Posts Tagged ‘Solutions Linux’

Paris Open Source Summit maintained


Despite the barbary that occured last friday in Paris, the Paris Open Source Summit (merge of Solutions Linux and Open World Forum) will happen next Wednesday and Thursday, respectiveley 18th and 19th of November 2015 in les Docks Pullman.

I’ll be leading the track Cloud, with a great program and speakers list detailing use cases as well as various tools, approaches, especially on OpenStack. I’ll also deliver a session (even if not on the web site at the moment !) on HP Helion OpenStack.

See you there and let’s continue to talk about freedom, and not only in software !

Open World Forum: improvements needed as well as for the french FLOSS ecosystem


Maybe it could be strange to speak about improvements whereas the event has not yet started, but there are already clearly areas where improvement will be needed if the event wants to continue being a reference one at least in France, and more over at european level.

For such an event, the Web site is key. This is the external face to the world. This year, up to last week it was a complete mess, without valid information. When I announced my various activities during OWF 2014, I gave some links to that Web site in order for people to be able to read more info. As of now, none of these links work anymore 😦

I’ve seen many times requests to update some content with what we were provideing without effect. Looking at the current agenda, I don’t see one of my sessions anymore, timing have changed also in between, … The change of location compared to last year is also a regression from an exhibitor point of view: The Eurosite site has no real structure to allow booth to be managed in a correct way and attendees to encounter sponsors on their booth in a nice way. I can ensure you that it’s very different compared to most events I’m attending such as LinuxCon e.g. where I was this month.

While different, the Solution Linux Event never exhibited such issues. Of course, the program and its role are different. I heard that the idea of uniting forces around a single event was considered. It could be beneficial wrt sponsors, reinforce the impact of the event and attract more audience, more contributions, enlarging the scope by uniting programs which do not overlap too much, proposing a real exhibition area, including communities as well as professionals. Also it could help having a larger group working on the overall program (I’m part of the Linux Solutions conference board, but even if I proposed many times to help, was never really included in the OWF’s one) so each could focus more on its area, and also have a larger set of permanent staff to help with the overall organization and communication.

I look forward to such an evolution and would be very supportive of it. I’m then ready to convince HP as well to continue to sponsor such a central event in France, whereas under its current format, I doubt it could be the case next year of OWF alone.

I’m also thinking it could help the french FLOSS ecosystem to speak with a stronger voice and be listened more by enterprises and the government and the various administration bodies. Today no serious infrastructure solution can be deployed without FLOSS components: Web based technologies, Cloud, Big Data, Software Defined Enterprise, Security, Virtualization (including NFV), SDN, … So it’s really time in France to stop the useless battles between FLOSS companies and unite all of them behind whatever structure that will be representative (such as the CNLL e.g.) to have a stronger voice and develop jobs, companies and business in our country at least. While supporting the OWF 2014, I don’t see the Open Source group of the Syntec Numérique able to play this role. It used to when the right people were involved, it’s not anymore (I know a bit attending the meeting through a conf call system), and hasn’t produced anything useful to the ecostystem since this guide IMO.

The french community of companies delivering FLOSS services/integration/software (the FLOSS providers, term advocated by Laurent Seguin which I like or the incubators I proposed earlier) shouldn’t stay quite: their customers need that they speak with a strong and united voice to defend their ideas and show the advantages of their solutions.

If you want to talk of that or anything else related to Open Source, feel free to come to one of the sessions I’m involved in… if the agenda is indeed correct (and timing respected as everything is very dense) you should find me speaking of FLOSS governance in Namur room at 9:00AM, collaboration in OpenStack at 11:15AM in room Luxembourg or OpenStack community in room Amsterdam at 12:10AM.

Or if you’re still there next week, during the OpenStack Summit, I’ll be at the HP Expert Bar session and around till Friday morning.

Solutions Linux 2013 is over: smaller exhibition, crowded conferences


Since the first Linux Expo back in 1999, the event has changed, first growing a lot, and it is now going back to a smaller size, however, keeping what makes it very attractive, a combination of enterprise boths, community boths and free conferences which are a big success every year.

I passed most of my time of Tuesday having very interesting discussions and news from the french community, discovering the new e-Novance big OpenStack player (thanks Erwan), talking FLOSS history with Denis Bodor on the Linux Mag both, talking with friends at Combodo (TeamIP and their great iTOP FLOSS CMDB) or at normation (Rudder and CFengine), and getting the latest news from FusionDirectory, FusionInventory, AFUL or APRIL members, and other multiple communities.

I didn’t see time passed ! But I had to jump in the RER to attend, for once I could, the reheasal of the Mozart Requiem in Etampes directed by Jean Belliard ! You should attend their concert the 15th of June there. That was multiple great pleasures: First to sing this master piece under the direction of Jean, something I have not been able to do during the 12 years I sung at the choir (I also miss the mass from Bach !). And also because I could join my daughter and sing also with her in the choir, and that’s something I wish to everybody 😉 Of course, lots of discussions at then end of the rehearsal again, shoretened alas to be able to go back to Paris and attend the second day of Solutions Linux.

