Author Archives: ke4qqq

Virtualized CloudStack development environment

Hot off the mailing lists, there is a new disk image, designed to be run in VirtualBox, that provides a complete working Apache CloudStack (incubating) instance, along with a in-house hypervisor. Edison Su, one of the CloudStack developers, built this Ubuntu-based image to make things pretty simple to stand up a development environment.

Historically, the problem with developing for CloudStack was that it was easy to stand up the management server pieces on your local machine for testing, but you still needed a hypervisor (and potentially a network). You could condense all of that down and make it a single machine with KVM, but it’s still likely going to be a different machine than your personal desktop/laptop simply due to the invasiveness of the networking changes necessary for doing so.

This also has a added bonus of giving people a relatively completely setup environment to work with, with precious little extra effort.

But given my traditional blog audience, I know there will be several questions:

Why an Ubuntu-based image? Primarily because Ubuntu has Xen+XAPI (aka Kronos) support, which is effectively a XCP or XenServer in CloudStack’s eyes. While Fedora has Xen support it doesn’t yet have all of the XAPI bits (it’s something else that’s on my terribly long todo list)

Why Xen+XAPI instead of KVM? So Xen (regardless of XAPI) can provide para-virtualization in addition to hardware virtualization, while KVM is hardware virtualization only. While some hypervisors (KVM included) can perform nested hardware virtualization, PV still tends to be a bit more performant.

And an obligatory disclaimer – this obviously isn’t an official release of any kind, just an additional tool to help people hack on Apache CloudStack (incubating).

Get the image at:

Read the documentation at:


CloudStack, FOSDEM, and other uncategorized things

I haven’t done a great job blogging since FUDcon, so this omnibus blog post should hopefully get things up to date at least.

First, I am in Brussels for FOSDEM this weekend. I know there are tons of Fedora friends in EMEA that I have only corresponded with via IRC and email, so if you are FOSDEM, I hope to meet you in person.

Of course FOSDEM is later this week, and I traveled to Brussels yesterday – and not just so I can be a tourist. Kris Buytaert (of DevOps, and Everything is a Freaking DNS problem fame) is helping CloudStack host a Build an Open Source Cloud – Day in Antwerp on Friday, the day before FOSDEM starts. We have folks speaking from Puppetlabs, Xen, Zenoss, and of course CloudStack) There are still a few seats available, so if you are around, feel free to join us.

I’ve been incredibly busy with a number of things in CloudStack-world – we are drawing closer and closer to our 3.0 release, and just kicked out our 3rd beta release – (see the announcement here). This release is pretty transformative – a completely reworked UI that is simply gorgeous, and appears a lot more intuitive. Additionally we added a ton of security enhancements, provide for storing templates and snapshots in object storage (things like Swift, GlusterFS, and Caringo), dramatically increased our Networking-as-a-Service offerings, VM Storage migration (we already support live migration within a cluster of hypervisors, but this allows us to escape the cluster level and move VMs to different storage pools. I am getting pretty excited about this.

At the same time, Eric Christensen have been working on getting the final pieces of CloudStack packaging done for Fedora- and hope to have this done in the next week or so.

Lots of other things going on- but I just realized it’s 3:12am here – so I suppose I’ll stop writing and get some sleep before it’s time to eat breakfast.

Board member goals

I posted this to the advisory-board list, but want to have this here for additional visibility

Here is what I am passionate about working on in Fedora:

The cloud.

I apologize for using a buzzword in a serious task, but I see cloud-y things becoming far more important in the free software landscape and in technology in general. In many ways it parallels the goals (albeit in different ways) free software aspires to in empowering a user, by offering on-demand self-service access to resources. I also fear what happens if free software doesn’t continue to play a leading role here, and particularly if Fedora doesn’t continue to participate.

Thusly, my goals are:
* Ensure that the major IaaS providers make Fedora available as a deployable option.
* Ensure that the major open source IaaS and PaaS platforms are packaged and available in Fedora.
* Ensure that the surrounding ecosystem is also available in Fedora, be it the API abstraction tools like jclouds and fog, or provisioning tools like puppet cloud provisioner, knife, and Boxgrinder are in Fedora and available for people to use Fedora in cloud-building activities.

In addition to this main goal I have a couple goals regarding the governance within Fedora:

* Make sure the board remains responsive and accountable – often times people are hindered from getting things done by our slow response – and I hope a more fervent attention to trac and those pressing matters makes us more responsible and accountable.

As a corollary to that I have the following goal:

* Make sure the board stays out of micromanaging those who are doing work within Fedora. I firmly believe that the government that governs least governs best, and while I don’t want a disengaged board, I do want a board that doesn’t have to bless or anoint every action within Fedora. Fedora is a community of doers, and with a few special exceptions (trademark and other legals areas jump to mind) they should always feel empowered to get things done, and not need excessive amounts of permission.

Are you an open source build engineer?

CloudStack, the fabulous open source IaaS platform,  is looking for an build engineer (core competencies would be things like ant, rpm, debs, Jenkins, experience with continuous integration in general). It’d also be nice if you knew a thing or two about open source. If you are interested, don’t hesitate to reach out david – at – cloudstack -dot -org.


