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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in cloudstack

Open@Citrix sponsored the 3rd annual poker party at OSCON on Tuesday, July 22nd at OSCON. Poker tables were hosted by various open source projects. Thank you to ManageIQ, Fedora, Ceph, Bitnami, OpenShift, Apache CloudStack, Xen Project, OpenDaylight, SaltStack, Chef, Ansible, Atomic, oVirt, OrangeFS, CentOS and Apache Libcloud. It was a night filled with live music, beer, cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and prizes. Congrats to the lucky top 3 chip winners who took home Samsung Chromebooks 2!

Pictures from the 3rd Annual Open Cloud Poker Party: https://flic.kr/s/aHsk18HqbC

Open Cloud Lounge

The Open Cloud Lounge was a comfy spot for OSCON attendees to hangout at. There were OpenDaylight, Apache CloudStack and Xen Project beanbags. Community members from the Xen Project and Apache CloudStack project handed out swag and cupcakes.

Pictures of the Open Cloud Lounge: https://flic.kr/s/aHsk19xKvq

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PaaS with CloudStack

Posted by on in Cloud Strategy

A few talks from CCC in Amsterdam

In November at the CloudStack Collaboration Conference I was pleased to see several talks on PaaS. We had Uri Cohen (@uri1803) from Gigaspaces, Marc-Elian Begin (@lemeb) from Sixsq and Alex Heneveld (@ahtweetin) from CloudSoft. We also had some related talks -depending on your definition of PaaS- with talks about Docker and Vagrant.

PaaS variations

The differences between PaaS solutions is best explained by this picture from AWS FAQ about application management.
There is clearly a spectrum that goes from operational control to pure application deployment. We could argue that true PaaS abstracts the operational details and that management of the underlying infrastructure should be totally hidden, that said, automation of virtual infrastructure deployment has reached such a sophisticated state that it blurs the definition between IaaS and PaaS. Not suprisingly AWS offers services that covers the entire spectrum.
Since I am more on the operation side, I tend to see a PaaS as an infrastructure automation framework. For instance I look for tools to deploy a MongoDB cluster or a RiakCS cluster. I am not looking for an abstract plaform that has Monogdb pre-installed and where I can turn a knob to increase the size of the cluster or manage my shards. An application person will prefer to look at something like Google App Engine and it's open source version Appscale. I will get back to all these differences in a next post on PaaS but this article by @DavidLinthicum that just came out is a good read.

Support for CloudStack

What is interesting for the CloudStack community is to look at the support for CloudStack in all these different solutions wherever they are in the application management spectrum.
  • Cloudify from Gigaspaces was all over twitter about their support for OpenStack, and I was getting slightly bothered with the lack of CloudStack support. That's why it was great to see Uri Cohen in Amstredam. He delivered a great talk and he gave me a demo of Cloudify. I was very impressed of course by the slick UI but overall by the ability to provision complete application/infrastructure definitions on clouds. Underlying it uses Apache jclouds, so there was no reason that it could not talk to CloudStack. Over christmas Uri did a terrific job and the CloudStack support is now tested and documented. It works not only on the commercial version from Citrix CloudPlatform but also with Apache CloudStack. And of course it works with my neighbors Cloud exoscale
  • Slipstream is not widely known but worth a look. At CCC @lemeb demoed a CloudStack driver. Since then, they now offer an hosted version of their slipstream cloud orchestration framework which turns out to be hosted on exoscale CloudStack cloud. Slipstream is more of a Cloud broker than a PaaS but it automates application deployment on multiple clouds abstracting the various cloud APIs and offering application templates for deployments of virtual infrastructure. Check it out.
  • Cloudsoft main application deployment engine is brooklyn, it originated from Alex Heneveld contribution to Apache Whirr that I wrote about couple times. But it can use OpenShift for additional level of PaaS. I will need to check with Alex how they are doing this, as I believe Openshift uses LXC. Since CloudStack has LXC support, one ought to be able to use Brooklyn to deploy a LXC cluster on CloudStack and then use OpenShift to manage deployed applications.
  • A quick note on OpenShift. As far as I understand, it actually uses a static cluster. The scalability comes from the use of containes in the nodes. So technically you could create an OpenShift cluster in CloudStack, but I don't think we will see OpenShift talking directly to the CloudStack API to add nodes. Openshift bypasses the IaaS APIs. Of course I have not looked at it in a while and I may be wrong :)
  • Talking about PaaS for Vagrant is probably a bit far fetched, but it fits the infrastructure deployment criteria and could be compared with AWS OpsWorks. Vagrant helps to define reproducible machines so that devs and ops can actually work on the same base servers. But Vagrant with its plugins can also help deployment on public clouds, and can handle multiple server definitions. So one can look at a Vagrantfile as a template defintion for a virtual infrastructure deployment. As a matter of fact, there are many Vagrant boxes out there to deploy things like Apache Mesos clusters, MongoDB, RiakCS clusters etc. It's not meant to manage that stack in production but at a minimum can help develop it. Vagrant has a CloudStack plugin demoed by Hugo Correia from Klarna at CCC. Exoscale took the bait and created a set of -exoboxes- that's real gold for developers deploying in exoscale and any CloudStack provider should follow suit.
  • Which brings me on to Docker, there is currently no support for Docker in CloudStack. We do have LXC support therefore it would not be to hard to have a 'docker' cluster in CloudStack. You could even install docker within an image and deploy that on KVM or Xen. Of course some would argue that using containers within VMs defeats the purpose. In any case, with the Docker remote API you could then manage your containers. OpenStack already has a Docker integration, we will dig deeper into Docker functionality to see how best to integrate it in CloudStack.
  • AWS as I mentioned has several PaaS like layers with OpsWorks, CloudFormation, Beanstalk. CloudStack has an EC2 interface but also has a third party solution to enabled CloudFormation. This is still under development but pretty close to full functionality, check out stackmate and its web interface stacktician. With a CF interface to CloudStack we could see a OpSWork and a Beanstalk interface coming in the future.
  • Finally, not present at CCC but the leader of PaaS for enterprise is CloudFoundry. I am going to see Andy Piper (@andypiper) in London next week and will make sure to talk to him about the recent CloudStack support that was merged in the cloudfoundry community repo. It came from folks in Japan and I have not had time to test it. Certainly we as a community should look at this very closely to make sure there is outstanding support for CloudFoundry in ACS.
It is not clear what the frontier between PaaS and IaaS is, it is highly dependent on the context, who you are and what you are trying to achieve. But CloudStack offers several interfaces to PaaS or shall I say PaaS offer several connectors to CloudStack :)
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The second successful Apache CloudStack Collaboration Conference was held this summer in Santa Clara, California. The Apache CloudStack community gathered together on day one for a hackathon and formed various groups to discuss, brainstorm and collaborate on new ideas. Following the hackathon, was a great line-up of presentations, keynotes and panel discussions. Check them out for yourself!

