL, numpy, git, Cobbler, Puppet and Ansible are all crucial to our business. 

Bronze Sponsor Edgestream Partners is a small group of scientists and engineers with a

Bronze Sponsor O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism. Check them out.

LOPSA's website is hosted by ServerBeach.

5. Comments or suggestions?

As we close out this month's LOPSAgram, we want to make sure we're giving you the information you want or need. If you have any comments or suggestions, please feel free to send them to 

Office: +1 (202) 567-7201, Fax: 609-219-6787, Address: PO Box 5161, Trenton, NJ 08638-0161

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