First day at LinuxCon NA 2014

2014/08/22

Porec

Interesting to pass from vacation with family in Croatia to France after 10 hours of drive and then the day after being in a plane, flying to Chicago to attend my 3rd LinuxCon, held this time in the mythic Chicago city.

Chicago

While I arrived Monday evening, I had time to catch up some mail, make some conf calls on Tuesday before attending the first part of the event, which was the VIP dinner. An opportunity to talk to HP colleagues I met for the first time physically, even if we already interacted electronically previously.

VIP dinner

A view on the VIP Dinner

Wednesday the 20th was the first day of the event which started as usual with Jim Zemlin’s Keynote. This time he chose to talk about what the Linux Foundation rules disallow: The Linux Foundation itself ! And more largely about the roles of foundations to support open source development, their key cleaning facility role.

Jim Zemlin

Jim had a quite funny slide exaplining how everybody is seeing him, while what he is really doing is cleaning stuff so Linus, Greg and thouands of others could code and manage Linux.

He also announced the new LF certification program (Certified sysadmin and Engineers). While I understand the need of having more recognized Open Source ad Linux Professionals, unlinked to a company (such as the RHCE one) I wonder whether we were needing a new certification wile we do have LPI. I hope the 2 will cooperate to avoid again proliferation. Not that proliferation is bad per se. But why dedicate multiple times efforts to create training supports, manage registrations, … when someone already works on that, maybe in a different way, but maybe patchable to be adopted by the LF. Hopefully this will be solved somehow.

LF certifications

After that we had the also traditional Linux Kernel panel moderated by Greg Kroah-Hartmann with Andy, S, Andrew Morton and Linus Torvalds of course. Nothing really new came out. Anyway, it’s always refreshing to see our heros on stage full of confidence and hope for what they do.

Kernel Round Table

Linus insisted once more on the fact he wants Linux to be more dominant on the desktop market. As a 21 years linux desktop user myself, I can only be in agreement with that. Where is however the docker of the desktop, that will make everybody want to change and move to it ? When people see my Mageia distro they’re always surprised how many stuff you can do out of the box with a Linux Desktop. Phones have helped people go away from the monopoly interface but Macs do not help bringing back people to Linux. If at least all people attending LinuxCon and developing FLOSS would run Linux, that would be great !

Linus Torvalds

Then it was time for elective sessions. I chose first to know more about devstack.
Sean Dague from HP presented OpenStack in 10 Minutes with devstack
devstack pulls everything from git. As it heavily modifies your system so do rather that in a VM/Container. devstack launches tempest (the OpenStack test suite) at the end for the install. Sean insisted on the flow of requests generated inside OpenStack and demonstrated how you can easily modify the devstack environment and re-run it to test easily your modification.

devstack provides an easy way to support modifications through a conf file. Example given if you add
API_RATE_LIMIT=False
you’ll avoid waiting for an answers from the server in case of devstack exceeding the standard rate of queries.
You can also use localrc.conf to pass specific variables up to the right component.

In order to use it, you’d need 4GB RAM (recommended). It can run in a VM (cirros will work nested). Sean warned that it does not reclone git trees by default and clean.sh should put everything back in order (but cleans stuff !)

Sean Dague

Good presentation, easy to follow and having a quick demo part which confirms that devstack is easy to use :-)

Then I attended Joe Brockmeier’s (Red Hat) presentation around Solving the package issue

Joe explained the notion of SW collections (living under /opt). It’s Available for RHEL, CentOS and Fedora. It brings a new scl command. If you type for example
scl enable php54 “app –option”
that app uses now php 5.4 while the rest of the system ignores it.
For that you’ll need new packages: scl-utils and scl-utils-build
There is a tool spec2scl to convert spec files to generate scl compatible packages.
For more info you can look at http://softwarecollections.org

A remark I made to myself and which was later explicitely said during the presentation is that scl is useful for RHEL to provide newer versions of SW onto the enterprise distributions, while it can also help provide older versions of SW into Fedora (which is moving so fast that not all SW can adapt !).
It’s a sort of Debian backports for RHEL.
Joe also presented rpm-ostree (derived from ostree, git-like for system binaries providing an immutable tree). Under development for now, so not completely usable and probably the least interesting solution.
He moved on with docker, but was pretty generic (on purpose) and seeing it as complementary to package management, whether I think docker is another way of deploying software, which is not caring of packages by providing a layered deployment approach. While I have packaged docker for Mageia, I’m not yet familiar eough with it to be sure of that, and I’m currently working on combining it with project-builder.org. So will comment later on on that.