I first participated to a round table on Open Source Governance with Véronique Torner (she has a great knowledge of the FLOSS governance world and her comments were remarkable), Gaël Blondelle who also has a very interesting knowledge of industrial use cases of FLOSS, and of the Eclipse Foundation, Benjamin Jean, who is the legal person I prefer to work with, as he can really make you love legal and lawyers !, even when you’re a developer, and he has numerous examples very interesting to share, so I recommend listening to him. The round table was lead by Patrice Bertrand in front of some 40 people in the room, which is great for a hard topic like Open Source Governance.

Of course, it’s always too short, but I hope we showed how useful it is to control Open Source usage in enterprise, as well as SMBs, and that the goal is to expand usage, and get the most out of it, instead of creating FUD.

And after that, a sandwish and it ws time to lead the Sysadmin track with my colleague François Jeanmougin.

We had initially planned to have 4 hours, and thus gave 30 minutes to each of our 6 speakers, plus 1 hour for a round table. However, later on, we were restricted to 3 hours only. That’s an issue as this track used to have a full day some years ago. I decided that I didn’t want to cancel any speaker as their talks were indeed very valuable in our context of Data Center automation with/using FLOSS. And each speaker accepted to reduce their talk to 20′, which is really short, but forced them somewhere to go straight to their point and we thus had a dense but highly interesting track ! And extremely well followed as you can see below:

We started with Jonathan Clarke from Normation who did a global overview of what needs to be done to automate complex IT environement with FLOSS solutions. As he didn’t had eough time to develop the project he’s contributing to (Rudder) I really encourage you to take time to read more on it.
Jonathan Clarke (Normation)

Next speaker was logically Erwan Talloc from Combodo to present how we can today by combining multiple FLOSS tools, provide to enterprises an ITIL compliant FLOSS solution stack. Of course their iTop product is at the center, relevant of course for a CMDB. This stack is currently developped for answering a customer need, and hopefully, we’ll be able next year to present a concrete use case of this during the track.
Erwan Talloc (Combodo)

And when we speak of central management of systems, Directory is near to your mind, as well as to Benoit Mortier’s one (from Opensides), who thinks natively LDAP ! He presented FusionDirectory, complementary to all what was shown before, allowing to manage through OpenLDAP, using a very nice Web based interface servers, PCs, IP phones, or fax, as well as users, sysem deployment and much more.
Benoit Mortier (Opensides)

Going deeper in system management, I was really waiting the next speaker Frédéric Crozat from SUSE and his systemd subject. Too bad he had some issues with his laptop (btrfs related, not systemd related even if who knows ;-)) and could only make a short presentation. Systemd is supposed to colsve all the badness of sysVinit, speed, deps, … As I really hate systemd at the moment, for the multiple problems it created for me in my system managements, with in short, problems with chroots, problems with no X started when another unrelated issue happen, problem with memory consumption (44 MB for an init replacement and they say it’s not bloated !), problem with debugging requiring too many commands to pass to understand what is wrong, … I would have liked to ask many questions. For sure next time. Frédéric made his best to defend systemd but why are distros adopting it too early is something I have issue understandig. Sometimes I like the Debian approach !!
Frédéric Crozat (SuSE)

Always low in system management, we then had a talk on redundancy with load balancers and for load balancers, from Sébastien Rohaut (GFI) who covered of course ipvsadm and LVS, but also the various tools added around to make it always available, including his own makealive, giving users the possibility to avoid paying tons of euros for dedicated hardware platforms when this software soltion fits probably 80% of the needs.
Sébastien Rohaut (GFI)

Finally, Jean Gabès came on stage to explain to us what was new in Shinken. After many years of Nagios related confs, we had Jean for the first time 2 years ago. AsI found his solution interesting, I wanted to have him again presenting the evolution of monitoring and the constraints brought by a cloud context to that area.
Jean Gabès (Shinken)

Finally we made a 30′ question and answer session with the attendees, some speakers ( Jonathan Clarke, Erwan Talloc) and additional ones (Christophe Sautier (Objectif Libre), Guillaume Leccese (Oxalyde), Laurent Pinsivy (Méréthis)) and we had a great deal of questions, especially around the positioning of Data Center automation with regards to the cloud approach and some user experience feedback. Hopefully the audience was well informed and this session overall will contribute to increase FLOSS usage in data center even more.
Table Ronde: Jonathan Clarke (Normation), Christophe Sautier (Ob

So next year, hopefully, we’ll have more time (4 hours at least), more space (a 120 people room) but still the same energy and competence from speakers to have an always interesting track.

Fleur Pellerin dans la Silicon Valley sans voir HP ?


D’après le blog d’Emmanuel Paquette, journaliste à l’Express, Fleur Pellerin ferait du 1er au 5 juin un déplacement dans la Silicon Valley.

A ma grande surprise, l’article ne mentionne pas HP dans les sociétés visitées. Je sais que cela fait moins mode que Facebook ou Twitter, mais la compagnie fondée dans un garage il y a 74 ans, et pour laquelle j’ai le plaisir de travailler, reste non seulement la première société dans les TIC au niveau mondial, (ou la seconde derrière Apple selon Fortune) mais elle reste aussi un employeur d’importance en France (environ 5000 personnes), avec des pôles de vente et de support locaux, mais aussi des structures européennes ou mondiales représentées.

