Talking SwiftStack with Founder and CEO Joe Arnold

November 11, 2013

At Venture Beat’s CloudBeat I moderated two panels, the first was with PayPal and Puppet Labs and the second was with Disney, CloudStack and SwiftStack.

After the Disney panel I grabbed some time with SwiftStack’s CEO and Founder Joe Arnold.  SwiftStack is based on the OpenStack storage project, Swift, and helps operations teams implement and manage an easy-to-use, multi-tenant and highly scalable private cloud storage platform.

Take a listen to what Joe has to say:

Some of the ground Joe covers

  • [0:20]  What is SwiftStack?
  • [0:56]  Where did Joe get the idea for SwiftStack
  • [2:15]  What additional pieces does Swift Stack add to OpenStack’s Swift project?
  • [3:26]  What is coming down the pipe? (Spoiler alert, it has to do with Erasure coding and Storage policy)

Extra-credit reading

  • Full Support for Global Clusters Now Available in OpenStack Object Storage – Syscon media
  • OpenStack Object Storage (“Swift”) – Wiki

Pau for now…


Project Sputnik now comes with 3 month free trial on Joyent cloud

July 23, 2013

Joyent logoAs of today we are making available three months of free use of the Joyent Cloud to owners of the XPS 13 developer edition.

The idea behind Project Sputnik, has always been to provide a client-to-cloud platform for developers and today we are offering access to the Joyent Cloud to complete the solution.

What you get and how you get it

With the trial you get either two g3-standard-0.625-kvm instances running Ubuntu for 3 months or one g3-standard-1.75-kvm instance running Ubuntu for 3 months.

We will be setting up a landing page in the next day or two provide elegant access to the Joyent Cloud but for those who want to get started right away you can simply follow the “How do I get Started” instructions below.  We are kicking this off to begin with with 500 free accounts, first come first served.

3 components wJoyentProfile Tool and Cloud Launcher

Also available now are the Project Sputnik Cloud Launcher and profile tool.   The profile tool is designed to provide access to a library of community-created profiles, and to configure and quickly set up development environments and tool chains.  Today we have three sample profiles available: Emacs, Ruby and JavaScript.  Documentation on how to create a profile will be coming soon so stay tuned.

The cloud launcher creates a seamless link from the client to the cloud, to facilitate ongoing development of application environments.  There is a Juju version of the launcher that currently comes with Sputnik and today we are announcing a version that Opscode has developed which uses spiceweasel as its underlying library.  You can check out a demo of it here.  We are also working to connect the chef version of the cloud launcher to the Joyent trial, more to come on that soon.

But wait, there’s more

In related Dell Open Source news we’ve got a whole lot of momentum going on.  You can check out all the news in today’s press release but here are the highlights:

Dell OpenStack-Powered Cloud Solution

Now available with: OpenStack Grizzly support, support for Dell Multi-Cloud Manager (formerly Enstratius), and extended reference architecture support, including the Dell PowerEdge C8000

Dell Cloud Transformation Services

The new consulting services provide assistance with assessing, building, operating and running cloud environments, and enable and accelerate enterprise OpenStack adoption.

Dell Cloudera Hadoop Solution

Now supports the newest version of Cloudera Enterprise. Updates allow customers to perform real-time SQL interactive queries and Hadoop-based batch processing, simplifying the process of querying data in Hadoop environments.

Intel Distribution for Apache Hadoop

Dell has tested and certified the Intel Distribution for Apache Hadoop on Dell PowerEdge servers. Additionally Dell Solution Centers validated the reference architecture and developed a technical whitepaper that simplifies the deployment of Intel Distribution on the Dell platform

 Crowbar

Dell has released RAID and BIOS configuration capabilities to the Crowbar open source community.  SUSE has integrated Crowbar functionality as part of SUSE Cloud to make OpenStack-based private cloud deployments seamless.

Dasein open source project

Dell confirmed its commitment to further develop and support the Dasein open source project, as pioneered by recently acquired Enstratius.

