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Discussion on the state of cloud computing and open source software that helps build, manage, and deliver everything-as-a-service.

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Recently, I attended a conference session where the presenter said of his mature project, "We are focused mostly on performance these days, not much on new stuff."  To most people, I'm sure this statement was unremarkable.  However, as one who is associated with a project which is over a decade old and powers many of the largest clouds in the world, I found the statement both sobering and horrifying.

It is sobering to think that lack of  innovation within a project speaks of the impending end of the effort; a race has been run, a finish line crossed, and a horse put out to pasture.  It's the inevitable death of all things when there is no more room for real ingenuity or growth.  All that remains is to wait for the inevitable replacement to stand up and become the new go-to solution in the area.

But it is also horrifying to think that a project would choose to so casually embrace this fate.  I understand that once you set out to do something and you succeed, it is easy to say, "Well, I guess we're done with the new and interesting stuff."  But if you come to that conclusion too quickly, you probably suffer from a gigantic vision problem.

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RICON 2014 Build a Cloud Day - Videos are Available

Posted by on in Events

On October 27th, 2014 the Open@Citrix team hosted a Build a Cloud Day at RICON 2014. Thank you to the speakers who presented that day!

For those of you who haven't attended a Build a Cloud Day, here's what Build a Cloud Day is all about. Build a Cloud Days are free to attend and held around the world. Build a Cloud days are designed to expose attendees to the concepts and best practices around deploying cloud computing infrastructure. Attendees learn how to deploy a cloud computing environment using Apache CloudStack and other cloud infrastructure tools including those from XenServer, Docker, RiakCS, Ceph, Chef, Zenoss, Puppet and many others that automate server and network configuration for building highly available cloud computing environments.

Mark Hinkle kicked off the day with an introduction and a presentation on A Crash Course to Open Source Cloud Computing.

Crash Course on Open Source Cloud Computing by Mark Hinkle (Slides | Video)

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Couldn't make it to this year's Xen Project User Summit in New York City?  No problem!  Most of the videos are now available for viewing at XenProject.org.  These aren't highlight reels or a handful of talks from a few selected people; these are the meat-and-potatos talks from our event.  Most sessions are available right now; the final few should be posted in the next few days.

Take a look at some of the great talks already available...

Xen Project Advances:

Status of Xen Project, by Lars Kurth of Citrix

- Hear about the latest from the project.

Understanding and Using Xen4CentOS, by Johnny Hughes of CentOS

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CloudStack simulator on Docker

Posted by on in CloudStack Tips

Docker is a lot of fun, one of its strength is in the portability of applications. This gave me the idea to package the CloudStack management server as a docker image.

CloudStack has a simulator that can fake a data center infrastructure. It can be used to test some of the basic functionalities. We use it to run our integration tests, like the smoke tests on TravisCI. The simulator allows us to configure an advanced or basic networking zone with fake hypervisors.

So I bootstrapped the CloudStack management server, configured the Mysql database with an advanced zone and created a docker image with Packer. The resulting image is on DockerHub, and I realized after the fact that four other great minds already did something similar :)

On a machine running docker:

docker pull runseb/cloudstack
docker run -t -i -p 8080:8080 runseb/cloudstack:0.1.4 /bin/bash
# service mysql restart
# cd /opt/cloudstack
# mvn -pl client jetty:run -Dsimulator

Then open your browser on http://<IP_of_docker_host>:8080/client and enjoy !

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On Docker and Kubernetes on CloudStack

Posted by on in Cloud Strategy

Docker has pushed containers to a new level, making it extremely easy to package and deploy applications within containers. Containers are not new, with Solaris containers and OpenVZ among several containers technologies going back 2005. But Docker has caught on quickly as mentioned by @adrianco. The startup speed is not surprising for containers, the portability is reminiscent of the Java goal to "write once run anywhere". What is truly interesting with Docker is that availability of Docker registries (e.g Docker Hub) to share containers and the potential to change the application deployment workflows.

Rightly so, we should soon see IT move to a docker based application deployment, where developers package their applications and make them available to Ops. Very much like we have been using war files. Embracing a DevOps mindset/culture should be easier with Docker. Where it becomes truly interesting is when we start thinking about an infrastructure whose sole purpose is to run containers. We can envision a bare operating system with a single goal to manage docker based services. This should make sys admin life easier.

The role of the Cloud with Docker

While the buzz around Docker has been truly amazing and a community has grown over night, some may think that this signals the end of the cloud. I think it is far from the truth as Docker may indeed become the killer app of the cloud.

A IaaS layer is what is: an infrastructure orchestration layer, while Docker and its ecosystem will become the application orchestration layer.

The question then becomes: How do I run Docker in the cloud ? And there is a straightforward answer: Just install Docker in your cloud templates. Whether on AWS or GCE or Azure or your private cloud, you can prepare linux based templates that provide Docker support. If you are aiming for the bare operating system whose sole purpose is to run Docker then the new CoreOS linux distribution might be your best pick. CoreOS provides rolling upgrades of the kernel, systemd based services, a distributed key value store (i.e etcd) and a distributed service scheduling system (i.e fleet)

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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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