Posts Tagged ‘LinuxFoundation’

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 ūüôā 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 !

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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.

Soon back in the air and on the roads…

2014/04/17

There will be possibilities to meet with me in some exotic places (at least for me as I never travelled there before in May !

I’ll first be in Wien, Austria, early May but that’s to celebrate somewhere my 50th birthday (half a century as my kids like to call that ;-)) and during vacations so won’t talk something else than early music or rchitecture and pictures of the nice building over there !!

But after that, I’ll attend the UEFI plugfest in Seatlle again, and be in charge of managing the interface between Linux distributions and HP. So if you plan to attend, and want to test your Linux distribution on nice shiny UEFI hardware platforms, feel free to contact me so we can organize that meeting over there.

The week after that I’ll be in Japan to present again during a LinuxCon event ! I’m very lucky first to be retained as a presenter to talk another time about Mageia. And then to be sponsored by our VP & Deputy General Counsel, Cloud Computing and Open Source Eileen Evans who is leading HP’s Open Source Program Office and allowing me to attend.

So feel free to drop me a mail if you want to chat about any topic I can decently talk about such as Disaster Recovery and Imaging or Continuous Packaging and some other surely HP related !

See you there.

Gouvernance informatique: Il est temps d’y int√©grer l’Open Source

2014/01/24

Dans le cadre de mes activit√©s pour le Conseil des technologistes d’HP France, j’ai √©crit un article pour le Webzine IT experts sur la l’int√©gration de Open Source et la gouvernance informatique disponible sur http://www.it-expertise.com/gouvernance-informatique-il-faut-integrer-lopen-source/. Un grand merci √† Aur√©lie Magniez pour m’avoir aid√© √† faire cette publication.

Ci-dessous, une version l√©g√®rement modifi√©e qui tient compte de retours et r√©tablit certaines formules auxquelles je tiens, quoique moins journalistiquement correctes et certains liens (jug√©s trop nombreux par le Webzine, mais je tiens √† citer mes sources, et Tim Berners-Lee ne les a pas invent√©s pour que l’on ne s’en serve pas non ? :-))

Bonne lecture !

Aujourd’hui en 2013, toutes les entit√©s, publiques comme priv√©es, en France, comme partout dans le monde, utilisent massivement des Logiciels Free, Libres et Open Source (abr√©g√© en FLOSS (1)). Quelques exemples de cet √©tat de fait sont fournis par la Linux Foundation, comme les 600 000 t√©l√©visions intelligentes vendues quotidiennement fonctionnant sous Linux ou les 1,3 millions de t√©l√©phones Ando√Įd activ√©s chaque jour. Le dernier rapport de top500.org, pr√©sentant les super-calculateurs mondiaux, indique une utilisation de Linux √† 96,4%. Des soci√©t√©s ayant aujourd’hui un impact quotidien sur notre environnement num√©rique telles que FaceBook ou Twitter ont non seulement b√Ęti leur infrastructure sur une grande vari√©t√© de FLOSS, mais ont aussi publi√© de grandes quantit√©s de code et des projets complets sous licence libre. Ceci concerne aussi des acteurs plus classiques du monde de l’informatique comme HP ou IBM.

Ceci peut sembler normal, car on √©volue l√† dans le monde du num√©rique, mais le ph√©nom√®ne touche tous les secteurs comme le montre une r√©cente √©tude de l’INSEE, qui reporte que 43% des entreprises fran√ßaises d’au moins 10 personnes utilisent des suites bureautique FLOSS ou encore que 15% des soci√©t√©s de construction utilisent un syst√®me d’exploitation FLOSS par exemple. Cette large adoption se trouve corrobor√©e par le d√©veloppement de la fili√®re FLOSS en France, comme rapport√© par le CNLL, repr√©sentant en 2013 2,5 milliard d’Euros et 30 000 emplois.

Enfin, le secteur public n’est pas en reste avec la publication en septembre 2012 de la circulaire du premier ministre qui reconnait la longue pratique de l’administration des FLOSS, et incite celle-ci, √† tous les niveaux, √† un “bon usage du logiciel libre”, ce qui se v√©rifie dans certains minist√®res comme celui de l’int√©rieur ou de l’√©conomie. Le minist√®re de l’√©ducation nationale a ainsi d√©ploy√© 23 000 serveurs EOLE sous Linux et utilise de nombreux projets FLOSS pour la gestion multi-fonctions (r√©seau, s√©curit√©, partage) des √©tablissements scolaires.

Services impliqués dans la gouvernance FLOSS

Dans ce contexte d’utilisation g√©n√©ralis√©e, se posent certaines questions quant √† la gouvernance particuli√®re √† mettre en place ou l’adaptation de celle existante pour accro√ģtre l’usage, la distribution, la contribution au FLOSS, tant pour les fournisseurs que pour les utilisateurs de ces technologies. En effet, les FLOSS ont des sp√©cificit√©s tant techniques qu’organisationnelles (rapport √† la communaut√©, m√©thodologie de d√©veloppement, licence utilis√©e) qui ont un impact sur la fa√ßon de les g√©rer dans une entit√©. La Gouvernance Open Source, aujourd’hui, doit donc √™tre partie int√©grante d’une Gouvernance Informatique.

Contrairement √† ce qu’une rapide analyse pourrait laisser penser, ce n’est pas uniquement le service informatique qui est concern√© par l’utilisation des FLOSS. Celle-ci touche la totalit√© de l’entit√© et le mod√®le de gouvernance doit donc √™tre adapt√© en cons√©quence. En effet, le service des achats se voit souvent court-circuit√© par l’utilisation de composants logiciels t√©l√©charg√©s et non achet√©s en suivant les proc√©dures qu’il met en place, le service du personnel ne dispose pas de contrats de travail statuant sur les contributions des employ√©s √† des projets FLOSS (ne parlons pas des stagiaires ou co-traitants), le service juridique doit apprendre √† distinguer la licence Apache de la GPLv2, ou v3, le service de propri√©t√© intellectuelle consid√©rer si telle modification faite √† un projet FLOSS peut ou doit √™tre revers√©e au projet, et dans quel contexte, voire le PDG √©valuer, lors d’une scission de sa soci√©t√© en diff√©rentes entit√©es juridiques, l’impact repr√©sent√© sur la redistribution de logiciels faite √† cette occasion et le respect des licences utilis√©es. Ce ne sont que quelques exemples des questions auxquelles les entit√©s doivent r√©pondre dans le cadre d’une Gouvernance Informatique int√©grant les FLOSS.

