5 Questions with PuppetConf Speaker, Iko Saadhoff

We’re pleased to bring you another interview with a PuppetConf speaker. Today we’re talking with Iko Saadhoff, IT architect at KPN. Iko describes his session, Get Puppet Enterprise into Your Company, and shares how automation is as much a mindset as it is a technical requirement.

Session: Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2:00 p.m.
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1. Describe your job in 20 words or less.

I am an innovation architect at KPN, responsible for cloud and automation.

2. What kinds of projects and challenges do you tackle at work, and what do you find most rewarding?

I am responsible for making the company and its services more efficient. My main focus is on time-to-value and time-to-market of our services and products.

To achieve this, I need to automate our datacenters and design, build and deliver a private and public cloud. The biggest challenge is not the technical part, but rather, transforming our processes and the organization from a traditional enterprise organization to an innovative organization. This needs to be done so the technical solutions can be managed and improved over time.

It’s rewarding to see an engineer smile when involved in the whole process from beginning to end. I am just an architect who is a facilitator for the engineers; I need to make sure that they can do their jobs in the best way possible.

3. Tell us a bit about your PuppetConf talk and what participants can expect to learn and think about.

I will talk about why we use Puppet Enterprise at KPN, and how I championed its use within the company. I will explain why automation is needed and, more importantly, what a company needs to do to make a product like Puppet Enterprise successful.

I think it’s really important that Puppet is not only pushed from a technical perspective — it also requires mindset changes of engineers, organizational changes, process changes, etc.

In addition, I will explain the benefits from a business perspective. I hope that engineers who attend the session can explain to their managers that the world is changing and why a product like Puppet Enterprise is needed.

4. When did you first learn about Puppet, and how do you use Puppet?

I started with Puppet four years ago after I’d been working with CFengine for some time. When I started at KPN, I needed a product that would be easy for engineers to pick up. We use Puppet Enterprise to manage 4000+ servers within our datacenter, and it’s still increasing. With Puppet Enterprise, we automate standard sysadmin tasks, compliancy, hardening and auditing, prevent configuration drift, deploy applications and more.

5. What’s your favorite part of PuppetConf?

I enjoy mingling with the crowd, participating in informal talks. I want to learn, and for me that means talking to people and especially listening. Everybody has something useful to share, and everybody approaches things in a different way. I like to be challenged, and PuppetConf offers all kinds of different people but with similar professional goals who value IT automation.


*Iko Saadhoff is an IT architect at KPN, responsible for innovation with the company. One of Iko’s primary goals is automating every part of the company’s IT infrastructure.*

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