Archive for May, 2009

Solutions Linux 2009: Summmary of visit Day 3


Arrival at 10:00AM
Today, no conference lanned, so time to look at the exhibition more in details.
First meet with Francois Jeanmougin on the Ruby Booth where Ollivier Robert was driving operations 😉 So Again discussions around HP/EDS (no you won’t know all the bad we said 😉 This took enough time that we decided to continue the discusion during the lunch with Ollivier.
After, I met again Erwan, and we passed at least 2 hours discussing gPXE, syslinux and our experience around various VCS and DVCS. Interesting to see that we are both SVN old timers, and a bit disoriented in front of Mercurial (for me) and Git (for him). Extremely enjoying and enligthning discussion as always with Erwan.

I then met with Nicolas Chuche (long time no see) around the booth ot Opensides, a small but extremely interesting HP partner dealing with various Open Source offering. Kolab on one side, but we mostly discussed with Benoit Mortier around GOsa, an LDAP based framework for system management and administration. I didn’t realized last year at RMLL, that GOsa was doing deployment. But this time I had the opportunity to discuss nearly 3 hours with Benoit (Really need to thank him for his time), and he explained me in lots of details how GOsa is working. I’ve been convinced by the use of a LDP directory server to store information on deployment and use them (with a patched DHCP server reading its content from it, as well as a patched tftp server doig the same and thus generating on the fly what is needed to do the PXE boot of the machine. Coupling these mecanisms with LiuxCOE and MondoRescue, could provide me with the ultimate deployment server I’m looking for.
Benoit Mortier is involved in those projects as contributor, and I really recommend that you contract him for your Open Source related needs (even outside of Kolab or GOsa), as he is extremely smart and knowledgeable, without the arrognce you can sometimes find with people who know their value. Benoit is also passionate and gives for me a perfect example of what a real guru is.

It was then time to leave to catch my train and going back to Grenoble. All in all, a good event, with strong exhibitors, good presentors, a location probably better for the event, and which needs improvement for the conferences. It stays the major professinal FLOSS event in France, and shows to everybody that even with the current crisis, our ecosystem is alive, bringing more and more solutions, and always makes afetr those years the computing revolution.

Solutions Linux 2009: Summmary of visit Day 2


Arrival at 10:00AM
I first began my tour of the exhibition. It’s always difficult for me as I try to do all the rows in order, so that I can look at new firms coming, and new projects appearing.
Among the big exhibitors where Sun, Novell, a Nantes Alliance of multiple small companies, Ubuntu. No Red Hat, no HP. Too bad for us, as it could be a way to pass messages around our Services capabilities (especially with the EDS merge, and the new G6 running LInux, and , and and …) Even not present on a partner booth.

But of course, after 15 years in Open Source in France, and 9 events on 10 attended, I cannot go very far without meeting with someone I know and passing at least 20 minutes having news ! (of course, that’s why I love coming, as those fce to face meetings reinforce the links developped during the years). Even if it’s just a hello, a shake hands, and not as long, it’s always nice to see all those people you know and follow their evolution.
Passing on the second row, I found a new firm developing an Open Source framework for qualimetry called Squale. Interestingly enough, their structure mimics the one of Fossology: a core with agents around, a hiereachical tree analysis of results. Except that their Web interface is much more developed, so that in fact Fossology should consider interact with them and insert its tools inside the framework, and thus benefit from an existing strong environment on which it didn’t focus up to now. People were very interested and ready to cooperate on this. Outside from that, their tool looks very interesting, filling a gap in the FLOSS ecosystem, and promised to a brilliant future IMO.

