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oVirt 3.5 Rolls Out

To say that October was a big month for oVirt would be a little bit of an understatement.

This past week was the KVM Forum, a three-day event in Düsseldorf that brought together the entire KVM community, which included oVirt users and developers. The October 16th oVirt Workshop, a free-of-charge event co-located with the KVM Forum, focused on the oVirt datacenter platform and its use in business and academic worlds.

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GNOME Boxes 3.14, Unboxed

Welcome to the inaugural edition of Boxes of Boxes, a bi-monthly virtualization, containerization, and turduckenization column. Given the title and subject matter of this column, and the fact that version 3.14 of GNOME desktop environment has recently shipped, I decided to take a look at the project's built-in application for running virtual machines: GNOME Boxes. I took GNOME Boxes for a spin on Fedora 21 alpha, which also shipped recently, sporting GNOME 3.14 as its default desktop environment.

The GNOME 3.14 release notes point to support for Debian as a newly added "express installation" target for GNOME Boxes, so I started off by pointing the app at a Debian Wheezy installation ISO I'd downloaded. The express installation feature suggests a set of sane defaults for virtual disk size and for VM memory, asks for a password, and promptly chefs up a fresh VM instance, and the feature worked as expected with the installation I'd kicked off.

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CentOS Community Update -- All About SIGs

Welcome to a new column that is publishing at least twice monthly on Tuesdays on to talk about what is happening in the expanding CentOS Project.

One of the most exciting aspects of the expanding CentOS Project is the work being done by Special Interest Groups, or SIGs, to bring emerging technologies to the CentOS community.

The work of these SIGs happens on top of the CentOS Linux core release, providing new software alongside the core in the form of repositories or images. In some cases SIGs may replace core packages as part of making a variant targeted at a specific audience. SIGs can do this because members must come from the involved upstream project, and thus are authoritative about what that software and its community needs

There has been significant interest all year long to get new SIGs up and running, which has taken its fair share of time in each case. This is mainly because we are building the scaffolding in real time for an open and participatory community that can help set the direction of the CentOS Project.

Because the entirety of the CentOS developers are now contributing more broadly across the Project, we're all adjusting to the way some things are moving faster and others more slowly. In order to maintain velocity, in some cases we're creating policy and process in real time, and still learning how best to share all that.

Here is a quick overview of the various SIGs that are active or becoming active soon. In future columns, we’ll go more in to one or two SIGs at a time to show what is happening in detail.

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GHC '14: Advancing the Work from Home Option

The Thursday afternoon Advancing the Work from Home Option Birds of a Feather (BoF) session, led by IBM engineer Lauren J. Schaefer, offered a chance for attendees to share tips for working from home, to network, and to brainstorm on how to encourage other organizations to offer opportunities for working remotely. Although Lauren led the BoF, attendees actively contributed to the discussion in smaller groups and then summarized what they discussed for the room of approximately 80 women.

When the BoF started, Lauren encouraged the attendees, who were scattered across the tables throughout the room, to gather together and fill the seats at fewer tables to help foster the smaller group conversations. I sat at a table full of women from Thomson Reuters, Apple, Microsoft, and GitHub, for example. Lauren took a poll of attendees and we learned that the majority rarely work at home, several occasionally work at home, and a few women (myself included) work from home full-time. The women at my table reflected the mix of attendees gathered in the room.

Lauren said that her goals in the BoF were to build a work from home community, share tips and techniques for being successful remote employees, and, most ambitiously, to develop a plan for making the work from home option available for new employees of other organizations.

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GHC '14 - OpenHatch Open Source Workshop & Getting Into GitHub

The first day of the 2014 Grace Hopper Celebration started off with a session welcoming newcomers to GHC '14. Last year, ~4,000 people attended the event, and the number doubled for 2014, which means a lot of newcomers to welcome. Next, the auditorium filled up as attendees filed in for the opening welcome, awards presentation, and a cryptography-focused keynote by Shafi Goldwasser (2012 recipient of the Turing Award). Sessions started after the lunch break, including an open source track, which included a code-a-thon where attendees could work with representatives from various projects.

Back in 2010, I read an article, Ready to be an open source contributor but don't know where to start?, which explained OpenHatch. The OpenHatch project was only about a year old back then. I decided to sit in the GHC '14 OpenHatch session today to see what the project is up to now.

I was surprised that Shauna Gordon-McKeon, Program Director at OpenHatch, didn't actually discuss the project much. Instead, she gave a quick, practical introduction to open source, which makes sense because the vast majority of GHC '14 attendees aren't active in open source communities. Yet.