Phew, a whole lot of shaking going on! :-)

===========================================

How do I get Started with Joyent Cloud trial

Step 1:

Open a terminal window press Ctrl + Alt +T

1.1. $ wget https://us-east.manta.joyent.com/jens/public/sputnik.tar

1.2. $ sudo tar -C / -xvf sputnik.tar

Step 2:

Find and run the “Install Joyent Public Could” in the launcher.

Look for the big Joyent LOGO.

Step 3:

Signup for a free trial account on the Joyent Public Cloud.

Open Firefox, goto http://www.joyent.com

Step 4:

Back in the terminal window, type the following command:

$ /usr/share/applications/joyentInstaller.sh

Step 5:

5.1. $ wget -O key-generator.sh https://us-east.manta.joyent.com/jens/public/key-generator.sh

5.2. $ chmod 755 key-generator.sh

5.3. $ ./key-generator.sh (enter you username and password for the jpc)

To source your new environment variables run the following commands

5.4. source ~/.bash_profile

Step 6:

6.1   To Confirm that the Joyent cloud SDK is installed:   $ sdc-listdatacenters

6.2   To confirm that the Joyent Manta SDK is installed:   $ mls /manta/public/sdks

How do I provision a new instance?

Sign in to the Joyent portal and click the  in the upper right portion of the screen. Once you’re there, the tool will walk you through the choice of datacenters, images, and instance types and sizes. You’ll have a chance to review the hourly and monthly cost of the instance, and provide a memorable name for the instance. Once you’ve decided on the type of instance that fits your project, click the  button and the system will ask to confirm your request. The provisioning will start immediately, but may take a few seconds to complete. Clicking on the new named instance will show its assigned public IP address when provisioning is complete. You may SSH into the instance with ssh -l root <ip address>.

How do I stop, resize or reboot instances?

Shutting down, resizing or rebooting your instance can all be executed through the customer portal of Joyent. In addition, we’ve provided a script you can use to perform these steps within your instance.

How do I install software on my instance?

To install or update software on your instance, you’ll need to run commands as either the administrative or root user of your instance. For tips on how to run commands and installation processes, check out the pages on how to install software on your instance.

How do I secure my instance?

Joyent take cloud security very seriously and we have refined many processes to reduce risk and preserve the integrity of data managed in your instance. For a full list of security checks and processes, please visit the security center in our documentation.

How do you manage your instance resource usage?

One of strengths of Joyent is the ability to have full and detailed transparency of every aspect of your infrastructure and application. You can use Cloud Analytics to provide you real-time, diagnostic heatmaps of system behavior. In addition, using these tips here can provide you better control over optimizing the performance of your instance.

How do you manage a database on your instance?

Instances on Joyent can be pre-configured to run a wide range of databases and database services. Joyent supports: MySQL, Percona, Riak, MongoDB, as well as integration to database services from companies like, Cloudant or MongoLab. For big data projects, Joyent is an ideal platform for configuring and running a Hadoop cluster. Check out these guides on how to set up a database or configure your Hadoop cluster.

How do you analyze performance of my instances?

Joyent is the best cloud in the industry for monitoring the entire health of your stack. Using Cloud Analytics, you have the ability to examine, in real-time, the performance characteristics of every level of your application, and network. If you just want to perform server level monitoring, we’ve built integration with leading monitoring tools from New Relic and Nodefly as well.

Where can I learn more?

Our documentation center and engineering blogs are terrific resources for you to learn more about Joyent and participate in the Joyent community. The Dev Center resources we’ve built for you will hopefully get you started on a path to success with Joyent. For additional help or training, please visit:

Pau for now…


Dell and Sputnik go to OSCON

July 18, 2013

Next week, myself, Michael Cote and a whole other bunch of Dell folk will be heading out to Portland for the 15th annual OSCON-ana-polooza.  We will have two talks that you might want to check out:

Cote and I will be giving the first and the second will be lead by Joseph George and James Urquhart.

Sputnik Shirt

And speaking of Project Sputnik, we will be giving away three of our XPS 13 developer editions:  one as a door prize at the OpenStack birthday party, one as a drawing at our booth and one to be given away at James and Joseph’s talk listed above.

We will also have a limited amount of the shirt to the right so stop by the booth.

But wait, there’s more….