Ceci n’est pas un d√©bat oiseux: il y a eu maintenant trop d’exemples allant jusqu’au proc√®s et sur des probl√©matiques de non-respect des licences FLOSS pour que les entreprises et services publics ignorent le probl√®me. Les cons√©quences tant financi√®res que sur leur image de marque peuvent √™tre tr√®s importantes et causer des dommages beaucoup plus graves que ne le repr√©sente la mise en conformit√© (qui consiste le plus souvent en la seule publications des codes sources modifi√©s).

Il ne s’agit pas ici d’√©noncer des √©l√©ments qui tendraient √† restreindre l’utilisation des FLOSS dans une entit√©. Au contraire, les b√©n√©fices de leur utilisation sont aujourd’hui trop √©vidents, la baisse des co√Ľts induite par la mutualisation, les gains technologiques d’avoir des souches logicielles si versatiles et √©prouv√©es doivent juste s’accompagner des mesures de gestion n√©cessaires pour en retirer tous les b√©n√©fices annonc√©s. L’analyse des risques fait partie des choix quotidiens exerc√©s au sein d’une entit√© et de m√™me que pour une d√©marche qualit√©, l’impulsion doit venir du sommet de la hi√©rarchie de l’entit√©. Celle-ci doit soutenir la cr√©ation des instances n√©cessaires √† l’√©tablissement d’une gouvernance FLOSS en leur donnant le pouvoir requis et l’interaction avec les diff√©rents services de l’entit√©.

Composants d’une gouvernance FLOSS

Tout d’abord, il s’agira de d√©velopper la compr√©hension de l’√©cosyst√®me libre au sein de l’entit√© pour en appr√©hender les sp√©cificit√©s.

La premi√®re d’entre elles est la licence gouvernant les FLOSS. Comme pour toute utilisation d’un logiciel, ou d’un service, un utilisateur se voit d√©crit ses droits et ses devoirs au sein de ce document. Ceux-ci diff√®rent selon que la licence est permissive (type Apache v2 par exemple), qui permet une utilisation (y compris pour des d√©veloppement non-FLOSS) et une redistribution avec peu de contraintes (mentions l√©gales et paternit√© par exemple). Elle permet ainsi √† des soci√©t√©s de vendre des versions propri√©taires d’Ando√Įd distribu√© sous Licence Apache v2 embarqu√©es dans leurs t√©l√©phones portables. C’est ce qui permet de consid√©rer cette licence comme “libre”. En regard on donnera √©galement l’exemple des licences de gauche d’auteur (copyleft en anglais, type GPL v2 par exemple), qui permettent une utilisation tant que le logiciel distribu√© s’accompagne des sources (√©ventuellement modifi√©es) servant √† le fabriquer. Elle permet √† des projets comme le noyau Linux d’√™tre d√©velopp√© par des milliers de d√©veloppeurs tout en restant toujours accessible dans toutes ses variantes par la mise √† disposition de son code source, d√Ľ √† cette contrainte. C’est ce qui permet de consid√©rer cette licence comme “libre”. Simplement les libert√©s sont vues ici sous l’angle du projet (qui le reste ad vitam aeternam) plut√īt que sous celui de l’utilisateur comme dans l’autre cas. C’est la raison pour laquelle toutes ces licences sont consid√©r√©es comme Open Source par l’OSI.

Une entit√© doit donc choisir les briques FLOSS qu’elle souhaite utiliser en fonction de l’usage pr√©vu pour respecter les droits et devoirs d’usage codifi√©s dans les licences (ni plus ni moins qu’avec une offre non-FLOSS), sachant que, dans la plupart des cas, l’√©l√©ment d√©clenchant l’application de la licence est la distribution du logiciel. Ainsi une soci√©t√© peut parfaitement utiliser un logiciel sous licence GPL v2, y faire des modifications et ne pas les publier, tant que l’usage reste interne √† sa structure juridique (cas fr√©quent en mode utilisation de logiciel dans un d√©partement informatique). En revanche, si elle l’incorpore √† un produit qu’elle commercialise, elle devra juste se mettre en conformit√© avec la licence et fournir en parall√®le du produit un accc√®s aux dites sources.

Ceci n’est finalement pas si compliqu√©, eu √©gard aux gains √©normes qu’elle peut en retirer en b√©n√©ficiant d’une brique logicielle √©prouv√©e qu’elle n’a ni √† d√©velopper, ni √† maintenir. Dans tous les cas, il est important que son service juridique ait une compr√©hension des droits et devoirs des licences utilis√©es pour apporter le conseil requis, comme lors de la signature de contrats avec tout fournisseur.

On le voit, la formation du service juridique est √† la base de la mise en place de toute gouvernance. D’autre part, il faut organiser au sein de l’entit√© la mise en relation entre ce service juridique et les √©quipes de d√©veloppement. Non seulement pour qu’elles apprennent √† se conna√ģtre, mais aussi pour qu’elles √©changent sur leurs besoins r√©ciproques et qu’elles comprennent comment chacune cherche √† prot√©ger l’entit√© pour laquelle elle oeuvre. Les uns le faisant eu √©gard au respect des r√®gles de droit, ce qui comprend l’explication envers les d√©veloppeurs des licences libres, les autres eu √©gard au mode d’utilisation des composants techniques sp√©cifiques des √©quipes de d√©veloppement.

Personnellement, en tant qu’ing√©nieur de formation, il m’a √©t√© tr√®s b√©n√©fique de discuter avec divers avocats sp√©cialistes des licences libres, pour mieux comprendre leur volont√© de prot√©ger l’entreprise pour laquelle ils travaillent et comment ils devaient le faire dans ce contexte. Et r√©ciproquement, je sais que les informations techniques et exemples parfois complexes d’agr√©gats de composants logiciels les aident en retour √† mieux tenir compte des cas particuliers qui peuvent se faire jour. La communication sur ce sujet doit d√©passer dans l’entit√© les structures classiques et fonctionner comme une communaut√©.