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GHC '14 Opens Up with Open Source

The 2014 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing is this week, October 8-10, in Phoenix, Arizona, with 8,000 attendees expected to converge on the annual event. Open source skills can give you a big advantage in the tech industry, so it's fitting that GHC '14 kicks off with a bunch of open source action.

According to Priyanka Sarkar in a recent article on, FOSS Skills That Will Get You Hired This Year, candidates with OpenStack, web and mobile app development, and programming experience, for example, are in demand. These are a few of the areas that will be covered in Wednesday's Grace Hopper Open Source Day, which includes a Code-a-thon for Humanity as attendees pick up new (or improve current) open source skills. Registered code-a-thon attendees can choose to work with participating organizations, such as OpenStack. In the OpenStack workshop, for example, attendees with basic familiarity with SSH clients get a crash course in cloud computing, OpenStack, and how OpenStack is used in humanitarian apps.

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ManageIQ Design Summit Preview - Come Fleece with Us

Next week is the first ever ManageIQ Design Summit, and the agenda looks great - a real opportunity to learn more about cloud management in general, and how we're shapping the roadmap of ManageIQ in particular. Here are some of the highlights of what you'll see:

Event Kick-off - October 7, 9am

Oleg Barenboim will discuss where we are, engineering-wise, and then Xavier Lecauchois, CloudForms product czar, and Jarid Cottrell, Booz Allen Hamilton architect, will talk about the state of cloud management and where ManageIQ fits.

Extend Track

There are two tracks in the design summit, extend and design. The extend track is all about how you can utilize ManageIQ, color outside the lines, and push it beyond the scope of what it does "out of the box".

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Ceph's Sage Weil Challenges Open Source Storage Community to Donate to the Ada Initiative

The Ada Initiative is an organization dedicated to addressing gender diversity head-on, with a specific focus on open source and open data communities. Their mission is critical, and their work is much-needed by our community.

In a blog post this week, Sage Weil, principal architect of the Ceph project at Red Hat, has agreed to match $8,192 of Ada Initiative contributions dollar-for-dollar during their fundraiser. In his post, Sage writes, "As Inktank and as DreamHost we were proud to be early supporters of the Ada Initiative. Today, I am proud to continue that support with a personal challenge to the open source storage community."

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OpenDaylight Helium Gets Out of the Gate

Whether you are deploying applications in containers, VMs, or on bare metal, being able to group related services together into private networks and control the traffic flowing into and out of your infrastructure is important. The SDN controller fulfills that role by allowing you to define network policy centrally and have that policy applied at the edges of your network, in the physical and virtual network switches.

OpenDaylight is an open source SDN controller. In its short lifetime, OpenDaylight has gained support from a diverse set of companies and individuals who are eager to see an open source controller serve the networking needs of traditional IT, cloud infrastructure platforms, traditional virtualization management, and fleets of containers. Cisco released the initial code in 2013 and the project now includes 41 paying members. Red Hat is a founding member of the project at Platinum level.

This week the OpenDaylight project had its second major code release, code-named Helium, which is a big advancement for the project. The release includes more than 4,700 contributions from 183 engineers, representing 20 companies. More than 300 commits came from the affiliation "independent", which also shows the breadth of the project's appeal.

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Red Hat Joins the OPNFV Project as Platinum Founding Member

In recent years, the telecommunications industry has looked toward Network Function Virtualization (NFV) to revolutionize the way that telco services are developed and delivered to customers. A "network function" is any service that acts on the data passing through the network. In the typical datacenter, this would include services like a firewall, a VPN endpoint, or an intrusion detection system. In the telco industry, network functions also cover voice, data and internet services, broadband and cellular network services, and the delivery of video content, such as streaming TV.

Traditionally these network services have been provided by big, expensive, custom-built servers that require a multi-year investment for the network operators, so progress tends to be in fits and starts because previous investments are amortized before replacement features are deployed.

By moving the operation of these network services to virtual network functions (VNFs) running on a private cloud platform, on industry standard high-density servers, NFV enables operators to deliver customer-facing services more easily and faster. DevOps can finally come to the deployment of network services.

The Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV) project launched earlier today on as an industry-wide effort that includes network operators, network equipment providers, platform vendors, and hardware vendors working together to create a reference platform for NFV. The goal is to take existing open source projects such as OpenStack, OpenDaylight, DPDK, libvirt, and KVM, and identify any areas where we can improve these platforms to enable the deployment of network services.

As a founding member of the project at the highest Platinum level, Red Hat recognizes the project's potential to change the telco industry, and is committed to bringing the company’s strengths to the table in support. One of the key challenges for the project will be to ensure that code developed for NFV is submitted and accepted upstream in the relevant projects, and Red Hat has a wealth of experience upstream in these communities and in affecting change across a number of projects.

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