SaltConf18 Session Recordings

Keynote Presentations

September 12 – 13, 2018


Marc Chenn



Thomas Hatch



Alex Peay



Heather Zynczak



Joe Werner & Don Vosburg


First Data

Amaya Souarez



Mike Place


IBM Cloud & Cisco

Nate Newton, Mike Wiebe


Breakout Sessions by Track

September 12 – 13, 2018

Event-Driven Automation

Learn how Innovative IT pros are harnessing event-driven
automation to bring their companies into the digital age.


Senthil Eswaran, Staff Engineer


Codifying Operations Workflows: Auto-Remediation Using SaltStack

To make sure LinkedIn’s service is always available, production operations workflow must be automated. Learn about LinkedIn’s homegrown auto-remediation platform that uses SaltStack to bring services back up when they go down.

This talk covers:

  • Architecture of our auto-remediation platform
  • Salt’s major role in our auto-remediation platform
  • Integration challenges


John Jawed, Infrastructure Engineer


Automating and Deploying Multi-tenant Salt

Learn how to implement Salt across multiple teams, each with access to their own States, Pillars, Reactors, and all the other SaltStack features.

This talk covers:

  • Scaling and securing SaltStack for a dynamic multi-tenant setup
  • Making sure Masters can service new tenants on demand
  • Workflow automation via GitLab
  • Mastering orchestration with Kubernetes


Ron Pritchett, SaaS IT Manager
Trent Fitz, Head of Product Marketing


SaaSy and Salty: Continuous Delivery, Monitoring and Automation

Orchestrating and automating the deployment and management of a standard application stack is difficult enough, but the complexity of a production SaaS environment that services thousands of customers requires a whole notha level of sophistication. It requires software-defined IT operations.

This talk covers:

  • Best practices for continuous delivery and monitoring of your IT environment including an introduction to Zenoss Cloud
  • How Zenoss uses SaltStack for the deployment and configuration tasks of Zenoss Cloud
  • How Zenoss enterprise IT monitoring integrates with SaltStack to provide intelligent, event-driven automation for the most efficient management of any IT infrastructure
  • How to get to software-defined IT operations

Risk Focus

Peter Meulbroek, Head of DevOps and Cloud Solutions
Volodymyr Ievsovych, Lead Consultant


Phoning Home: How Risk Focus created a distributed network of autonomous sites with SaltStack

Salt is a powerful orchestrator and configuration ecosystem that can be used to drive self-healing at the data center level. On behalf of a client, Risk Focus used this capability to model control of a large, distributed network of independent edge sites that have unreliable connections to a central location. For this client, the edge locations are commercial ships and remote sites that may be out of touch for hours, days, or occasionally weeks. An added complexity is that the processing capacity of the edge site may be small. Self-healing is a must for these systems, so we’ve used a finite-state representation of the data center and hosted apps to achieve high levels of testability, reliability, and extensibility.

Learn how to:

  • Build an autonomous communications grid for ships, mine sites, and other distant locations
  • Combine salt with TICK to produce a robust self-healing system
  • Use Finite state models in Salt to create very testable, reliable systems


Peter (PCN) Norton, SolarWinds SRE


Invisible Reactive Infrastructure: Working Ourselves into the Job We Want

We all want to spend more time doing the aspects of the job we love and find most valuable and rewarding. In this session, we’ll cover how you can use automation to help get back to managing intentional changes you plan and control with less time focused on distracting, manual remediations.

Specifically, we’ll discuss:

  • How to remediate alerts from SolarWinds® AppOptics™ with SaltStack™
  • How to use Salt engines, runners, and states
  • How to gain confidence in your automation


Dave Boucha, Sr. Software Engineer | SaltStack Enterprise


Event-Driven Automation with SaltStack Reactor and Beacons

The Salt Reactor drives the autonomous application of SaltStack systems management jobs providing asynchronous, event-driven task execution.

Learn how:

  • The Salt Reactor can help deliver predictive orchestration for your infrastructure.
  • Salt Beacons can trigger powerful and intelligent automation via the Salt Reactor system.

