OSED OMG: OpenStack Essex Deploy Day!! A day-long four-session two-track International Online Conference

Curious about OpenStack? Know it, but want to tune your Ops chops? JOIN US on Thursday 5/31 (or Friday 6/1 if you are in Asia)!

Already know the event logistics? Skip back to my OSED observations post.

Some important general notes:

  1. We are RECORDING everything and will link posts from the event page.
  2. There is HOMEWORK if you want to get ahead by installing OpenStack yourself.
  3. For last minute updates about the event, I recommend that you join the Crowbar Listserver.

Content Logistics work like this.

  1. Everything will be available ONLINE. We are also coordinating many physical sites as rally points.
  2. Introductory: FOUR 3-hour sessions for people who do not have OpenStack or Crowbar experience. These sessions will show how to install OpenStack using Crowbar, discuss DevOps and showcase companies that are in the OpenStack ecosystem. They are planned to have 2 European slots (afternoon & evening), 3 US slots (morning, afternoon & evening), and 1 Asian slot (morning).
  3. Expert: ON-GOING deep technical sessions for engineers who have OpenStack and/or Crowbar experience. There will be one main screen and voice channel in which we are planning to highlight and discuss these topics in blocks throughout the day. We have a long list of topics to discuss and will maintain an ongoing Google Hangout for each topic. Depending on interest, we will jump back and forth to different hangouts.

Intro/Overview Session Logistics work like this

We’re planning FOUR introductory sessions throughout the day (read ahead?). Each session should be approximately 3 hours. The first hour of the sessions will be about OpenStack Essex and installing it using Crowbar. After some Q&A, we’re going to highlight the OpenStack ecosystem. The schedule for the ecosystem is in flux and will likely shift even during the event.

The Session start times for Overview & Ecosystem content

Region EDT Session 1 Session 2 Session 3 Session 4
Europe (-5) -5 3pm 6pm * *
Americas Eastern 0 10am 1pm 4pm *
Americas Central +1 9am Noon 3pm *
Americas Mtn +2 * 11am 2pm 7pm
Americas West +3 * 10am 1pm 6pm
Asia (Toyko) +10 * * * 6/1 10 am

* There are no planned live venues at this time/region. You are always welcome to join online!

Experts Track Logistics

Note: we expect experts to have already installed OpenStack (see homework page). Ideally, an expert has already setup a build environment.

We have a list of topics (Essex, Quantum, Networking, Pull from Source, Documentation, etc) that we plan to cover on a 30-60 minute rotation.

We will cover the OpenStack Essex deploy at the start of each planned session (9am, Noon, 3pm & 8pm EDT). Before we cover the OpenStack deploy, we’ll spend 10 minutes setting (and posting) the agenda for the next three hours based on attendee input.

Even if we are not talking about a topic on the main channel, we will keep a dialog going on topic specific Google hangouts. The links to the hangouts will be posted with the Expert track agenda.

Asia-Pac Session for OpenStack Essex Global Deploy day

I did not want us to neglect Asia-Pac for the upcoming OpenStack Deploy day, so I was delighted when Mike Pittaro offered to help host the online content for the last session. Mike is an OpenStack contributor who recently joined my team at Dell.

This addresses the concern that our first Essex hack day was America’s daytime only so it was difficult for time zones east of GMT to participate.

We are working with Dell teams in Asia-Pac to setup more information to support Japan, China, Korea and Australia.

This picture, taken by Dan Choquette (my team too!), is from Toyko DevOpsDays.

Join us 5/31 for a OpenStack Deploy Hack-a-thon (all-day, world-wide online & multi-city)

An OpenStack Deploy Hack-a-thon is like 3-liter bottle of distilled open source community love.  Do you want direct access to my Dell team of OpenStack/Crowbar/Hadoop engineers?  Are you just getting started and want training about OpenStack and DevOps?  This is the event for you!

Here’s the official overview:

The OpenStack Deploy hack-a-thon focuses on automation for deploying OpenStack Essex with Dell Crowbar and Opscode Chef. This is a day-long, world-wide event bringing together developers, operators, users, ecosystem vendors and the open source cloud curious. (read below: We are looking for global sites and leaders to extend the event hours!)

OpenStack is the fastest growing open source cloud infrastructure project with broad market adoption from major hardware and software vendors. Crowbar is an Apache 2 licensed, open infrastructure deployment tool and is one of the leading multi-node deployers for OpenStack and Hadoop.

Learn first-hand how OpenStack and Crowbar can make it easy to deploy and operate your own cloud environments.

The Deploy day will offer two individual parallel tracks with something for both experts and beginners:

  • Newbies n00bs will learn the basics of OpenStack, Crowbar and DevOps and how they can benefit your organization. We’ll also have time for ecosystem vendors to discuss how they are leveraging OpenStack.
  • Experts l33ts will take a deep dive into new features of OpenStack Essex and Crowbar, and learn how Crowbar works under the hood, which will enable them to extend the product using Crowbar Barclamps.
Note: If you’re a n00b but want l33t content, we’ll be offering online training materials and videos to help get you up to speed.

