Dell launches Debian-based Open Networking OS

February 8, 2016

A couple weeks ago when Silicon Valley-based Darius Goodall and Cliff Wichmann made the pilgrimage out to Austin I grabbed some time with them to learn about the recently announced OS 10.  Darius heads up the DevOps and tech partner ecosystem in Dell’s networking group while Cliff is the software architect for OS 10.

Take a listen as they take us through the new OS and where it’s going.

OS10 overview

Some of the ground Darius and Cliff cover

  • A couple of years ago Dell disaggregated the  switch hardware from the software and now we’re disaggregating the SW
  • Think of the switch itself as a Debian-based server with a bunch of ethernet ports
  •  It will allow you to orchestrate, automate and integrate Linux-based apps into your switching environment
  • Timeline: Base version coming out in March – a DevOps friendly server environment
  • Timeline: In June/July the premium applications will be released which will be the switching packages to use on top of the Linux base+ a fancy routing suite (if you want to get going before hand you can use Quagga on top of the base)
  • CPS: programatic interface we’ve added into the base in order to enable developers

Extra-credit reading

  • Dell serves up its own disaggregated OS – NetworkWorld
  • Dell drops next network OS on the waiting world – The Register
  • Dell’s OS10 aims to open up networks, then whole data centers – PCWorld,

Pau for now…


Working on Triton in the lab, what’s on the horizon

January 27, 2016

As we’ve talked about before, a few of us in Dell’s CTO group have recently been working with our friends at Joyent.   This effort is a part of the consideration of platforms capable of intelligently deploying workloads to all major infrastructure flavors – bare-metal, virtual machine, and container.

Today’s post on this topic comes to us complements of Glen Campbell — no, not that one, this one:

Glen has recently come from the field to join our merry band in the Office of the CTO.  He will be a part of the Open Source Cloud team looking at viable upstream OSS technologies across infrastructure, OS, applications, and operations.

Here is what Glen had to say:

What’s a Triton?

Joyent’s Triton Elastic Container Infrastructure, a Private Cloud variant of the Joyent Elastic Container Service PublicTriton slide

Cloud, allows customers to take advantage of the technologies and scale Joyent leverages in their Public Cloud.

On the Triton Elastic Container Infrastructure (which I’ll call “Triton” from now on) bare-metal workloads are intelligently sequestered via the use of the “Zones” capabilities of SmartOS.   Virtual machines are deployed via the leveraged KVM hypervisor in SmartOS, and Docker containers are deployed via the Docker Remote API Implementation for Triton and the use of the Docker or Docker Compose CLIs.

What’s the Dell/Joyent team doing?

As part of interacting with Triton we are working to deploy a Dell application, our Active System Manager (ASM), as a series of connected containers.

The work with Triton will encompass both Administrative and Operative efforts:

Administrative

  • Investigate user password-based authentication via LDAP/Active Directory
    • in conjunction with SSH key-based authentication for CLI work

Operative

  • Use of:
    • Admin web UI and User Portal to deploy single/multi-tier applications
    • Joyent Smart Data Center (SDC) node.js client to deploy from remote CLI
      • Newer Triton node client to see next-gen of “sdc-X” tools
  • Docker Compose
    • build a multi-tier Docker application via Docker Compose, deploy on Triton via its Docker Remote API endpoint
  • Triton Trident…
    • deploy a 3-tier application composed of:
      • Zone-controlled bare-metal tier (db – MySQL)
      • Docker-controlled container tier (app – Tomcat)
      • VM-based tier (presentation – nginx)
    • Dell Active System Manager — a work in progress
      • aligning with Dell’s internal development and product group to establish a container architecture for the application

Stay tuned

Our test environment has been created and the Triton platform has been deployed.  Follow-on blog posts will cover basic architecture of the environment and the work to accomplish the Admin and Ops tasks above.  Stay tuned!

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


Mark Shuttleworth talks 16.04 LTS, Snaps & Charms

January 26, 2016

Last week I flew out to sunny California to participate in SCaLE 14x and the UbuCon summit.  As the name implies this was the 14th annual SCaLE (Southern California Linux Expo) and, as always, it didn’t disappoint.  Within SCaLE was the UbuCon summit which focused on what’s going on within the Ubuntu community and how to better the community.

While there I got to deliver a talk on Project Spuntik The Sputnik story: innovation at a large company, I also got to hang out with some of the key folks within the Ubuntu and Linux communities.  One such person is Mark Shuttleworth, Ubuntu and Canonical founder.  I grabbed some time with Mark between sessions and got to learn about the upcoming 16.04 LTS release (aka Xenial Xerus) due out on April 21st.