J’espère que le cabinet de Fleur Pellerin contactera Gérald Karsenti, le PDG de HP en France, Je suis sûr qu’il se fera un plaisir d’au moins mettre en relation Mme la ministre avec Meg Whitman pour qu’elles puissent se rencontrer en Californie et échanger utilement. Avec le soutient que Meg apporte aux projets OpenStack, Hadoop, Linux et tant d’autres, la discussion pourrait même se porter sur comment HP pourrait aider en France à la mise en oeuvre de la directive du premier ministre sur l’utilisation préférentielle des logiciels libres dans l’administration. Et je veux bien être mis à contribution sur ce sujet au sein du Technology Council HP France 😉

Nous pourrons du reste discuter de cela et de plein d’autres choses lors du Salon Solutions Linux à Paris la semaine prochaine !

Last 2 weeks too hot…


Had lots to do during the last weeks. New MondoRescue Version, new version, Solutions Linux event in Paris, new HP internal projects, and on the private side rehearsal + concert and vocal ensemble conducting, finding a room for my daughter next year in Paris for her studies was a bit too much, with not enough sleep.

Was completely tired last thursday, with 39°+, and slept most of Friday as a consequence. Saturday, I still had not completeley recover, Not a real serious burn out, but made me think I was probably in need of rebalancing a bit stuff to avoid a serious one. And it took me nearly a week to recover, even if I dstill don’t feel exactly as before.

So I’ve just restarted this week to work on some mindi patches, and even if I planned to release a new version of mindi during the week-end it will now be during this !

I’ll be on vacation next week, for my yearly renaissance music week near Paris. So if you want to meet, for once, it will be at one of the concert we will perform the 13th, 14th or 15th of July as explained in the link ! Hopefully that change of activity will let me rest a bit a come back stronger 🙂

Meeting at Solutions Linux 2012


Well, I arrived this evening in Paris, and I’m ready to participate to a new Solutions Linux this year. Still remember the first time I came to Linux Expo (as it was named at that period) back in 1999, as an exhibitor for Medasys, manging the HP booth.

My main duties are on Thursday where I’ll lead 2 round tables and as time permits the relative sessions: COMMUNAUTES DU LIBRE : ORGANISATION ET DEFIS and ADMINISTRATION SYSTEMES / CLUSTERS – GESTION D’ECOSYSTEME MATERIEL ET LOGICIELS LIBRES.

The rest of the time, I’ll attend sessions to discover new tools, visit the various booth to meet with new communitites, and of course shake hands of the many people I know there and with who I’ll discussed a lot 😉

Hope to see you there even if I do not deliver any session myself this year.

Third day at Solutions Linux 2011


Solutions Linux 2011 is now over ! The last day was again full of various meetings, including a very interesting one with Charles Schulz (The Document Foundation) where I learnt a lot around LibreOffice future that I can not disclose 😉 or maybe later on. And I lead the System Administration track, which was extremely successfull this year with more than 130 people in the room !! I’m glad to see that the new model of free conferences is allowig the event to have more attendees.

We had the following presentations:

Open Source alternative to deploy ITIL by Erwan Taloch (Combodo)

A very interesting presentation that takes over the boring parts of ITIL to show how beneficial, once correctly tooled with iTop ITIL can be ! Impressive. And the tool is looking very professional, efficient and quick, even if it’s high degree of parametrization requires appropriate knowledge to set it up. But Value is at that price no ?

iTop has been made by 3 persons Denis Flaven, Erwan Taloc, Romain Quetiez when in charge of Outsourcing at HP.
Thousands of customers to manage. One tool was missing to manage work processes, contacts, SLA, …
Developed their own tool to replace Word/Excel docs.
2006: Development of iTop
2009: first version on
2010: Creation of Combodo to provide professional support
2011: 15000 downloads for iTop 1.1

Goal is to solve IT mastering.
IT is critical for every company (they all have Internet access, CRM, ERP, …) and is becoming more and more complex
So specialization is required, so multiple actors are involved, so complexity increases ! And of course, they need to do more with less.

Each team has its own reference of documents to manage the environment. It leads to excessive time to solve issues.
ITIL is one method to solve these problems. Often judged too expensive and too heavy .
But ITIL well used is a pragmatic way to manage IT. You need to choose parts that are useful. Not theoritically but practically. That’s what iTop is made for. And at the Center of iTop, they have the CMDB. It is the common reference point.

Demo of the Configuration Management of iTop. Erwan explained the notion of Configuration Items, and showed the powerful links between a business solution and a mail server e.g. He also demonstraed how to import existing data from Excel/OpenOffice content files into iTop to build part of the CMDB. Also the traceability that the tool is bringing.

He also explained how to keep in sync iTop with data coming from other tools such as GLPi, OCS, FusionInventory, … He used Talend to manage the extraction of OCS and update of iTop. All in a couple of clicks.

Challenge is to make this info live along time. The only way for tat is to use the information.

Erwan further showed how iTOP materializes the diagram of dependency and also the diagram of impact (these are generated from the data in the CMDB). They made a plugin for the event with Nagios. Alarms in Nagios can be linked to Incidents in iTop.

In ITIL the most important aspect is Services management. there are 2 support parts in iTop: Service catalog (including SLA with TTO, TTR), Contracts (linking CIs, SLA). iTop provides a vision for IT and another one for the users (including feedback forms).

