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[reposted from the Citrix blog]

The title of this post is a riff on the now famous quote by Mark Twain a.k.a. Samuel Clemens about the New York Journal’s confusion between him and at time his ailing cousin James Ross Clemens who was a continent away. The same thing happened recently with regards to two unrelated events. An organizational change here at Citrix and the perceived vitality of one of the technologies we help support, Apache CloudStack.

Recently we combined the Citrix Cloud Platforms Group and the Citrix Cloud Networking Group into one integrated unit called Citrix NCSP (Networking, Cloud & SP Group). We believe these changes will strengthen our position in the quickly evolving data center market.  Klaus Oestermann as the VP and GM of NCSP will lead the newly combined group. This will create a closer working relationship between the teams that develop our Citrix Cloud Platform (powered by Apache CloudStack), Citrix Netscaler and XenServer(built on Xen Project) and other related products.

Unfortunately some of the pundits in our industry are speculating as part of a recent  reorganization at Citrix (and the departure of some of our former colleagues to pursue other opportunities) that this is a sign that we are abandoning our commitment to Apache CloudStack and the project would die. That’s probably because they don’t exactly understand how the Apache Software Foundation(ASF) works and how Citrix supports them.

I suspect many of them don’t understand that despite the lack of fanfare that the ASF provides technologies that power most of the internet’s websites, a huge part of the Java ecosystem and much, much more. While the tech industry swoons over Big Data (a market that is estimated to reach $50 billion by 2017). They might be surprised to know that the Hadoop mapreduce technology that is the lynchpin for the movement is developed by a relatively small set of developers in the Apache Software Foundation. Or the the Apache httpd server that powers more websites on the internet than any other is maintained by a dedicated group of volunteers not a multi-billion dollar company.

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I started to write this post after CloudStack Collaboration Conference EU (CCCEU) a few weeks ago but I was so exhausted I simply passed out. The conference was so good that while my mind was willing my body slept for 16 hours to recover. Despite the delay I think that it was an event of significant note.  

CCCEU was a gathering of almost 400 people from over 30 countries to discuss Apache CloudStack. It’s very seldom that I would describe time spent talking about software to be euphoric but I can’t think of a better word.  I found it particularly notable how effective a small group of volunteers can be as they came together in support of a cause they believe in.  While this event had all the trappings of a regular software industry event beautiful venue (the Beurs van Berlage the spark for modern Dutch architecture a very fitting venue for what I believe is the spark for private cloud platforms), numerous talks by industry luminaries, exhibits, live entertainment and free drinks. Though there was something ineffable about the atmosphere. It was very collaborative and despite many people competing for attention, resources and vendors with overlapping solutions, I didn’t detect a bit of animosity among the participants.  This video does a good job showing the spirit of the event. 

 

Community of Code and the Apache Way

What got me hooked on open source in the first place was its esprit de corps; which I saw manifested at  at CCCEU. The feeling was palpable. Open source is unique in it provides raw materials at a negligible cost for people to do amazing things and the mechanism for sharing ideas is equally accessible. Imagine if you would Ford and Chevrolet having access to free raw materials and parts for building their cars and a customer mandate to collaborate on driving standardization between their vehicles. It’s unfathomable. Though that kind of collaboration takes shape every day in the world of open source software a theme I touched in during my keynote, The Why of CloudStack.

Some of the other amazing keynotes (being posted to You Tube) came from CFengine founder and configuration management pioneer Mark Burgess who talked about Uncertain Cloud Infrastructures in a keynote and his skepticism of deterministic management models (see this presentation from Devops Days to get the gist). Dell’s resident DevOps expert John Willis talked the convergence of virtualized networks and trends in DevOps in another keynote espousing the growing agile operations principles (on a side note his ignite talk Deming to Devops was also killer). In his opening remarks Chip Childers, VP of Apache CloudStack, showed off some pretty impressive traction on the humble but vibrant project, 21,000 commits, hundreds of developers producing over 2.5 million lines of code in a very short amount of time. Childers also showed off hundreds of clouds in production (as no one buys CloudStack we he only had anecdotes about the most vocal users) including Autodesk, BT, Gilt.com, TomTom, AutoTrader, SunGard, and many, many more.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_cloudstackcollab.png

Are you looking to run your own cloud computing environment and want to interface with other users? Are you trying to cut through the hype and find out how to really run a cloud? Are you looking for a great personal conference that is run by users not marketing dollars? Then you should be in Amsterdam next week at the CloudStack Collaboration Conference. It's a user run confererence designed to bring the users, developers and other supporters of Apache CloudStack to collaborate on the development and best practices for running cloud computing. 

Just One Word - Plastic DevOps

As the cloud computing has accelerated the time to deployment for infrastructure the need to keep up with our capibilities is leading to a culture change, DevOps. The methodologies and practices used to fully utilize cloud computing are being championed by the elite operators of Cloud Computing infrastructure. The CloudStack Collaboration Conference has a full program to help provide some of the best thinking on devops and cloud all in one place. 

Patrick Debois the man who coined the term DevOps and conducts DevOps Days worldwide will be the opening keynote at CloudStack Collaboration conference. 

Dell's Chief DevOps Evangelist and the co-host of the popular DevOps Cafe podcast will be talking about how the principles of DevOps combined with the emerging trend in Software Defined Networking(SDN) are driving the cloud. 

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Open Source Cloud Projects to Watch

Posted by on in Open Source

We often have our heads down looking at the projects we regularly work on (Apache CloudStack and Xen Project) and don't always pay attention to the other cool things going on in the open source world. So once and a while it's good to poke your head up olut of the clouds and take a look at some of the awesome projects being developed in the open source community. These projects are very promising and especially usefully for cloud comptuing.  

Hybrid Cloud => Segregated Workloads

I am not convinced of the hybrid cloud scenario as espoused by many cloud pundits. I think it's more theoretical then the common place. What I do think happens is that organizations are using the public cloud and private cloud simultaneously with different applications in each and will continue to do so. That's why I like some of these tools that help users manage mutliple clouds (hopefully one of them will be Apache CloudStack ;) from a single tool. 

Scalr 

Scalr InterfaceOne of my favorite projects is Scalr which gives users an easy-to-use menu-driven interface (See screenshot to the right) that enables them to deploy applications on multiple clouds. I have seen Scalr in use on a number of CloudStack clouds as well as being used to manage Amazon Web Services. Their template system makes cloud deployments a point-and-click proposition. 

jclouds 

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The Xen Project has announced the sessions for the 2013 Xen Project User Summit to be held in conjunction with Linuxcon North America next month in New Orleans. This is the first time that the the Xen hypervisor team will be having a conference focused entirely on the users of the Xen hypervisor. 

Xen Project User Summit 2013

Keynote Address: Xen: This is not your Dad’s hypervisor!

Demetrious Coulis, Senior Principal Product Manager of CA AppLogi will deliver the keynote address.  He will explain why Xen’s strengths are critical for powering CA AppLogic and platforms like OpenStack.

Featured Talk: Free yourself from the tyranny of your cloud provider!

Greg Kroah-Hartman, maintainer of the stable branch of the Linux kernel (among a mass of other things), will discuss how using kexec in a paravirtualized user domain, with no changes to the control Domain or Xen itself, can allow you to boot your own kernel, no matter what the hosting provider is forcing you to run.

Scheduled Talks

Here are some of the talks scheduled for the event. 

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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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