Take a gander:

Some of the ground Mark covers

The big stories for 16.04 LTS

  • LXD — ultralight VMs that operate like containers and give you the ability to run 100s of VMs on a laptop.   Mark’s belief is that this will fundamentally change the way people use their laptops to do distributed development for the cloud.
  • Snappy — a very tight packaging format, for Ubuntu desktop and server distros.  It provides a much better way of sharing packages than PPAs and Snaps provide a cleaner, faster way of creating packages.

Juju and charms

  • Where do Juju charms and snappy intersect? (hint: They’re orthogonal but work well together, charms can use snaps)

OS and services

  • The idea is to have the operating system fade into the background so that users can focus instead on services in the cloud eg “give me this service in the cloud” (which juju will allow) or “deliver this set of bits to a whole set of machines ala snappy”

Pau for now…


Installation details for Joyent’s Triton — Dell CTO lab

January 20, 2016

Here is our third and final post walking through the setting up of the Joyent Triton platform in the Dell CTO lab.  In the first post, Don Walker of the CTO office gave an overview of what we were doing and why.  The second laid out the actual components and configuration of the platform.

Today’s video is a walk-through of the installation process where Don shares his experience in setting up the Triton Platform.

When we pick this series up again it will focus on containerizing Dell’s Active System Manager and then loading it on Triton.  Not sure how long this work will take so stay tuned!

Some of the ground Don covers:

  • Before installing Triton, you need networking set up and working.  Don double clicks on the network configuration and what we did to make sure it was working.
  • Step one in installing Triton, is to create a bootable USB key and install the head node.  There is a scripted set up which is dead simple. Lays down SmartOS and Triton services
  • Compute node install is also scripted which contains a lot of the info you entered during the head node configuration.  After this you run acceptance tests
  • Great support from Joyent with a couple of small issues we had
    • Unacceptable character in pswd. This info was fed back to the devs and is now fixed.
    • We forgot to disable the SATA port and kept getting error messages. Once we disabled it, it worked.
  • Reference: Installing Triton Elastic Container Infrastructure — Joyent website

Extra credit reading

Pau for now…


The platform supporting Joyent’s Triton — Dell CTO lab

January 19, 2016

Continuing from the previous post, here is a more detailed explanation of the Joyent Triton platform we set up in the CTO lab.  Triton is Joyent’s elastic container infrastructure that runs on their cloud, a private cloud or both.

The idea behind setting up this instance is, working with Joyent, to learn about the platform.  The next step is to work with the Dell Active System Manager (ASM) team to decompose ASM into microservices and then run it on the Triton platform.

Take a listen as Don walks through the actual layout of the instance.

Some of the ground Don covers

  • Our minimalist set-up featuring two Dell R730 servers (the schematic only shows one for simplicity. An R730 contains two 520s).  Don explains how they are configured and how ZFS affects the set up.
  • The two Dell Force 10 S6000 switches.
  • A double-click on the networking set up
  • The roles the compute and head nodes (the head node acts as the admin into the system).
  • Reference: Installing Triton Elastic Container Infrastructure — Joyent website

Extra credit reading

Pau for now…


Intro: Setting up Joyent’s Triton in Dell’s CTO lab

January 18, 2016

A while back I tweeted how we had begun setting up a mini-instance of Joyent’s Triton in our Dell CTO lab.  Triton is Joyent’s elastic container infrastructure that runs on their cloud, a private cloud or both.  This cloud platform includes OS and machine virtualization (e.g. Docker with regards to the former and typical VMs under KVM for the latter).

About a week ago we got the platform set up about and I grabbed sometime with Don Walker of Dell’s enterprise CTO office to tell us about it.

In this first of three videos, Don gives an overview of the work Dell is doing with Joyent.  He describes what we’ve set up in the lab and talks about where we hope to take it.

Some of the ground Don covers

  • Don’s focus on Open Source Cloud eg Open Stack, containers, cloud networking and storage solutions
  • What the enterprise CTO office does
  • What we’re doing with Joyent: evaluating Triton and the process of taking existing products and put them into microservices and containers.
  • Looking at Dell’s ASM (Active System Manager) and what it means to refactor for microservices and containers
  • Overview of what was set up in the lab: a minimalist 2 node instance consisting of head and compute nodes.

Extra credit reading

Pau for now…


On beyond Crowbar: RackN and Digital Rebar

January 11, 2016

Last, but not least in my KubeCon video-palooza series is an interview with RackN founder, Rob Hirschfeld.  Rob talks about their offering Digital Rebar and how it addresses composable operations.

Some of the ground Rob covers

  • How he’s taking what he did at Dell (Crowbar) and taking it beyond physical provisioning and automation.
  • V3 is now called DigitalRebar Composable operations – the company name is RackN
  • Allows you to build up a “ready state” on the infrastructure and then can bring in Ceph or Kubernetes, OpenStack, Mesoshpere…
  • What companies they’re working with and where they seem themselves going – composable operations and addressing the “fidelity gap” – taking the same work from start to scale and addressing the deployment hassles

Extra-credit reading

 

Pau for now..

 


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