Joe Brockmeier

Then it was time to animate the FLOSS Governance roundtable for which I was attending LinuxCon. I had what I think is probably the best panel to cover the vast topic with Eileen Evans from HP, Tom Callaway from Red Hat, Gary O’Neall from Source Auditor Inc., Bradley Kuhn from Software Freedom Conservancy (and of course 45 minutes wasn’t sufficient to talk about all the subjects part of this), but I think the interactions were very interesting and lively and hope the audience enjoyed them and learned new aspects of this capital topic for our ecosystem. Of course we talked about licenses, SPDX and its future new 2.0 version, but also of foundations (echoing Jim Zemlin’s keynote), contribution agreements or tax usage (Thanks Bradley !).

FLOSS Governance Roundtable

And this is just the first of a series of such round tables I’ll lead in future events, but more on that later on.

After that, I discussed with Bradley Kuhn and Jilayne Lovejoy about licenses, AGPL, and various related topics, and their feedback were as usual very rich.

Was then time to go back to the latest keynote sessions. The first one I followed was from a new company (for me) CEO, Jay Rogers from Local Motors who tries to make open hardware in the automotive sector.Worth looking at and following whether they will be successful.

Jay Rogers

Then, our own Eileen Evans was on stage to explain her view on the new FLOSS Professional. And I think at her place I’d have been even more impressed as she had a full room so probably some pressure to talk to all these devs and devops. And I think her voice showed that at the begining. But when she entered in the details of the presentation, she did as usual a great job and was particularly convincing. She showed how the FLOSS professional was more than others issued from diverse backgrounds, as she illustrated with her own one. She also showed the variety of activities that each of these people have to cope with everyday, again with an illustration of one of her day of work passing from a contract management or OSRB meeting to an OpenStack foundation board conf call.

Eileen Evans keynote

And that approach of the new FLOSS professional was a convincing echo to Jim Zemlin’s call for more professionals and the focus on people that many speakers have underlined. The FLOSS ecosystem indeed needs so many various competencies in addition to developers and FLOSS is so ubiquituous that the lack of resources is delaying some projects. And Eileen explained why this notion of FLOSS Professional is arising now. Which is in short because FLOSS usage has moved from hobbist developing for themselves to professional developing during work hours. And she also covered the impact on companies where the work in network/communities, between peers is the rule compared to the siloed classical approach. And so companies need people understanding this way of working to evolve.

Eileen Evans

It was then time to catch a bus and enjoy discussing with peers at the Museum of Science and Industry during the evening event where we could also explore the museum.

Museum of Science and Industry of Chicago

Free HP Helion Workshop during LInuxCon 2014 in Chicago this week

2014/08/16

While I was reviewing my calendar for next week LinuxCon AMA 2014 in Chicago, I found out that a new workshop was proposed during the week. This is on HP Helion OpenStack

And I received also an internal mail talking about it. So first I registered :-) and then I thought it would be a good idea to advertize it through this blog.

It will be held the 21st of August in the afternoon, so feel free to come and learn or share your OpenStack knowledge with our experts. All the details haven been published in that article.

Now time to finish my vacation in Croatia, drive back to France and and catch the plane on monday to be in Chicago and enjoy all the sessions !

First attempt to present during the upcoming OpenStack Summit in Paris

2014/08/03

Just before leaving for vacation (Croatia is a great place to visit), I made 2 submissions for the next OpenStack Summit in Paris. It’s the first time I try to submit talks for this event. I could have done before, but this time, it’s very convenient as much nearer from where I live so thought it was a good opportunity to try.

