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Building the Cloud: Notes on Apache CloudStack (incubating)

Notes on work that's going on in the Apache CloudStack (incubating) project. Event announcements, progress reports, and more.

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Joe Brockmeier

Joe Brockmeier

Joe Brockmeier, known to many as "Zonker," is a member of the CloudStack evangelism team at Citrix. Prior to joining Citrix, Joe worked with Novell as the openSUSE community manager, and as Editor-in-Chief of Linux Magazine. He's also worked as a freelance technology journalist, and has written for LWN, NetworkWorld, ReadWriteWeb, and many other publications.

In Case You're Not Already Sold on DevOps

Posted by on in Events

DSC_0040_CCC13I won't lie, I'm a bit of a Gene Kim fanboy. David Nalley suggested, actually sort of insisted, that I read The Phoenix Project almost immediately after it came out. 

This turned out to be a Good Thing™. While I'm often skeptical of book recommendations (what's meaningful to one person doesn't necessarily work for another person), I think Kim and his co-authors knocked it out of the park with The Phoenix Project, and managed to make a really convincing case that companies urgently need to embrace DevOps and provides a narrative as to how they'd do that. 

What I find particularly valuable about The Phoenix Project is the way that the subject is approached. Rather than a dry business/tech tome that preaches the gospel of DevOps, The Phoenix Project provides an illustrative story of how DevOps solves real problems and transforms a business. While it's not great literature, it's an easy read that packs a lot of punch. 

Kim also packs a lot into a short talk. We had the great pleasure of having Kim give a keynote at the CloudStack Collaboration Conference (as well as giving each attendee a copy of TPP), and he did a fantastic job of helping convince the audience about the need for DevOps.

(Side note: You'd think that folks using Apache CloudStack, or cloud in general, would also be employing DevOps tactics. Not so, at least according to Donnie Berkholz of RedMonk - who says that most crossover of DevOps and Cloud come from Bay Area startups without a lot of legacy to deal with...)

Tagged in: Devops Gene Kim
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This coming Sunday (June 23rd) we’ll be getting together at the CloudStack Collaboration Conference for hack day, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Santa Clara Convention Center.

The hack day is being run using the BarCamp/unconference format – meaning that the sessions will be chosen Sunday by the folks who show up. Sessions might run an hour or all day, depending on how much interest there is and how much needs to be done.

Have an idea for a session? A topic you want to lead or see discussed? Add it to the Hack Day at CCC13 page on the CloudStack Wiki. It is, of course, a wiki: so edit boldly!

Don’t let the “hack day” moniker fool you – non-development topics and sessions are more than welcome. Giles Sirett has proposed a marketing session, and we’ll likely have at least one documentation session as well. If it’s CloudStack-related, it’s fair game.

Pleased to see that we’ve got a pretty good selection of sessions already proposed, but we can always do with more. If you have an idea, put ‘er up and show up Sunday ready to jam with the rest of the CloudStack community!

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Doing it Twice? Write it Down!

Posted by on in Cloud Best Practices

There’s a great meme going around about geeks and repetitive tasks. Because geeks will often get annoyed at the effort of doing something manually, they often decide to find a way to automate it – which usually involves a lot more effort than doing it the one time but “geeks win, eventually” because they save time in the long run.

But in the long run we’re all dead. Then what? Who knows how to run your script? What happens when it needs to be maintained? As Jon Udell points out, it’s really not a contest, it’s a process, and non-geeks can play too. Which is why you should also write it down if you’re going to do it more than two times.

OK, “doing it more than two times” is a huge generalization. What I mean more specifically is:

  • If you’re in a team environment or doing work that will keep cropping up.
  • If you’re doing a task that is non-obvious and/or has a complicated series of steps that is non-obvious to people who are not you.
  • If you’re in any kind of critical path that would block shipping or operations if you aren’t there to do the magical things you do.
  • If you want to reduce your project or organization’s Bus Factor (help other people become proficient).
  • If you want to better understand what you do and how you can improve it.

Then you need to take a step back and document the things that you do on a regular basis, because it will help your teammates and (most likely) even you when you come back to a task that you haven’t done for a long time.

Naturally, I’m thinking of this in terms of a project like CloudStack where documentation is vitally important. The success of a distributed team depends a great deal on good documentation.

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Apache CloudStack 4.0.2 Released!

Posted by on in Cloud News

square-cloudmonkey(This is the official release announcement text for the 4.0.2 release. You can also find it on the Apache CloudStack blog, but I wanted to make sure we spread the news far and wide. Congrats to the project on another successful release!) 

The Apache CloudStack project is pleased to announce the 4.0.2 release of the CloudStack Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud orchestration platform. This is a minor release in the 4.0.0 branch, which contains fixes for 40 bugs.

Apache CloudStack is an integrated software platform that allows users to build a feature-rich IaaS. CloudStack includes an intuitive user interface and rich API for managing the compute, networking, accounting, and storage for private, hybrid, or public clouds. The project entered the Apache Incubator in April 2012, and graduated in March 2013.

The 4.0.2 release includes fixes for a number of issues, including two minor security vulnerabilities (CVE–2013–2756 and CVE–2013–2758), problems displaying storage statistics, a fix for the SSVM HTTP proxy, support for CentOS 6.4, and other fixes.


The official source code releases can be downloaded from:

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square-cloudmonkeyWelcome to the April 1 issue of the Apache CloudStack Weekly News. Don't worry, no foolishness in this issue – just a quick recap of the week's most important events.

As you recall, we officially announced that the CloudStack project was graduating from the incubator last week. Though there were no events quite of that magnitude this week, there was plenty of discussion of new features, a new Website design proposal, and Chiradeep Vittal has unveiled a new tool for testing and development called QuickCloud that will come in handy for many CloudStack contributors and users.

Read the rest on the Apache CloudStack blog »

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Citrix supports the open source community via developer support and evangelism. We have a number of developers and evangelists that participate actively in the open source community in Apache Cloudstack, OpenStack, OpenDaylight, Xen Project and XenServer. We also conduct educational activities via the Build A Cloud events held all over the world.