Du reste, la seconde sp√©cificit√© du logiciel libre est le fait qu’il est d√©velopp√© par une communaut√© de personnes partageant un int√©r√™t pour ce logiciel. Il en existe de toute taille (d’un d√©veloppeur assurant tout, jusqu’√† plusieurs centaines de personnes comme les larges fondations comme Apache ou OpenStack). Etudier une communaut√© avant d’utiliser le composant libre qu’elle produit est une bonne pratique pour avoir des informations sur sa vitalit√©, son organisation, sa feuille de route, en plus des caract√©ristiques purement techniques du composant. Certains sites comme Ohloh peuvent aider √† se forger une opinion dans ce domaine, pour les projets suivis. De m√™me qu’il peut √™tre alors pertinent de se poser la question des modes de contributions en retour. Cela peut consister en des correctifs, du code apportant de nouvelles fonctions, de la documentation, des traductions, une animation de communaut√©, de l’achat de prestation intellectuelle aupr√®s de professionnels oeuvrant sur le composant ou un soutien financier √† l’organisation d’un √©v√©nement permettant le rassemblement physique de la communaut√©. Certaines entreprises, comme la Compagnie Nationale des Commissaires aux Comptes t√©moignent de leurs contributions en retour envers un projet tel que LibreOffice.

Comme pr√©c√©demment, chacun de ces aspects pourra faire l’objet d’une √©tude dans le volet Open Source de la Gouvernance Informatique. On notera que la gestion de la propr√©t√© intellectuelle sera √† consid√©rer tout particuli√®rement pour les contributions sous forme de code, et en liaison avec la licence utilis√©e. Mais cet aspect peut aussi avoir un impact sur les contrats de travail des employ√©s, des co-traitants, des stagiaires, afin de d√©terminer sous quelles conditions leurs contributions sont autoris√©es.

Encore une fois, il s’agit d’inciter les entit√©s utilisatrices de logiciels libres √† ne pas se contenter d’√™tre de simples utilisatrices de FLOSS, mais √† √™tre actrices de l’√©cosyst√®me et √† contribuer √† leur tour √† l’am√©liorer en s’int√©grant dans les communaut√©s. Le dynamisme actuel autour des FLOSS est le fait du soutien tr√®s actif de nombreux utilisateurs. Pour ne citer qu’un exemple, on regardera la synergie cr√©√©e autour du projet GENIVI par ses 120+ membres, dont de nombreuses soci√©t√©s hors secteur informatique.

Enfin la derni√®re sp√©cifcit√© du logiciel libre est la m√©thodologie de d√©veloppement utilis√©e par la communaut√©. Quoiqu’elles soient toutes attach√©es √† l’acc√®s au code, elles varient √©norm√©ment d’un projet √† l’autre, en fonction de sa taille, de son style de gouvernance, des outils utilis√©s et de son historique. Mais il est important pour une entit√© qui souhaite interagir avec une communaut√© d’en comprendre la culture. Si le noyau Linux a une m√©thodologie organis√©e autour d’un “dictateur b√©n√©vole” (Linus Torvalds) qui prend les ultimes d√©cisions et de ses lieutenants, nomm√©s, en qui il a toute confiance pour prendre les d√©cisions concernant une branche de d√©veloppement, d’autres projets comme OpenStack cherchent √† adopter le mode le plus “m√©rid√©mocratique” en proc√©dant √† l’√©lection des repr√©sentants techniques des branches du projet par les d√©veloppeurs, et √† celle des repr√©sentants au conseil d’administration par la totalit√© des membres de la fondation, quels que soient leurs r√īles. Le processus d’int√©gration continue d’OpenStack implique des √©tapes pr√©cises pour y ajouter un patch par exemple. Cela n√©cessite d’abord une application sur l’arbre courant sans erreur, avant de devoir recevoir deux votes positifs puis de satisfaire le passage de l’ensemble des tests automatiques pr√©vus. Et ceci s’applique aussi bien aux repr√©sentants techniques des branches du projet qui proposent des centaines de patches par an, ou au contributeur occasionnel faisant une modification mineure de documentation. En revanche, celui qui souhaite soumettre une modification sur le noyau Linux devra passer par des listes de diffusion o√Ļ les √©changes peuvent parfois se r√©v√©ler vifs, et s’adapter aux desiderata potentiellement diff√©rents des mainteneurs de branches.

Bonnes pratiques de gouvernance FLOSS

Face √† tous ces aspects de ce monde foisonnant, certaines bonnes pratiques simples peuvent permettre aux entreprises de faire les bons choix et de s’assurer une utilisation optimale des FLOSS en en tirant le meilleur profit sans mettre √† risque leur bonne r√©putation par des actions mal vues des communaut√©s.

Une premi√®re bonne pratique peut consister √† cr√©er un comit√© Open Source. Par exemple, pour un grand groupe, il peut √™tre utile pour la direction g√©n√©rale de nommer des repr√©sentants des diff√©rents services (achats, ressources humaines, informatique, technique, juridique, propri√©t√© intellectuelle) pour d√©finir la politique √† mettre en place. Ce comit√© devra se r√©unir r√©guli√®rement, tant dans la phase de d√©finition de la partie Open Source de la Gouvernance Informatique, qu’ult√©rieurement pour la r√©viser sur la base des retours des utilisateurs et l’√©volution de projets. Il devra √©galement avoir les moyens associ√©s √† ses missions. Un groupe de travail du Syntec Num√©rique a d√©velopp√©, pour les aider dans cette activit√©, des contrats types pour leurs fournisseurs, leur demandant de pr√©ciser avec leur livraison logicielle, l’inventaire exhaustif des licences utilis√©es. Une pr√©sentation sur les contrats faite au sein de ce groupe pourra √™tre aussi consult√©e avec profit. La FSF France propose aussi des avenants de contrats de travail type pour les employ√©s contribuant √† des projets libres, et l’AFUL des mod√®les √©conomiques et financement de projets FLOSS ou de communaut√©s. Il sera ensuite facile de donner des missions et des pouvoirs plus √©tendus √† ce groupe de personnes quand l’utilisation des FLOSS augmente. Dans le cadre d’une PME, un correspondant FLOSS sera sans doute suffisant (comme il peut y avoir un correspondant s√©curit√© ou CNIL), t√Ęche qui pourra m√™me √™tre sous-trait√©e √† des soci√©t√©s specialis√©es dans le domaine.

Une fois le comit√©/correspondant nomm√© et la politique FLOSS √©tablie, il faudra pr√©voir des cycles de formations. D’une part pour le service juridique pour le cas o√Ļ il manquerait de comp√©tences sur le domaine sp√©cifique des licences libres. La soci√©t√© Alterway propose par exemple une formation par un juriste pour des juristes. D’autre part, en interne, aupr√®s de l’ensemble du personnel pour expliquer cette nouvelle politique FLOSS.

