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Discussion on the state of cloud computing and open source software that helps build, manage, and deliver everything-as-a-service.

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The leading provider of green cloud solutions brings users flexibility, customization, and productivity with Apache CloudStack

Founded in 2010, GreenQloud began their journey with the founders of cloud.com by building a prototype platform for a public cloud. GreenQloud chose to build their platform on top of CloudStack because they found many benefits from a fully open source stack to which they could also contribute. GreenQloud was one of the earliest contributors, and is responsible for CloudStack's Amazon EC2™ compatibility.

Today, GreenQloud offers a full cloud infrastructure software stack for private, public and hybrid IaaS compute and storage all the while leading the path to green IT and sustainability. GreenQloud is a cloud solutions company offering standalone private cloud, hybrid cloud and Truly Green™ public cloud computing virtual servers and data storage (IaaS) powered by renewable energy. GreenQloud's cloud services, feature an easy-to-use, self-service web console and advanced, compatible API controls for full automation of IT services.

With the addition of its newest product, QStack, the company now offers cloud solutions for the full market, accelerating the market adoption of cleaner cloud technology, by addressing the needs and concerns of companies who have not yet adopted public cloud computing due to regulatory compliance or investment commitments.

The Challenge: Providing Affordable and Sustainable Cloud Solutions to Customers

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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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Last night, the CloudStack Bay Area SF Users Group held a meetup in San Jose, CA at Datapipe. Thank you to Gary Veselka and Datapipe for hosting our group and providing pizza and drinks to keep the CloudStackers going throughout the evening!

John Kinsella kicked off the night with a quick introduction and reminder about the CloudStack Collaboration Conference Europe held in Budapest, Hungary on November 19-21st, 2014. The CfP deadline is June 25th, 2014 so submit your talk today! ApacheCon Europe will be co-located with the CloudStack Collaboration Conference from November 17-21st, 2014.

Our guest speaker, Amogh Vasekar, presented "Moving up the Stack with Stacktician." What is Stacktician? As Amogh put it, "CloudFormation for CloudStack." It is a web interface for template and stack management. Amogh demonstrated the working of the tool and discussed some of the challenges faced while executing pure CloudFormation templates. Click here for the slides. 

On behalf of the organizers (John Kinsella, Animesh Chaturvedi, Ilya Musayef and myself), we want to thank Datapipe for hosting the CloudStack SF Bay Area Users Group and providing a spacious venue for the CloudStackers.

Do you want to attend the next CloudStack meetup in the Bay Area? Become a member of our growing group and join us for pizza, beer and CloudStack talks! Visit: http://www.meetup.com/CloudStack-SF-Bay-Area-Users-Group/events/141814852/

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Hands-on CloudStack Session with David Nalley!

Posted by on in Events

First off – a huge thank you goes out to NetApp and Kim White for hosting the CloudStack SF Bay Area Users Group on March 19th! It was a wonderful venue and they were so generous to provide pizza, refreshments, beer and cupcakes to keep the CloudStackers going through the evening.

John Kinsella kicked off the night with a quick introduction and reminder about the CloudStack Collaboration Conference held in Denver, CO April 9-11th, 2014. A few of our very own CloudStackers have submitted talk proposals for the CloudStack Collaboration Conference. Their talks have gotten accepted and they will be speaking at the conference! Congratulations to Amogh Vasekar and Marco Massenzio! There's still time to register for the conference so don't delay! If you're already planning to attend, check out their presentations:

Moving up the Stack with Stacktician by Amogh Vasekar, Software Engineer at Citrix 

Towards an Automated Testing Environment by Amogh Vasekar, Software Engineer at Citrix

Challenges in Developing a True SaaS Cloud Mobility Platform by Marco Massenzio at RiverMeadow

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The global provider of swiss-based cloud services brings users automation, platform, and much needed services by integrating with Apache CloudStack

