OpenStack Israel 2014 #OpenStackIL

I would like to invite you all to join me at the OpenStack Israel Conference that will take place next week on Monday - June 2nd, 2014.


There is a stellar (their words – not mine) lineup of speakers – with a number of guests from across the globe.

I highly enjoyed my experience at the last conference where I presented a session on
OpenStack for VMware Admins.

I will also be presenting at this event as well. It is a great honor.

OpenStack in the Enterprise - Are you ready?

OpenStack is becoming more popular - that is obvious - but are you ready to have it host your Tier-1 applications?

In this session we will discuss what needs to be done in order to provide a stable management plane for the OpenStack - what progress has been made over the years and where we still need to go.

There are a number of solutions out there today from a number of vendors, with a lot of high level information of how to accomplish this. Unfortunately there is no one standard and this session will attempt to be your HA guide to OpenStack Nirvana.

We will also discuss some of the pain points that might inhibit your adoption of OpenStack into your Enterprise.

Some of the keynote speakers will include (full agenda here)

There are several other sessions by prominent figures in the OpenStack community as well.

  • Monty Taylor – Distinguished Technologist and OpenStack Thought Leader, HP
  • Nati Shalom – CTO & Founder, GigaSpaces
  • Mark Mcclain – Principal Architect, Yahoo
  • Thierry Carrez - Chair of the Technical Committee and Release Manager, OpenStack.

And for the first time, this year there are also some technical workshops that attendees will be able get some hands-on time with technology.

I am looking forward to this event, and will be sure to share my experience after the event – and of course the slide deck and recording when they are made available.

If you are interested you can follow my participation as I will be live-tweeting from the event. #OpenStackIL


The Quickest Way to Get Started with Docker

op12171166215_4ec135c6b2_oContainers are not only those things are used for shipping stuff around – or storing the things you will never use or you don’t want to spoil – they are also used (and if you ask me – might even replace virtual machines in the not to distant future) as a platform to run applications / services / stacks.

Docker is one that is getting a large amount of focus lately

Docker is an open-source engine that automates the deployment of any application as a lightweight, portable, self-sufficient container that will run virtually anywhere.

Docker containers can encapsulate any payload, and will run consistently on and between virtually any server. The same container that a developer builds and tests on a laptop will run at scale, in production*, on VMs, bare-metal servers, OpenStack clusters, public instances, or combinations of the above.

Common use cases for Docker include:

  • Automating the packaging and deployment of applications
  • Creation of lightweight, private PAAS environments
  • Automated testing and continuous integration/deployment
  • Deploying and scaling web apps, databases and backend services

(Source – Docker)

A quick introduction presentation to docker is embedded below

I wanted to share with you a quick and easy way to start looking at docker and what you can do with it. And the most basic part of it is installing and configuring docker.

If you are just looking to play with it – you could install a VM with Ubuntu or and go through the motions of installation on your platform of choice.

But I would like to get you up and running as fast as can be.

Enter boot2docker

Boot2docker demo

boot2docker is a lightweight Linux distribution based on Tiny Core Linux made specifically to run Docker containers. It runs completely from RAM, weighs ~24MB and boots in ~5s.

And to make it even easier Mitchell Hashimoto (the author of Vagrant) has created a vagrant box so you start it up in even less time.

I can understand why this is going to take off – and why containers will have a good use case for a number of reasons and applications.

It is unbelievably fast!!

It takes less than a second – microseconds even, to start a container (i.e. a VM/OS/instance)

Just to emphasize how fast – let me show you a small example

I have a base ubuntu image and I ran a simple test:

  1. list running images
  2. ping the container (to show it is not up
  3. start the container
  4. ping the container again.


docker ps
ping -c 2
docker run -d phusion/baseimage
ping -c 2

At the same time I followed the docker log.

2014/05/27 14:02:27 GET /v1.10/containers/json
2014/05/27 14:02:38 POST /v1.10/containers/create
2014/05/27 14:02:38 POST /v1.10/containers/17029e...c45f1d1f92f899/start
[libcontainer] 2014/05/27 14:02:38 created sync pipe parent fd 14 child fd 13
[libcontainer] 2014/05/27 14:02:38 attach terminal to command
[libcontainer] 2014/05/27 14:02:38 starting command
[libcontainer] 2014/05/27 14:02:38 writting pid 1947 to file
[libcontainer] 2014/05/27 14:02:38 setting cgroups
[libcontainer] 2014/05/27 14:02:38 setting up network
[libcontainer] 2014/05/27 14:02:38 closing sync pipe with child

14:02:27 – I queried to see there were no containers running.
Ping timed out over the next 11 seconds
14:02:38 - Container was created and was available within 1 second

How do you like them apples?

Are you ready to try out docker?

And of course this is a simple demonstration – you can get much more creative than this!


#vBrownbag at the OpenStack Summit

There is only one thing I can say about the vBrownbag crew and their work

They are AMAZING!!!!

The crew on site was Jeremiah Dooley, Josh Atwell, Alastair Cooke and Eric Wright, Damian Karlson.

Here is their summary post - #vBrownBag was at OpenStack Summit Atlanta

The setup was super professional, the stream quality was amazing – kudos to the event team that provided super bandwidth!