Link is also possible with lots of external tools Archipel, Zabbix, FusionInventory, Puppet, …

IT Asset management with GLPI Walid Nouh/Gonéri Le Bouder (TecLib) / David Durieu (SiProSSII)

GLPI users: IT managers View on park, Helpdesk people, Users (to create and follow tickets), Management for reports, Purchasing department (in relationship with budgets and assets management)
Architecure: Web application (PHP based) with install wizard and very few dependencies.
Does it scale ? It is used on park with more than 130000 machines and 90000 users.
More than 1million of users declared. (first political action of support) on the Web site.

Information management: how to enter info in GLPi ?
– computers/smartphones use an agent (FusionInventory Agent)
– network equipment (no agent install possible): uses SNMP to collect information
– printers (no agent install possible either)

Integration with other tools (managing licenses, financial, technical information) is possible through webservice interface, API for plugins (managed on the forge) or CSV import/export mecanisms.

GLPI differentiate from OTRS, RT, due to the inventory associated and the history around. It allows stats production.
For authentication, it proposes an LDAP integration (AD, OpenLDAP) or pop3/IMAP or WebSSO/CAS.
Notions of entities and rights + profiles + rules based system.

Gonéri then took an example with lots of people profiles and showed how profiles are managed accordingly.
Helpdesk is ITIL v1 compliant (SLA, user satisfaction, Incident management, business rules, notifications).
There are multiple interfaces depending on the nature of the profile (end user, support technician, smartphones)
Another communication mean is through webservices or mails.

GLPI is managed by a french 1901 rules association (Indepnet).
2 independant leaders Julien Dombre, Jean-Mathieu Doléans, and lots of contributors/translators/…
There is the notion of Business Partners, which sponsor the project.

FusionInventory created by GLPI community members to extend the features and have a complete platform.
Walid then made a demo covering the park management on computers, network switches, android phones as well as the ticketing part.

iTop and GLPI are in fact more complementary than in competition. Especially the inventory part and park management of GLPI with the rest of iTOP features. Of course, on some others they proved similar features. but each tool allow you to choose in it the modules you like the most, and are open enough of course to dialog with the rest of the ecosystem. Hopefully we will soon see an integrtaion of the 2.

these 2 presentations were extremely successfull and gathered more than 130 people.

Shinken by Jean Gabes (Lectra)

State of monitoring in 2011: since the last 10 years new needs on performace, availability, increased number of abstraction including virtualization, have arisen. We also have to manage an Increased number of system due to dev, pre-prod, prod so also a large set of systems to monitor. We are moving from a technical IT to a business IT.

One of the goal of a good monitoring is to get pertinent alerts.
Historical monitoring tools are not adpated anymore. Including Nagios.
Multiple Nagios do not interoperate. But it’s needed so it creates problems of configuration management and of architecture/performance.
We do have remote sites, virtualization security through FW, … which is complex for Nagios to manage.
Nagios still has strength: modularity through modules and its community.

Shinken was created to bring the new concepts to Nagios but was not accepted by Nagios authors so evolved into a separate project.
Nagios configuration, monitoring agents, interfaces (CGI, Centreon, Ninja, Thruk, …), everything is kept, but performances are multiplied by 2.
Split of features into small daemons. One for configuration management. One tfor scheduling. One to launch monitoring agents. One for passive info management. One for alerts. One for information agregation/presentation.
Advantage of the architecture: redundancy is embedded, and no limit to the number of daemons but a single configuration and a single DB. Linear scalability is embedded. It also solves remote/secured sites problems.

What about slow remote sites, and multi customers ? Cloud of monitoring should be distincts and shinken provides the notion of realm to support it. Realms are separate, but it still keeps a single configuration (with the arbitor daemon outside of the realms) and even a single data storage (or not ! as you want)

Shinken is already better architectured than Nagios. However, this is not sufficient: Monitoring should also bring added value. Importance of correlation, and bringing back only the correct information. Separation of the source of the problem from the impact. Shinken provides a smart alert filter to support this. On top, we need to concentrate on solving the *important* source issues. So there is a need of criticity level. Criticity should be managed recursively from the application level to the individual elements.

Shinken also manages impact of dependencies from the Hypervisor to the guests, and knows the association of guests on hosts. Same impact for N-tier solutions with redundancy: is the app still running ? is the only intreseting question. Aggregation information should be at the heart of the tool. It’s called business rules in shinken.

Shinken provides some other bonus: discovery module and configuration creation (configuration is Nagios like so still complex as powerful), including VMWare VMs. Notification and dependencies system simplified. Tool developed in python, so works on LInux/Windows/Android !

What is the current status:
Tool was developed 2 years ago. Architecture is in place as well as principles.
Need to document more. Tutorial.
Need to support newcomers.
Integration of Behavior driven monitoring methiods with the cucumber module.
Managing Consoles in a better way using profiles and views (Thruk)

jean made a very lively presentation to a 80 people audience, and this project is defeinitely to be looked at closely for all of you interested in monitoring.

SystemTap by Adrien Kunysz (Acunu)

Acunu is specialized in Cloud Storage/Big Data: just a more performant Cassandra.
What is SystemTap:An iInfrastructure to simplify gathering of information about the running Linux system. It allows to observe a running system.