Why now? We’ve validated our OpenStack Essex deployment against the latest release bits from Ubuntu. Now it’s time to reach out to the OpenStack and Crowbar communities for training, testing and collaborative development.

Join the event!  We’re organizing information on the Crowbar wiki.  (I highly recommend you join the Crowbar list to get access to support for prep materials).  You can also reach out to me via the @DellCrowbar handle.

We’d love to get you up to speed on the basics and dive deep into the core.

Four OpenStack Trends from Summit: Practical, Friendly, Effective and Deployable

With the next OpenStack Austin meetup on Thursday (sponsored by Puppet), I felt like it was past time for me to post my thoughts and observations about the Spring 2012 OpenStack design conference.  This was my fifth OpenStack conference (my notes about Bexar, Cactus, Diablo & Essex).  Every conference has been unique, exciting, and bigger than the previous.

My interest lies in the trend lines of OpenStack.  For details about sessions, I recommend Stefano Maffulli‘s  excellent link aggregation post for the Summit.

1. Technology Trend: Practical with Potential.

OpenStack started with a BIG vision to become the common platform for cloud API and operations.  That vision is very much alive and on-track; however, our enthusiasm for what could be is tempered by the need to build a rock solid foundation.  The drive to stability over feature expansion has had a very positive impact.  I give a lot of credit for this effort to the leadership of the project technical leads (PTLs), Canonical‘s drive to include OpenStack in the 12.04 LTS and the Rackspace Cloud drive to deploy Essex.  My team at Dell has also been part of this trend by focusing so much effort on making OpenStack production deployable (via Crowbar).

Overall, I am seeing a broad-based drive to minimize disruption.

2. Culture Trend: Friendly but some tension.

Companies at both large and small ends of the spectrum are clearly jockeying for position.  I think the market is big enough for everyone; however, we are also bumping into each other.  Overall, we are putting aside these real and imagined differences to focus on enlarging the opportunity of having a true community cloud platform.  For example, the OpenStack Foundation investment formation has moneyed competitors jostling for position to partner together.

However, it’s not just about paying into the club; OpenStack’s history is clearly about execution.  Looking back to the original Austin Summit sponsors, we’ve clearly seen that intent and commitment are different.

3. Discussion Trend: Small Groups Effective

The depth & quality of discussions inside sessions was highly variable.  Generally, I saw that large group discussions stayed at a very high level.  The smaller sessions required deep knowledge of the code to participate and seemed more productive.  We continue to have a juggle between discussions that are conceptual or require detailed knowledge of the code.  If conceptual, it’s too far removed.  If code, it becomes inaccessible to many people.

This has happened at each Summit and I now accept that it is natural.  We are using vision sessions to ensure consensus and working sessions to coordinate deliverables for the release.

I cannot over emphasize importance of small groups and delivery driven execution interactions: I spent most of my time in small group discussions with partners aligning efforts.

4. Deployment Trend: Testing and Upstreams matter

Operations for deploying OpenStack is a substantial topic at the Summit.  I find that to be a significant benefit to the community because there are a large block of us who were vocal advocates for deployability at the very formation of the project.

From my perspective at Dell, we are proud to see that wide spread acknowledgement of our open source contribution, Crowbar, as the most prominent OpenStack deployer.   Our efforts at making OpenStack installable are recognized as a contribution; however, we’re also getting feedback that we need to streamline and simplify Crowbar.  We also surprised to hear that Crowbar is “opinionated.”   On reflection, I agree (and am proud) of this assessment because it matches best practice coding styles.  Since our opinions also drive our test matrix there is a significant value for our OpenStack deployment is that we spend a lot of time testing (automated and manual) our preferred install process.

There’s a push to reconcile the various Chef OpenStack cookbooks into a single upstream.  This seems like a very good idea because it will allow various parties to collaborate on open operations.  The community needs leadership from Opscode to make this happen.  It appears that Puppet Labs is interested in playing a similar role for Puppet modules but these are still emerging and have not had a chance to fragment.

No matter which path we take, the deployment scripts are only as good as their level of testing.   Unreliable deployment scripts have are less than worthless.

Dell Cloud in the Community – events, speaking and sponsorships!

Members of various Dell Cloud teams are out and about!  You can catch us North, South, East, West and Central!

I get a lot of questions about the Dell Hosted Cloud (my team does “private hyperscale cloud“) so I’m glad to offer ACUG as a venue where people can talk to Stephen Spector and hear it from the source.

Date Topics Event Venue Sponsor
5/12 Topics: OpenStack Foundation, DevStack & Folsom Summit review. Austin OpenStack Meetup Austin, TX (Tech Ranch) Puppet Labs
5/15 Dell Public Cloud team will discuss and demonstrate vCloud running an HPC platform for highly processor intensive applications (Greenbutton and SAP) Austin Cloud User Group Austin, TX Dell Public Cloud
5/16 OpenStack Topics (TBD) including Folsom Summit review, Quantum, HyperV Boston OpenStack Meetup Boston, MA (Havard, Maxwell Dworkin 119) SUSE
5/16-17 DevOps applications for Chef on OpenStack private clouds using Crowbar. Chef User Conference San Francisco, CA Opscode
5/??
TBD
Help us kick out a rock solid Essex deploy using Crowbar and Chef. World Wide Essex Deploy Day Multiple Live & Remote Locations Dell OpenStack
5/23-24 Open source software in the government.  Specifically, I’m talking about  OpenStack, Hadoop and Crowbar.  I know that Cloudera and Canonical will be there. Military Open Source Charleston, SC Mill-OSS

PS: The slides are posted if you missed our 3-way joint session with Dell, Opscode & enStratus at the OpenStack Summit.