The location was perfect and the sessions were great.

You can find the full playlist of all the sessions here

The session I presented is embedded below, and will give some insight into what I am currently working on – and where we are headed with OpenStack

Of course automation is a great thing – so Just to leave you with a quick way to download all of the presentations for your offline viewing – I used youtube-dl.

youtube-dl is a small command-line program to download videos from YouTube.com and a few more sites. It requires the Python interpreter (2.6, 2.7, or 3.3+), and it is not platform specific. It should work in your Unix box, in Windows or in Mac OS X. It is released to the public domain, which means you can modify it, redistribute it or use it however you like.

So simple

youtube-dl -cit --max-quality FORMAT https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2rC-8e38bUUDMikhKMpAT1KhDljl08wZ


OpenStack Summit – Attendees and Sessions

Well the OpenStack conference has come and passed, and I promised that i would share some of my thoughts, so lets start with the first two. I plan to make these as short as possible.

(Let me first say that i have only ever been to an international VMworld conference, both in the US and in Europe, so my comparisons are based against those experience).



This was a smaller conference, in numbers of course, i am not sure about the size of the venue, although i do assume it is smaller than the Moscone Center in San Francisco. I did hear though,a number of comments,of how this has grown immensely over the years, and the record attendance this year was ~4800 attendees. The cost of the conference of course is much cheaper than that of VMworld, and i really do no it want to go into the logistics and financial parts here.
OpenStack as a company(if can even really call it that) is relatively tiny, i would assume less than 100 people, compared to VMware that is now in the range of 10,000-15,000 employees, that means it is leaner, and Les fat associated with it.

If my memory serves me correctly, all ATC's (Active Technical Contributors) received a full discount and the conference pass, and i gather presenters receive the same.

There is a travel support program, where a potential attendee can request subsidy from the foundation for their costs, if they are not able to attend due to lack of funds. I think this a great initiative, and show how much the community means hear, and how the foundation do try their best to make the extra effort to allow those who really would like to attend,but cannot due to financial issues. It was pointed out in the keynote, and i would also like to state that VMware contributed to the budget for this fund this year, so my hat goes off to them.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that there was a large number of female participants – and as opposed to a VMworld conference they have major technical skills, something that I do miss at a VMworld conference. (This is not intended to be a derogatory remark for either of conferences – I just found it a pleasant surprise).


The session slots were set for 40 minutes each, unless they were specific workshops and those were longer. Sessions started exactly on time, and usually there was enough space for whomever wanted to attend, although i do know that there were some sessions that were SRO (Standing Room Only - you learn new abbreviations every day, when you are limited to 140 characters). I do think that the session length was a bit short, seeing as many of the presenters did not have enough time for Q&A at the end of their session, not all mind you. I guess it is a balance of how long you can keep the audience interested until you lose them.

I would have preferred to have the option of providing feedback for sessions – and not only a general survey at the end of the summit – maybe something that will be added to the next summit in Paris.

More to come in the upcoming posts.


OpenStack Summit - Some Thoughts

Friday, the Georgia World Congress Center – and there is still a buzz all around. The official OpenStack User summit is over – and the only ones who left are the developers and operators – and we will be here the whole day until 18.00.


This week has been an amazing experience – and I have learned a lot about OpenStack, Open Source and how a community behaves.

I will sharing over the next couple of days some of my thoughts about the conference.

  • gbuThe Good.
  • The Bad.
  • The Ugly.

(Ugly there wasn’t – well actually that is not true)

I had a great week. Met a lot of new people, a whole different crowd of people.

There was one thing in common that I continually noticed, and it amazed me. These are people who devote their time – their energy, their expertise and their knowledge for a greater good.
And this is meaning of an open source community.

  • They do not work for Openstack – they work for practically every company you know – vendors, customers, Service Providers – and they do not get paid to create a product.
  • They are passionate about what they do!
  • Developers are not Operations peopledefinitely not – more on that in a future post.

I will be heading back home on Sunday – in the meantime I would like to thank the organizers of the conference on a job extremely well done. It was very well organized – there are some improvements I would (and I already provided that feedback) implement for future events. Something I would definitely do again – and hope to do so in the future.


Redhat is in the Dog Box - But Should They Be?

One topic of discussion that surfaced during the summit today was an article published on the WSJ yesterday Red Hat Plays Hardball on OpenStack Software – and shortly thereafter Barb Darrow published this one -  Is Red Hat the new Oracle?

Here is a relevant piece from the WSJ article:

In its quest to sell OpenStack, Red Hat has chosen not to provide support to its commercial Linux customers if they use rival versions of OpenStack, according to documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. The company's support, which includes providing bug fixes and helping customers if they run into technical problems, is a key reason people use Red Hat rather than free versions of Linux.

And another from the Gigaom article:

What we didn’t necessarily know until the Wall Street Journal (registration required) reported it Tuesday night is that Red Hat — which makes its money selling support and maintenance for its open-source products – would refuse to support of users of Red Hat Enterprise Linux who also run non-Red Hat versions of OpenStack.

And then people threw a fit.