So if you want to see me around for sure, vote for my talks ;-)

The first proposal is to have a round table on collaboration and coopetition in OpenStack, with speakers from HP (of course ;-)), Red Hat, SUSE and Mirantis, as I have good candidates in mind for this one that should generate interesting discussions and lower the heat If I can !

The second one is about a collaboration we recently had with ObjectifLibre around cinder improvements to support our MSA storage system. I think this is a good demonstration of collaboration between HP (a large corporation) and one of our VAR (value added reseller – SMB) around Open Source technology and pave the way for hopefully future improvements.

So if you find these talks can help make that Summit better, don’t hesitate to vote for them ! In any case, I’ll try to attend, as I’m more involved in HP Helion OpenStack and being there is definitely what I need to do to improve my network in this area. See you there then (or sooner in Chicago for LinuxCon)

Open Source Governance Roundtable at LinuxCon North America 2014 in Chicago

2014/07/18

I wasn’t expected to be there this year, but finally one of my proposal which was on waiting list was accepted, so I’m able to be back again this year !

I’ll animate a round table on Open Source Governance during the upcoming LinuxCon in Chicago ! I really need to thank the HP Open Source Program Office and the HP EG Presales management which are funding my travel there ! Without their support, it would not have occured.

The goal of this round table is to share the latest news in the area of Open Source Governance.
Topics covered will include:

  • Status on SPDX, LSB, FHS
  • licenses (e.g: analysis, new comers, usage example),
  • tools (e.g: license analysis, software evaluation, reference web sites),
  • best governance practices (e.g: return of experience, distribution adoption of tags, portability)

I think I’ve one of the best panel that could be gathered in the US around this topic:

  • Eileen Evans, VP & Deputy General Counsel of Cloud Computing and Open Source, HP
  • Bradley M. Kuhn, President & Distinguished Technologist of Software Freedom Conservancy
  • Gary O’Neall, Responsible for product development and technology for Source Auditor Inc
  • Tom Callaway, University Outreach & Fedora Special Projects, Red Hat

So don’t hesitate to come and attend this session, which will be, I’m sure, enlightening and informative on the latest hot topics in the area of Open Source compliance, governance and licenses.
And if you want to talk with me on anything MondoRescue, Project-Builder.org, UEFI, HP and Linux or early music, I’ll be around during the full event. See you there.

3 Concerts pour finir la semaine de mon autre travail

2014/07/11

Comme chaque année depuis 24 ans, cette semaine était consacrée à chanter le répertoire à la fois le plus émouvant et le plus savant de la musique vocale occidentale : la polyphonie sacrée de la renaissance. Au programme cette année, de nouveau le Requiem de Victoria, que j’ai déjà eu le plaisir de chanter avec Jean Belliard quatre fois lors de ces 24 ans de plaisir musical partagé. Ce chef d’oeuvre absolu de la musique à 6 voix enchasse le grégorien de la messe des morts au sein d’une polyphonie d’une sensibilité expressive absolument magnifique. Il faut notamment connaitre le motet Versa est in luctum bouleversant de déchirement (les fa# à la voix de ténor). Et il est simple pour vous de le découvrir ! Venez écouter ce samedi 12 juillet à l’église St Martin d’Etampes (91) ou à la cathédrale de Chartres (28) ce dimanche 13 juillet, la 25ème académie de musique sacrée de la Renaissance d’Etampes inspirée par cet artiste hors norme qu’est Jean Belliard qui a encore revisité l’oeuvre pour vous procurer la meilleure interprétation du texte liturgique.

Evènement à ne pas manquer !

MondoRescue 3.2.0 stabilisation

2014/06/22

It took me time for sure. I started to work on this precise branch in October 2013. At that point, I was already happy to have a compiling version as I’ve made lots of memory management changes. But of course, it was not that simple ;-)

Then in march 2014, again, I thought I was ready to publish something ASAP. Argh !! I was wrong again.

But now is time for you to test it. I’ve fixed most of the issues I had remaining at that time (isolinux menus, NFS on Mageia 4, change of network NIC name). But the main one which took me hours to fix is linked to systemd. I’ve concentrated all my tests on Fedora 20 (which is very near from RHEL 7 that is an important target of course). But it’s not before a discussion with a systemd developer during LinuxCon Japan that I understood where the problem was.