Did Austin Stackers get what we wanted at the OpenStack Design Summit?

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This post is a follow-up from the April 12 Austin OpenStack  (OSTAX) meeting.

Overall, we had a good meeting with strong attendance.  Unlike last meeting, the attendees were less OpenStack experienced; however, many us worked for companies that are members of the OpenStack Foundation.  I work for Dell (a gold sponsor).

Rather than posting before the summit, I’ve scored my summit experiences against our poll to see if our priorities were met.  (note: Thanks to Greg Althaus for additional input in the commentary)

Issue OSTAX Rank Results from Summit Outlook
Stability vs. Features Prioritization & Processes 68% This was a major thread throughout the summit in multiple sessions.   My feeling of the dialog was the stability (including continuous integration) was a core requirement. Excellent
API vs Code. What does it mean to be “OpenStack” 68% This is a good news / bad news story.  As OpenStack Compute gets split into more and more independent pieces; their interactions will require a well-defined externalized API.  The continuing issue is that these APIs will be still driven by the python-based reference implementation.  In some regards, APIs will emerge and be better codified.  Newer PTLs bring additional perspective and beliefs around APIs vs Code. Mixed
Operations focus: making OpenStack easy to deploy and manage 68% This was a major topic with many sessions dedicated to operationalizing OpenStack.  Special focus was given to shared Puppet and Chef deployment code.There were specific sessions around High Availability and what that means.  From this session, consensus was built for infrastructure HA documentation using Pacemaker for Folsom.  There was NOT consensus for instance-level HA. Trending Positive
Documentation Standards and improved user guides 59% Anne Gentle is championing this and had a presence throughout the summit. Strong
Driving for Hypervisor feature parity (KVM, Xen and also VMware/HyperV) 57% While Libvirt/KVM continues to dominate.  Citrix was present to support XenServer and Microsoft made commitments for (returning) HyperV support. Uneven Progress
Improving collaboration (get beyond listserv & IRC) so information is more persistent 56% I was not involved in discussions around this topic. No Comment
Have more operations discussion / design at the Design Summit 54% We had many sessions about operations tooling but little about specific considerations for operations.  Perhaps we need to take a step towards shared deployment scripts. Action with Fragmentation
Nova-volume to split out and/or more API driven (less integrated) 51% This was a major topic in multiple sessions.  There are a number of parties that are signing up to create block storage as a stand-alone project.Cinder will be the block storage service.  Not just good sessions were held, but good plans were built for constructing and improving the project.  The project will start as a clone of the current nova project with unique chunks living in Cinder and common pieces of both projects move to the openstack-common project.The Cinder working group is very cross company and had a strong desire to maintain a minimal specification (current API replacement) with only one additional feature required for Folsom (boot from volume).  The boot from volume feature is really a Nova feature, but the Cinder team will most likely drive it to ensure Cinder/Nova separation. Surprisingly Active
OpenStack on Windows & HyperV 50% This is two topics.  Microsoft is committing for OpenStack to support HyperV as a Nova Compute node.  Running the rest of the suite on Windows does not appear to be a priority (or practical?) Promising Potential
Orchestration. More projects like Donabe? 48% There are a number of ecosystem projects emerging.  Now that Essex has emerged as a solid release, I expect to see an acceleration projects.  At this time, they are still incubating.There was also the acknowledgement that there are two levels of orchestration, instance orchestration (think nova scheduler) and workload orchestration (think Donabe or VAPP).  Instance orchestration had many good discussions and improvements suggested and started (host aggregates, filter scheduler extensions, …) Building Slowly
Making Nova into smaller components 46% This was a thread in several sessions and it part of the ongoing stabilization work to improve collaboration.  One important component of this is moving common code into a shared library. In process, needs focus
How should invitations be handed out to Summit? Was the last process to Dev focused? 40% I was not aware of any discussion of this at the summit.  Looks like we all need to go out and commit some code! No Comment

Overall, I think that the Austin Stacker priorities were well positioned at the Design Summit.

After the split, I’m posted the twitter feed from the meeting (in post  order):

Continue reading

OpenStack Meetup 4/12: Austin at Summit, DevStack Essex

Austin Stackers!  This Thursday is our April meetup at the Austin TechRanch.

Please RSVP so that we know how much food to get!  SUSE is this Month’s sponsor for food and my team at Dell continues to pickup the room rental.  We have 35 RSVPs as of Monday noon – this will be another popular meeting (last meeting minutes).

Topics for the meetup are:

With the Summit next week, I think it is very important that we pre-discuss Summit topics and priorities as a community.  It will help us be more productive individually and for our collective interests when we engage the larger community next week.