To learn firsthand about Dell’s open source solutions be sure to swing by booth #719 where we will have experts on hand to talk to you about our wide array of solutions:

  • OpenStack cloud solutions
  • Hadoop big data solutions
  • Crowbar
  • Project Sputnik (the client to cloud developer platform)
  • Dell Multi-Cloud Manager (the platform formerly known as “Enstratius”)
  • Hyperscale computing systems

Hope to see you there.

Pau for now…


Dell to go Partner route for public cloud

May 20, 2013

As you may be aware Dell has been offering and hosting a public, multi-tentant IaaS cloud offering.  After getting that business off the ground and many customer conversations,  we’ve come to realize that the greatest way we can provide value for our customers is to focus our investments on more strategic components of the cloud and provide our customers with maximum choice and flexibility.

As a result, rather than building out and supporting our own multi-tenant public cloud, we will partner with companies in order to provide customers access to the cloud(s) of their choice.

Enter Enstratius

A sampling of some of the public clouds Enstratius provides access to.

A sampling of some of the public clouds Enstratius provides access to.

With our recent acquisition of Enstratius not only are we are able to provide our customers with the ability to manage and govern a multi-cloud environment but we are now able to offer access to over 20 prominent clouds from Amazon to Rackspace, to Google, to AT&T.

A new Partner Program

Beyond the partners that Enstratius provides access to, today we are also kicking off today a partner program to provide access to IaaS through an ecosystem of options.  The first three partners we are announcing are:  Joyent, Scale Matrix, Zero Lag:

  • Joyent: An IaaS provider for real-time web and mobile applications. Joyent has out-of-the-box compatibility with Enstratius’ multi-cloud management.
  • ScaleMatrix: Cloud hosting platform, Services are offered from proprietary world-class data centers, and leverage enterprise hardware, storage and cutting-edge security and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) mitigation services.
  • ZeroLag: Combines VMware-powered on-demand cloud infrastructure with professional services and custom-designed solutions.

Customers will be able to purchase products from these partners through their Dell sales representatives and you can find out more information at dell.com/cloud-partner-program.

Private Cloud and Project Sputnik

On the Private Cloud front nothing has changed.   We are still huge supporters of OpenStack OpenStack_200.jpg-2f65a9098a7b1dd1and will continue offering our Open Stack-based private clouds.  Additionally  we will continue to provide cloud-to-on-premise connectivity via Boomi.

On the Project Sputnik front the cloud launcher that we continue to work on is being designed to provide access to a host of clouds.

Extra-credit reading

  • Dell to Deliver Public Cloud through Partner Ecosystem – Press Release

Pau for now..


Time Lapse: Building Dell’s Big Data/OpenStack MDC — allowing customers to test at hyper scale

April 1, 2013

Back in September I posted an entry about the Modular Data Center that we set up in the Dell parking lot.  Here is a time lapse video showing the MDC and the location being built out.

The MDC allows customers to test solutions at scale.  It is running OpenStack and various Big Data goodies such as Hadoop, Hbase, Cassandra, MongoDB, Gluster etc…

Customers can tap into the MDC from Dell’s solution centers around the world and do proof of concepts as well competitive bake-offs between various big data technologies so they can determine which might best suit their environment and use case.

Extra-credit reading


EnterpriseDB’s new Postgres cloud database

March 27, 2012

A little while ago, EnterpriseDBs VP of Biz Dev, Sean Doherty popped in for a visit.  While he was here I got him to tell me what EnterpriseDB, the certified professional distribution of the PostgreSQL open source DB, has been up to and fill me in on their new cloud database.

Some of the ground Sean covers:

  • What is EnterpriseDB and what is their business model
  • 1:10 Where does EnterpriseDB fit in the overall database landscape and where is it used
  • 2:00 The release of the Postgres Plus cloud database on EC2 and soon OpenStack
  • 2:44 What EnterpriseDB has got up its sleeve in the way of features and functionality in the next year

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


On beyond North America — Dell’s OpenStack solution now available in Europe and Asia

March 21, 2012

Last summer at OSCON Dell announced the availability of our OpenStack solution in the US and Canada.  Today at World Hosting Days in Rust Germany we are now announcing that our OpenStack-Powered Cloud Solution is available in Europe and Asia.

If you’re not familiar with it, OpenStack is an open source cloud project built on a foundation of code initially donated by NASA and Rackspace.  The project kicked off a little over a year and a half ago here in Austin and it has gained amazing traction since then.

Dell’s offering

Dell’s OpenStack cloud offering is an open source, on premise cloud solution based on the OpenStack platform running on Ubuntu.  Its composed of:

  • The OpenStack cloud operating system
  • PowerEdgeC servers: C6100, C6105, C2100 and, coming soon, Dell’s new C6220 and R720
  • The Crowbar deployment and management software framework – developed and coded by Dell :)
  • Dell’s OpenStack reference architecture
  • Dell Services

Crowbar software framework

To give a little more  background on the Crowbar software framework, its an open source project developed initially at Dell and you can grab it off github.  The framework, which is under the Apache 2.0 license,  manages the OpenStack deployment from the initial server boot to the configuration of the primary OpenStack components, allowing users to complete bare metal deployment of multi-node OpenStack clouds in hours, as opposed to days.

Once the initial deployment is complete, you can use Crowbar to maintain, expand, and architect the complete solution, including BIOS configuration, network discovery, status monitoring, performance data gathering, and alerting.   Beyond Dell, companies like VMware, Dreamhost and Zenoss have built “barclamps”  that allow them to utilize Crowbar’s modular design.  Additionally, customers who buy the Dell OpenStack-Powered Cloud Solution get training, deployment, and support on Crowbar.

So as of today, customers in the UK, Germany and China can purchase the Dell OpenStack-Powered Cloud Solution.  As customer demand grows in other regions we will be adding more countries so stay tuned.  If the first 18 mos of the project are any indication of whats the pace is like to come, we are all going to be in for a lot more excitement.

For more info, email: OpenStack@Dell.com

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


Dell’s Big Data escalator pitch

February 24, 2012

At our sales kickoff in Vegas, Rob Hirschfeld chose a unique vehicle to succinctly convey our Big Data story here at Dell.  Check out the video below to hear one of our chief software architects for our Big Data and OpenStack solutions explain, in less than 90 seconds, what we are up to in the space and the value it brings customers.

Extra credit reading

Pau for now…


Opscode visits

January 10, 2012

This afternoon Matt Ray, Technical Evangelist for Opscode, stopped by Dell’s Round Rock HQ to brief a gaggle of folks on what they are up to.  Cote arranged the visit as well as one last month with Puppet labs, which I unfortunately wasn’t able to make.

After Matt, with some help from teammates on the phone, briefed the Dell gang I grabbed some time with him to get the 5 minute Reader’s Digest version.  Here is the result.

Some of the ground Matt covers:

  • What are Opscode and Chef?
  • How did they come to be?
  • The hosted version of Chef (moving from EC2 to Rackspace)
  • Crowbar: lending a helping hand
  • What’s next for Opscode and what do they have up their sleeve for 2012?

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


Hadoop World: Ubuntu, Hadoop and Juju

November 14, 2011

I’m always interested in what’s happening at Canonical and with Ubuntu.  Last week at Hadoop World I ran into a couple of folks from the company (coincidentally both named Mark but neither Mr. Shuttleworth).  Mark Mims from the server team was willing to chat so I grabbed some time with him to learn about what he was doing at Hadoop World and what in the heck is this “charming” Juju?

Some of the ground Mark covers

  • Making the next version of Ubuntu server better for Hadoop and big data
  • (0:34) What are “charms” and what do they have to do with service orchestration
  • (2:05) Charm school and learning to write Juju charms
  • (2:54)  Where does “Orchestra” fit in and how can it be used to spin up OpenStack
  • (3:40) What’s next for Juju

But wait, there’s more!

Stay tuned for more interviews from last week’s Hadoop world.  On tap are:

  • Todd Papaioannou from Battery Ventures
  • John Gray of Facebook
  • Erik Swan of Splunk
  • Nosh Petigara of 10gen/MongoDB.

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now..


Developers: How to get involved with Crowbar for Hadoop

November 8, 2011

In the previous entry I mentioned that we have developed and will be opensourcing “barclamps” (modules that sit on top of Crowbar) for: Cloudera CDH/Enterprise, Zookeeper, Pig, Hbase, Flume and Sqoop.  All these modules will speed and ease the deployment, configuration and operation of Hadoop clusters.

If you would like to get involved, check out this 1 min video from Rob Hirschfeld talking about how:

Look for the code on the Crowbar GitHub repo by the last week of November.

Extra-credit reading:

Pau for now…


Dell to opensource software to ease Hadoop install & management

November 8, 2011

It wouldn’t be surprising if you were surprised to learn that Dell is developing software.  To say that this is an area we haven’t been known for in the past would be an understatement.  While we may not pose a direct threat to Microsoft any time soon, we have been coding in a few focused areas.  One of those areas is cloud installation and management and is represented by our project Crowbar.  While Crowbar began life simply as a way to install Openstack on Dell hardware, it has expanded from there.

Today’s news is that we have developed and will be opensourcing “barclamps” (modules that sit on top of crowbar) for: Cloudera CDH/Enterprise, Zookeeper, Pig, Hbase, Flume and Sqoop.  All these modules will speed and ease the deployment, configuration and operation of Hadoop clusters.  But don’t take my word for it.  Take a listen to Crowbar’s architect Rob Hirschfeld as he explains Crowbar and today’s announcement:

Look for the code on Crowbar GitHub repo by the last week of November.  If you want to get involved, learn how.

Extra-credit reading:

Pau for now…


Crowbar: Where its been and where its going

October 24, 2011

Rob Hirschfeld, aka “Commander Crowbar,” recently posted a blog entry looking back at how Crowbar came to be, how its grown and where he hopes it will go from here.

What’s a Crowbar?

If you’re not familiar with Crowbar, its an open source software framework that began life as an installation tool to speed installation of OpenStack on Dell hardware.  The project incorporates the Opscode Chef Server tool and was originally created here at Dell by Rob and Greg Althaus.  Just four short months ago at OSCON 2011 the project took a big step forward when, along with the announcement of our OpenStack solution, we announced that we were opensourcing it.

DevOps-ilicous

As Rob points out in his blog, as we were delivering Crowbar as an installer a collective light bulb went off and we realized the role that Chef and tools like it play in a larger movement taking place in many Web shops today: the movement of DevOps.

The DevOps approach to deployment builds up systems in a layered model rather than using packaged images…Crowbar’s use of a DevOps layered deployment model provides flexibility for BOTH modularized and integrated cloud deployments.

On beyond installation and OpenStack

As the team began working more with Crowbar, it occurred to them that its use could be expanded in two ways: it could be used to do more than installation and it could be expanded to work with projects beyond OpenStack.

As for functionality, Crowbar now not only installs and configures but once the initial deployment is complete, Crowbar can be used to maintain, expand, and architect the instance, including BIOS configuration, network discovery, status monitoring, performance data gathering, and alerting.

The first project beyond OpenStack that we used Crowbar on was Hadoop.  In order to expand Crowbar’s usage we created the concept of  “barclamps” which are in essence modules that sit on top of the basic Crowbar functionality.  After we created the Hadoop barclamp, others picked up the charge and VMware created a Cloud Foundry barclamp and DreamHost created a Ceph barclamp.

It takes a community

Crowbar development has recently been moved out into the open.  As Rob explains,

This change was reflected in our work on OpenStack Diablo (+ Keystone and Dashboard) with contributions by Opscode and Rackspace Cloud Builders.  Rather than work internally and push updates at milestones, we are now coding directly from the Crowbar repositories on Github.

So what are you waiting for?  Join our mailing list, download the code or ISO, create a barclamp, make your voice heard.  Who’s next?

Extra-credit reading:

Pau for now…


Check us out at next week’s OpenStack Design Summit

September 29, 2011

If you’re planning on attending the OpenStack Design summit and conference next week in Beantown you’ll have to check us out.  I’m bummed that I will be missing the  summit for the first time, I have a big internal presentation next week, but the rest of the Dell OpenStack crew will be there in force.  Dell is a sponsor at the event and we will have a keynote, speaking sessions and demos.

What have we got in the works?