The next CloudStack Collaboration Conference is underway and will be held in Amsterdam at Beurs van Berlage from November 20th- 22nd, 2013. The call for papers closes on September 30th so get your proposals in!

Keynotes:

Welcome to the CloudStack Collaboration Conference by Mark Hinkle

Why We Need DevOps Now: A Fourteen Year Study of High Performing IT Organizations by Gene Kim

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Hi everyone!

I'm Mike Tutkowski. I work at an exciting data-storage company in Boulder, CO called SolidFire (http://solidfire.com).

The SolidFire storage area network (SAN) was designed from the ground up to support hard Quality of Service. On a volume-by-volume basis, administrators can decide on a minimum, maximum, and burst number of IOPS - eliminating the Noisy Neighbor effect and allowing Cloud Service Providers to confidently host all sorts of application workloads in their clouds that were previously unpractical.

I am a dedicated resource to the CloudStack project. I integrate advanced SolidFire features into CloudStack while also performing general-purpose CloudStack development activities.

We've received several inquiries from our customer base regarding how one goes about configuring storage in CloudStack. To help answer these questions, I've prepared a CloudStack Storage Configuration Guide and included it in this post.

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ISWest is a regional ISP based out of Agoura Hills, CA (approximately 30 miles north of Los Angeles). Started originally as a dial-up ISP, ISWest moved into the standard suite of ISP services including various forms of connectivity (DSL, T1, DS3, OC-x, Ethernet, etc) as well as ancillary services such as shared web and email hosting. Early growth was accomplished with a focus on small and medium sized businesses in the southern California area through strategic partnerships with outsourced IT organizations and customer referrals.

Business situation: To Stay Competitive by Offering an IaaS Cloud Service

With the benefit of owning and operating their own datacenters ISWest had a considerable amount of experience with the underlying infrastructure such as HVAC, UPS, Generators, structured cabling and other physical aspects related to datacenters.  The ISP side of the business gave ISWest experience with designing and implementing highly redundant, high performance networks, as well as the servers associated with various essential internet services such as DNS, email, and hosting.  Offering an IaaS cloud service was the next logical business step to stay competitive.

The business goal was to target existing clients either through the existing partner network of outsourced IT consultants or direct contact to prospects (typically colocation customers with old hardware).  The requirement for these customers was different than “traditional” cloud which was largely based around public-facing e-commerce or other consumer driven websites.  In contrast most customers were looking for a way to re-create network environments they were currently using which were primarily private (NAT) with only a limited number of public IP addresses used.  At the time this type of configuration was either not possible with the popular cloud providers (AWS, Rackspace, GoGrid, etc), or was exceedingly complex to configure.

Given the predictable usage of the target customer, a system that provided hourly billing data was not required, but it would be good to have available should it be required in the future.  An integrated billing system was also not required, as long as the usage data could be exported in a standard and structured format such as XML, JSON, or CSV.

Technical situation

The ultimate goal was to provide each client with their own private network, or in some cases multiple private networks, VPN access to those networks, and use VLANs to segregate customer networks from each other. ISWest evaluated a range different IaaS CMPs including Eucalyptus, Enomaly, and OpenNebula. At the time OpenStack was in its infancy and there were concerns as to its stability and/or production readiness, what direction(s) the project was moving in, and what type of support would be available if commercial support was needed.

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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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