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Congrats again to last year's winners of the pure geeky gold prizes! We had three lucky winners who proudly took home Google Chromebook Pixels. Best of luck goes to those who play in the open cloud poker tournament this year! The winners this year will take home:

1st prize: Samsung Chromebook 2 (13-inch)

2nd prize: Samsung Chromebook 2 (11.6-inch)

3rd prize: Samsung Chromebook 2 (11.6-inch)

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I was at CloudExpo Europe in London last week for the Open Cloud Forum to give a tutorial on CloudStack tools. A decent crowd showed up, all carrying phones. Kind of problematic for a tutorial where I wanted the audience to install python packages and actually work :) Luckily I made it self-paced so you can follow at home. Giles from Shapeblue was there too and he was part of a panel on Open Cloud. He was told once again "But Apache CloudStack is a Citrix project !" This in itself is a paradox and as @jzb told me on twitter yesterday "Citrix donated CloudStack to Apache, the end". Apache projects do not have any company affiliation.

I don't blame folks, with all the vendors seemingly supporting OpenStack, it does seem that CloudStack is a one supporter project. The commit stats are also pretty clear with 39% of commits coming from Citrix. This number is also probably higher since those stats are reporting gmail and apache as domain contributing 20 and 15% respectively, let's say 60% is from Citrix. But nonetheless, this is ignoring and mis-understanding what Apache is and looking at the glass half empty.

When Citrix donated CloudStack to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) it relinquished control of the software and the brand. This actually put Citrix in a bind, not being able to easily promote the CloudStack project. Indeed, CloudStack is now a trademark of the ASF and Citrix had to rename their own product CloudPlatform (powered by Apache CloudStack). Citrix cannot promote CloudStack directly, it needs to get approval to donate sponsoring and follow the ASF trademark guidelines. Every committer and especially PMC members of Apache CloudStack are now supposed to work and protect the CloudStack brand as part of the ASF and make sure that any confusion is cleared. This is what I am doing here.

Of course when the software was donated, an initial set of committers was defined, all from Citrix and mostly from the former cloud.com startup. Part of the incubating process at the ASF is to make sure that we can add committers from other organization and attract a community. "Community over Code" is the bread and butter of ASF and so this is what we have all been working on, expanding the community outside Citrix, welcoming anyone who thinks CloudStack is interesting enough to contribute a little bit of time and effort. Looking at the glass half empty is saying that CloudStack is a Citrix project "Hey look 60% of their commits is from Citrix", looking at it half full like I do is saying "Oh wow, in a year since graduation, they have diversified the committer based, 40% are not from Citrix". Is 40% enough ? of course not, I wish it were the other way around, I wish Citrix were only a minority in the development of CloudStack.

Couple other numbers: Out of the 26 members of the project management committee (PMC) only seven are from Citrix and looking at mailing lists participation since the beginning of the year, 20% of the folks on the users mailing list and 25% on the developer list are from Citrix. We have diversified the community a great deal but the "hand-over", that moment when new community members are actually writing more code than the folks who started it, has not happened yet. A community is not just about writing code, but I will give it to you that it is not good for a single company to "control" 60% of the development, this is not where we/I want to be.

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An Open Source Conference Remembers the Origins of the Movement

Later this week, I will be in Los Angeles to speak at the Southern California Linux Expo, better known as SCALE.  While my speaking at a conference is nothing unusual (I did it more than a dozen times last year), the conference itself is remarkable in its adherence to the spirit of Open Source.

I still have vivid memories of some of the Open Source conferences I attended 15+ years ago.  Geeks gathered together on a weekend to talk about Linux and the great software they were creating.  It is important to remember that back then, Open Source coders had no corporate backing, so coding and conferences had to be done on personal time.

I remember the conversations which took place at the evening get-togethers.  I can still see the fire in the eyes of attendees as they eagerly described the cool stuff they were doing writing or using Linux-based software.  I can still hear the excited voices extolling the qualities of their newest project.  You could feel the enthusiasm in the air.  You could almost taste it.

