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Highlights From RDO Meeting at OpenStack Summit

On Thursday morning at the OpenStack Summit in Vancouver, roughly 60 RDO enthusiasts gathered to discuss a variety of topics around the RDO project. Officially we had just 40 minutes, but since we were followed by a coffee break, we went overtime by about 20 minutes, and there was still some hallway discussion following that.

The complete agenda can be seen in the meeting etherpad. Highlights include:

  • Perry Myers talked some about the packaging effort - the status, and where people can get involved in that. Several people in attendance expressed a desire to get more involved. There was also some talk about how we are going to handle packaging for Fedora in the future.
  • Jaromir Coufal gave an overview of the RDO-Manager project, which is the effort to build an installer/manager for your RDO OpenStack cloud, based on TripleO and other OpenStack projects.
  • There was some discussion around what will be included in future packaging of RDO - for example, whether it will include the newly minted projects such as Murano, Congress, Mistral, and so on. The consensus appears to be that this is up to who steps up to do that work, and so is another incentive to get more people involved in packaging.
  • Karsten Wade gave an update on the CentOS infrastructure, including the recent release of CentOS RDO package repositories. Questions here include the relationship between these new repos and the existing RDO repos on repos.fedorapeople.org - the intent is that the repos on mirrors.centos.org will replace these. Karsten also talked about the CentOS project's plan for OpenStack/CentOS CI such that upgrades to CentOS never break OpenStack, and vice versa, if you use these repos.
  • Following from this, there was discussion of the CI infrastructure which is key to that decision. It was noted that other related projects, such as libvirt, are also using that infrastructure, which could lead to helpful cooperation between the projects.
  • Dan Radez gave an overview of OPNFV and the plans to integrate it with RDO.
  • Dan also talked about TryStack, and the plans to improve it in the months to come.
  • In the coming weeks, this website will be migrating off of MediaWiki and Vanilla Forums, to a git-based system using Middleman. This will make it easier for people to contribute to the content, and will also solve other persistent technical problems related the the current system, authentication, and URL mapping. It will also ensure better historical tracking of content. There was some discussion of plans to reorganize the content of the site to better facilitate community engagement.
  • Given the quantity of topics, and the lack of time, we talked about trying to do a full-day event at FOSDEM, in conjunction with the CentOS Dojo there, where we could devote an hour to each topic, rather than cutting everyone off after 5 minutes.

All of the above items will be discussed further on the mailing list in the coming weeks. The meetup, while very valuable, wasn't long enough to do much more than start conversations and find interested people. Look for these conversations soon - or start one yourself if there's a topic that you're particular interested in.

Once again, a huge thanks to everyone that attended, and everyone that presented topics.

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How to Install oVirt's Windows Guest Tools

The oVirt Windows Guest Tools (oVirt WGT) installer, which made its debut in oVirt version 3.5, allows users to optimize Windows VMs for oVirt by easing the installation of:

  • Para-virtualized VirtIO-Win drivers, that you need to run your Microsoft Windows VMs with optimum performance.

  • Spice QXL drivers, for the improved remote access and performance.

  • Guest Agents, services that provide additional support for running and accessing VMs in oVirt. In 3.5 these agents include:

    • oVirt Guest Agent, which reports to oVirt Manager information such as IP addresses and FQDN of the VM.
    • Spice Guest Agent, which provides functions such as copy-and-paste between the client and the VM, as well making it possible to seamlessly go in and out of the VM's console with a mouse pointer. Without this agent, you would need to "release" your mouse pointer each time you want to go outside of the console.

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Looking Back on the Gluster Summit

Gluster logoOn May 12 and 13th, the Gluster contributor community came together to discuss the state of Gluster and the plans for the future in sunny Barcelona, Spain. We had 32 active contributors present and 21 presentations. We discussed a wide range of material, mostly focused around the next major release of Gluster, 4.0, but also had discussions on improving testing, maintenance, community growth, documentation, and the website.

Attendees were also treated to fine local sights and food, courtesy of our sponsors: Red Hat, Facebook, Datalab.es, and Barcelona iCapital. We even had a special introduction from Eduard Martin, the Innovation Director from the Societat del Coneixement i Arquitectures TIC in Institut Municipal d'Informatica, Barcelona.

One of the main goals of the Summit was to bring the community together, face to face, to build momentum and excitement about the technology and its roadmap. Also important was for the community itself to feel energized and connected to each other.

The most common comment at the end of the Summit was people wanting to know when we would be doing another one.

##Highlights

Facebook presented on their use of Gluster, and some new open source work to access NFS and Gluster instances using common CLI commands without mounting the storage directly.

