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New EC2 interface to CloudStack

Posted by on in Cloud News

EC2stack

CloudStack features an EC2 query interface that can be run on the management server. This is great, but written in Java and using axis can be a bit difficult to hack on and improve. EC2stack is a new project by CloudStack committer Ian Duffy and a buddy of his Darren Brogan from Dublin City University. They did this as part of their third year school project. Building on their previous experience with gstack, a GCE interface to CloudStack, they wrote a brand new EC2 interface to CloudStack.

The interface uses Flask microframework and is written 100% in Python. It also features a vagrant box for easy testing, lots of unittests and automatic build tests (pep8, pylint and coverage) via Travis CI. All around a pretty tight project. They did it on github and not directy in the Apache CloudStack trunk because it was a graded project. They did get permission to put it on github but could not accept pull requests :)

Getting Started with the vagrant box

Clone the repo and launch the vagrant box:

git clone https://github.com/imduffy15/ec2stack.git
cd ec2stack
vagrant up

Within the VM you can now configure ec2stack:

mkvirtualenv ec2stack
cd /vagrant
python setup.py develop

Getting Started without vagrant

Just install ec2stack with:

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Gluster Community Adds New Members Citrix, Harvard FASRC and Expands Governing Board
Citrix, Harvard University FASRC and long-time contributors join the Gluster Community Board to drive the direction of open software-defined storage

February 5, 2014 – The Gluster Community, the leading community for open software-defined storage, announced today two new organizations have signed letters of intent to join: Citrix, Inc. and Harvard University's Faculty of Arts and Science Research Computing (FASRC) group. This marks the third major expansion of the Gluster Community in governance and projects since mid-2013. Downloads of GlusterFS per month have tripled since the beginning of 2013, and traffic to gluster.org has increased by over 50% over the previous year. There are now 45 projects on the Gluster Forge and over 200 developers, with integrations either completed or in the works for OpenStack Swift, CloudStack, OpenStack Cinder, Ganeti, Archipelago, Xen, QEMU/KVM, Ganesha, the Java platform, and SAMBA, with more to come in 2014.

Citrix and FASRC will be represented by Mark Hinkle, Senior Director of Open Source Solutions, and James Cuff, Assistant Dean for Research Computing, respectively, joining two individual contributors: Anond Avati, Lead GlusterFS Architect, and Theron Conrey, a contributing speaker, blogger and leading advocate for converged infrastructure. Rounding out the Gluster Community Board are Xavier Hernandez (DataLab); Marc Holmes (Hortonworks), Vin Sharma (Intel), Jim Zemlin (The Linux Foundation), Keisuke Takahashi (NTTPC), Lance Albertson (The Open Source Lab at Oregon State University), John Mark Walker (Red Hat), Louis Zuckerman, Joe Julian, and David Nalley.

Citrix

Citrix has become a major innovator in the cloud and virtualization markets. They will drive ongoing efforts to integrate GlusterFS with CloudStack (https://forge.gluster.org/cloudstack-gluster) and the Xen hypervisor. Citrix is also sponsoring Gluster Community events, including a Gluster Cloud Night at their facility in Santa Clara, California on March 18.

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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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CloudStack Google Summer of Code Projects

Posted by on in Cloud News

Google Summer of Code is entering the final stretch with pencil down on Sept 16th and final evaluation on Sept 27th. Of the five projects CloudStack had this summer, one failed at mid-term and one led to committer status couple weeks ago. That's 20% failure and 20% outstanding results, on par with GSoC wide statistics I believe.

The LDAP integration has been the most productive project. Ian Duffy a 20 year old from Dublin did an outstanding job, developing his new feature in a feature branch, building a jenkins pipeline to test everything and submitting a merge request to master couple weeks ago. With 90% unittest coverage, static code analysis with Sonar in his jenkins pipeline and automatic publishing of rpms in a local yum repo, Ian exceed expectation. His code has even been already backported to the 4.1.1 release with the CloudSand distro of CloudStack.

The SDN extension project was about taking the native GRE controller in CloudStack and extend it to support XCP and KVM. Nguyen from Vietnam has done an excellent job quickly adding support for XCP thanks to his expertise with Xen. He is now putting the final touches on KVM support and building L3 services with OpenDaylight. The entire GRE controller was re-factored to be a plugin similar to the Nicira NVP, Midonet and BigSwitch BVS plugin. While native to CloudStack this controller brings another SDN solution to CloudStack. I expect to see his merge request before pencil down for what will be an extremely valuable project.

While the CloudStack UI is great, it was actually written has a demonstration of how the CloudStack API could be used to build a user facing portal. With the "new UI" project, Shiva Teja from India used boostrap and Angular to create a new UI. Originally the project suggested to use backbone but after feedback from the community Shiva switch to using Angular. Shiva's effort are to be commended as he truly worked on his own with in-consistent network connectivity and no local mentoring. Shiva is a bachelor student and had to learn bootstrap, angular and also Flask on his own. It must have been paying off since he is interviewing with Amazon and Goole for internships next summer. His code being independent of the CloudStack code has been committed to master in our tools directory. This creates a solid framework for other to build on and create their own CloudStack UI.

Perhaps the most research oriented project has been the one from Meng Han from Florida. This was no standard coding projects as it required not only to learn new technologies (aside from CloudStack) but also required investigation of the Amazon EMR API. Meng had to implement EMR in CloudStack using Apache Whirr. Whirr is a java library for provisioning of virtual machines on cloud providers. Whirr uses Apache jclouds and can interact with most cloud providers out there. Meng developed a new set of CloudStack APIs to launch hadoop clusters on-demand. At the start she had to learn CloudStack and install it, then learn the Whirr library and subsequently create a new API in CloudStack which would use Whirr to coordinate multiple node deployments. Meng's code is working but still a bit short from our goal of having a AWS EMR interface. This is partly my fault has this project could have required more mentoring. In any case, the work will go on and I expect to see an EMR implementation in CloudStack in the coming months.

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A recap from BACD Paris

Posted by on in Cloud News

On June 19th we had a Build a Cloud Day in Paris, 60 of us gathered to learn about Apache CloudStack and ear from CloudStack users, integrators and ecosystem partners. We had four great sponsors that helped make the event possible: iKoula a public cloud provider in Paris, Usharesoft a software provider, Apalia a CloudStack integrator and editor of Amysta a CloudStack usage and metering plugin and OW2 an open source consortium. I finally got all the slides and I embed them in this post for your enjoyment. The day started with an intro about BACD and a presentation of the various talks that we were going to have. I talked about the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) and showed how several Apache projects could be used to build a complete cloud infrastructure.

Ikoula followed with a presentation on how to use CloudStack to build a public cloud. Public clouds are the natural evolution of traditional hosting providers, ikoula offers several cloud services based on a default CloudStack install. With 1,000 servers and approximately 8,000 Virtual machines in the cloud it is a perfect example of a public cloud in production with CloudStack. In the afternoon, Joaqium Dos Santos gave an introductory demo on the CloudStack API and CloudMonkey.

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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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