Rockwell Collins

Ethan Moore, Systems Administrator


Automated Testing for SaltStack Environments

Learn how CI/CD methodologies around automated testing can be applied in a SaltStack environment to improve quality of states and reduce errors and issues (from catching simple syntax issues to execution module/state module changes between major Salt versions).

This talk covers:

  • Practical examples using pytest and kitchen-salt (test-kitchen) for automated testing.

SaltStack Enterprise

Taking the core functionality of the open project and combining it with the scale,
security, and support required to take enterprise IT automation to the next level.


Patrick Swartz, Solutions Engineer


Orchestrating Bare Metal with SaltStack and Open Source Technologies

Bare metal recovery, whether on physical or virtual machines is a challenge. It is even more difficult to maintain images while changes are continually happening. Using SaltStack States, Beacons and Reactors makes this process much easier to maintain. Using these orchestration abilities, along with other open source tools provides the ability to backup and recover, or duplicate a system using the most recent image and avoids rebuilding. This session will cover a real world example from a SaltStack & SUSE customer

Learn how to:

  • Use seemingly simple open source applications together to create a powerful recovery solution
  • Combine beacons and reactors to fully automate processes
  • Get creative with beacons


Gary Richmond, Senior Technical Product Manager


Event-Based Orchestration and Automation with SaltStack Enterprise

Learn how to leverage SaltStack Enterprise to invoke event-driven automation and orchestration for fully automated cloud provisioning and de-provisioning. Attend this course to learn insightful techniques for integrating this approach into a larger ITOps workflow.



Alex Peay, VP of Product


New SaltStack Enterprise Solutions and Near-Term Product Roadmap

Attend this session to learn about the latest SaltStack Enterprise products and solutions and to get a look at the near-term product roadmap. See what SaltStack is building for next-generation cloud management and learn how the SaltStack Enterprise API will deliver even more scalability, flexibility and security to the SaltStack Enterprise orchestration and automation platform. Attendees will learn how to get first access to SaltStack Enterprise beta product.

This session will include:

  • An in-depth review of the near-term product roadmap
  • Q&A with the SaltStack Enterprise product team



Gareth Greenaway, Sr. Software Engineer I
Paul Bailey, Sr. Software Engineer II


SaltStack Scheduler For Fun And For Profit

In this talk we’ll demo the SaltStack Scheduler and how it can be used in different scenarios. We’ll explore common use cases in addition to lesser know features of the Salt Scheduler. We’ll then show how all these scenarios can be applied in the SaltStack Enterprise web interface and Enterprise API.



Shane Lee, Sr. Software Engineer II
Rob Hilberding, Professionals Services Consultant
Dan Wozniak, Sr. Software Engineer I


How to manage Windows software with SaltStack

Leverage the power and speed of Salt and SaltStack Enterprise to manage software on Windows. Learn how to deploy anything, including custom in-house developed application for Windows.

Topics covered:

  • How to setup the win repo on the master
  • How to use the win repo to deploy software
  • How build your own software definition files


How SaltStack is helping companies turn their digital infrastructure into a digital fortress
with active auditing, vulnerability remediation, and compliance enforcement across the stack.

Origami Risk

David Christensen, Director of IT Operations


Securing Windows Infrastructure with SaltStack

Securing Windows infrastructure, especially deployed in the Cloud, is an extremely complex undertaking. Learn how we overcame the common challenges that plague vulnerability management—specifically Windows patching—with relative ease.

Learn how to:

  • Secure Windows infrastructure by automating vulnerability management
  • Use Windows Security with SaltStack at scale.


Justin McMillion, Chief Technology Officer
David Kleiner, Principal Systems Engineer


Salt-a-Mole: Auditing & Remediation for DISA STIG Compliance

This talk will review Sunayu’s use of SaltStack to meet the requirements of DISA Security Technical Implementation Guide for Red Hat-based Linux systems. In addition, we will demo the use of the custom module ‘salt-check’ as a method for compliance and auditing. After using salt to bring our minion into compliance with STIG 7, we will manually bring the minion out of compliance allowing salt-check to detect the out of specification control, report it, fix it, and then confirm that it has been fixed. Finally, we will release a small test environment that can be downloaded from gitlab so that people can experiment with Sunayu’s opensource STIGs and salt-check.


