We are doing the work in the open on the Crowbar Github so you have access to the very latest capabilities and it also means that the head the Crowbar may be unstable while we add capabilities. We feel like this is an important trade off because it allows us to keep up with the rapid pace of development in OpenStack (and other projects). This is the motivation for the recent modularization work and will continue to be a feature driver for Crowbar enhancements because it allows Crowbar users to easily bring in updated bits.
Note: I’m putting build ISOs and Sledgehammer TARs on crowbar.zehicle.com if you don’t want to follow these steps then download the ISO. We are updating the ISO daily, so don’t assume that you have that latest!
To build Crowbar, you need a Linux machine and access to the internet. The video shows how you can use an Ubuntu 10.10 Rackspace Cloud Server. We build Crowbar inside our firewall on our PCs too. No matter how you do it, Crowbar is full of fuzzily delicious cloud bits.
Dell has substantial IT assets to bring to bear on cloud solutions. All of them are ultimately tied to products that generate revenue for Dell; however, that does not prevent our being able to collaborate and share. On the contrary, we benefiting from input from our partners, customers and community to determine which features are needed to accelerate adoption. Our recent decision to accelerate Crowbar modularization is a clear example of that process.
It is essential to understand that this is not just about cloud technologies! It is about the collaborative way we are promoting them and the processes we are using to deliver them.
With Dell’s cloud moving at hurricane speed, it has been interesting to watch how other companies are setting their own OpenStack initiatives. It seems to me that many of these efforts involve forks from OpenStack that cannot/will not be contributed back the community. One (but not the only) example is from HP’s Emil Sayegh who says that “HP developers … ideas will be shared…” He does not commit to sharing HP’s code in his post. I hope that is an oversight and not their plan.
In time, forking may be needed. Right now, we need to focus on building a strong foundation. Open contributions of code are the engine of that success.
I shared the following with the Crowbar listserv and wanted to post it for the larger audience. If you want the latest on Crowbar then subscribe!
We’ve been getting questions and defects (thanks Matt Ray) about how we are going to allow you to update and add barclamps to Crowbar. We’re working on that exact issue right now – you can watch me on the “modules” branch of the github.
NOTE TO CROWBAR FOLLOWERS: we are moving some items around in the repo! There are “cactus” and “v1.0” tags in place so you can still build the current trees after we start the refactor.
We’ve got some big plans that I’ll outline on the list and earlier posts.
Right now, we’re working to modularize barclamps so that each one is in its own github repo. This will allow you to pull in barclamps at build time or live on site. We’re also creating import/update routines that work for live systems to make it easier to develop barclamps. Once again, that’s on the github modules branch. These will be exposed as rake barclamp:create[“foo”] and rake barclamp:install[“../foo”] type commands and I’ve committed to create some “how to make barclamps” videos.
That work is a prelude for a hard push on OpenStack Diablo before the design conference. All that work will also be done in the github but the Diablo barclamps will be in independent repos from the Crowbar framework.