Rackspace is running a series of interviews to the protagonists of OpenStack development. Titled ‘How I contribute to OpenStack’, it collects insight straight from key developers on the front lines about how they became involved in OpenStack and the open cloud, and what contributions they’ve made.
Today OpenStack marks another milestone in its young existence: Rackspace has announced its full deployment and general availability to all the customers of the public cloud powered by OpenStack. While Rackspace has been running OpenStack Object Storage (Swift) for over 2 years, they are now running OpenStack Compute (Nova) at full scale, too. Congrats!
Jack McCarthy at CRN has a nice overview of the launch on Rackspace Moves OpenStack Product Lineup To Public Cloud while the Quentin Hardy on NYT blog Looking For Mutual Enemies In The Cloud focuses on the competitive landscape. Timothy Prickett Morgan on The Register talks about the history of Rackspace cloud offering, showing all the goodies included in today’s launch Rackspace wolfs down own OpenStack dog food.
Today is another great step for OpenStack. Kudos to the team at Rackspace!
Last Thursday, we held the «OpenStack in action 2 ! – Production ready» event in Paris. For this second edition, we were very happy to welcome more than 150 people who came from France, Spain, the UK, the Netherlands, Austria, and even…Japan ! This shows how OpenStack is getting bigger and more concrete every day.
Following an «almost traditional» opening by Thierry Carrez, Release Manager for OpenStack, Loic Dachary, eNovance Chief Research officer, presented a very intuitive OpenStack live demo. The idea was to make an online game go worldwide through a deployment demo. The game is very cool to play by the way, you can give it a try here: MIOP game.
Nick Barcet, representing Ubuntu/Canonical, who is also a regular guest, talked about MAAS and Juju to deploy an Ubuntu Cloud infrastructure. Nick also announced our recent partnership : eNovance is now the official Canonical partner to deliver OpenStack based solutions in France!
Here at eNovance, this 2nd edition of «OpenStack in action!» will remain a very important date for us since we launched the same day eNocloud – the 1st European OpenStack cloud, which was in beta for the last 9 months. Raphaël Ferreira, eNovance’s CEO explained how eNocloud was built, step by step, and related the use cases of our most famous beta-testers: Soasta, Fasterize and the CNES.
He was followed by Rick Clark who highlighted the most challenging problems OpenStack currently faces. His perspective as a co-founder of the project and his successful deployment of OpenStack for the US Department of Defense for CISCO gave the audience an exclusive peak at one of the largest use case in the world. His unbiased and provocative style made for a chaotic and humorous talk.
Florian Haas, CEO of Hastexo, closed the conference and really captured his audience whis his talk on High Availability in OpenStack. He explained how the Folsom release that will be published in october 2012 will benefit from the various HA strategies demonstrated.
We wanted to address our special thanks to Canonical and Dell for helping us make the event possible: we look forward to the 3rd edition of «OpenStack in action!» that will be held this autumn.
Last Tuesday night (17/5) in Melbourne I attended the 2nd meetup of the Melbourne contingent of the Australian OpenStack User Group. It was a fantastic night with great speakers and a great group of people who are passionate about OpenStack.
There was a mix of people with various OpenStack experience, from the NeCTAR team who have made contributions to the source, to IT staff from various companies trying to get a handle on the new technology that everyone is talking about.
The evening started with Tristan Goode (Aptira) welcoming the group to the meetup, then sharing his impressions of the recent OpenStack conference in San Francisco, which he believes was the best conference he has been to in over 20 years in the IT industry.
Tom Fifield (NeCTAR) gave an energetic talk about the OpenStack project. It’s the fastest moving open source project he has ever seen, and he is glad to see the openness of the project being protected by the founding of a non-profit organisation that will hold all the IP and trademarks of the project. An open attitude to the project will lead to a better product in the end. OpenStack is real and its ready for use now, the current Essex release will have long term support on Ubuntu.
Angus Salkeld (Red Hat) gave a demo of project Heat. Heat provides a mechanism to provision up PaaS configurations, via template. It supports versioning of templates and the full PaaS installation. His WordPress demo brought up a MySQL instance and an apache instance, in approx. 5 minutes.
The final speaker of the night was John Dickinson (Rackspace), discussing the Swift component of OpenStack. He provided some history to the project, where Rackspace were at when they decided to embark on what is now Swift, a massively scalable object storage, allowing you to store unstructured data without bounds. He also described the design of the system, providing details on the core components of Swift, the object server, the proxy server, consistency server and rings.
One of the principles of the design was to reduce the impact on the operational staff, running with minimal manual intervention. Impressive considering it aims to store data reliably on unreliable hardware.