At restore time, mindi init script was mounting the /dev filesystem as tmpfs instead of devtmpfs. Once I made the change, systemd-udev was able to be launched and work correctly for me at restore time, so the restore of fedora 20 was starting to work.

Of course, after that, I had other points to fix to name a few:

  • fully support systemd and its multiple compagnon binaries
  • fully support grub2 and its installer
  • avoid some memory management issues in corner cases using a lot valgrind
  • Remove from mindi 2 functions replaced by perl code (ReadAllLink by mr-read-all-link and ProcessLDD by mr-process-ldd)
  • cleanup of old useless file in /tmp suposedly used for mondo/mindi commnuication
  • Adds lvmetad daemon to list and launch it at restore time as new LVM version seems to need it
  • Rename the conf file mondo-restore.cfg into mondorestore.cfg for homogeneity
  • NETFS-SERVER-MOUNT remains the only built file by mondo for net configuration, lots of code cleanup and mindi now uses mr-net-get-config to build the network conf
  • Add support for latest Fedora keymap file (/etc/vconsole.conf) and non us keyboard detection

So that explains the delay you’ve seen in the publication of test versions.
But now, It’s time !!!

I’ve been able to make a full backup / restore / restart of the restored fedora 20 distribution in a full automatic mode without issue anymore ! Yep, I deserve some vacation !!!

So it’s your turn now to test this version and tell me what I’ve missed, and if that doesn’t create regressions for your prefered distro.
Available as usual at ftp://ftp.mondorescue.org/test

Now this version requires in addition to the afio or buffer packages also the perl modules developed for MondoRescue (at the same place) and for project-builder.org located at ftp://ftp.mondorescue.org/

Not all distros have been built correctly yet. Let me know what is missing, I’ll try to update during my week in Barcelona. I’m particularly interested by Fedora users for now, and more generaly other systemd users.

If tests are globally positive, I’ll publish it early July. And I’ll look at porting some of these changes back into 3.0.5 and add one or two features that have been asked for some time by some customers, but we’ll have to prioritize stuff. Again give feedback here.

Meet at HP ExpertOne Technology & Solutions Summit Again !

2014/06/13

For those of you working for an HP value added reseller (VAR) and attending the HP ExpertOne Technology & Solutions Summit in (again) Barcelona from the 24th to the 27th of June, feel free to meet during one of the session I’ll (co-)deliver:

For those of you wondering why project-builder.org and MondoRescue versions are not published more regularly, that gives you a hint ;-)

See you there to talk of these subjects or something else as you see fit. I’m around the whole week.

Fourth OpenStack Meetup for Rhône Alpes

2014/06/04

The fourth meetup for the OpenStack regional group will be organized again by HP at the HP/Intel Solution Center the 1st of July 2014.

We should have presentations about a new deployment tool by Mirantis, HP Helion by HP and Icehouse features and Juno roadmap.

Refer to http://www.meetup.com/OpenStack-Rhone-Alpes/ (in french) for more details and registration for those of you around.

Join us at HP: 5, avenue Raymond Chanas, Eybens, France
Access B10 HP

Do not forget Forj around Helion

2014/05/20

Caveat: I’m an HP employee, but info mentionned here are all public, and opinions/errors are just mine, as usual on my blog.

The recent announce of HP around Helion is really reinforcing investment made by my company in OpenStack and presenting the new involvement in CloudFoundry.

The key takeaway I got from it, after reading most of what was written is that we are providing every 6 weeks (think about it !) a new distribution of OpenStack (current being based on IceHouse), as an Open Source distribution, for which customers will be able to buy support. It’s based on TripleO for the bare metal deployment. This distribution is using HP’s own Linux for the controller and hypervisors nodes which is Debian based. Another interesting feature is the embedded update mechanism provided to make OpenStack updates easier (up to now, was simpler to reinstall a new version, not so much to update).