It wasn't the process of creating Free Software that excited people.  And it wasn't the jobs which drove them to create the software; Open Source jobs were the elusive "brass ring" many hoped for, but few had.  No, the excitement was from a sense of empowerment.

If you were in the IT industry prior to 1995, you probably recall the role of the geek.  Software geeks were power tools wielded by the hands of others.  Geeks rarely decided things for themselves.  If they had a good idea, they were likely to see it shot down by some manager up the food chain with the words, "That's not in the project plan." Or, "That's great, but we can't afford to waste time on that."

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Apache CloudStack Networking & Monitoring Meetup

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Last night, the CloudStack SF Bay Area Users Group held their first meetup for 2014 at SAPLabs in Palo Alto, CA. John Kinsella, our MC of the night, kicked off the meetup with the agenda and announced information about the CloudStack Collaboration Conference North America in Denver, Colorado on April 9th-11th. Will you be there? John, Animesh and I will certainly be!

Sheng Yang did a great job on his presentation, "CloudStack Networking Overview" going over CloudStack's network infrastructure, including the features that are supported, the services that are provided and by giving attendees a look into the virtual router. You can view his presentation slides here.

Next, Mike Turnlund, Director of Business Development at CA Technologies gave a presentation on "Contextual Monitoring for CloudStack." He reviewed how proper tooling can make the difference in running an excellent service versus a problem plagued environment. You can view the presentation slides here.

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It was great seeing all of the regular CloudStackers once again! To those who were new to the group – welcome again! There were many suggestions from attendees on doing another hands-on session and we are all ears on that idea. The organizers and myself will begin working on the agenda for the next hands-on session at the CloudStack meetup in March. We're always listening and open to any feedback!

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I started to write this post after CloudStack Collaboration Conference EU (CCCEU) a few weeks ago but I was so exhausted I simply passed out. The conference was so good that while my mind was willing my body slept for 16 hours to recover. Despite the delay I think that it was an event of significant note.  

CCCEU was a gathering of almost 400 people from over 30 countries to discuss Apache CloudStack. It’s very seldom that I would describe time spent talking about software to be euphoric but I can’t think of a better word.  I found it particularly notable how effective a small group of volunteers can be as they came together in support of a cause they believe in.  While this event had all the trappings of a regular software industry event beautiful venue (the Beurs van Berlage the spark for modern Dutch architecture a very fitting venue for what I believe is the spark for private cloud platforms), numerous talks by industry luminaries, exhibits, live entertainment and free drinks. Though there was something ineffable about the atmosphere. It was very collaborative and despite many people competing for attention, resources and vendors with overlapping solutions, I didn’t detect a bit of animosity among the participants.  This video does a good job showing the spirit of the event. 

 

Community of Code and the Apache Way

What got me hooked on open source in the first place was its esprit de corps; which I saw manifested at  at CCCEU. The feeling was palpable. Open source is unique in it provides raw materials at a negligible cost for people to do amazing things and the mechanism for sharing ideas is equally accessible. Imagine if you would Ford and Chevrolet having access to free raw materials and parts for building their cars and a customer mandate to collaborate on driving standardization between their vehicles. It’s unfathomable. Though that kind of collaboration takes shape every day in the world of open source software a theme I touched in during my keynote, The Why of CloudStack.

Some of the other amazing keynotes (being posted to You Tube) came from CFengine founder and configuration management pioneer Mark Burgess who talked about Uncertain Cloud Infrastructures in a keynote and his skepticism of deterministic management models (see this presentation from Devops Days to get the gist). Dell’s resident DevOps expert John Willis talked the convergence of virtualized networks and trends in DevOps in another keynote espousing the growing agile operations principles (on a side note his ignite talk Deming to Devops was also killer). In his opening remarks Chip Childers, VP of Apache CloudStack, showed off some pretty impressive traction on the humble but vibrant project, 21,000 commits, hundreds of developers producing over 2.5 million lines of code in a very short amount of time. Childers also showed off hundreds of clouds in production (as no one buys CloudStack we he only had anecdotes about the most vocal users) including Autodesk, BT, Gilt.com, TomTom, AutoTrader, SunGard, and many, many more.

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Open@Citrix

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

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