En parall√®le, il est important d’avoir une vision pr√©cise de l’utilisation actuelle des FLOSS dans son entit√©. Notamment pour v√©rifier que leur utilisation est conforme aux licences sous lesquelles ils sont utilis√©s. Les non-conformit√©s sont plus souvent d√Ľes √† la m√©connaissance qu’√† une r√©elle volont√© d’enfreindre les licences. Cette t√Ęche peut para√ģtre fastidieuse de prime abord, mais elle est √† mon sens fondamentale pour se pr√©munir, en particulier si votre activit√© vous am√®ne √† redistribuer du logiciel √† vos clients. Heureusement des outils existent pour automatiser ce travail d’inventaire et faciliter l’analyse des licences utilis√©es. Le premier √† recommander est libre: FOSSology a √©t√© d√©velopp√© par HP pour son utilisation interne, puis rendu libre en 2007 sous licence GPLv2. Il collecte dans une base de donn√©es toutes les meta-donn√©es associ√©es aux logiciels analy√©s (il peut traiter des distributions Linux enti√®res sans probl√®me) et permet l’analyse des licences r√©ellement trouv√©es dans le code depuis une interface Web. De nombreuses entit√©s outre HP comme Alcatel-Lucent, l’INRIA ou OW2 l’utilisent, y compris pour certains, en couplage avec leurs forges de d√©veloppement. Mais son acc√®s libre et sa facilit√© de mise en oeuvre ne le r√©serve pas qu’aux grands groupes et il devrait √™tre syst√©matiquement utilis√© comme compl√©ment naturel d’un gestionnaire de source, ou d’outillage d’int√©gration continue. En compl√©ment, des outils non-FLOSS peuvent √©galement aider √† ce travail d’inventaire en donnant acc√®s √† des bases pr√©√©tablies de composants connus et d√©j√† inventori√©s et fournissent de nombreuses autres fonctions. La soci√©t√© fran√ßaise Antelink, √©manation de l’INRIA, a d√©velopp√© une grande expertise dans ce domaine et a coupl√© son outillage avec FOSSology. D’autres acteurs tels que Blackduck et Palamida ont √©galement un outillage compl√©mentaire √† consid√©rer.

On pourra de plus prévoir ultérieurement un mode de déclaration des usages de FLOSS, voire, si les requêtes sont nombreuses et régulières, créer un comité de revue spécifique en charge de les évaluer et de les approuver.

Enfin certains documents de r√©f√©rence tel que le Guide Open Source du Syntec Num√©rique, les fondamentaux de la Gouvernance des logiciels libres, la vision des grandes entreprises sur la gouvernance et maturit√© de l’Open Source et le site de r√©f√©rence FOSSBazaar pourront permettre un approfondissement des sujets √©voqu√©s et donner des bonnes pratiques additionnelles quant √† la mise en oeuvre d’une gouvernance Open Source.

Et pour ceux qui souhaiteraient √™tre accompagn√©s dans la d√©marche, des soci√©t√©s telles que Smile, Alterway, Linagora, Atos, Inno3 ou HP disposent de prestations d’aide √† la mise en oeuvre d’une gouvernance Open Source. Mais que vous le fassiez seuls ou accompagn√©s, il est temps et j’esp√®re que cet article vous aura donn√© quelques clefs pour int√©grer l’Open Source dans votre politique de Gouvernance Informatique.

(1): Dans tout ce document, on utilise le terme de FLOSS comme terme g√©n√©rique recouvrant aussi bien la notion de ¬ę logiciel libre ¬Ľ, ¬ę Free Software ¬Ľ qu’¬ę Open Source ¬Ľ, tout en sachant que des nuances existent.

First UEFI PlugFest for Linuxers

2013/10/31

After the 3 days dedicated to LinuxCon US 2013 in New Orleans, it was time to contribute to the UEFI Plugfest organized for the first time as a co-located event.

So what is a UEFI plugfest ? Well it’s a place where hardware manufacturers and software producers meet to check the compatibility of their implementations with regards to UEFI. So Every hardware manufacturer brings some systems, sometimes early units or prototypes, and try them with the latest operating systems available to find out potential issues, some other bring cards to see whether their UEFI driver works fine on computer manufacturer and operating system producers want to try their latest version on these often brand new systems.

UEFI PlugFest

I think it was a brilliant idea to mix the 2 populations for multiple reasons:

  • UEFI members were for sure impressed by the technical knowledge floating around, and employed in such an open fashion, which is not the standard way of working of this standard body.
  • Linux kernel members could exchange with manufacturer representatives of UEFI systems which definitely helped reducing all the FUD around this technology, in particular Secure Boot. They also had the opportunity to test some not yet available hardware platform to ensure their distributions/drivers/tools were working fine or fix them if that wasn’t the case

UEFI PlugFest - Samer El-Haj-Mahmoud, HP

So in the HP area, under the lead of Dong Wei who is UEFI Forum Vice President and HP Fellow, we tried with 2 colleagues various Linux distributions (and even Windows, but not me !) on the 4 systems that were around. And some findings were interesting !

UEFI PlugFest - Dong Wei, HP

  • Debian 7.1 had grub issue at boot and we were not able to install it
  • Mageia 3 has no UEFI support yet and we were not able to install it easily. However, support is planned for Mageia 4, and some info have been published recently to detail how to perform UEFI based installation.
  • Ubuntu 13.10 provides all what is needed to install in a UEFI compliant environment, thanks to their documentation. We were also able to test SecureBoot with success with their version of Matthew Garrett‘s shim bootloader, signed by Microsoft. They are also working on an interesting tool: FWTS aka Firmware Test Suite, which should be adopted by all distributions IMHO in order to have (for once !) a single tool able to perform firmware compliance tests for a Linux environment. Easy to use, pretty comprehensive, reports lots of useful info. Too bad that they are not providing their certification tools online anymore ūüė¶
  • OpenSUSE 12.3+ again has what is needed for UEFI support. Same mechanism with a shim bootloader, but this time signed multiple times by Microsoft and SUSE. However, this requires a more recent implementation of the UEFI specification, which wasn’t the case on all our system during this event. SUSE provides in particular an excellent documentation on UEFI support, including the possibility to sign its own kernel with pesign in order to use it with SecureBoot.
  • Fedora 19 provides mostly all what is needed. Install worked in UEFI mode without problem. We used the updated version of the shim and shim-unsigned packages from Fedora 20 in order to avoid some issues. However, the multisign issue met with OpenSUSE was also encountered here. More over, Fedora doesn’t provide a good documentation yet for signing your own kernel, which was reported upstream and could benefit from this article. Also the usage of mokutil is broken and should be fixed for Fedora 20.
  • UEFI PlugFest - Samer El-Haj-Mahmoud, HP

    We also got visited by two Kernel Maintainers Greg Kroah-Hartman and James Bottomley who even tried some of his tools on our systems.
    UEFI PlugFest - James Bottomley, Parallels - Neill Kapron, HP

    Note that Some USB keys even correctly formated didn’t boot correctly on some platforms so if you encounter this issue, try using another USB key.