Equate Technologies

Colin Stubbs, Director


Salt for Multi-OS Security Hardening, PCI-DSS Compliance, and Reporting

Apply PCI-DSS requirements and CIS-based hardening guidelines to desktops and servers running a combination of Linux, MacOS, and Windows.

You’ll learn:

  • Why/how/challenges/gotchas from real world use cases
  • Multi-OS considerations and challenges


Alex Peay, VP of Product
Mehul Revankar, Sr. Product Manager, Security


A Sneak Peak @ SaltStack Security Operations—coming soon to a SaltStack install near you.

Helping organizations secure their infrastructure is major focus for SaltStack. In this session we will provide a sneak peek into our new solution announced during the keynote session.

This session will include:

  • A sneak peek in to the new solution
  • Roadmap for the solution
  • Q&A with Product Team


Mehul Revankar, Sr. Product Manager, Security


DevSecOps with SaltStack: For security, shift left not right

Not too long ago, software was developed and tested by developers in silos, handed off to the operations team for deployment, and—as an afterthought before going live—given to the security team for a quick assessment. In modern environments, that approach no longer works. Security is everyone’s responsibility, not just the SecOps team.

This talk covers:

  • Bring Dev, Sec, Ops teams together to form a powerful DevSecOps trifecta
  • Deliver a product that balances three different needs and yet serves a single goal of deploying a securely configured production application.

Tips, Tricks, & Best Practices

SaltStack power users dish the latest tips and tricks
to help you get more Salt in your diet.

Linux Academy

Elle Krout, DevOps Training Architect


Practical Practices for Everyday Salt

Salt is rarely used in a vacuum—and with others potentially seeing, using, and editing Salt files, you’ll need to learn how to implement best practices for your entire organization. Learn tips and tricks to enhance your everyday use of Salt. Examples will be provided in a Salt environment, not restricted to slides.


  • Practical tips and best practices for the everyday Salt user
  • How to write clear, modular, self-documenting sls files


Carson Anderson, Sr Cloud Architect


SaltStack Deconstructed

SaltStack is a flexible, extensible system. It can do anything! With all the new terms and concepts coming at you at once, it can be hard to understand how it all fits together. This session will guide you through the SaltStack architecture one layer at a time:

  • The Minion Layer – Learn why the minion, not the master, is the most important part of SaltStack.
  • The Master Layer – Learn what the master does, and more importantly, what it doesn’t do.
  • The Transport Layer – Finally understand exactly how the minion and master communicate and why you care.
  • The Scripts Layer – Get a grasp on all of the other salt commands and tools.
  • The Modules Layer – Dig into the meat of SaltStack and it’s many, many, many terms.


Drew Malone, Senior DevOps Engineer, Services


Off The Deep End: Using the Python API to smartly manage complex tasks.

Once you’ve written your Salt states to install, configure, and manage your hundreds-of-nodes cluster, you have the building blocks for fully automating difficult tasks—like conducting a zero-downtime rolling upgrade of a 200-node Elasticsearch cluster. We took our Salt states and used Salt’s Python API to write a script that handles boring things like patches & updates. But it also turned a task that kept us up until 2 in the morning into a simple “set it and forget it” job. It even works over salt-ssh!

We’ll go over:

  • The basics of the Python API
  • Show you what code is being fired when you run your command lines
  • Show you how you can use the job return data to make intelligent decisions in your code.

Outage window? What outage window?


14 West

Nick Garber, Sr. DevOps Engineer


Every Map is A Work in Progress: From bootstrap to principled design

SaltStack stands apart because it’s in a class all its own. Learn what this means and how to make it a strength. This talk will feature interwoven snippets of video as part of a technical demo sequence.

This talk covers:

  • System design ideas and examples
  • Why you should be paying attention to Principled Design


Jon Tegner, First Scientist


Use of Salt in a High Performance Computing Environment

This session will explore a specific strategy for targeting different computers in an environment adapted for work focused on HPC.

Systems in these environments typically contain:

  • Several different clusters
  • Different parallel file systems
  • Machines with lots of memory used for pre- and post processing
  • Work stations for people belonging to different groups.