Exoscale is a global provider of swiss-based cloud services. Exoscale offers local or international companies real technological and financial benefits while preserving top-level customer relationship. Its service catalog proposes IaaS products from compute to storage. Exoscale combines cloud computing advantages with the know-how and experience of Veltigroup, a major and local ICT player in Switzerland. This combination between Cloud agility and proximity of a trusted service provider makes Exoscale unique on the market. Today, two datacenters physically hosts Exoscale's products. The datacenters are located in the Geneva area and separated by 10km. Due to the intuitive web based management console, provisioning of cloud servers is only a few clicks away. There is one console for all DC zones and it allows the user to access and deploy their servers from any DC zone available in Exoscale. Exoscale's services are strictly located in Switzerland and operated solely from there.

The Challenge: Offering Turn-Key IaaS Cloud Services with a Simple Cloud Interface for Developers

As the leading Swiss cloud provider, Exoscale decided to expand its services using CloudStack by creating their own UI and integrating it with a ticketing, monitoring and billing system that they developed. Exoscale required an IaaS cloud computing platform with a rich API to allow for easy integration of software to automate the management of their cloud. The UI as mentioned is custom made, built with angular.js and bootstrap and aimed for developers. It allowed Exoscale to tighten the access to the various CloudStack functionalities and integrate with their ticketing and billing system. As a result, there was no need to log into multiple systems for billing or support. Developers are directed to a simple one-step instance creation form with a straightforward way of adding a new instance. They can get a direct high-level view of instances, credits, on-going tickets and instances are displayed directly on the console dashboard for a quick and easy access to actions.

Solution: Delivering IaaS Cloud Services through an Apache CloudStack Powered Cloud

With Apache CloudStack as the base orchestrator, Exoscale is able to integrate an advanced monitoring infrastructure. CloudStack logs from the management server and all the hypervisors are sent to a redis based publish-subscribe queue and fed into an elasticsearch cluster with Kibana serving as the UI frontend to mine the logs. This gives Exoscale engineers a clean web interface to all events in their cloud and easy access to logs. In addition they used JMX metrics for java processes on the entire infrastructure, coupled with the graphite monitoring system. CloudStack's maturity, ease of implementation, open APIs and ability to seamlessly integrate with existing systems allowed Exoscale to deliver value-added services to their users giving them control and flexibility that they needed.

The Benefit: Ease of Implementation, Flexibility and Maturity

"CloudStack maturity and ease of use allowed us to focus on the ecosystem around it. As an open source group, we easily integrated software like logstash, kibana, puppet to automate the management of our cloud, this saved us a lot of time and allowed us to focus on the value add that we want to bring to our users: automation, platform, services on top of the core IaaS functionality," says Antoine Coetsier, Director Open Cloud, Exoscale. The open source nature of Apache CloudStack also means that a company like Exoscale can invest development time to enhance the platform with the features that it needs. The open source group set a great example by investing their time to integrate software with CloudStack enabling much-needed services for their users.

Technical Situation

Exoscale's cloud consists of two data centers in Geneva and Vernier, with hardware hosted by Equinix. They run Apache CloudStack 4.0.2 and use KVM hypervisors on Ubuntu based servers. One customization that was performed is that they patched CloudStack to output logs using logstash and use Kibana for visualization. Exoscale offers Debian 7.2, CentOS 6.5 and Ubuntu 12.04/13.10 64 bit templates with instance types from 512MB with 1 core to 32 GB with 8 cores. Fully licensed Windows instances are also available. All their nodes -management server and hypervisors- are setup with a puppet infrastructure. The development and operations team is relatively small for such an offering but they are backed by the Veltigroup a leading IT provider in Switzerland, which gives them a 20 person team for support. The developers are seasoned IT infrastructure enthusiasts who participate in the DevOps, openBSD, Clojure and Pallet community. The CTO, Pierre-Yves Ritschard, formerly with paper.li, recently participated in DevOps Days Paris and has contributed a Clojure client to CloudStack: clostack. Exoscale is embracing open source, not only by using it, but also by contributing to the various communities that make up the foundation of Cloud services.

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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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