    Finally I made some tries with MondoRescue on the Last Fedora distribution installed. I thought the work done to support EFI on Itanium would be sufficient, but there are some detection problems for the boot loader in mindi need to be solved and are now tracked upstream as well.

    And on top of all what I was able to learn working with my 3 colleagues, I was pointed to a very instructive article from Ken Thomson on Trusting Trust, I hadn’t read before (and I encourage you to read it), following discussions on Secure Boot. And we had a very nice dinner downtown, a walk through Bourbon Street
    Bourbon Street

    followed by a real air of New Orleans Jazz.
    DSC_8789

    That was the end of a very rich US week. More to come on other more recent travels later.

LinuxCon North America 2013: an air of Jazz

2013/10/13

It was really great to be able to attend LinuxCon in New Orleans in September. I’d like to thank again HP’s OSPO team and in particular Eileen Evans, VP leading it, to sponsor my travel there. HP is also a Platinum sponsor of both the Linux Foundation, CloudOpen & LinuxCon events.
DSC_8665

As I arrived in the afternoon of Monday, I missed the keynotes and presentations that day, but could join the HP booth where HP was presenting HPcloud:
Stand HP

and also demonstrating the new Moonshot converged system there:
Stand HP - Moonshot

This event is always attracting lots of people from various background and the booths area was crowded
Pingouin
as well as elsewhere in the hotel
DSC_8643

Jeanne, who was coodinating the event for HP was even interviewed by the Linux Foundation team
Jeanne Colon-Bonet

Cocktails (nice hurricane !) and a light dinner were provided to the attendees during the booth crawl session which allowed me to talk with some of my US colleagues to learn the latest news
Stand HP - Jonas Arndt, Scott Lamons, Scott Jameson

I started to feel the effects of the jet lag, and went to my hotel room (couldn’t help make some mail !) and rest thinking I was singing Renaissance music just some hours ago !

Speaking of the hotel, this was a very nice venue, with futurists elevators with no button in them ūüėČ
Hotel

Second day was more active, and I attended all keynotes and sessions I could.
Among the most interestong for me I was able to see, there was the keynote of Kevin Kelly who talked about the notion of “Technium”, this idea that 7 billions people all connected all together all the time, with the latest technologies available will create a new entity he called the Technium and described. Not entirely convincing, and this is good, as it’s also a bit frightening. I consider and hope people will keep enough independance to watch this type of evolution with distance and won’t become a big brother type of system managing itself.
Kevin Kelly, Wired Mag. on the Technium

Then it was time for an OpenStack refresh with Thierry Carrez who did a great job explaining that a release manager is not just working 1 day every 6 months ūüėČ I can’t agree more with him ! (even if I have much smaller projects to deal with). Thierry also covered the various sub projetc and how to manage coherency in such a project. When you think about it: 3 years ago nobody was talking about OpenStack and now they have as many company and contributors as the Linux Kernel had in roughly 20 years ! Quite amazing.
Thierry Carrez, OpenStack
Then James Blair continued on a related talk explaining the continuous process pushed to the extreme set up in the project with the development of ad-hoc tools such as zuul. I must admit it really gives incitation to look more closely at it, gerrit, jenkins and take what could be relevant, even for a small project.
James Blair

After the lunch, it was time to go back to keynotes, which were a bit less interesting than usual for me, even if the concepts brought by Candy Chang to revigorate a neighborhood was original. I decided to continue with Cloud and look at what Red Hat had to propose around openshift. In complement to their RDO (sort of Red Hat OpenStack distribution), they have this offering which exists for some time, but seems now to grow in activity. Diane Mueller presented well the offer, the various aspects of the project, but I definitely lack a demo or a more detailed explanation of the technical aspects of this PaaS offering. Worth digging later on with my Red Hat EMEA friends ūüôā
Diane Mueller, Red Hat

I attended then the openVswitch presentation from Jesse Gross, but again was a bit disappointed as I was expecting a more concrete presentation of this important tool in todays cloud environments.
Finally, I attended a session on storage management I already attended last year, by Ric Wheeler, which is always interesting, and allowed me to see which progresses were made on their way to storage unification, and principally what remains to be done !! I particularly think to the global architecture they try to put in place, which would be really great to have but is not there yet.
Ric Wheeler, Red Hat

The business day was then over, and it was time to move to the VIP party.
DSC_8692
Of course, it was time for my first air of Jazz as well in New Orleans. And even if that’s not my preferred style of music, it was pretty good that night, as well as the buffet !
DSC_8694

Lots of VIPs were there of course, which allowed for entertaining discussions
DSC_8696

The inside was worth the outside !
DSC_8700

The atmosphere was nice, and I stayed there till 10:00PM but wasn’t alone
DSC_8704

Some mail, some sleep and I was ready for day 3 ! Which as usual started with a Keynote (the “usual” Dirk Hondel talk)
Dirk Hondel, Intel
and the session the most expected by the audience I think, the Kernel Roundtable.
Ric Wheeler, Redhat - Sarah Sharp, Intel - Tejun Heo, Red Hat - Linus Torvalds, Linux Foundation - Greg Kroah-Hartman, Linux Foundation -
This time, they had invited Sarah Sharp, Intel (I like her clarity) / Tejun Heo, Red Hat (I discovered his enthusiasm which was great)
Sarah Sharp, Intel - Tejun Heo, Red Hat
Linus Torvalds and Greg Kroah-Hartman, both Linux Foundation.
Linus Torvalds, Linux Foundation - Greg Kroah-Hartman, Linux Foundation
The panel was moderated by Ric Wheeler, Red Hat.
Ric Wheeler, Redhat - Sarah Sharp, Intel - Tejun Heo, Red Hat - Linus Torvalds, Linux Foundation - Greg Kroah-Hartman, Linux Foundation

The room was as usual full, and laughed frequently on Linus or Tejun jokes.
Assistance de la kernel round table
The most amusing part was probably when Linus was asked if he had been contacted to introduce backdoor code in the Linux kernel and when he replied “No” doing “Yes” with the head ūüėČ

After the keynote, Linus passed 20 minutes with fans who wanted to take pictures with him, always nice, even when the camera wasn’t working (and cound’t resist to hack it !). Maybe next time, I’ll also have the courage to ask one picture, even if I diserve none having nearly never worked at the kernel level myself. I will never thank him enough to have created an ecosystem which allows me to earn my life and still have fun at work and at home ūüôā This is a great man !
Linus Torvalds, Linux Foundation
As this was the day of my own presentation on Mageia, I didn’t attend as many sessions as the previous day.
The OpenDaylight one was interesting for me, as it was my first exposure to the ecosystem. Mostly it was an overview of the multiple components. The project is young, but deserves to be followed, as it could become as openStack on the SDN side, despite what some people say. Also the UEFI presentation was very interesting, in particular in preparation of the UEFI plugfest which was the 2 following days.
Vojtńõch Pavl√≠k, SUSE

And of course, it was my pleasure to have a 15 people choir to sing “Happy Birthday Mageia” during my session this afternoon ūüėČ

And the day ended with … Blues, not jazz this time ! At the house of blues of course.
House of Blues
With Voodoo art inside
House of Blues - art Voudou

This event is organized for all LinuxCon participants, so there are multiple threaded buffet to satisfy the appetite ūüėČ
House of Blues

The blues band was great, really (they even had a pinguin, look closely !)
House of Blues
I think it will be part of the memorable dinners organized during LinuxCon as it gave everybody energy for the rest of the week
House of Blues

I really enjoyed this event again, made new relationships, learned and hopefully transmit to some the fantastic beauty of Open Source. Hope to have the same pleasure end of this month in Edinburgh. But for me the week wasn’t finished as I attended the UEFI plugfest as said earlier, but that’s for another article.

You can see more pictures at http://www.flickr.com/photos/bcornec/sets/72157636383786144/with/10184624874/

Bdale Garbee has been HP’s best Open Source Ambassador

2012/09/01

As announced by Kirk Bresniker during its keynote at LinuxCon this week, Bdale Garbee has left HP yesterday.

When he warned me in July of his willingness to leave, in order to have more time for his family, his own FLOSS projects (FreedomBox, Debian, …), I really was shocked and had a very bad night. It’s difficult for me to imagine Open Source at HP without him to represent it.

Bdale was IMHO our best Ambassador in the FLOSS community. He has a large ring of relationships in a large set of projects, and knows personality lots of key FLOSS personalities, some of them being even friends. He was giving a lot of credibility to HP around our FLOSS activities, and was listen internaly from both our internal community members, as well as our management, allowing our community to pass supportive FLOSS messages to it.

I had my first interaction with Bdale at HP in 2001. At that time Bruce Perens was the HP FLOSS representative (even he also was a big FLOSS personality, I preferred when Bdale took over the role), and as he couldn’t make the NordU 2002 Keynote, he was proposing that either Bdale or me did it !! As Bdale wasn’t available, I was the one replacing both him and Bruce !! Believe me, speaking of Open Source, Linux and freedom in Finland during a keynote session after a couple of months at HP was a bit stressing ! I still remember it. But that was great. Side note, if any event is willing to host me as a keynote speaker, I think I could do a much better job today ūüėČ

In 2002, Bdale was elected Debian Project Leader. He was the first HP employee leading this project. I then had the pleasure to meet with him face to face (well with my size, I can not really look at Bdale easily !) and I really was looking forward each time for this type of non-virtual meeting, as it was for me an opportunity to learn more on Open Source at HP and at large. Which was the case during various Fosdem, LinuxCon or our own internal TES. As I’ve always been impressed by his profound knowledge of this ecosystem, and the deep thoughts he’s able to have on various areas making this IT sector.

That’s why I built his application form so he could become Lut√®ce d’Or (personality of the year) during the event Paris, Capitale du Libre. That was my contribution back to his incredible work for FLOSS. But not the only one, as he told me once that MondoRescue saved once a critical Debian server he was hosting. Hopefully, you’ll continue to use

Bdale is one of the people I admire in the IT industry with Linus Torvalds and Larry Wall (In the music, I also have my heroes such as Gustav Leonhardt, Jordi Savall and her wife Montserrat Figueras, Jean Belliard or Frans Br√ľggen). I’m sure our paths will cross again very soon, and I hope our frienship will be reinforced by regular chats, mails and face to face meetings during FLOSS events. And in the mean time, I wish to him all the best for his new activities, that will benefit to all of us, and for his new life 2.0 !

Hopefully HP will find other FLOSS representatives. Corporations always say that anybody is replaceable. I disagree. Everybody brings a unique touch. And here, for sure, it will never be the same. You’ll be missed.

All the best Bdale for your future, and hope rockets flied this week-end ūüėČ

FLOSS governance news

2012/08/31

While at LinuxCon in San Diego, the SPDX working group of the Linux Foundation announced its 1.1 version of its specification. Quite an achievement, and probably the start of its real adoption by Open Source projects … providing enough tool do support it, and help projects in their identification tasks. I hope lots of large FLOSS consumers (HP included) will start contributing SPDX descriptions to upstream projects, helping them adopting it as it brings value on both side.

And one way to help will probably the support of this 1.1 SPDX spec by FOSSology in the future. For now the news around the tool is that a public instance is available, hosted by the Universty of Nebraska. This is a good news for Open Source projects that will be able to assess easily their licenses with it, without having the hassle to install and maintain their own ! Hopfully, more forges (as what OW2 has done) will also provide that service to the projects they’re incubating.

Just be aware that the code you’ll upload to that instance will be available for everybody to see, so do not post non-FLOSS code there, if you want it to remain secret ! If you’re developing closed source software, then install you’re own FOSSology instance instead !

Time to finish my FOSSology presentation update for tomorrow’s talk !

Presenting FOSSology at LinuxCon, San Diego next week

2012/08/21

I always find strange to be accepted as a speaker to LinuxCon on a subject for which I’m much less an expert than the other ones I proposed for which I’m leading the projects ! It happened last year for the EMEA event, and same stuff again this year for the US one.

But I won’t be criticizing here, as it’s my first possibility to visit the US west coast, and also my first time as a speaker to LinuxCon US so Champagne !! So I’ll be talking about FOSSology, the HP sponsored GPL Licenses analyzer tool.

