I discussed how I was working on building an Ansible training environment on FreeBSD recently, and the system was put to use this week. Ten participants who ran redesigned lab exercises on the machines, didn’t once complain that anything was too slow (as they previously had on occasion when using the old VirtualBox installation). I am tickled pink.

plot of vmstat during labs

I confess I was a bit concerned how snappy the 16GB T430 Thinkpad would be on running “heavyweight” Ansible on Python at 30 jails, but I needn’t have been. While students were running their labs I occasionally ran a playbook of my own and didn’t notice any lag.

I had vmstat(8) running the whole time and later chopped off thousands of lines containing an idle time of 99 or 100, and created the plot to visualize the data which shows only the periods when people were actually working.

vmstat 5 | tee -a vmstat.txt
...
grep -v r vmstat.txt |
    awk '{ if ($NF < 99 ) { print; }}' > vmstat.data

I couldn’t resist asking when the training was finished, whether students would mind commenting on the setup. They looked at me a bit curiously, and when I told them they’d all been working together on one laptop, I saw the odd jaw open. All in all, only positive comments on the setup.

freebsd, ansible, and training :: 20 Feb 2020 :: e-mail