Hot Potato

C3 | Wed 23 Jan | 11:35 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

Presented by

  • James Forman

    James is a Linux Sysadmin at Catalyst IT in Wellington where he works on building things that can survive earthquakes. He has obsessions with monitoring, automation, backups and making sure people don’t get woken up. James is a maintainer of New Zealand’s Free Software Mirror Group.

  • Callum Dickinson

    Callum is a Network and Systems Administrator at Catalyst in Wellington. He primarily works to make sure the rest of Catalyst's operations people can put out fires without getting frustrated at the tools they use to do it, by developing software which make this possible. Callum is also a Research Assistant at Victoria University of Wellington, helping out with research on Software Defined Networking (SDN).


Hot Potato is a message broker for monitoring systems. It sits in between monitoring systems and messaging providers to ensure consistent relaying of messages to on-call staff. Hot Potato was designed and developed in New Zealand to survive the harshest worst-case scenarios a selection of difficult sysadmins could come up with. The project has proven itself to be easy to maintain, scale and unobtrusive so your on-call staff can get back to sleep easier. Using Hot Potato won't require you to change your processes, ticketing system, rotations, providers or upset your on-call people. This talk will cover what Hot Potato is, where it fits, how it works, how we got here and what we have been doing to make our on-call staff happier. The goal of the Hot Potato project is to give on-call people control and freedom while giving your notifications every chance of arriving when you need them, through any provider or connection you might have. Linux Australia: YouTube: