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3rd Swiss OpenStack User Group Meetup


chosug
Following on from our 2nd meeting, the Swiss OpenStack user group met on 24th of April at the University of Bern.It was an excellent event with many attention grabbing presentations! A big thanks goes out to the sponsors:

 

Once we kicked off, there were five presentations, 3 which were more detailed and 2 that were more lightning talks in nature. The presentations in there running order were:

Upcoming

There are other upcoming Swiss events that will include much talk of OpenStack. Of note are:

Also the Swiss Informatics Society have started a cloud computing special interest group, where all folk active in cloud are welcomed to join. More details can be found at their site.

Swiss OpenStack User Group Channels

 Original post: ICCLab

3rd Swiss OpenStack User Group Meetup

chosugWere back again and this time we’ll be holding the next meetup in Bern. Things will start on Wed 24th of April at 1800 and run until 2000.

We’d love to hear from you if you are interested in giving a talk related to OpenStack then shout out at the meetup site or simply message @OpenStackCH on twitter.  Otherwise, stay tuned for the line up of speakers.

The kind folks at SwiNG will be sponsoring beverages and the equally as kind Red Hat people will have your stomach full with pizza!

The venue details are as follows: Room 206, 2nd floor East, Universität Bern, Hochschulstrasse 4.

The registration page for the event can be found on our new meetup.com page.

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

2nd Swiss OpenStack Meetup

We (ICCLab and ZHGeeks) are pleased to announce the 2nd Swiss OpenStack Meetup. It will happen on the 19th of February in Zurich at ETH. If you’re keen and interested in attending then please register here.

If you are interested in giving a talk then do give a shout out at the meetup site or simply message @OpenStackCH on twitter. Currently there are talks planned for:

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

1st Swiss OpenStack User Group

The first Swiss OpenStack user meeting  took place on 15th November 2012 at ETH in Zurich. The meeting was a combination of the Swiss OpenStack user group along with the zhgeeks regular meeting.

Around 90 people attended which provided for a lively atmosphere with a good opportunity for audience interaction and participation. Photos are here. Discussions continued well on into the night taking advantage of Zurich’s fine gastronomy and beverages.

ICCLab Introduction

Thomas M. Bohnert gave an overview of the ICCLab which covered the role of the InIT Cloud Computing Lab’s investigations in cloud technologies. Some of the lightning talks later covered some areas of ICCLab research.

CERN and OpenStack

Tim Bell gave a rapid overview of OpenStack architecture, news from the summit, the foundation structure and use of OpenStack at CERN.  The tools and procedures in use in the CERN computer centre are being adapted to be more sustainable and efficient by engaging and adapting open source solutions. Slides are available here.

He had a lot of ground to cover in 30 minutes! Given that the audience ranged from relative novices in OpenStack up to those deploying, it is also a wide range of details to cover in a single talk.

Amongst the questions were what is the impact of moving towards clouds on the current MONARC grid model as used by the WLCG. One of the common challenges for CERN is how to solve the “Changing the engine while the plane is flying” problem.  Even though there is an extended shutdown of the LHC during 2013/2014 in order to ugrade to higher energy, the physics analysis of the data taken in the first run from 2010 to 2012 will continue. Any major architecture changes on the grid must be performed in a staged fashion as there are over 130 sites and 200,000 servers to consider so big bang migrations are not realistic. Thus, the approach we are taking is one of running the grid services on top of the CERN private cloud. This allows us to gain improvements in efficiency via more dynamic workload placement and simplified operations procedures without needing to break compatibility. As the users of the service wish, resources can be moved between standard batch services on the grid and those available as VMs on the cloud.

Following up from this question was whether the other centres in the WLCG would be following the same approach. Each tier-1 is an independent organisation and can make its own choices within the framework of the WLCG. CERN is just one of the sites and each of the sites are able to make their own decisions based on individual requirements. Research into areas such as federated clouds is ongoing but no decisions for production federated clouds have been made.

Developing OpenStack APIs

Thijs Metsch from Intel gave a lightning talk on developing OpenStack APIs. Since OpenStack is a modular architecture, it is possible to plug in additional API functionality. This process is made more straightforward by the use of WSGI and python. Examples of this already implemented are the OCCI API and others such as CDMI are also coming along. Cloudscaling recently announced their implementation of the Google Compute Engine API for OpenStack. Thus, the choice of API can be made independently from the choice of IaaS technology.

Thijs demonstrated how this could be done by creating a simple python RESTful API and showed us the python code to implement it.


ICCLab Proof of Concept

Fabrice Manhart from the ICCLab presented the ICCLab proof of concept OpenStack cloud. ICCLab use Foreman and Puppet, as do CERN, and have good experiences with this combination. Being able to re-install their 15 hypervisors in 15 minutes is a typical case.

Swiss Academic Cloud Proof of Concept

Dean Flanders from Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research /SwiN presented their OpenStack based cloud which is testing out new computing models in a research environment. They selected OpenStack for its flexibility (and price :-). Their cloud allows researchers to provision their own machines rapidly. Amongst the areas they are investigating is the use of flash storage, aiming to reach 100TB SSD capacity. This approach follows work in the SDSC on Gordon which is a 16K cores 300TB flash based facility using OpenStack and ScaleMP.

While it is still early days for OpenStack, they are looking into new areas such as cloud bursting and workload balancing.

Software Defined Networking at ICCLab

Philipp Aeschlimann from ICCLab presented the current status of software-defined networking and their investigations as part of ICCLab. There is a lot of interest in the OpenStack community around these features and Quantum functionality covers many features. There was a live demonstration given showing OpenStack Folsom, Quantum and Floodlight.

OpenStack at SWITCH

SWITCH  provide facilities for the universities and academic organisations in Switzerland. Joel Casutt presented their early work to extend their existing services to include cloud services based on OpenStack. They are currently building up the hardware aiming to provide a free pilot service in April. During the summer, this experience will be reviewed along with the charging structure to be used going forward.

CloudBroker

Wibke Sudholt from Cloudbroker  presented their open source broker solution. Within the SCIentific gateway Based User Support (SCI-BUS) EU FP7 project, CloudBroker has extended its CloudBroker Platform so that it now also allows access to Amazon and IBM public clouds as well as to private cloud infrastructures based on OpenStack and Eucalyptus. While the initial aims were to use the EC2 API in OpenStack, there were some missing features and functionalities such as auto-deployment so it was necessary to use some of the OpenStack APIs to achieve full function. Using OpenStack clouds in universities allowed this porting to be done without having to set up their own OpenStack instance. The XML support was also not as good as JSON in some areas.

Thoughts

Even in a country with a small population such as Switzerland, there are many areas of OpenStack work. Per-capita, the Swiss user group attracted 5 times more people that the Chinese user group meeting (where 3,000 people attended). There was only time for 6 lightning sessions of 10 minutes but we are now planning the second meeting to allow those who could not show their work!

Many of the attendees were investigating/testing proof of concepts. The number of production deployments are small amongst those attending. As this is often the first investigations into cloud services, this is not too surprising. Many of the deployments were using Puppet as well. During the evening, we discussed the competition for talent. Given that many CERN people are on short term contracts, the interest in OpenStack and Puppet skills makes for a good skill on their CVs.

A recent blog  on comparing Google trends follows similar lines. The interactive report is here . Unfortunately, there is not enough data from Switzerland to determine the interest in different cloud products.

Overall, there was a lot of enthusiasm but this was balanced with caution that comes from uncovering some of the difficulities to understand clouds and how best to deploy OpenStack.

The most frequent question at the end was “When will we meet up again?”. Stay tuned for more CHOSUG!

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