John is also very passionate about open source, he sees OpenStack as a way to overcome data sovereignty issues which are a growing concern with Australia and other parts of the world. It is amazing that people of this calibre are willing to make themselves available to a relatively small user group.
The meetup is an unbelievable opportunity to meet not just other people who use the technology, but the people who build it and contribute to it. Everyone is so enthusiastic about where OpenStack is right now and where it plans to be in the future. If you’re using OpenStack now you really need to come along to the next meetup, if you’re just playing around with OpenStack you definitely need to be at the next meetup, if you just want to find out more about OpenStack then there is no better place to be than the next meetup.
Look forward to seeing you there.
Chief Software Architect
Last Monday saw the latest meetup of the Australian OpenStack User Group in Sydney. Following on from our inaugural social meetups in December and January that were all about discovery of OpenStack, we moved to a more technical focus with presentations and real world demos.
We had 4 presenters for the evening:
John Dickinson - OpenStack Swift Project Technical Lead – “A Swift overview, what it is, how it’s used.” An admirable effort from John to speak to us via WebEx at his local time of 2.20am in the morning. With many of the attendees working on Swift deployments John’s time was valuable and his words very well received.
Han Li – University of New South Wales – “Installing OpenStack and UNSW’s experiences with migrating Eucalyptus to OpenStack.” Han’s presentation was informative and entertaining and I could see our group acknowledging throughout his presentation that they had experienced some of the same issues Han had. His presentation is available here.
Phil Rogers – Aptira – “Connecting clients to Swift.” Phil wound up the evening with presenting how we might keep family and friends at bay by demonstrating several Swift client applications that can back up or move their data up into the cloud, in anticipation of the inconvenient and inevitable “my PC has crashed and I’ve lost all my x” phone call.
Thanks to Andrew White from Cisco for organizing WebEx for us. We would certainly like to make this a permanent part of all presentation meetups. Many thanks to the organizing team – Phil, Justin, Evan, Andy, Caroline, Matthew, Corrine and Katrina. We had great feedback on the meetup and taking all that feedback into account we will continue to improve the meetups in every way we can.
Many attendees thought the event was from 6pm to 8pm due to the calendar appointment sent out by meetup.com, and not 6pm till 10pm as we had planned. It turns out that you cannot specify a duration for a meetup at meetup.com and ALL meetup calendar appointments have a duration of 2 hours, something IMHO MeetUp need to fix immediately.
On Tuesday January 17 at the Exchange Hotel in Melbourne the inaugural Australian OpenStack Users Group meetup Part 2 took place. This followed up on the Sydney event last month and took the same format, being a casual informal get together for some drinks and conversation focused on OpenStack. We kicked off around 6pm and had an attendance of around 45 OzStackers. Many many thanks to everyone that came along!
Once again we had our attending vendors present a short overview of their company’s involvement in the project. The speakers were Mark Randall, Rackspace Country Manager for AU/NZ, Daniel Pendlebury, Citrix Lead Systems Engineer for Datacenter and Cloud, Gavin Coulthard, Manager – Field Systems Engineering A/NZ at F5, Peter Jung, Cloud Solutions Architect at Dell, and Andrew White, Data Centre Architect from Cisco. Following the vendors, an awesome contribution to the evening came from Dr Steven Manos, ITS Research Director from the University of Melbourne, who presented an overview of the NeCTAR project. Rounding out the talks again was Phil Rogers from Aptira.
Again as in Sydney, there was a great sense of community, lots of smiles and laughter and much conversation and enthusiasm to share information and experiences. As social events go, both this and the Sydney events have been very successful, the next round of meetups scheduled for early March will see us presenting a more structured meetup schedule with a focus on technical, with demos and the like.
There was obvious enthusiasm right from the start because even though we weren’t meant to start until 6.30pm there were already about 30 people there at 6.00pm. By 7.30pm we peaked at about 55 people and we filled the venue! What started in October as 5 of us going for a beer had become something awesome.
The purpose of the night was to be an in formal get together to stimulate the community and get interested “OzStackers” talking to each other, and it was clear that we got people talking. I got to meet almost everyone and we had many attendees with purely a personal interest, but we also had folks from our telcos and service providers, universities, manufacturers, retail and finance industries.
When it first became apparent we might do something more than just a few beers we thought we might get one OpenStack involved vendor to come along. What we ended up with was an overwhelming response. Each of our attending vendors were given the chance to give a talk about their involvement with the project.