Allia DeAngelis, Value Stream Architect | Enterprise Agile Coach


Translating Ops to Dev: Crossing the conversation chasm

The conversational chasm between development and operations is one of the SDLC transitions that a DevOps practice, supported by an automated pipeline, tries to overhaul—SaltStack helps bridge that divide. SaltStack is demonstrable in its benefit to the developer and delivery chain.

Learn how to:

  • Have easier deployments through better communication and greater agility.
  • Integrate Ops early in the process for better development.


Thomas Jackson, Principal Infrastructure Engineer


Operations at Scale

This ops-focused talk will cover operating large-scale systems, building operable systems, and a larger dissection of operations in general



Joseph Hall, Sr. Software Engineer II
Cody Crawford, Sales Engineer


SaltStack Configuration Management Best Practices

Hear recommendations on how to write Salt states for long-term maintainability and reusability. Review Salt State development and testing best practices. Discuss the Salt State compiler and how SaltStack configuration management works with state.orchestrate and the SaltStack Reactor.



Gary Richmond, Senior Technical Product Manager


Best Practices for Data Management in Salt States

Attend this course to learn best practices for creating SaltStack configuration states and explore techniques for leveraging arbitrary data in SaltStack configuration automation. Participants will learn powerful, time saving tips and tricks for managing data in Jinja templates.



Erik Johnson, Sr. Software Engineer II


Salt Debugging Best Practices

Whether you would like to get involved with the community and contribute to Salt, or you’re just looking to improve your process for developing custom modules, this talk will help you streamline the process and learn to debug effectively.

Topics include:

  • Using Docker to rapidly test code as you develop
  • Quickly find bugs using automated git bisects
  • Effective use of the pdb and pudb debuggers
  • Writing and debugging unit/integration tests

Emerging Technologies

 Innovative companies are using SaltStack to harness
the hottest new technologies and deliver real business value.

IBM Cloud, Cisco

Nathan Newton, Network Developer – IBM Cloud
Mike Wiebe, Technical Leader, Engineering – Cisco
Gerard Sheehan, Product Manager – Cisco


Network Device Management with SaltStack Proxy Minions and NAPALM at Scale

SaltStack has the ability to control devices on which administrators cannot install a traditional Salt Minion. Processes that manage these connections are called Salt Proxy Minions.

The team at IBM Cloud that manages the physical network selected Salt Proxy Minions and NAPALM to increase operational efficiency, enhance visibility into current state, and streamline deployment of new infrastructure.

Cisco, being a primary networking vendor for IBM, has recognized the value created by this approach and is actively working to provide native support for the capabilities provided by SaltStack.


Carnegie Mellon University

Doug Reynolds, Software Engineer | Software Engineering Institute


Provisioning and Deployment in a Disconnected IoT World

DevOps automation is the best way to provision embedded or IoT devices living in segregated network spaces. In this session, the audience will get a peek of how SaltStack can be used to automate provisioning and software deployment on embedded devices that live off of the grid.

Learn how:

  • Provision embedded or IoT devices in segregated network spaces
  • Automate provisioning and software deployment


Lindsay Salisbury, Production Engineer


Container Runtimes @Scale With a Pinch of Salt

This is a talk about how Facebook runs Containers with Systemd (both on host and in the container), how we use btrfs, and how we build them. I will include in this talk specific examples of how Salt could be used in our Runtime model and how others might build on top of our approach.


  • How Facebook uses btrfs and how they build them.

eBay Classifieds Group

Rick Rackow, Site Reliability Engineer


A Fully Containerised Platform Based on Infrastructure as Code.

During the past year, the Site Operations organization has put a massive effort into moving from locally managed infrastructure to the private cloud. This has been more or less of an effort for different platforms, depending on what the basis was, as some platforms used to run everything on bare metal servers and others like eBay Kleinanzeigen and were already virtualized to a large extent.



Giancarlo Fanelli, CTO


SaltStack Addict: A way to provision thousands of IoT devices

Domotz discovered they could use SaltStack to define everything on their AWS cloud, from networks to server firewalls. Learn about their provisioning channel, based on SaltStack, that is still alive and serving around 20,000 IoT devices.