There were several presentations discussing improvements to glusterd, with general agreement that refactoring for 4.0 was a good plan

There was also much discussion on the topic of what the future of distribution looked like for Gluster.

Slides are being collected from the presenters, and will be archived on the Gluster website. Ten of the talks were recorded, and have been uploaded to YouTube:

For more information about the Gluster Summit (including the full list of presentations), see the full agenda on the Gluster Community site.

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ManageIQ at OpenStack Summit

If you're heading to OpenStack Summit, you'll be happy to hear that there is plenty of ManageIQ content to choose from:

  • ManageIQ BoF on Monday, May 18: A Tour of ManageIQ Botvinnik - What's new in the upcoming Botvinnik release? Find out here
  • OpenStack Infrastructure Management with ManageIQ, John Hardy, Product Manager, Red Hat - Learn about hybrid cloud management from a guy who could write books about it
  • ManageIQ User Day @ OpenStack Summit - Learn how to use ManageIQ with OpenStack in a scale-out lab setting. If you're an OpenStack user and want to know how to add hybrid cloud management to the mix, this is the event for you. Bonus: the Botvinnik release party is at the end!

If you want to attend the user day, make sure to RSVP.

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Two Hypervisors, One Great Collaboration

Xen-KVM logo Born in the logic of ones and zeroes and forged in the heat of battle, two hypervisors–sworn foes in the realm of virtualization–are about to unite in a way many never thought possible. Over beer and code.

Join the teams behind Xen Project Developer Summit and KVM Forum in Seattle as they co-host a social event that will rock the virtualization world. On August 18, 2015, at the close of the Xen Project Developer Summit and on the eve of KVM Forum, attendees of both events can come together and collaborate in the best way possible: with crudites and hors d’oeuvres (and beer).

Virtualization is one of the most important technologies in IT today, so it makes perfect sense for the two best hypervisor projects to collaborate and socialize at an event that celebrates their similarities and bridges that gap between all things KVM and Xen.

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Create Community Impact With Case Studies

caution sign Case studies about open source project participants and users are a great way to showcase your project and how it works in the real world. Such studies will highlight interesting features of your software, demonstrate different (and potentially unique) ways your project is in use, and foster positive communication among members of your community.

Case studies are also about transparency: while talking to the end user of your software, you can also learn about things that are not necessarily running smoothly in your project. And while no one loves to hear about the things that are going wrong, such feedback can also be invaluable to you and your team.

This blog entry will walk you through the process of creating an open source software project case study.

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FOSSAsia Opens Doors For Many Open Source Projects

FOSSAsia logo There's a moment, when you're 9,412 miles away from home, standing in front of an audience of 300 or so people, when you have to wonder just how it is you ended up here.

Clearly there was a plane ride involved… a darn long one that involved three planes, including one with a broken engine that threw off the timing for the rest of the trip. Then there was the surreal experience of being escorted by two security guards through Narita airport because they thought my roll-up banner sign would not fit in the overhead compartment. And the massive thunderstorm that hit as I was walking through the national botanical gardens, getting me stuck in a very small shelter with lots of other people.

"Here," I should explain, was the FOSSAsia conference, this year located at multiple venues in Singapore. A mid-sized regional free and open source event, this was FOSSAsia's first time in the small island nation about 87 miles north of the Equator, having been located in other nations in prior years such as Vietnam and Cambodia. The three-day conference was split into two different formats. First, a single-track traditional day of speakers that included Lennart Poettering of systemd fame; Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, Singapore's Minister for the Environment and Water Resources; and Gen Kanai, Mozilla's Director of Community Engagement for Asia. Next, were two days of smaller workshop sessions and tracks.

I was joined by another colleague from Red Hat: Maor Lipchuk, an engineer from the oVirt/RHEV Storage team who'd flown in a goodly distance from Tel Aviv. Together, Maor and I would each deliver individual talks, as well as co-host an oVirt Workshop. The workshop, held on March 14, was a half-day of demos and talks around the oVirt virtual datacenter management platform. Joining us as a guest speaker for the workshop was James Jiang, from Cloud-Times in Beijing. Cloud-Times is a hardware and software vendor that specializes in the deployment of virtual desktop infrastructures.

James' discussion of best practices in VDI garnered much interest within the Workshop, particularly since he and his company had the chops–one of the example deployments was for a regional school system in China that needed over 10,000 virtual desktops in its implementation. Using oVirt as its upstream base, Cloud-Times' commercial software enables its customers to manage such deployments with ease, even (with the add-ons that Cloud-Times provides) using a wide variety of mixed media and hardware platforms.