Mark Randall, Rackspace Country Manager for AU/NZ, led the talks with a background and overview. Next up was Daniel Pendlebury, Citrix Lead Systems Engineer for Datacenter and Cloud giving an insight into their Project Olympus. APAC Solution Architect at F5, Adrian Noblett, talked about F5′s involvement, followed by Peter Jung, Cloud Solutions Architect at Dell with some in depth technical news on Crowbar. Nic Rouhotas from Cisco went next overviewing Cisco’s involvement and then Declan Conlon talked about Riverbed joining the community and their purchase of Zeus. Last up was Phil Rogers from Aptira with experiences of his development contributions towards several Swift client applications.
It was pretty clear that everyone had a great time and there was lots of enthusiasm to get together again as soon as possible, and many made it clear they want to see and share config and install demos and real world deployment experiences, so we’ll focus on that for follow-up meetups in the next coming months.
At the moment we have a single Australian Meetup group, the rationale being that whilst we’re still a small community down under we thought it was best to create a single nationwide group. The not necessarily bad trade off of this is that because we do recognise a significant portion of the Australian OpenStack community is not in Sydney we have an obligation to have the inaugural meetup continue in cities where the community resides! So far Melbourne is next on the list, but if there’s more of you interstate please don’t hesitate to join the meetup group at http://aosug.openstack.org.au. The listed location will change for upcoming meetup locations.
Reminder January 17 Meetup in Melbourne!
Next up is the inaugural meetup “part 2″ in Melbourne on January 17. We’re hoping to get the same vendors along, there’ll be beer and food, I look forward to seeing you there.
This turned out to be a major open cloud gab fest! In addition to Dell OpenStack leads (Greg Althaus and Rob Hirschfeld), we had the Nova Project Technical Lead (PTL, Vish Ishaya from Rackspace, @vish), HP’s Cloud Architect (Alex Howells, @nixgeek), Opscode OpenStack cookbook master (Matt Ray, @mattray). We were joined by several other Chef Summit attendees with OpenStack interest including a pair of engineers from Spain.
We’d planned to demo using Knife-OpenStack against the Crowbar Diablo build. Unfortunately, the knife-openstack is out of date (August 15th?!). We need Keystone support. Anyone up for that?
There’s no way I can recapture everything that was said, but here are some highlights I jotted down the on the way home.
- After the miss with Keystone and the Diablo release, solving the project dependency problem is an important problem. Vish talked at length about the ambiguity challenge of Keystone being required and also incubated. He said we were not formal enough around new projects even though we had dependencies on them. Future releases, new projects (specifically, Quantum) will not be allowed to be dependencies.
- The focus for Essex is on quality and stability. The plan is for Essex to be a long-term supported (LTS) release tied to the Ubuntu LTS. That’s putting pressure on all the projects to ensure quality, lock features early, and avoid unproven dependencies.
- There is a lot of activity around storage and companies are creating volume plug-ins for Nova. Vish said he knew of at least four.
- Networking has a lot of activity. Quantum has a lot of activity, but may not emerge as a core project in time for Essex. There was general agreement that Quantum is “the killer app” for OpenStack and will take cloud to the next level. The Quantual Open vSwitch implementaiton is completely open source and free. Some other plugins may require proprietary hardware and/or software, but there is definitely a (very) viable and completely open source option for Quantum networking.
- HP has some serious cloud mojo going on. Alex talked about defects they have found and submitted fixes back to core. He also hinted about some interesting storage and networking IP that’s going into their OpenStack deployment. Based on his comments, I don’t expect those to become public so I’m going to limit my observations about them here.
- We talked about hypervisors for a while. KVM and XenServer (via XAPI) were the primary topics. We did talk about LXE & OpenVZ as popular approaches too. Vish said that some of the XenServer work is using Xen Storage Manager to manage SAN images.
- Vish is seeing a constant rise in committers. It’s hard to judge because some committers appear to be individuals acting on behalf of teams (10 to 20 people).
Reminder: 12/8 Meetup @ Austin!
Missed this us in Seattle? Join us at the 12/8 OpenStack meetup in Austin co-hosted by Dell and Rackspace. Based on our last meetup, it appears deployment is a hot topic, so we’ll kick off with that – bring your experiences, opinions, and thoughts!
Lew Moorman, President of the Rackspace Cloud, recently discussed the state of Rackspace’s OpenStack plans in a blog post.
In addition to running OpenStack Object Storage (code named Swift) for over a year to power their cloud, Rackspace is now running OpenStack Compute (code named Nova) for select customers. Head over to the Rackspace Cloud blog to learn more.
Next week, the OpenStack team and Rackspace are hosting a party on Tuesday March 8, 2011 at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara, CA from 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm. You can register for the event at http://www.cvent.com/events/rackspace-cloud-connect-celebration/event-summary-05ddfb54276b43f88655dd0ec24f81d0.aspx.