So if you happen to be around, and want to discuss abour FLOSS, MondoRescue, Project-Builder.org, HP and Open Source, or something else such as early music, then feel free to come and talk. Well I’m sure you won’t come to see me, won’t you, but once you’re there to see the stars, just come and say hello ūüėČ

Second Day at LinuxCon EMEA 2011

2011/12/11

After a busy first day, here is the report for my second day at LinuxCon EMEA 2011, which started directly with some sessions (I skept the plenary for once):

Distributed redundancy by Roopesh Keeppattu – Huawei

Redundancy is about availability, by duplicating components to avoid unavailability of the service.
Availability measured with ‘9’.
4 nines is 1 hour per year, 5 nines means 5 minutes, 6 nines 32 seconds.
Major types of redundancy: standby (cold – the other server remains unpowered, warm – all servers powered, hot – all servers provide identical services).
ALso notion of N modular redundancy (N servers in parallel).
1:N redundancy = 1 standby for N active units.

Traditional redundancy: mainly based on backup HW systems, with similar capabilities so large CAPEX and OPEX.
So moving to distributes redundancy to reduce costs.
1:1 scenario taken in account
Instead of duplicating HW, there is a duplication of process instances on a set of servers
3 models available: live migration of OS/VM or of processes or of pre-distributed processes

  • live migration OS/VM: preserve states, less complex from application point of view but higher migration time due to size of what to transfer.
  • processes migration: you encounter more complex migration design, which has to be part of the application, and gain on the data to transfer. This method can also provide dynamic load distribution. But you need pre-failure detection for failover.
  • pre-distributed process: you increase again the ressource optimization, availability and switching time but also the complexity, the need of additional SW to deal with states and the linkage to the application.

The future is in redundancy in the cloud, and ressource abstraction.

I was hoping for a more in depth presentation, and was not satisfied by this one, as it didn’t go into details, just remaining at the surface. However, this is a critical topic for most customers today in their Linux adoption.

Experiences booting 100s of thousands to millions of Linux VMs by Andrew Sweeney – Sandia National Lab

Managing a large number of VMs presents some challenges and horror stories (such as filling fill the switch CAM table, creating VM feed back loops, finding some unique bugs or odd behaviour). Even 0.01 % of error is 100 VMs in their case.

They tried multiple technologies such as lguest, QEMU, KVM, NOVA. They are using a mixed of technologies due also to hardware limitations.

Guests configurations are computed at runtime. Everything is stored in RAM. They treat VMs as an application process. They use standard tools, the same TCP stacks, kernel…

They are using VMatic to generate the images and boot 1000 VMs in < 3 minutes.
Another tool used is Gproc (Cluster Management tool written in Go) allowing O(ln(n)) execution time.. It scales beyond 200K+ instances. Web based interface.

The first cluster type was:

  • Using PXE boot for booting physical host Hypervisors and then start the guests.
  • In July 2009, they reached 1 Million VM with lguest and 4600 Dell Super Computer (256 lguest per node) bootleneck being RAM.

They then created KANE (sort of their own cloud approach) made of 520 nodes with 12 GB RAM with Video cards (because that was more expensive to remove them !!)) 13 racks, 40 nodes/rack, 1 PDU/rack.

Then they developed a strongbox ARM cluster made of 490 nodes 512 MB RAM little power needed with lguest.

Then they started Megatux 2.0 to reach a higher number of VMs. Everything is virtual. They even created a network creation language. Use virtual quagga & linux virtual routers (+ physical) and virtual VDE switches. It supports multiple OS normally, but for Windows they got many blue screen (ipconfig before IP is sup, ping before IP is up, …). They’re using KSM a lot (and made patches) and various approaches to reduce VM footprint. gproc is used after the initial boot to push the VM images and start the VM + aggressive KSM.
Cold boot to experiment is performed in 7 minutes. 1 daemon per host to regulate KSM, VM state.

Interesting problem to collect info from 1 Million of nodes overloaded and where to store it ? Using network sniff, VM inspection. For that they used a MongoDB backend populated at runtime. Data collected in in best effort mode.
They’re looking at using KVM tool instead of QEMU/KVM to reduce memory footprint and AXFS (Advanced XIP FS) combined with cramfs.
Next steps with Android, more realistic network usage, improved monitoring, data visualisation and error handling.

A good talk on very unusual context with some interesting issues to consider, even if far from being current problems as of now.

I then met with my colleague Sue Paylor, who is one of our excellent FLOSS expert in EMEA, and that was again a good talk exchanging about our respective customer experiences, how to improve HA with Linux, and lots of various topics.

Providing High Perfomrance Round table (instead of SuSE Keynote)

Ludek Safar, Ministry of Interior, Czech Republic approched the linux topic from the desktop side, and they’re now moving to the Data Center (Oracle instances on physical hardware and the rest in Xen VMs including java based custom devs.). They help by giving publicity for some FLOSS projects. The choice of an enterprise distribution is specifically to be the linkage with the communitites. He likes the embedded approach with regards to the fully integrated hypervisor which provides the perfect cloud solution for them.

Dr. Udo Seidel, Amadeus explained that they started 9 years ago with Linux. They have done lots of internal developments including lots of mission critical workloads. Participating to events is key to keep good technical exchanges, influence the developments, give feedback. He really likes the flexibility and the open mindset. However he is still missing a central approach around role based manageemnt (a la AD).

Andreas P√∂schl, BMW explained that they started back in 2003 for servers, and in 2006 decided that Windows and Linux were the strategic OS on x86. They run SAP on Linux e.g. and desktops on Windows. They do virtualization (1000 VMs) with Xen, including 16 cores 64 GB VMs for SAP. They don’t do direct contributions, but rather provide use/test cases for large configurations, and rely on their distribution providers to do the return. Sharing what they do with Linux is also important to improve the ecosystem. He insisted on the freedom of choice which avoids vendor lock-in and also marked his appreciation for the large set of possibilities offered by FLOSS. He is still concerned by boot time. BMW has requirements around storage and scale out, so they appreciate the work done on Btrfs. He mentioned usage of Linux in GENIVI that will bring infotainment to the end users.

Nils Brauckman underlined that the SuSE company, is organized to take this feedback and make it available upstream, doing that since 20 years, as well as providing mission critical solutions to customers, and detailed the new features brought into Linux 3.0 (btrfs rollback, snapshots, trace capabilities, …) bridging the gap between Unix and Linux. He underlined also for SuSE the new agility brought by being back as a separate Business Unit, operating like a single company.