It works by writing a script describing what to observe. The stap command transforms it into a kernel module, loaded and executed.
SystemTap executes actions when code passes by probe points. E.g. (each time you call read), …

It supports metachar (whatever function of the moduule Y, or the socket interface, …) or static (every 200 ms, when the VM free space). Can also be userland (each time we enter ls, each time we call a function containing malloc in glibc,…). SystemTap reuses the dtrace entry points for PostgreSQL. Can also work on Java functions or python ones… Cf: man stapprobes

Syntax similar to the C language with awk spirit. For each pattern doing something. It provides hashes, easy stats (sum, avg, min, max, …) and lots of functions.Most commonly used functions: pid(), uid(), execname(), tid (thread), probefunc (in which function or we). Cf: man stapfuncs

Options of stap:
-x trace a specific PID (instead of whole system by default)
-c trace only the command and childs
-L list all probe points of the context
-g guru mode 😉

Adrien then went on showing an example where each executable launched by the stystem is printed.
Could be powerfull to help support team debugging problems.
Adrien then showed an example based on SIGKILL analysis, another example on file watching (/etc/passwd)

SystemTap is integrated in RHEL5+, Fedora, CentOS. utrace patch required for tracing in user space.

Other languages can also be handled if the runtime has been instrumented.
There are security mecanisms at language level, and execution level. However there is the -g mode 😉

Adrien really had fun demonstrated all the features of SystemTap, and we finished late as there was lots of interest in the room on this subject, even if we had less people around for this more technical subject.

Second day at Solutions Linux 2011


I attended in the morning the round table on Governance lead by ALexandre Zapolsky (Linagora)

3 companies were represented:

Alterway (created in 2006) Р10 MEUR Р120 people (Represented by V̩ronique Torner)
Activities: Consulting – Hosting – Training
Governance for large enterprise (Open CIO Summit)

Smile (created in 1991) – 33 MEUR – 10 years on FLOSS – 540 people (Represented by Patrice Bertrand)
Activities: FLOSS integration, Web site/Intranet development,
Leading the FLOSS Working Group at Syntec Numérique.

Linagora (created in 2000) – 13 MEUR – 130 people (Represented by Michel Marie Maudet)
Activities: SW Editor (OBM) – OSSA – Consulting

Véronique said that 3 years ago in the CIO Summit, CIOs thought they had no Open Source.
This year, they have representatives from Safran, Ministère de la Justice, PriceMinistère, Nature et Découverte, La Poste, Auchan. Hidden before at infra level. Now seen at CIO level. So will to control and govern.

Patrice said 3 years ago that Gartner revealed the presence of FLOSS in the enterprise.
Contacts were performed with Carrefour, Véolia, EDF. Enterprises do not see how to do Contributions.
Purchasingdepartment is one of the entities interested by the governance aspects. CIOs want to rationalize.

Michel-Marie mentioned that Linagora worked with Carrefour, Air France, Renault on these topics.
CIOs have to mitigate risks wrt Oracle, Microsoft, SAP, IBM (MISO) which represent 80% of their budgets and thusthey have a policy of diversification and of cost reduction.

Véronique mentioned that the recent crisis revealed Open Source and allowed to dialog with CEOs on the topic. FLOSS was considered as an entry level/low cost solution before. It’s now considered for its true qualities, creating value in the enterprise.

Patrice reported that studies put quality before price, even if price remains in the scope.
Price reduction is coming from the packaged offered proposed by the various actors. Cost reduction is done due to the economy of scale (when deploying hundreds, thousands of SW).

Véronique underlined that in the infrastructure space, FLOSS has been key for deployment. On some other areas (apps like CMS), the cost difference may be less important. Sharepoint may be at 0EUR inside a large enterprise, so what is the benefit of a drupal there. This has to be worked in other ways. Some customers said that Red Hat is sometimes more expensice than a proprietary solution.

Michel-Marie asked what is the value here: lots of SW are deployed but 80% of its functions is unused. CIOs today consider more the value brought. In the management/monitoring area, the BMC/IBM offerings are like Christmas trees but stick less to customer needs. The right term is to be cost effective. Some customers say today that they have more problems to find competencies around commercial solutions than on FLOSS ones, because engineer schools have adopted massively FLOSS technos. It’s now the reverse of what it was still 5 years ago.

La Poste Governance representative precised that the goal is to work on technical cost reduction (Nagios praised), but they realized rapidly that they should work on value analysis more precisely, and that the value is in the people (more agile), so cost is similar to proprietary solutions, but FLOSS gives much less problems on the long run (open formats, archiving constraints, …)

Alexandre then orientated the discussion now around the Governance aspects themselves, and what policy to put in place.

Patrice said that FLOSS governance consists of writing in a document what the enterprise want in term of FLOSS adoption, derived in term of support, RH, contributions, … Maturity is not there on his side in France.

Véronique has seen organizational models in place, with people dedicated to FLOSS governance (La Poste is precisely an example with a FLOSS IT central group + dedicated teams recommending solutions + a small legal aspect). In the Société Général Bank, there is no split, it’s handled as commercial products. Safran has on his side a more formal legal approach on FLOSS.