Another key point is the indemnification program. Martin Fink, who is behind this program, has been a long time advocate of Linux indemnification from HP. It was formely introduced when the SCO story was hot. It’s a strong commitment that HP know the code for both its OpenStack and Linux embedded distribution, believe in its licenses, and in its IP.

And last but not least, we do underline that Open Source business is mostly a service (and hardware for us) play, so we’re announcing OpenStack related services, and from my own tries with debugging OpenStack related issues, it will be probably very well received by customers, as it’s a real job, you need strong people knowing how it works, and where to look in order to debug issues.

And frankly, I feel better when I see 1 billion USD announced from HP in R&D around OpenStack technologies, than I felt when IBM announced last year its billion around PowerPC Linux. I think our dollars will produce more concrete results in the ecosystem (even if every USD dedicated to what is called today at LinuxCon “external” R&D is a good sign of the vitality of our ecossytem and some end up benefiting end customers). I think this part is as important as the one IBM made more than 10 years ago around Linux (not Power related) and shows that OpenStack will really become the commodity IaaS solution for all in a short future. It will for sure help a lot of customers consider that technology as being well supported by us (as well as many others). And reverse the trend we saw this morning when we asked how many companies were using Cloud (not even OpenStack) in their production environement, and only few hands raised !!.

I know this is changing quite a lot how IT departments handle IT today, but if they identify that they need an IaaS, then OpenStack is clearly the way to go: with our Helion announce we also do have the fact that hpcloud.com will soon be available on 20 additional HP data centers, meaning that we do consider it as production ready, even if it takes quite some efforts to reach that level, as we disclosed during an OpenStack meetup by presenting all the test work we do to reach enterprise grade level with a production OpenStack env.

Of course, as Martin Fink said rightly, “traditional” IT doesn’t go away. I have customers still operating mainframes, client-server apps, RDBMs, SMB shares, … and will for a long time. But in this new style of IT HP is promoting, for some new workloads and use cases, scaling out easily, it makes a lot of sense to adopt Cloud to support them. And if you adopt Cloud, then you should definitely look at OpenStack (and HP Helion of course) as the most promising technology to help you build it successfully.

And while it wasn’t part of the Helion announcement, as already presented during our last Discover event (and will be again in June), I think it’s important to remind readers of the availability of the Forj project. For development teams, this tool provides continuous integration à la OpenStack for just every development team, without the hassle of managing your own jenkins and associated tools. Definitely part for me of the Helion ecosystem and worth sharing around.

Interesting professional evolution…

2014/05/18

I’ve been pretty busy in May and traveling a lot. But I guess it won’t improve in the future with the recent news I got.

First I received a mail last week to invite me to a round table on Cloud and Virtualization during LinuxCon Japan in Tokyo next week. Which makes me a keynote speaker for the first time in such a Tier One Event WW. Not only was I surprised, (I even asked whether there wasn’t an error), but after confirmation, I was extremely proud to be seen as able to talk in front of the large community in Japan. Hopefully I will provide wise feedback, even if now I’m a bit more stressed than before !

Unrelated, even if…. On the HP side, since 2007, I’ve been preparing my application to become what the industry calls “Distinguished Technologist” (DT) and that HP for my role calls a Technology Strategist (being part of the Presales organization). It took me 6 years to build that application, work on various multiple customer activities as well as with numerous communities before I consider myself at the level to submit it. And pass it this week ! But even now, I know that the various models I have such as Bdale Garbee (formely DT at HP – only !) or Linda Knippers (DT as well at HP, and that I’d like to thank particularly for her successful mentoring) are still way ahead of me. More work in front of me !

But that’s an important step for me as this title will help wrt to peer discussions with our partners, or with community members having that grade as well. And it may also help internaly propagating my feedback and promote even better Open Source and linux at HP.

We’ll see what all that brings in the coming weeks. But what I’m sure is that HP will publish its Fellow page before I’m on the list ;-)

PS: For my friends in France, the fact I’m speaking next week at LinuxCon Japan also means I won’t be attending Solutions Linux in Paris, as I have for the last 14 years :-( I’m sad about that, as it’s always great to exchange and meet again, but I’m sure we’ll have other opportunities, for example at Open World Forum later this year.


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