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OpenStack at PuppetConf: Tim Bell of CERN to Keynote

PuppetConf is coming up September 27-28 in San Francisco, and we’re excited to announce some great OpenStack content, including a keynote presentation from Tim Bell of CERN!  Tim’s talk, ‘Accelerating Science with Puppet and OpenStack,’ will review CERN’s objectives, and how their computing infrastructure is evolving to address challenges at scale using community supported software such as Puppet and OpenStack.

PuppetConf will have even more OpenStack talks from:

  • Robert Starmer, Cisco Systems – Deploying OpenStack Clusters with Puppet
  • Yoram Heller, MorphLabs – Using Puppet to Maintain hundreds of OpenStack Deployments
  • Monty Taylor, Hewlett Packard – Collaboratively Managing the OpenStack Project with Puppet

You can see an almost complete line up on the PuppetConf website.

If you’re interested in Puppet and OpenStack, several members of the community started a project consisting of Puppet modules to deploy OpenStack Nova, Glance, Swift, Keystone, and Horizon. More information is available on the project’s Github and from Puppet Labs.

It’s always exciting to see users like CERN talking about their experiences with OpenStack. Thanks to PuppetConf and the Puppet community for hosting this great content! Adds New ARM Technology-Powered Zone

Today is a monumental day in ARM server history!, the hosted cloud sandbox for OpenStack, now has an ARM-based OpenStack zone in addition to the x86 zone. (This is, to our knowledge, the first OpenStack cluster made publicly available on an ARM-based system!)

For those of you not familiar with TryStack, it’s a community maintained OpenStack cloud made possible by the donations of a handful of IT hardware and service providers. This new zone is free by the generous contributions from Calxeda, Canonical, CoreNAP and HP.

So what’s the big deal? Besides providing free access to ARM-based servers via the OpenStack APIs, today is a first step in demonstrating a concept I talked about in a blog posted last May:

“People are pretty baffled when we use the words “Cloud” and “ARM” in the same sentence. Understandably so. But let me explain for a minute a possible future in which those two words become extremely synergistic. Intoday’s cloud architectures, virtualization is used as a means to provide elasticity, dynamic workload management, and multi-tenant security, all while sharing the same underlying physical systems (which tend to be very large servers). What if, however, we took an opposite approach and were able to provide the same benefits through the use of many smaller servers – a phrase some have coined as physicalization. Suddenly, we move back to a model of dedicated hosting and guaranteed performance, but with the same on-demand access and cloud-based pricing customers are accustomed to. As long as the end-user gets access to a compute resource, and the economics of the infrastructure make sense for the cloud provider, this could ultimately be a win-win for the future of cloud computing.”

While we are currently standing up a separate OpenStack cluster for this new ARM zone, we have every intention of working with the TryStack volunteers to merge these into a single large, heterogeneous cluster. We want to use OpenStack as the first example of what a multi-architecture cloud could look like and the opportunities it presents to both service providers (different pricing models) and enterprises (workload targeted job scheduling) alike.

Oh, and did I mention it’s free? Yep – completely 100% free for you to try, but please do keep in mind that your compute instances will be wiped every 24 hours and reclaimed for others to use. It’s simple to get started. Join the TryStack group on Facebook and you’ll instantly have access to the original x86-based cluster. To get access to the ARM-based cluster, look for instructions inside the Facebook group to request access specifically to the new zone. (We’re working on streamlining this process and hope to have Facebook single sign-on integration soon.) Once accepted, you’ll have logincredentials to the OpenStack dashboard where you can launch a new instance of Ubuntu 12.04 just like you would with any other cloud platforms.

So jump on in and come try it out! And if you’re interested in helping out, we’re always looking for a few extra hands – find us on the TryStack Facebook group. We look forward to continuing our working relationship with the OpenStack community on shaping the future of cloud computing!

John Mao
Product Marketing

Have you visited the lately?

A few weeks ago we posted the results of the OpenStack Social Media survey. Thirty percent of survey  respondents indicated that they keep up on OpenStack developments and news on I thought now would be a good time to remind everyone of what a valuable addition the forum is to the OpenStack community, and it has only been up and running since May!

Currently the NOVA board is the most heavily used project board, and admin Jordan Rinke (@JordanRinke) has been especially active in answering  questions regarding installation. Stephen Spector has also been experimenting with using the Events category on the General board to help plan upcoming OpenStack Events like this October’s conference in Boston.  If you have suggestions please feel free to chime in on the forum.

There are currently 85 registered users and I encourage anyone with a question, comment, or insight to complete the easy sign up. The more members and participation the forum sees the more useful it will be!

Call for Program Committee – OpenStack Conference in Boston

The planning process for the October 5-7, 2011 OpenStack Conference in Boston, MA is underway and we need volunteers for the Program Committee.

Currently the Program Committee consists of:

  • Stephen Spector, Community Manager
  • Thierry Carrez, Release Manager

Ideally we would like to have around 10 people on the Program Committee, so there is currently space for eight more volunteers. The Program Committee will be responsible for

  • Participation in the high level agenda organization
  • Participation in the creation of the event agenda
  • Speaker recruitment and assignment based on agenda
  • Event speaker introductions (if able to attend the event)

Any community members interested in being part of the Program Committee should email me ([email protected]) by Thursday, July 7th.

The Program Committee, as well as the event theme will then be announced Friday, July 8th. So, if you have suggestions for a Boston event theme you can submit them here:
As always the agenda development process for the event will be done in the open so that everyone can contribute. An Etherpad link for this process will be posted soon.

OpenStack Social Media Survey Results

Over the past week, the OpenStack Community Management team has conducted an online Social Media Engagement survey to better understand the needs and wants of various community member types in relation to the information available. The survey results are available, SurveySummary_06082011 with no details on the participants who answered questions.

Based on these results, we are taking the following three actions to meet the needs of the community:

1. Result – and the OpenStack presence on various social networks (especially Twitter and LinkedIn) are the primary information sources of most respondents with 60% looking to receive even more information on a regular basis.

    Action –  A social network plan will be drafted to better link the various OpenStack information repositories with community member information access points. This plan will drive content from OpenStack Slideshare, Vimeo, Flickr, and other repositories to Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. Be on the lookout for this plan as we intend to ask the broader community for feedback on the various options available in this plan.

    2. Result – Two community member types stood out in the survey: Participating company prospects and Active contributor prospects.

    Action – A “Getting Started with OpenStack” document is planned for publication with all the information on becoming a participating company, active participant, developer, etc. This document will be visible in many social networking sites including the OpenStack home page to provide critical information for these community prospects.

    3. Result – The OpenStack Forum is showing strength for people looking for information and answers to common OpenStack user questions.

    Action – New marketing and promotion initiatives will be started to significantly raise the awareness of the OpenStack Forum and help drive more participation.

    Thanks again for everyone that participated and if you have more thoughts on this issue, please contact Summer Fouche; or Stephen Spector.

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