Michel-Marie mentioned a methodology that has been developed to help CIOs. Around 10 weeks of assessment (20 architects of Air France e.g. were met and interviewed) to summarize needs, what worked, what didin’t and which FLOSS Solutions could be involved. Recommandations from other customers are shared and expected. Second step is to benchmark per vertical, size of company, usage models (simple user or OEM providers such as ALU). Third step is to build the governance (technology program, policy doc, solution reference architectures). Bouygues Telecom has positioned Oracle for critical DBs, and FLOSS ones (PostgreSQL) for non-critical ones. Then there is a need to measure, during time, FLOSS adoption. They recommend to put in place a FLOSS Center of Expertise (ALU has 150 persons for that).

Commercial SW vendors do the evangelization by meeting refgularly with customers to present new versions, evolutions, … in the FLOSS area, enterprise sneed to put in place a specific team to monitor the FLOSS ecosystem, create reference architecture and also to support themselves (or not) and deal with it. Véronique presents that CIOs hope to give the support to a single actor, and also fear the lack of an editor behind the Software.

Smile teamed up with OpenLogic to solve the support aspects for enterprises (L1-2,5 done by Smile and L3 by OpenLogic – having commiters in a large set of communities).
Patrice also mentioned the importance of the inventory with tools (such as Black Duck, FOSSology), and new models of FLOSS development (mutualized development with FLOSS such as GENIVI or OPEES)

Michel-Marie precised that they specify reference architectures with customers, creating a base of a large number of components and work on the support as a single point of contact (Note that HP and Linagora have partnered in France to use this model for customers). Re-insurance and patch reversion to the communities/editors is then handled by that actor in charge of support. Currently OSSA offering from Linagora is used by 50 customers. Air France created a “Blue Hat” base.

Véronique has around 10 customers for support, and some other more specific contracts. Patrice mentioned 10 customers as well with a starting offering.
Véronique also insisted on industrialization of FLOSS, with their experience around PHP. Voyage-SNCF is one of the customers benefiting from their work in that area.

Patrice mentioned that this is an area (customer developing Software) where governance on FLOSS is key. There are legal constraints, licenses and IP to respect, training to be performed up to the developer.
Michel-Marie explained that there is a need to guide developers with Software Engineering frameworks, e.g. pointing to the right versions of libraries, forcing a ticket for evolution.
Véronique thought that there is a lack of knowledge of FLOSS usage in the enterprise. They miss “geeks” and legal background.

Guillaume Rousseau (Antelink) made a testimony of what leaded INRIA to identify IP rights on their SW base (660000 bricks). What is the tooling to put in place to manage hundreds of thousands of components ? Patrice indicated that putting in place a central repository is a goal of the governance process, but it creates frustration at developer level by controling them tightly (pre-dev control), or pass tools that control a posteriori (afterwards) the conformity to rules (in a continuous build chain). Véronique mentions that another approach is to integrate developers to the governance program, in order to gain adoption.

Michel-Marie mentioned they have a much smaller base (300) that they are monitoring, but consider they have the one really used by their customers. Only a small part of customers embed FLOSS in their products and need more fine control. Others are users of bricks, more well-known and less risky.

Question from the audience on how to Open Source an internally developed SW. Recommandations from Patrice are that there is a need to be pro-active on the topic (Case of EDF). Véronique had requests from ISVs, more on a marketing aspect. They can help around the development aspects, quality aspects, licensing aspects.

Then some conferences where made:

Open Source Cartouche by Philippe-Arnaud Haranger (Atos Origin – Team Pascal Pujo)

Study made around an Aerospatial customer.
9 years of devs, and strong willingness to use FLOSS components.
Study showed incompatible licenses. Copy/Paste of code in 2000+ bricks.
Quote: “My God ! What have been done ?”

Licensing wasn’t a priority (they already didn’t document)
Code contamination is made on purpose, because they need it, and is due to local teams, outsourcing, and external application maintenance.
Consequences: licenses not respected, proprietary code tainted (PI loss)
Open Source was favoured, but in reality they created risks.

Solutons: Strong governance (creates too many constraints in general) or Tooling (cost, but efficient) or Manual Audit (cost, complex, impact) or take risk (costs and impact) or open source the SW (anyway conformity required, but impact as irreversible).
The earlier it’s done the less it costs.

Solution is Open Source Cartouche (what is around the Pharaon) – derived from QSOS.
Identify licenses and the recursivity of components integrated
It’s a structural approach beforehands, instead of scan afterwards (even if this is also required)
Put more trust in the FLOSS, Avoid contamination and protect community works.
Presenter asked the possibility of using this formalism in FOSSology ?

Some Remarks on my side:
I asked the question: What is the position vs SPDX ? I think they are probably in competition, and that they forget to consider it before launching something on their side. What is important is to have a standard adopted. The answer was that there is a fear of Blackduck that may create problems for communities. Their standard proposal is simpler than SPDX so more pragmatic, and thus propably easier to adopt by FLOSS projects. And the team is open to make required adaptations. However, it won’t work as a franco-french stuff !! I think we need an SPDX lite if we aim at being adopted by FLOSS projects, as the current status of the project is just only understandable by lawyers. I’ll try to generate some discussions around that on the SPDX ML.

Thinking about all this I think it would be valuable as well to lauch a new initiative to create the CERT/CVE base of licenses violations, working on the same model (disclosure after problem is solved).