FUDcon day 2 and 3

Saturday at FUDcon began with BarCamp pitches, followed by the BarCamp sessions themselves along with the workshop sessions running in parallel. Lots of awesome content made decisions on what to attend difficult. There seemed to be a ton of cloud-related stuff going on, and most of which concentrated in a single room. I pitched and was able to give a session about CloudStack – and in particular on getting it into Fedora. As evening (and FUDpub) approached things started to wind down.

FUDpub’s venue was quite nice, with TVs (for those wishing to watch the game) multiple bowling lanes, and plenty of pool tables. Plenty of food to be had. And much fun abounded.

Sunday had a slower start for me, with an early non-Fedora meeting taking place, but once  I made it over to McBryde hall there were very clearly still lots of work taking place. As normally happens on the last day of FUDcon – the crowd started thinning out after mid-day. The board had a massive session that lasted about 3 hours, and covered both business and some discussion around monies and intra-project collaboration.And thus this FUDcon drew to a close for me.

I personally find that FUDcon is great for ‘recharging’ my interest in and commitment to Fedora, and getting to meet folks I’ve previously only dealt with via IRC or mailing lists helps build relationships.

Thanks to Ben, Cathy, and Jamie for doing the tons of work necessary for pulling off a FUDcon, and to Virginia Tech for hosting us.

FUDcon Blacksburg

FUDcon never ceases to amaze me. I am fortunate (or cursed, depending on your perspective I suppose) to be able to attend lots of free software and sysadmin conferences. However, FUDcon is always unique – the people who attend are focused on getting things done, and are generally interested in helping others to get things done as well.

I started a bit late in the morning for my arrival – the winds of Appalachia emphasizing the coolness. A number of folks camped out in an empty classroom (dubbed the Nothing Room) and started working on various things. I had a chance to meet Marek Goldmann (mgoldmann) of Boxgrinder fame, who I’ve conversed with a number of times, but never met in person. Marek, Andy Grimm (mull), Bob McWhirter, and I talked about some of the struggles and challenges with getting Java-based software into Fedora – and the differences between the Java development and distro-packaging worlds.

While I was there, I was working on getting a new version of ceph packaged – and Jon Stanley (jds2001) spent some time helping me get it to build.

Lunch time rolled around and then the spins process session from Cristoph Wickert (cwickert) started and we spent some time discussing process, dates, etc.

Following that I stopped in on Mo Morsi’s (mmorsi) Aeolus/Snap session before heading to the Board Meeting at FUDcon.

One of the things that was asked was how were the goals we had set earlier in 2011 – and did we accomplish anything, and how had the board performed. One of the things that came out of this (and for which I am one of the folks at fault) is that while we had identified good strategic goals – as a board overall we had failed to champion any of them, failed to work towards getting some of the tactical actions accomplished for those goals. We talked about how, in volunteer organizations, there’s no ability to ‘direct resources’ – but instead only the ability to inspire, and excite others, and that as a board we had done a poor job of that. Out of that we agreed that in Fedora, things happen by doing, specifically leading happens by getting things done, and hopefully getting others excited in the process. We, as a Board, agreed that we needed to individually adopt some of the tactical actions aimed at furthering the strategic goals, champion those tasks, and hopefully excite others in the process. We agreed to report our individual ‘tasks’ no later than Feb 1, and to provide regular timely updates.

I hope that the preceeding paragraph doesn’t strike folks as being doom and gloom – while I tend to think that as a board we could have executed better, I am also thrilled that we had the chance to sit down, converse, acknowledge, and hopefully begin addressing the problem.

Of course 5pm doesn’t mean FUDcon stops, lots of sessions kept making progress, lots of hallway track session in the hotel lobby, and groups going off for dinner, followed by more hacking in the lobby. An awesome day at FUDcon, nice seeing Fedora friends, and meeting those I’ve only conversed with on mailing lists and IRC. Can’t wait for tomorrow.

More F/LOSSy goodness from CloudStack

Wow it’s been a long time since I’ve posted on my personal blog. $dayjob has been keeping me pretty busy, though it’s been a lot of fun in the process.

A number of interesting things have been going on in the CloudStack world. The biggest news has been that we recently moved all of CloudStack’s proprietary code to the GPLv3+. The things we had historically kept in proprietary include:

  • VMware support
  • OracleVM support
  • Support for managing physical network hardware (i.e. Juniper firewalls, F5 Loadbalancers, etc)
  • Support for managing external storage devices (i.e. NetApp filers)
  • Baremetal support (this manages physical hosts via IPMI within CloudStack with the idea of handling workloads that are better handled by physical hardware as opposed to virtual machines, Baremetal supports dynamically powering machines on, provisioning OS and software and when done, powering the machine off)

CloudStack has undergone a lot of change in itself. For instance, some of our users were running into performance issues when they hit several thousand physical compute nodes.  A lot of performance tuning later, we have CloudStack able to scale to managing 20,000 physical compute nodes. That’s an awfully big cloud-in-a-closet.

On a slightly related note, I am headed later today to the Mil-OSS conference in Atlanta, which should be fun, I’ve heard great things about the conference, but never had a chance to attend, so I am pretty excited.