Even some of Red Hat's largest partners say its actions contradict the spirit of the open-source community. In contrast to proprietary software, open-source programs can be modified by users, and typically interconnect with competing programs.

"Red Hat has taken the art form of closed open-source to a new level," said Martin Fink, HP's head of its cloud business. HP sells and supports Red Hat's Linux software, but it also competes with Red Hat in the OpenStack and cloud-software market.


Wow, this is a sad day for open source and Red Hat. Red Hat has lost their way.

Historically, Red Hat was committed to supporting RHEL as a guest OS with the caveat that a problem believed to be caused by the host OS (hypervisor) would need to be reproduced in isolation or on Red Hat’s own stack.

Was the wording correct? Will Redhat not support anything if I am running anything but RHOS?

I gather not – I actually think that would violate a number of laws saying that you cannot deploy anything else in your datacenter besides redhat – otherwise we will not support you.

I am sure Redhat will issue a full statement clarifying the rumor’s (I have it on good authority that such a statement will be published)

redhat   openstack-cloud-software-vertical-large

But still why the bashing?

Redhat have a product, they are investing, time, money, and resources into the active development of RHOS – and they are marketing the product.

Each and every product has a support Matrix.

VMware has their HCL and their supported guest OS Operating systems. If you so wish to deploy on a whitebox or on something that is not on the HCL – then you are on your own. That is their prerogative – they invest money in checking that it will work on certain hardware – and the same way that a certain OS will work on the Hypervisor – is how they can assure that the product works – as expected (hopefully) and you get what you paid for. Will VMware support you if your guest running on Hyper-V managed under vCenter (yes it is possible) crashes – of course not – they will send you to Microsoft for that.

The same way that Redhat certifies the hardware for Redhat Linux – means that if you run it on a server not on the list – you are on your own! Again, that is their prerogative – they invest money in checking that it will work on certain hardware – they can assure that the product works – as expected (hopefully) and you get what you paid for.

Suse Cloud – offer a solution – with support as well. Do you think that they will support hypervisors running Ubuntu? Or Redhat? Or deployed with Mirantis/HP/Dell/<Enter your favorite vendor here> ?

Of course they don’t – and why do you think that is so? Because no enterprise company in their right mind will be able to provide a viable model of business if they do not control what is happening underneath?

Yes - Redhat is the “King” of open source. The biggest backer of open source – and I think that is why they are taking a hit here. They are an enterprise – they are not getting into OpenStack for the fun of it – it is a huge market opportunity – and hence worth a lot of $$$.

It is a jungle out there people – and it is every company for themself. 

One last thing – The fact that Redhat will not provide support for a Redhat guest instance running on a
non-Redhat OS (http://www.redhat.com/resourcelibrary/articles/enterprise-linux-virtualization-support) is a whole different story. For those who did not understand the hint – running RHEL on Ubuntu –
is not supported!

Disclaimer: No open source companies were harmed during the writing of this article – maybe some egos were bruised – but hey - they will get over it.

Update - 14/05/2014 – Almost immediately after I posted – Redhat replied with an answer of their their own - On OpenStack and Open Source


Icehouse/Juno OpenStack Summit 2014

I am finally on my way to the OpenStack Summit in Atlanta. (Full schedule online)

there might be some confusion about if this is the Icehouse Summit or the Juno summit – well I think it is safe to say that it is a bit of both. Icehouse is the current version of OpenStack – and the Operational track at the summit will be covering this version. The design track will be covering the next version – and that Will be Juno. I know it is confusing – especially for a newcomer like me – this will be my first (and hopefully the first of many to come) OpenStack Summit.


So what is in store for us all? Well I will try and not compare my experience to that of VMworld – but this will only be a natural thing because VMworld is the only big conference I have really been at.

This will be a smaller event – and if you ask me that is a good thing – having 20,000 at a conference – is a lot of people – sometimes too much, so I am looking forward to the smaller environment.

I have never been to Atlanta before – so that will also be a first – there are a number of attractions close to the Conference Center, Georgia Aquarium, CNN Center, World of Coke.

For those of you who are interested in getting a Kosher meal in Atlanta – these are the restaurants that I have found – and will visiting to get some “suitable” nutrition – anyone interested in joining me is more than welcome.

I am also looking forward in seeing some familiar faces – people that I have got to know over the years and have met in person usually at VMworld events over the years – or on other occasions. I am also looking forward to meeting a whole new crowd of people – those who I have come to know through correspondence or through Twitter – and this will actually be the first face-to-face.

I think this will be a different environment, a different atmosphere, a different vibe, and a welcome change. We all need change in our daily lives – otherwise things get quite boring.

I will try to attend a number of the Design Summit sessions, mainly about overall architecture, deployment, and planning and design, but also some of the Operations track.

I will be presenting a vBrownbag TechTalk on Monday at 15.00 on UCS integration with OpenStack at B209 – there are a lot of familiar names on the list of presenters – so please feel free to pop by.

I will try and spend some time at the bloggers lounge as well at Level 2 (Room B208).

You can always find me on Twitter @maishsk – so please feel free to look me up and come and say hello.
(I promise I don’t bite)

See you there!