Maor's talk on best practices in storage also brought a lot of discussion and questions from the 30+ attendees of the Saturday morning workshop. Not surprising, since Maor is an expert on a topic that anyone interested in virtual machine management and cloud computing has to master. Storage is a big part of any cloud and virtual solution, and getting their questions answered seemed a big help for the attendees.

oVirt's participation in this year's FOSSAsia conference was a success for us an an open source project… any opportunity to share our work in the broader community is a good thing, and the level of expertise in this conference made the efforts of this trip well worth it.

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VDI Lives On with Help from oVirt

oVirt logo Hey, remember Virtual Desktop Infrastructure? Still wondering if people are actually using it? I know, right?

It seems that VDI, which a lot of people thought was very much a bypassed technology, is still a growing sector in IT… and free-software tools are lending VDI deployments a stable and free platform on which virtual desktops can be managed.

A new case study from the oVirt project details the needs of the Universidad de Sevilla in Seville, Spain, which has an enrollment of over 60,000 students. Due to fewer consoles on campus than students, the school must provide effective transportable computing environments for its students. To accomplish this, they initially looked at a VMware-based VDI solution.

According to Miguel Rueda, Technical Manager of Universidad de Sevilla, the costs for a vSphere solution "were really high," which led IT decision makers at the University to turn to UDS Enterprise for a more cost-effective solution.

At the start of the 2011-12 academic year, Rueda related, the University connected with then-brand-new UDS, based in Madrid, Spain. The new firm had already generated some success within Spanish universities by delivering virtualization solutions, and they were confident they could pull off a similar win with Sevilla.

When moving away from vSphere, a big part of the savings were achieved directly because of the oVirt virtualization management solution.

It was very much a perfect fit. The University of Sevilla already had Dell blade hardware and were continuing to incorporate additional blade servers into the infrastructure. This kept their initial hardware investment lower, and the extensibility kept costs down as well. Using the Dell hardware with CentOS operating systems enabled the University to choose the effective–and free–KVM hypervisor platform for creating and running the virtual machines that make up the VDI system.

To start, the University chose to pilot this new VDI architecture through its OpenLabs Project, delivering the content for eight courses across 180 virtual desktops: This pilot solved the OpenLab's problem with desktop space issues as well as overall accessibility to applications for students. Nowadays, more than 3,000 students use this virtual desktop infrastructure.

If successful, it is very likely this type of VDI deployment based on oVirt will be a model for a lot of other universities (and commercial entities) to follow. For more information on the process the Universidad de Sevilla used, visit the case study at oVirt.org.

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Upstream First: Turning OpenStack into an NFV platform

NFV (Network Function Virtualization) has taken the telecommunications world by storm in recent years. Communications service providers plan to run their core services in virtual machines, running on a standardized, open source platform. This promises to reduce both capital and operation costs, and most importantly, to accelerate the delivery of new services to market through increased agility.

The Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV) project is deploying a collection of open source projects, including OpenStack as the Infrastructure-as-a-Service layer, OpenDaylight and Open vSwitch for virtual network, Ceph for virtual storage, and libvirt and qemu/KVM for virtual compute. OpenStack and OpenDaylight are themselves collections of multiple projects, each with their own set of maintainers. All told, the OPNFV platform consists of around 20 different projects, many of which will need to be changed to satisfy the performance and reliability constraints of an NFV platform.

How vendors make and distribute those changes will vary from one to another. Some participants will attempt to maintain differentiation by developing features in private, and integrating them in their products without ensuring the changes will be integrated into the upstream open source projects. Others will propose changes at the same time as they are released in a product.

Red Hat is a company with a policy we call “upstream first” - we work to get features integrated into open source projects before we integrate them into our product offerings. Wouldn't it be easier just to develop features for our customers, and let the upstream projects figure out what they care about? What are the costs associated with the upstream first approach? Why do we take this approach?

The short answer is because it is the cheapest, most sustainable way to innovate on an open source platform. To explain why, I will explore what it means to build on top of open source projects, the different approaches people take to doing it, and the costs associated with each approach.

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FOSDEM 2015 Video Archives Now Online

Despite a few hiccups in the live streaming and recording efforts at FOSDEM 2015, 402 talks were successfully recorded, 94 of which popped up in the video archives this week. The archives also include recordings from past FOSDEMs (all the way back to 2005), so when you discover that you've been sitting at your computer for a few days, watching videos and tripping down memory lane, don't say I didn't warn you.

Here are a few of the many 2015 videos you might want to check out:

FOSDEM organizers are still editing and posting videos, so keep an eye on the 2015 video folder or check the STATUS text file for additions.

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