Besides checking out Crowbar and our Openstack solution which we launched back at OSCON we will  have a whisper suite where we will be showing our latest and greatest stuff that is currently in the works.  If you’d like  to see what we have up our sleeve, email us at OpenStack@Dell.com and we can schedule a time slot for you to come and see for yourself.

Updated: For more details what we’ll be doing at the summit check out Rob’s blog

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


Props from GigaOm for Dell as Web outfitter

September 26, 2011

Dell has been working for the last four plus years outfitting the biggest of the big web superstars like Facebook and Microsoft Azure with infrastructure.   More recently we have been layering software  such as Hadoop, OpenStack and crowbar on top of  that infrastructure.  This has not gone unnoticed by web pub GigaOm:

Want to become the next Amazon Web Services or Facebook? Dell could have sold you the hardware all along, but now it has the software to make those servers and storage systems really hum.

They also made the following observation:

Because [Dell] doesn’t have a legacy [software] business to defend, it can blaze a completely new trail that has its trailhead where Oracle, IBM and HP leave off.

Letting customers focus on what matters most

Its a pretty exciting time to be at Dell as we continue to move up the stack outfitting web players big and small.  The idea is to get these players established and growing in an agile and elastic way so they can concentrate on serving customers rather than building out their underpinning software and systems.

Stay tuned for more!

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


OSCON: ex-NASA cloud lead on his OpenStack startup, Piston

July 31, 2011

Last week  at OSCON in Portland, I dragged Josh McKenty away from the OpenStack one-year anniversary (that’s what Josh is referring to at the very end of the interview) to do a quick video.  Josh, who headed up NASA’s Nebula tech team and has been very involved with OpenStack from the very beginning has recently announced Piston, a startup that will productize OpenStack for enterprises.

Here is what the always entertaining Josh had to say:

Some of the ground Josh covers:

  • What, in a nutshell, will Piston be offering?
  • Josh’s work at NASA and how got involved in OpenStack
  • Timing around Piston’s general release and GA
  • The roles he plays on the OpenStack boards
  • What their offering will have right out of the shoot and their focus on big data going forward

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


Dell announces availability of OpenStack solution; Open sources “Crowbar” software framework

July 26, 2011

Today at OSCON we are announcing the availability of the Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution along with the open sourcing of the code behind our Crowbar software framework.

The Solution

Dell has been a part of the OpenStack community since day one a little over a year ago and today’s news represents the first available cloud solution based on the OpenStack platform.  This Infrastructure-as-a-service solution includes a reference architecture based on Dell PowerEdge C servers, OpenStack open source software, the Dell-developed Crowbar software and services from Dell and Rackspace Cloud Builders.

Crowbar, keeping things short and sweet

Bringing up a cloud can be no mean feat, as a result a couple of our guys began working on a software framework that could be used to quickly (typically before coffee break!) bring up a multi-node OpenStack cloud on bare metal.   That framework became Crowbar.  What Crowbar does is manage the OpenStack deployment from the initial server boot to the configuration of the primary OpenStack components, allowing users to complete bare metal deployment of multi-node OpenStack clouds in a matter of hours (or even minutes) instead of days.

Once the initial deployment is complete, Crowbar can be used to maintain, expand, and architect the complete solution, including BIOS configuration, network discovery, status monitoring, performance data gathering, and alerting.

Code to the Community

As mentioned above, today Dell has released Crowbar to the community as open source code (you can get access to it the project’s GitHub site).  The idea is allow  users to build functionality to address their specific system needs.  Additionally we are working with the community to submit Crowbar as a core project in the OpenStack initiative.

Included in the Crowbar code contribution is the barclamp list, UI and remote API’s, automated testing scripts, build scripts, switch discovery, open source Chef server.  We are currently working with our legal team to determine how to release the BIOS and RAID which leverage third party components.  In the meantime since it is free (as in beer) software, although Dell cannot distribute it, users can directly go the vendors and download the components for free to get that functionality.

More Crowbar detail

For those who want some more detail, here are some bullets I’ve grabbed from Rob “Mr. Crowbar” Hirschfeld’s blog:

Important notes:

  • Crowbar uses Chef as it’s database and relies on cookbooks for node deployments
  • Crowbar has a modular architecture so individual components can be removed, extended, and added. These components are known individually as “barclamps.”
  • Each barclamp has it’s own Chef configuration, UI subcomponent, deployment configuration, and documentation.