Learn how to:

  • Manage the provisioning of thousands of IoT devices through SaltStack
  • Increase efficiency through SaltStack implementation at all levels


Chris Reed, DevOps Engineer


Wrangling Containers with SaltStack and Rancher Using Custom Modules

Learn how to manage two different DevOps environments and tools (Salt and Rancher) while keeping data in sync, automated, and concise. Learn the benefits of creating custom Salt modules to leverage data and variables already existing in Salt Pillars and deploy containers using rancher orchestration to three development environments (lab, staging, and production).

Learn how to:

  • Leverage Salt Pillar data and variables
  • Bridge operational gaps using custom Salt modules

Salted Systems

Seasoned IT pros share how they’re using core Salt capabilities like configuration
management, orchestration, and remote execution to deliver business value at scale.

Barrick Gold

Pete Woods, Enterprise Systems Engineer


Salting Pre-Existing Globally Distributed Infrastructure

What happens when you start salting globally distributed servers? Find out how Salt Open can be used to centrally manage, configure, and secure over 400 servers providing global and site services.

Learn about:

  • Using Salt to centrally manage, configure, and secure servers
  • Managing Minions based on location, application environment, and role.


Yagnik Khanna, Principal Architect


Harvesting Salt: Taking SaltStack to Production

Saltstack, like any other piece of code, needs to be written and managed, but it is important to think about how all the pieces of Salt come together for your infrastructure, from testing to managing code to making it production grade.

This session will cover:

  • Getting Salt production ready
  • Code organization
  • Auto-building database clusters


Andrew Dampf, Network Engineer


Salt for Network Engineers

Learn how Linode leverages Salt in the networking world. Investigate challenges faced, such as getting team members unfamiliar with the DevOps world to use Salt and minimizing the learning curve for new team members.

Learn how to:

  • Integrate Salt with ChatOps
  • Query Mine about networking info directly from Slack
  • Use the event bus to make configuration changes to routers


Jacob Weinstock, DevOps Engineer


Salt Cloud in Kubernetes for Self-Service VM Provisioning

Learn how NetApp leveraged the power of Salt Cloud to enable internal engineers the ability to provision VMs in minutes through a low learning curve and well-known interface: a restful API.


Sauce Labs

Tyler Christiansen, Network Architect


Building a Test-Driven Network Infrastructure

Tyler Christiansen will show how open source tools can be used to build test-driven network infrastructure pipelines with environment promotion using fundamental tools such as git and Python as well as popular projects like Vagrant and SaltStack. SaltStack’s power and flexibility, as well as its ease of use and extensibility, make it a key component for ongoing operations and maintenance.



Gerben Wubs, Linux Engineer


Migrate and Manage Compute Workloads Using Salt Cloud

Learn about migrating current workloads from their current managed virtualization solution to Google’s Cloud Platform using Salt Cloud.

Learn how to:

  • Create Salt Cloud providers first and then define default settings in cloud-profiles per project, per operating system, for Linux and Windows.
  • Setup Salt Cloud map files per application stack to create the necessary instances in each project and override defaults where applicable.


Tyler Stachecki, Site Reliability Engineer


Bare-Metal Server Discovery with Salt Proxy Minions

SaltStack is well-equipped to provision virtual machines by means of Salt Cloud, but what about physical machines? At Bloomberg, we leverage Salt Proxy Minions to take bare-metal server discovery to the next level: automating everything from hardware and firmware configuration to validation of physical network connectivity and bare-metal server discovery.

Learn how to:

  • Overcome the challenges of supporting multiple vendors, platforms, and internal teams in a fast-paced, dynamic environment with stringent requirements.


Thomas Lefebvre, Site Reliability Engineer


Scaling Cloudflare’s Salt infrastructure across the globe

From a single central Salt master to hundreds distributed around the world: an overview on how Cloudflare uses Salt and how it is deployed to support the constantly growing infrastructure.


Mary Kay

Scott Croom, Technical Architect


Extending your SaltStack installation with AWS Services

AWS provides numerous services that complement SaltStack very well. This session will go through different AWS services and how you can empower your SaltStack installation to provide it with amazing new capabilities. Architecture diagrams and demos will be provided.

Learn how to:

  • Create a custom pillar, engines, grains, and sdb modules from AWS services
  • Apply best practices on integrating with AWS from SaltStack
  • Use Lambda for Event Driven Automation