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Why I will go to CCC13 in Amsterdam ?

Posted by on in Cloud News

Aside from the fact that I work full-time on Apache CloudStack, that I am on the organizing committee and that my boss would kill me if I did not go to the CloudStack Collaboration conference, there are many great reasons why I want to go as an open source enthusiast, here is why:

It's Amsterdam and we are going to have a blast (the city of Amsterdam is even sponsoring the event). The venue -Beurs Van Berlage- is terrific, this is the same venue where the Hadoop summit is held and where the AWS Benelux Summit was couple weeks ago. We are going to have a 24/7 Developer room (thanks to CloudSoft) where we can meet to hack on CloudStack and its ecosystem, three parallel tracks in other rooms and great evening events. The event is made possible by the amazing local support from the team at Schuberg Philis, a company that has devops in its vein and organized DevOps days Amsterdam. I am not being very subtle in acknowledging our sponsors here, but hey, without them this would not be possible.

On the first day (November 20th) is the Hackathon sponsored by exoscale. In parallel to the hackathon, new users of CloudStack will be able to attend a full day bootcamp run by the super competent guys from Shapeblue, they also play guitar and drink beers so make sure to hang out with them :). Even as cool is that the CloudStack community recognizes that building a Cloud takes many components, so we will have a jenkins workshop and an elasticsearch workshop. I am big fan of elasticsearch, not only for keeping your infrastructure logs but also for other types of data. I actually store all CloudStack emails in an elasticsearch cluster. Jenkins of course is at the heart of everyone's continuous integration systems these days. Seeing those two workshops, it will be no surprise to see a DevOps track the next two days.

Kicking off the second day -first day of talks- we will have a keynote by Patrick Debois the jedi master of DevOps. We will then break up into a user track, a developer track, a commercial track and for this day only a devops track with a 'culture' flavor. The hard work will begin: choosing which talk to attend. I am not going to go through every talk, we received a lot of great submissions and choosing was hard. New CloudStack users or people looking into using CloudStack will gain a lot from the case studies being presented in the user track while the developers will get a deep dive into the advanced networking features of CloudStack including SDN support -right off the bat-. In the afternoon, the case studies will continue in the user track including a talk from NTT about how they built an AWS compatible cloud. I will have to head to the developer track for a session on 'interfaces' with a talk on jclouds, a new GCE interface that I worked on and my own talk on Apache libcloud for which I worked a lot on the CloudStack driver. The DevOps track will have an entertaining talk by Michael Ducy from Opscode, some real world experiences by John Turner and Noel King from Paddy Power and the VP of engineering for Citrix CloudPlatform will lead an interactive session on how to best work with the open source community of Apache CloudStack.

After recovering from the nights events, we will head into the second day with another entertaining keynote by John Willis. Here the choice will be hard between the storage session in the commercial track and the 'Future of CloudStack' session in the developer track. With talks from NetApp and SolidFire who have each developed a plugin in CloudStack plus our own Wido Den Hollander (PMC member) who wrote the Ceph integration the storage session will rock, but the 'Future of CloudStack' session will be key for developers, talking about frameworks, integration testing, system VMs...After lunch the user track will feature several intro to networking talks. Networking is the most difficult concept to grasp in clouds (IMHO). The storage session will continue with a talk by Basho on RiakCS (also integrated in CloudStack) and a panel. The dev track will be dedicated to discussions on PaaS, not to be missed if you ask me, as PaaS is the next step in Clouds. To wrap things up, I will have to decide between a session on metering/billing, a discussion on hypervisor choice and support, and a presentation on the CloudStack community in Japan after Ruv Cohen talking about trading cloud commodities.

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I had the pleasure last week of working with a Bothell-based hardware vendor, Silicon Mechanics, and a company called Private Cloud Leasing to get CloudStack up and running on what is literally a datacenter on wheels (the small unit in the picture).

BigBlueBox

We took this Cloud-on-Wheels to the LinuxFest Northwest show at Bellingham Technical College, and put it on the expo hall floor.

On Sunday, we unplugged it and rolled it out of the expo hall, across the plaza, and up to one of the classrooms for the CloudStack session. The unit itself is self-propelled, runs on UPS,  and you can basically move it around any building that is wheelchair accessible.

The Cloud-on-Wheels generated A LOT OF ATTENTION (it’s very blue) and thus was a great draw to the booth and session.  As we rolled the unit through the hallways of the college, it was a bit like the Pied Piper…we had a group of folks following us, curious to see what we were doing with this thing. 

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OSCON 2011

Cloud Computing continues to be built around open source, open standards and open hardware

Last  week I attended O'Reilly Publishing's OSCON, one of the biggest open source events in the world. OSCON is one of the few places where you can get training and information from the people who develop the software you use everyday (if you are an open source software user at least).  

Here are some of the things I did and saw that were interesting to the cloud computing user in me. 

  • One of the highlights of the conference for me was helping OpenStack celebrate their one year anniversary. Since announcing the project at last year's conference OpenStack has come a long way and CloudStack and Citrix are happy to be partnered with OpenStack project, we believe a lot of good things coming their way and we are anxious to improve our collaboration with them.
  • This year as expected of most IT conferences, the folks at O'Reilly added a cloud computing track to the program. Some of our favorite sessions were conducted by  Build an Open Source Cloud Day partners Puppet and Chef who gave talks on how to configure and automate cloud infrastructure. 
  • Also Dell released a new open source project code-named Crowbar that helps speed the deployment of OpenStack clouds. Rob Hirschfield has a nice write-up about the project and pointers to all the resources around the project (which coincidentally leverages Chef). 
  • One bit of cloud news that came out of the event was the launch of the Open Cloud Initiative, a effort to drive open standards in cloud computing and "....provide a legal framework within which the greater cloud computing community of users and providers can reach consensus on a set of requirements for Open Cloud, as described in the Open Cloud Principles (OCP) document, and then apply those requirements to cloud computing products and services, again by way of community consensus."
  • Which makes you ask, "Is it open source or open standards or is it both?"

What was clear to me after attending the event was that open seems to be a requirement for all aspects of cloud computing: from hardware (FaceBook's Open Compute project), to software (Managing Open Source Software Releases on a Cloud Platform), to standards (Achieving Hybrid Cloud Mobility with OpenStack and XCP). 

This week I am heading to Santa Clara, CA to attend the XenSummit to hear what the state-of-the-art in Xen project and I am very excited as I think Xen is one of the most under-rated open source technologies, especially given the proprietary alternatives. If you are going to attend the event look me up. 

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Xen Summit 2011

Are you a Xen User? Do you want to see where the Xen project is heading? Then you should consider attending the 2011 Xen Summit in Santa Clara, CA. There will be some great discussion on the Xen hypervisor as well as some great information on cloud computing. David Nalley and I will be there too, hope to see you there!

Here are few of the sessions CloudStack users might be interested in:

Xen in the Cloud

Marco Sinhoreli, Private Cloud Project Leader, Globo.com

Abstract: Globo.com is a internet branch of the Globo Organizations, the biggest latin america media group and the 4th around the world. This session will show how Globo.com utilizes the Xen Cloud Platform and how using it was technologically and economically advantageous.

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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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