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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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How fast is Xen on ARM?

Posted by on in Cloud News

This is a repost of Stefano Stabellini's blog post on blog.xenproject.org

With Xen on ARM getting out of the early preview phase and becoming more mature, it is time to run a few benchmarks to check that the design choices paid out, the architecture is sound and the code base is solid. It is time to find out how much is the overhead introduced by Xen on ARM and how it compares with Xen and other hypervisors on x86.

I measured the overhead by running the same benchmark on a virtual machine on Xen on ARM and on native Linux on the same hardware. It takes a bit longer to complete the benchmark inside a VM, but how much longer? The answer to this question is the virtualization overhead.

Setup

I chose AppliedMicro X-Gene as the ARM platform to run the benchmarks on: it is an ARMv8 64-bit SoC with an 8 cores cpu and 16GB of RAM. I had Dom0 running with 8 vcpus and 1GB of RAM, the virtual machine that ran the tests had 2GB of RAM and 8 vcpus. To make sure that the results are comparable I restricted the amount of memory available to the native Linux run, so that Linux had all the 8 physical cores at its disposal but only 2GB of RAM.

For the x86 tests, I used a Dell server with an Intel Xeon x5650, that is a 6 cores HyperThreading cpu. HyperThreading was disabled during the tests for better performances. Similarly to the ARM tests, I had Dom0 running with 6 vcpus and 1GB of RAM and the virtual machine running with 2GB of RAM and 6 vcpus. The native Linux run had 6 physical cores and 2GB of RAM. For the KVM tests I booted the host with 3GB of RAM, then assigned 2GB of RAM to the KVM virtual machine.

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I am excited to get to visit Tokyo again and speak at LinuxCon and CloudOpen May 20-22. 

I was somewhat surprised at the volume of OpenDaylight talks that will be given at the event; but given the relatively advanced state of networking in Asia, perhaps I shouldn't be. There are at least 7 OpenDaylight talks alongside other SDN talks. Perhaps OpenDaylight hype is even bigger in Asia than in North America.

There are lots of cloud talks as one would expect; and I am particularly glad to hear that the Japan CloudStack User Group is going to be meeting on the evening of the 20th; and I am excited that I get to attend.

Hope to see you soon in Tokyo 

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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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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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