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Recent blog posts

The First Generation Cloud Dealt with Orchestration; The Next Generation Will Deal with Applications

During the past decade, the world of the cloud has been consumed with orchestration: How can we make an infrastructure which can adapt to the needs of the enterprise?  Words like automation, flexibility, and control have ruled the world of the cloud to date.

But now that a number of cloud orchestration projects have begun to mature, it's time to take a look at the applications themselves.  Until now, the applications which dwell in clouds look suspiciously like the applications which inhabited the traditional datacenter.  And while they may function pretty well, they are not really designed with an agile infrastructure in mind.

Make It Small, Make It Fast

In the world of the cloud, it would make sense to have small applications which are lightweight and nimble.  They should be quick to start and stop.  They should do what they need to do and then get out of the way so that valuable compute resources can be focused on applications which require compute power -- like databases, for instance.

Docker has made inroads in this area by using container technology to share the operating system space between many applications.  Virtual machines contain a full operating system for each instance, which requires lots of disk space, lots of memory, and prolonged startup and shutdown times.  Docker-type solutions keep memory usage down, make startups and shutdowns lightning quick, and create application bundles which are easy to deploy.

But shared resources can mean that an exploit of the base operating system can cause the compromise of dozens or even hundreds of applications resident on that host.  It also means that multi-tenant situations are difficult to achieve, as shared resources could mean increased ability to see your neighbor's work. If you don't trust your neighbor, you want a wall between the two applications which makes them invisible to each other, just like the solutions already extant in the world of hypervisors.

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FOSDEM, Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit, openSUSE Mini-Summit, and SCALE 13X All to Feature Xen Project Content!

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Jan 31-Feb 1: Lots of Great Talks at FOSDEM 2015!

FOSDEM is an absolutely huge annual event in Brussels, Belgium, and FOSDEM 15 is a huge event for Xen Project!  Talks include:

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Yesterday evening, the CloudStack Silicon Valley Users Group held a meetup in Palo Alto, CA at SAP Labs. Thank you to Alex Graebe and SAP Labs for hosting our group!

John Kinsella kicked off the night with an introduction of our speakers, Mike Tutkowski and Andrew Kirch, and a quick reminder about ApacheCon North America 2015. The call for proposals is open until February 1st, 2015 so submit your proposal today! 

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Our guest speakers for the evening were Mike Tutkowski, a member of the CloudStack PMC, and Andrew Kirch, Community Manager at Zenoss. Mike Tutkowski develops software for the Apache CloudStack project to help drive improvements in its storage component and to integrate SolidFire more deeply into the product. Andrew Kirch works directly with product users every day. He has over 10 years of experience as a Systems/Network Administrator, with specialization including SNMP and network monitoring.

Mike started off the meetup by going over the basics of primary storage in CloudStack and discussing the challenges of guaranteeing storage performance in a cloud. Then he reviewed the CloudStack enhancements in detail, outlined the management benefits they provide and discussed common go-to-market approaches. The presentation slides for Guaranteeing Storage Performance in CloudStack by Mike Tutkowski can be found here.

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Recently, I attended a conference session where the presenter said of his mature project, "We are focused mostly on performance these days, not much on new stuff."  To most people, I'm sure this statement was unremarkable.  However, as one who is associated with a project which is over a decade old and powers many of the largest clouds in the world, I found the statement both sobering and horrifying.

It is sobering to think that lack of  innovation within a project speaks of the impending end of the effort; a race has been run, a finish line crossed, and a horse put out to pasture.  It's the inevitable death of all things when there is no more room for real ingenuity or growth.  All that remains is to wait for the inevitable replacement to stand up and become the new go-to solution in the area.

But it is also horrifying to think that a project would choose to so casually embrace this fate.  I understand that once you set out to do something and you succeed, it is easy to say, "Well, I guess we're done with the new and interesting stuff."  But if you come to that conclusion too quickly, you probably suffer from a gigantic vision problem.

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RICON 2014 Build a Cloud Day - Videos are Available

Posted by on in Events

On October 27th, 2014 the Open@Citrix team hosted a Build a Cloud Day at RICON 2014. Thank you to the speakers who presented that day!

For those of you who haven't attended a Build a Cloud Day, here's what Build a Cloud Day is all about. Build a Cloud Days are free to attend and held around the world. Build a Cloud days are designed to expose attendees to the concepts and best practices around deploying cloud computing infrastructure. Attendees learn how to deploy a cloud computing environment using Apache CloudStack and other cloud infrastructure tools including those from XenServer, Docker, RiakCS, Ceph, Chef, Zenoss, Puppet and many others that automate server and network configuration for building highly available cloud computing environments.

Mark Hinkle kicked off the day with an introduction and a presentation on A Crash Course to Open Source Cloud Computing.

Crash Course on Open Source Cloud Computing by Mark Hinkle (Slides | Video)

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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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