Governance deployment return of experience by Guillaume Degroisse (Consulting Lead Linagora)

Goal Today: being independant from MISO.
Quality and Interoperability are considered before price.
Problems of adoption: Using standards of the market. Lack of performant FLOSS solution on some specific areas.

Bouygues has 150 own persons developing using Agile methods with lots of FLOSS components (not outsourced, and localized in France)
CIOs have to consider organisation, competence management, purchasing, legal and providers aspects. All these topics ar part of the FLOSS governance plan he has to put in place.
Guillaume also detailed what was covered during the round table around LInagora’s approach (Assessment, OSSA, CoE)

FOSSOlogy by … Bruno Cornec (HP)
25′ around the reasons of its creation/open sourcing, features and focus on upcoming 1.4.0

Return of experience on mutualization by David Duquenne (OpenWide Technology)

Enterprise have to deal with apps modernization.
Presentation focused on value creation at apps dev.

From innovation to industrialization: Technology assessment, R&D, Architecture and Integration, method and tools for industrialization. These leads to a framework definition
The goal is to share that Java Framework (Improve Foundations) across enterprises (having an Open Source base and community driven, and specificities intergated as components in this framework).
He insisted on the lack of java competencies. They deliver some Cobol to java trainings, espeically in-house.

Alliance Informatique has developed 100+ apps using Improve Foundation.
RSI wanted to fusion different IT systems.
Renault looked at homogeneize hundreds of projects (International). More interested to contribute. Renault will help Open Wide to develop the framework at international level
Atos Origin is also using it for 3000 screnn migrations

Gains: integration of non-java devs. and mobility of resources is key.

Passed the rest of the day discussing with various people. Had in particular a long and very interesting discussion with Erwan Velu who work at Zodiac, where they are developing a SIT (Seat Integrated Technology) all based on FLOSS (Linux/Debian, vlc, webkit, ELF, …) and have done an impressive job at making a nice looking, very responsive interface. I just hope that most companies I’m traveling with will adopt it soon ! And good news: they’re hiring 🙂 So if you want to work in a interesting area, way to go !

And they’re not the only one trying to recruit. I know that Wallix and Linagora at least are looking for good profile. All good news for our sector, which show indirectly the wealth of FLOSS !

First day at Solutions Linux 2011


Summary of my first day at Solution Linux 2011. I was in charge of co-leading the community track with Anne Nicolas. We hosted the following sessions for which I took some notes:

Mickael Scherer (Mageia) presented “a Fork of a distribution: Mageia derived from Mandriva”
(He made an interesting relationship between Forks and Catholicism vs Protestantism as an historical reference)
Reason of fork => community vs entreprise
History of relationships:

  • 2000: cooker: R&D opened from Mandrake/Mandriva and idea of foundation considered
  • 2003/2004: resources sharing (compile cluster)
  • 2005: sharing problems met.
  • 2006: Steering committee between employees and contributors.
  • 2007: Foundation mentioned at RMLLs –
  • 2008: AUFML – Assoc of users.
  • 2009: Assembly to followup on
  • 2010: Mageia created to avoid Mandriva closure. Going further than a distro.

Mageia details:
More open governance – Association created + contributors (not creating a company as unfair wrt Mandriva) – Model based on a Council + Board. Renewed by 1/3
Mickael then mentioned some issues:

  • Pb1: Infrastructure: Not starting from nothing. Want to reuse and be at a high level from scratch.
    Code reuse is easy. Bugs reused is more complex (Customized bugzilla under Mandriva control).
    Hosting ? Gandi, Lost Oasis, Dedibox helped a lot.
  • Pb2: Brand management: Audit of code to remove mandriva – manual, underestimated.
  • Pb3: Comm: with original project. Even if angry vs some people, it’s better to avoid hostility. Split of identity (contributing to Mageia vs Mandriva) – Press contact is required for a distro
  • Pb4: Community. Feedback was important – 1100 mails just the first week ! Managing the enthusiasm. => Split tasks – People want to change everything ! DO a planning. Avoid the Vaporware effect (as said by LWN that will need to review that)
  • Pb5: Details management.

Logo: guidelines posted. Process to listen and need of transparency. Even if their choice is not chosen, they know why and get explanations. No blund choice.

Presentation made by Gael Blondelle. Works for Obeo (Obeo is Strategic member of Eclipse) – OPEES Project Lead

OPEES goal is Open Source for long life cycle projects.
It’s an Open Platform for thre Engineering of Embedded systems

Ensure the long term availability of FLOSS tools for Critical systems (life impact, very high costs).
Example: A300 Airbus life cycle: 35 Years. Support = 78 years
(1972 project started -2007 production stopped) – Support till 2050
On board software development for very long life cycle products.

Ericsson: Base station for mobile – General life cycle of 30/40 years (electro-mecanical telephony centrals created in 1920 and still used in 1980)

Will FLOSS bring success is not yet known. But what is known is that commercial SW failed (example: Verilog made Geode, then bought by Telelogic, then bought and killed by IBM) Not counting the change of support contracts, costs, …

Decision by Airbus and Aerospace Valley in 2004: Adopting FLOSS with Topcased
(UML modelers and code generation). Used since 2008 to write code in A350 (next generation).
In 2009 the main Topcased contributor was bought, and TopCased devs stopped there. But thanks to the FLOSS approach, other contributors were found to lead the project.