On the roadmap:

  • Hadoop support
  • Additional operating system support
  • Barclamp version repository
  • Network configuration
  • We’d like suggestions!  Please comment on Rob’s blog!

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


Structure: Learning about DevOps & Crowbar from Jesse Robbins

June 27, 2011

Last week on Day two of Structure the morning sessions ended with an  interesting discussion moderated by James Urquhart.  The session was entitled “DevOps – Reinventing the Developers Role in the Cloud Age” and featured Luke Kanies – CEO, Puppet Labs and Jesse Robbins – Co-Founder and CEO, Opscode.

After lunch I ran into Jesse and got him to sit down with me and provide some more insight into DevOps as well as explain what Opscode was doing with project Crowbar.

Some of the ground Jesse covers

  • (0:21) What is DevOps
  • (1:00) The shift that happens between developers and operations.  Writing code and getting it into production faster and how it shifts responsibilities between the two groups.
  • (2:52) Who are the prime targets for DevOps and how has this changed over time.
  • How DevOps began in web shops who needed to do things differently than legacy-bound enterprises.
  • How enterprises faced with greenfield opportunities are now embracing devops
  • (5:36) The crowbar installer which employs Opscode’s Chef and allows the rapid provisioning of an OpenStack cloud.

Extra-credit reading:


Structure: OpenStack launches Incubation program

June 24, 2011

Today was second day of the two-day Structure conference here in San Francisco.  Cloud was the topic du jours with heavy referencing of big data and concepts and projects such as OpenFlow, Open Compute and OpenStack.  The format consisted mainly of moderated panels seated in comfy chairs with break out sessions scheduled a couple of times during the day.

While some of the panels and speakers were quite enlightening, I find the true benefit of a show like Structure comes from the networking and hallway conversations that occur.  One such conversation was one I had with Jonathan Bryce of Rackspace about the incubation program they have just launched for OpenStack.

Some of the ground Jonathan covers:

  • Dealing with the question of how to expand OpenStack and include new projects
  • The initial three core projects: Compute, Object Storage and Image Service
  • The first two projects that have been approved for incubation: a dashboard and “keystone”

Stay tuned for more interviews from Structure 11.

Pau for now…


Cyber Infrastructure org goes with OpenStack and Dell

June 20, 2011

Cybera, a Canadian not-for-profit recently selected OpenStack along with Dell systems to build out their Infrastructure as a Service cloud.  The organization, which is based in Alberta, “collaborates with public and private sector partners to accelerate research and product development that meets the needs of today’s society.”

Most recently Cybera used OpenStack to build out a cloud for CANARIE’s (Canada’s Advanced Research and Innovation Network) DAIR project.

Here’s what Cybera had to say in their blog:

To start with, you’ll need hardware. If you have the time and inclination, the best thing to do might be to ask Rackspace Cloud Builders for some help spec’ing out the hardware for OpenStack. This is the route that Cybera went and we got some badly needed advice. Since you might not be able to go that route, I’ll tell you what we know.

At the end of the day we went with Dell, based on the Cloud Builders’ advice and our own due diligence. If you aren’t aware of it yet, Dell is supporting OpenStack in a big way. They have a number of pages dedicated to it here. There’s also a whitepaper that discusses hardware and network for OpenStack, if you feel like filling out the form.

We ordered four different types of servers (aka nodes). A management node (nova-api, nova-network, nova-scheduler, nova-objectstore), compute nodes (nova-compute, nova-volume), a proxy node (swift-proxy-server) and storage nodes (swift-object-*, swift-container-*, swift-account-*). All nodes were contained in the Dell C6100 chassis. Here are the specs:

Processor Sockets Cores Threads RAM Disk
Management E5620 2 8 16 24 8 x 300 GB
Compute X5650 2 12 24 96 6 x 500 GB
Proxy E5620 2 8 16 24 4 x 300 GB
Storage E5620 2 8 16 24 6 x 2 TB

Great to see people picking up OpenStack and running with it!

Read more about Cybera’s experience at Running OpenStack in Production: Part 1: Hardware

Pau for now…


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