I think that I met with Aful/Racketiciel people after that. Of course, when they saw my HP badge, they came straight to complain about the forced sell of Windows on our machines, and said it was simple to de-couple. So I give them an overview of what it represents in term of complexity to touch a production process for us, the costs it implies, the lack of incentives to do it. I concluded that the best way to make the landscape evolve, would be a EU law, such as what has been done for the ROHS systems recently, now also applied in the US (whch benefit from an ecologic measure -:). Other technical proposals they made were in fact impractical, very costly, creating too much change that the production will never adopt like that… As long as Windows represnts 95% of desktops, no progress can be expect. So works needs also to be done in parallel to promote Linux based desktop solutions, large parks migrations in enterprises and public sector, … Good and honest discussion that hopefully will help each other understand better.

Some shake hands later, was time to lunch, this time with Anne and Erwan (again) and Daniel Veillard (Red Hat), base din Grenoble like me, that I had met for the first time, … just the week before 😉 Very interesting discussion and anecdotes on virtualization, gcc, kernel, …

The afternoon, I had again a conferenec to deliver on Open Source Governance, in the track of the same name that I opened. The track was managed by Jean-Pierre Laisne (OW2) and Pascal Pujo (Atos Origin), and it was the 1st of April so we had some good jokes between ourselves and the assistace in order to make them understand the serious aspect of Governance 😉 It was a rather numerous assistance with good questions and interest.
My presentation was followed by the one of Raphael Semeteys (Atos Origin) on QSOS, method to explicit the level of quality of FLOSS projects based on customizable metrics. The project has suffered from an internal development at Atos, nd is now looking for more contributions (Having already 83 projects catagorized). Interesting technque, seems to be the only one remaining alive in this camp, but from the description, seems that entry point is a bit high, so that could explain the lack of contribs. Projects is planning evolutions to allow for more contributors to work with it.
A user experience was hen given by Didier Durand (Publicitas), showing how they drastically spared millions of FCH by migrating from Mainframe to Linux/Xeon, writing tools to automatically migrate 4 Millions lines of code, that they then Open Sourced to help others in the same situation. I had already seen that presentation at the RMLL 2008, and found it so exemplar that I pushed for it to be included during our preparation sessions. Examplar also in the way the firm insisted on keeping the people in charge of the Mainframe in place, dealt with the necessary trainings (+ 1 hiring) in order for everybody to stay on board. Excellent IMO.
The last presentation on Project Governance was delivered by Laurent Sollier (Atos Origin) and lead to a big controvers with the attendees, my self included ! THe error of the presenter was to focus in his talk around risks, problems and annoyances, generating a feeling of fear among the attendance. He just forgot to mention that a system integrator like Atos is just there to minimize those risks in front of end customers and msk the complexity by provifing the right plan. The discussion continued long after the end of the talk !! Discussing those topics with someone from the Education Ministery, we went (kindly invited by Jean-Pierrre Laisne) to the aperitif organised by OW2, where I also met with Great pleasure with Rodrigue Le Gall (who worked formely in the same Center as I) and who is now fully involved in the Bonita project. Expect great news soon around it 😉
I also met there Pascal Terjan (Mandriva) and some other folks which invited me to join the Mandriv dinner at the Flam’s. After all, as I’m (modestly) contributing, was just a good opportunity to discuss with this distribution community and so we moved. I pssed the dinner with Pascal, Arnaud Patar, the RMLL09 president, and other folks (Nanardon, Guillomovith, Anne …)
Back to the hotel at 1:00AM, time to read mail, but no new idea to code, so a bit of reading instead 😉 and sleep at 2:30AM

Solutions Linux 2009: Summmary of visit Day 1


Arrival at 8:45AM
As each year, it’s really a pleasure to come back to Solution Linux in Paris.
This year was the tenth anniversary, but due to the economic context it has not really been possible to see it as a big celebration, but rather the continuous meeting of the french speaking community.
This year we had to change of location and go to Porte de Versailles as the CNIT (La Defense) wasn’t available because of its re-work). At the end, new dates later in the year, more space for the exhibition part, but no dedictaed rooms for conference the the noise impact was extremely important, and really made the conf difficult to follow. Next year, we will have dedicated rooms, separted from the exhibition, so conditions should be at the level expected by the good level of conference

