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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Apache CloudStack Community

Last week, the CloudStack Silicon Valley Users Group held a meetup in Sunnyvale, CA at NetApp. Thank you to Kim White, Ray Mar and NetApp for hosting our group on Thursday evening!

John Kinsella kicked off the night with an introduction of our speaker, Geoff Higginbottom, and a quick reminder about the CloudStack Collaboration Conference Europe held in Budapest, Hungary on November 19-21st, 2014. The schedule is now available. Register now! ApacheCon Europe will be co-located with the CloudStack Collaboration Conference from November 17-21st, 2014.

Our guest speaker for the evening was Geoff Higginbottom, CTO of ShapeBlue Ltd and a leading CloudStack implementation specialist. Geoff has designed numerous Apache CloudStack and Citrix CloudPlatform Cloud Infrastructures, for both Public and Private Cloud use cases. Geoff regularly speaks at the CloudStack European User Group and designed and delivers a very successful CloudStack 2 Day Bootcamp course (which has been delivered around the globe). We were very lucky that Geoff happened to be in the US helping a CloudStack User get their cloud up and running last week. He took time to speak at the CloudStack Silicon Valley User group giving insights on designing CloudStack clouds and answering numerous questions from the attendees!

Geoff started off the meetup with an introduction to CloudStack and gave a live demonstration of the technology.

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I had a recent discussion with some folks wondering why there was now an option for 32 or 64-bit System VMs with CloudStack 4.3. I provided an answer, and linked back to some mailing list discussions. I figured this might be of general interest, so I’d document in the short term with a blog post.

For background, system VMs provide services like dealing with snapshots and image templates, providing network services like load balancing, or proxying console access to virtual machines. They’ve historically been 32-bit. The reason for this is that the 32-bit arch has been very efficient with memory usage, and since these are horizontally scalable it’s easy to just spin up another.

But you can have either – which do you pick?

Depending on the workload you might have a different answer. Some hypervisors work better with one arch over the other; and that might be a factor; but ignoring hypervisors lets examine the reason you’d want to use either. 32-bit: 32-bit operating systems are pretty efficient with their use of memory compared to 64-bit. (e.g. the same information typically occupies less space in memory). However there are limits on memory. (Yes, you could use PAE with a 32-bit kernel to get more addressable memory, but there is considerable CPU overhead to do so – which makes it inefficient given that all of this is virtualized) The 32-bit kernels also have a limit on how much memory is used by the kernel. This is really where the use case of 64-bit System VMs evolved from. Because one of the system VM functions is providing load balancing, the conntrack kernel module had a practical limit of ~2.5M connections – and that left precious little room for the kernel to do other things. CloudStack orchestrates HAProxy as the default virtual LB, which in turn uses conntrack. Having a heavily trafficked web property behind CloudStack’s 32-bit virtual load balancer might run into that limitation.

64-bit: Not nearly as efficient with memory usage; however it can address more of it. You’ll actually tend to need more memory for the same level of functionality; but if you need to push the envelope further than a 32-bit machine, then at least you have an option to do so.

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ApacheCon approaches

Posted by on in Open Source

It doesn't seem possible, ApacheCon is less than a week away. CloudStack Collaboration Conference follows shortly. I am excited about seeing ApacheCon this year, the schedule is huge and contains a ton of interesting content. That actually may be a detriment - so much content it will make deciding what talks to see difficult.

Particularly interesting to me is the ton of big data talk. There are plenty of big data projects at the ASF, and those projects have managed to bring 5 days worth of big data content to ApacheCon, coupled with 3 days worth of Lucene/Solr content. Keeping in mind that the ASF is the home for the majority of open source big data projects and ApacheCon becomes a must-attend event if you care about big data.

But ApacheCon is more than just big data, there are tracks for cloud and mobile development, as well as perennial favorites like Traffic Server, and Tomcat. 28 tracks in total.

All of this content is great; and I look forward to learning a lot while I am at ApacheCon, but it ignores the most valuable reason that I am attending: the hallway track. Being able to converse with  many members of various Apache project communities is invaluable.

I hope to see you there.

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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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I started to write this post after CloudStack Collaboration Conference EU (CCCEU) a few weeks ago but I was so exhausted I simply passed out. The conference was so good that while my mind was willing my body slept for 16 hours to recover. Despite the delay I think that it was an event of significant note.  

CCCEU was a gathering of almost 400 people from over 30 countries to discuss Apache CloudStack. It’s very seldom that I would describe time spent talking about software to be euphoric but I can’t think of a better word.  I found it particularly notable how effective a small group of volunteers can be as they came together in support of a cause they believe in.  While this event had all the trappings of a regular software industry event beautiful venue (the Beurs van Berlage the spark for modern Dutch architecture a very fitting venue for what I believe is the spark for private cloud platforms), numerous talks by industry luminaries, exhibits, live entertainment and free drinks. Though there was something ineffable about the atmosphere. It was very collaborative and despite many people competing for attention, resources and vendors with overlapping solutions, I didn’t detect a bit of animosity among the participants.  This video does a good job showing the spirit of the event. 

 

Community of Code and the Apache Way

What got me hooked on open source in the first place was its esprit de corps; which I saw manifested at  at CCCEU. The feeling was palpable. Open source is unique in it provides raw materials at a negligible cost for people to do amazing things and the mechanism for sharing ideas is equally accessible. Imagine if you would Ford and Chevrolet having access to free raw materials and parts for building their cars and a customer mandate to collaborate on driving standardization between their vehicles. It’s unfathomable. Though that kind of collaboration takes shape every day in the world of open source software a theme I touched in during my keynote, The Why of CloudStack.

Some of the other amazing keynotes (being posted to You Tube) came from CFengine founder and configuration management pioneer Mark Burgess who talked about Uncertain Cloud Infrastructures in a keynote and his skepticism of deterministic management models (see this presentation from Devops Days to get the gist). Dell’s resident DevOps expert John Willis talked the convergence of virtualized networks and trends in DevOps in another keynote espousing the growing agile operations principles (on a side note his ignite talk Deming to Devops was also killer). In his opening remarks Chip Childers, VP of Apache CloudStack, showed off some pretty impressive traction on the humble but vibrant project, 21,000 commits, hundreds of developers producing over 2.5 million lines of code in a very short amount of time. Childers also showed off hundreds of clouds in production (as no one buys CloudStack we he only had anecdotes about the most vocal users) including Autodesk, BT, Gilt.com, TomTom, AutoTrader, SunGard, and many, many more.

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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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