I like more and more this type of round table, as it gives concrete production example of FLOSS usage, and show how serious customers are today, and also how far they want to push their usage, which creates interesting challenges for us !

It takes a community/village to raise a Distribution by Tim Burke, Red Hat

"Unix was a job, Linux is a crusade" Tim said it’s awesome to be a part of RHEL as well as OLPC.
He started by showing a large set of stars in the sky (glibc, LVM, X.org, Linux), independant stars that only come together when gathered in a distribution, which give them visibility. Then he showed the various actors, hardware vendors, translators, designers, lawyers, testers, and distribution vendors as well. The real competitors of Red Hat are VMWare, Microsoft, not the other collaborative groups such as other distribution makers. He explained the relationship around the kernel between upstream, Fedora and RHEL. He also underlined the benefit of working upstream such as they did around the Real Time extensions, instead of coming with a large patch developped separated.

The role of distribution makers is also to coordinate with hardware vendors (I’m well placed to know that !). Distribution can help create communities such as for AMQP, which was a real common need among FSI companies, as they know how to do it.

Mantra is "get it upstream first". Being divergent is being ignored, costs more, represents more work.

Time then gave some numbers:

  • 80% of Fortune 500 run Linux.
  • 92% of supercomputers for healthcare or analytics run Linux.

He mentioned the OVA to bring up in the stack integrated solution based on KVM.
No keynote without cloud, so Tim had to mention it and noticed Linux usage in it, and the integration characteristics it requires, very near from the one you have to make a distro.

A good talk, but not as pushy as the one made by Jim Whitehurst

How Linux runs the World of Finance by Christoph Lameter, Graphe Inc.

Christoph started by explaining the various players (Stickes, traders, banks, …) and explained their needs of speed. This creates the need for certain technologies (Real Time, kernel, binaries and network optimisation, RDMA APIs, fast C++ code, processor caches). One problem is the limitation of speed of light (even if that may change !). That sounded like a joke first, but is very serious !! 200 ¬Ķs to go round the earth. It creates limitations to signaling of events.

We’re moving from manual to automated trading. Hours vs ms, human vs compute/algo, 30-60 trades/min vs 1000/s. Manual is used as a backu p mechanism only today.

The case for Linux is because you can modify what you want, and such win against competitors by speed improvements. The first there wins ! Windows couldn’t make it in term of latency in its network stack. Linux was already used for Internet, large companies such as Amazon, Facebook, … All major stock exchanges are on Linux today. Commercial solutions vendors focus on Linux. Solaris is diminishing after Oracle bought Sun.

Distributions used are mainly RHEL, some SLES (Germany mainly), a bit of Gentoo and Ubuntu/Debian.

There are still some challenges for Linux in Finance: involvement upstream is rare, as they want to protect their advantages. Regression in kernel components is creating higher latencies (so some still run RHEL 3 !). Christoph Gave an example of a customer having a 200% regression moving from RHEL4 to RHEL5.

The Forward path is with direct access to hardware (OS bypass) to gain on latency. RT linux does not scale and increases average latency. RT linux is used by exchanges not traders.
Linux dominates finance for the forseeable future. Common hardware looks like supercomputers today (Numa). HPC goes mainstream. Offload technology is seen with suspicion by the community. So again no willingness to contribute these improvements upstream.

One of the best presentation of the day, with lots of anecdotes, and a visible knowledge of the topic end to end.

Where is the Money in Open Source? Business Models and the Marketing of Open Source Technologies by Nithya Ruff, Wind River Systems

Nithya created a story to illustrate this talk. 3 communities: producers, distributors, consumers.

  • Producers are interested by solving problems. License used is key. It’s all about meritocracy. How do developers make money ?: being hired by a company, consulting contracts, venture funded, sponsorship/grants/donations.
  • Why consumers use linux: no vendor lock-in, comparable perf and high quality, time to market and savings, choice and flexibility, empowerment,, innovation and transparency
  • Distributors make it available for consumers with support, favour FLOSS adoption making it safe to use, employ developers, solve some issues and contribute back, market FLOSS, and serve as a liaison between consumer and developer. Successful business models are subscription, services fee, training, books but also proprietary extensions

Marketing FLOSS is different. You need to clearly articulate your added value in the ecosystem. So you have to add value. (TTM, ROI, Integration, risk mitigation)
Prediction, by 2021, 100000 infrastructure core endpoints and 1B mobile endpoints and 20B MtoM endpoints.
Even more need to collaboration between the various communities.

I was expecting a bit more from such a presentation. Good for beginers, but lacks new thoughts on our ecosystem.

ReaR by Dag Wieers

I was particularly interested by this presentation as ReaR is a MondoRescue competitor, and Dag is mister rpmforge, mrepo, … so was really curious to attend it.

Rear provides a Disaster Recovery Workflow in bash. Its framework is easy to use and extend. It supports HP SmartArray, SW Raid, DRBD (not MondoRescue !), LVM, multipath, ext2,3,4, xfs, jfs, vfat. It supports tape, ISO, USB, eSATA, NFS, CIFS, rsync, HTTP, FTP, SFTP. It also provides back-ends with TSM, HP DP, Bacula, …

ReaR works on RHEL4,5,6. It’s shipped with SLES (the one distribution on which it’s tested).

It saves storage info and network info. It has local GRUB integration, serial console support, network and SSH key integration, syslinux management.

Dag then explained the use case of the Belgian Federal Police (HP-UX to Linux migration using Ignite before):
Developers prefered USB usage for flexibility instead of OBDR (also lack of OBDR support by latest HP HW). It manages labels on tape and USB devices. For this project, they support a central DR server with PXE boot and control the HTTP PUT upload with ACLs.
They provide a tool to detect when changes are needed to relaunch ReaR by cron.

In the future they plan to work on: better rsync support (like rsnapshot or rbme), more backup backends, PXE integration, code base reorganization, release process, website+doc, dev tools.

Dag made backup and restore demos.

I really liked the presentation. Dag is an excellent presentor, and has accomplished a huge work to improve the tool.If only I could also have some brilliant contributors like hom for my project !!

So after the presentation, I introduced myself to Dag, and we ended up talking together most of the evening during the dinner organized in a central place of Prague. We talked not only about DR, on which we share a lot of common ideas, but also about a large set of other topics, some of them HP related such as webOS future, … I like making new relationships during evens like LinuxCon as you end up talking with luminaries and that helps a lot enrich your own vision.

Some pictures of this event are available on Picasa.