Being part of the commitee selecting conferences, I’m always following some of them, especially in the track I’m co-leading with Laurent Marie from Linagora (Linux and Data Centers). Laurent managed the AM part which contained mainly a Nagios Track. Not too many people in our session (especially compared to previous years), probably due to the change of name (was Managing, Operating, Monitoring Linux Systems)

A good overvew of Nagios was proposed by Yannig Perre (Simia) which also underlined the weakness of Nagios, its difficult configuration. It it has been just followed by the excellent Cedric Temple (Merethis) who showed us all the progress made by FAN (Ful Automated Nagios) since the last time I saw it. Based on a CentOS distribution, it integrates in standard what misses to Nagios (lot of plugins, Centreon, Nagvis, Nareto, …) and thus gives to admin a one stopshop for creating a management station. Very successful and really a project to follow, as 2.0 should be soon out with all the latest versions of the above mentioned tools.

I then had to change room to deliver a session on MondoRescue in the Desktop track. I even met a real user (since at least 2 years) in the attendance and got some interesting questions. Always happy to deliver that session, even if I now need to rework it to renew the subject (hopefully for October in Japan, he, he, …)

Lunch was the occasion of meeting with Anne Nicolas and Erwan Velu. I’m always very happy to be lucky to exchange with them, take News of Mandriva and Seanodes, and their baby 😉 Anne is looking to certify Mandriva Enterprise Server on different hardware manufacturer servers, and I’ll see how I can help her achieve that on HP Proliant. I remember when Erwan was coming at our Grenoble Center some 8 years ago to test Mandrakelinux on our NetServer. O tempora, o mores 😉

Was time then to go back to the session, that I lead during the afternoon. Sebastien Lefebvre (Mndriva) started with a presentation on Pulse 2, the new Mandriva solution for system deployment and management, including Linux, Windows, and other Unix systems. Overview rather than deep dive, I wasn’t completely informed and had to pass 1 hour the day after on the Mandriva booth in order to get a better architectural view. Sebastien said it was btw the goal of his presentation. Then Pierre-Gilles Mialon (Linagora) arrived just on time and encountered problems with the Video projector, so was seriusly stressed to start his presentation 😦 Too bad, as it was probbly the most interesting of the afternoon. Pierre-Gilles described how an Internet hosting activity in Linagora took benefit of Debian, puppet, nanoBSD (f
or their software routers) to mnge a large set of systems in  very efficient and productive way. You can fell (even through the stress) the great experience accumulated by Pierre-Gilles during these activities and his passion for Open Source.

After the break, I presented a new stack I’m working on in the HP/Intel Slution Center for a deployment server called … 😉 I covered explanation on various deployment techniques (imaging vs automatic installation) and gave an overview of the architecture. Not a lot of code yet, but we should make progress soon.And we finished with Julien Legrand (Bull) on live update of Java EE applications versions wihtout interruption of service.

After the conf cycle, I went to the Linagora booth to meet various people there and tke the temperature on their side. Alexandre Zapolsky said that crisis was an unknown word for Linagora. Good to see that some Open Source firms are alive and well performing. Was also the occasion to exchange more with Pierre-Gilles Mialon during nearly an hour on various topics related to Open Source, and learn more around ISP problems and usages of Open Source. I lso discovered tht Alexandre is a great DJ 😉

Was then time for the evening dinner with Francois Jeanmougin (EDS, an HP company) and other sysadmins, and also Jean-Yves Reynaud (former EDS and new Linagora) where discussions on HP, EDS and Open Source were animated, passionate and so interesting ! Jean-Yves has so many relationships in the FLOSS world and also so many anecdotes to explain, that the dinner passed way too quick ! Too bad he had to leave EDS 😦

Back at the hotel at 1:30, time to read mails of the day, and hack to support snapshot on VEs ! Good progres made ! Sleep at around 3:30AM