Problem: How to create a community ?

In a classical commercial world: 20% of requests from customers accepted, control in editors hands.
Industrial users have specific constraints. So creating a FLOSS community made of individuals, companies, VARs, vendors should allow to cover 80% of users needs in a generic fashion. The 20% remaining implemented as specific devs.
OPEES is coming from a traditional industrial world, not even a SW world. But they come to the FLOSS approach based on the 4 liberty of the GPL.
It also helps manage IP issues.
Open Code and Open Formats enable migration, interoperability, extensibility, and protect from vendors lock-in.
But FLOSS isn’t sufficient. There are needs for:

  • Community management
  • Ecosystem dev
  • Very Long Time support (10+ years) – Virtualization is a possibility
  • Need to have technology vendors oriented towards industrial users

OPEES mission is to ensure cross users company ecosystem (not one for Airbus, one for Thalès, …)
Governance near from Eclipse one. In Eclipse 1,5 years of maintenance. LTS support added (7/8 Years).
What adds OPEES: maturity assessment, industry oriented governance, labels, certification process enablement, Very Long Time SUpport
OPEES: ITEA research center 35 EMEA members РAdaCore, Obeo, Airbus, Inria, E///, CNES, EADS Astrium, Linagora, Atos, Thal̬s, + Universities

Next steps:
Have a legal entity to sustain the effort after 2012 (end of ITEA project).
Grow the community (transportation – rail, cars, energy – nuclear, …) made of researchers and employees, not individuals


Convergence of the FLOSS forges communities.
Re-dynamising SW forges (Minalogic and Systematic support)
Coordination by Bull + Orange Labs, Xerox, Inria.

Forge: collaborative platform for sw dev (born in 1999 with Means both the service and the SW itself
Partners: Codendi (Xerox), FusionForge (ex GForge), Novaforge (Bull)

Problems to solve: Identity management (SSO + roles), interoperability (with other forges – avoids data locking – not the first concern), tracability of specs, continuous integration, use SCRUMM method, work station integration (Eclipse plugin addition)
Specificities of the forges:

  • Codendi: Application Life cycle management ( fork in 2001) GPLv2, 25000 users, 4000 projects, on Fully opened 2 years ago => increased download numbers.
  • NovaForge: TM of BULL. Based on lots of FLOSS bricks (SVN, Mantis, PHPBB, Hudson, ExoPLatform) AGPL. Focus on data project confidentiality (due to BULL work activities). Migration of OW2 ongoing. Bull business model is around services (internal tool open sourced)
  • FusionForge: Fork os named GForge. Lack of evolutions around GForge after some years. Some french admins created FusionForge in 2009. Integration of extensions. More EMEA contributions (Germany), mediawiki integration, incr”easing # of commits.

Community of Xchanges: (Wiki, ML, planet, µ-blogs)
Organisation of forgers meetings 😉

Mainly convergence between Codendi and FusionFOrge (common plugins, projects models). Problems to sync release cycles between company supported ones vs community based ones (evolution of projects vs customer needs).

OSLC-CM (Open Services for Life Cycle – Change Management): interoperability standard and ontology used for forges interoperability (coclico, trac, redmine)
OSLC + Eclipse/Mylyn for work station dev/forge integration
Exchanges with Qualipso and Helios. Contributions to ForgePlucker (based on E. Raymond rant originally, and now sustained by coclico) and Mailman.

Following these 3 presentations, I animated a round table to cover the topic of this track: 2011, year of the forks. We had various natures of speakers Rodrigue Le Gall from BonitaSoft and Julien Mathis from Merethis who where representing Open Source projects having a strong relationship with their respective company, Charles Schulz representing the Open Document Foundation, and Jean-Marc Fontaine for the AFUP, french association of PHP users, both of them representing direct communities.
We were able to cover various topics, from animation of communities, relationship of companies with the ommunity around the underlying projects, reason of forks, support from tools to maintain communities, brand management impact, the LibreOffice vs OpenOffice latest news, I found it very lively and interesting in content, and I hope visitors enjoyed it as I did.

Rest of the day was passed evoking Mageia evolutions, and discussing with various relationships that I can meet only once per year during this event. In particular I had a long chat with Guillaume Rousseau from Antelink, which is the firm behind Antepedia, database gathering more than 660 000 projects for reference. (too bad mine are not in it :-)) Among other things we discussed of governance, market needs, and I tried of course to convince him to open source his product in order to ease the integration in forges, and allow its easy adoption by large corporation who are the natural consumers of such a product, in the line of FOSSology. Of course, this is always more difficult for a young and starting company, especially on a niche market but some others already showed it was possible.

This week at Solutions Linux Paris


For those attending Solutions Linux this week in Paris (12-12th May CNIT), I’ll be around driving sessions (System Administration and Communities, with my friend Ennael) as well as presenting FOSSology during the Governance track.

So you may meet with me during the traclks or probably near the the HP pod on the Linagora booth to speak of that, or MondoRescue,, , LinuxCOE, or whatever Open Source and/or HP related topic you would like to discuss !

Hope to see you there soon. The next opportunity will be during the Red Hat EMEA Summit in Dublin or HP Discover in Las Vegas.