[Openstack-devel] OpenStack and Debian GNU/Linux at http://solutionslinux.fr/

Loic Dachary loic at enovance.com
Thu Jun 21 10:34:05 UTC 2012


This week is held the http://solutionslinux.fr/ exhibition and my company has a booth. Among other products, the public cloud announced last month ( http://www.openstack.org/blog/2012/06/openstack-in-action-2-production-ready-paris-31-may-2012/ ) was on display. I emphasize that it runs on the Debian GNU/Linux packages currently in wheezy. The noteworthy additions are the puppet modules described and downloadable from http://wiki.debian.org/OpenStackPuppetHowto and the munin ( http://lists.debian.org/debian-wnpp/2012/05/msg01168.html ) and nagios plugins ( http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=675031 ).

This exhibition is a mix of non-profits and companies. I spent most of my time visiting each booth and telling stories about OpenStack on Debian GNU/Linux: how it can be run on premise as well as in a public cloud. I was most interested in finding Free Software applications that could run on top of OpenStack. To most people I talked to, the cloud is new and it was the first time they had a chance to see an actual demonstration. The fact that they could follow a HOWTO ( http://wiki.debian.org/OpenStackHowto or http://wiki.debian.org/OpenStackPuppetHowto ) to install it locally made it even more concrete.

A recuring topic for discussion was "reversibility" in the cloud. Meaning the ability to extract the resources hosted in a cloud ( think aws users, google mail users or heroku users etc. ) to move them to another cloud. The 100% Free Software quality of OpenStack + Debian GNU/Linux as well as the availability of APIs is a pre-condition for "reversibility". Of course a given OpenStack based cloud may have additions that are not Free Software and because of that moving away may prove quite difficult. In order to actually check that a cloud is easily "reversible", one could setup a private OpenStack based cloud for backup purposes. If the backup runs with the same functionalities in the private cloud, it is proof that the public cloud does not contain meaningful hidden proprietary components.

I renewed my subscription to the Debian France non-profit at the booth where Raphael Hertzog, Carl Chenet and a few other were standing. We then had a friendly diner during which Carl gave useful advices to prepare the Debian table for the Folsom summit : table cloth, kakemoko / totem etc. http://lists.alioth.debian.org/pipermail/openstack-devel/2012-June/001060.html

Here is an unordered list of what I remember from the discussions:

* http://hederatech.com/ editor of http://git.kanopya.org/redmine are currently supporting OpenNebula and we discussed their support of OpenStack in the future, as well as the strategies involved in publishing only Free Software and the associated business models. Hederatech currently has unpublished software and I hope they decide for a Free Software license.

* http://www.open-search-server.com/ publisher of a lucene (heavily reworked) based search engine. The company is commited to Free Software and it would be nice if their SaaS offering http://www.open-search-server.com/form/saas_information was based on OpenStack. It would be a showcase with 100% Free Software from top to bottom.

* http://nereide.biz/ a company providing services on http://ofbiz.apache.org/ We discussed the relationship between OpenStack , the cloud and this ERP solution. ofbiz could be deployed as a SaaS solution on top of OpenStack. And it could be used to bill the usage of OpenStack, based on metrics exposed by https://launchpad.net/ceilometer . The cloud was not a familiar topic and it made for an interesting discussion.

* http://openerp.com/ are familiar with the cloud because someone already has extensions to bill the deployment of OpenERP on AWS. Unfortunately this extension has not been published and I've been told it is tied to a number of proprietary components. I discussed the possibility of developing and publishing  an OpenERP extension compatible with https://launchpad.net/ceilometer with http://www.opensolutis.com/ . I was assured it was possible with 100% Free Software components but that a specific development is necessary. I discussed with another person using OpenERP to bill a SaaS application but his in-house development is too messy to be published. There may be logic / pieces of code to retrieve from https://gitorious.org/slapos/slapos which uses ERP5

* http://www.centreon.com/ is a nagios frontend and had a booth in the non-profit section and the supporting company http://www.merethis.com/ had another separate booth. I asked about the integration of patches in the next release at the company booth and was bounced to the non-profit section where the community manager kindly suggested I post on http://groups.google.com/group/centreon-devel/browse_thread/thread/ce9e847a8f69d094 . The patches are related to the automatic integration of OpenStack nagios probes extracted from the puppet master database : some API functions were not implemented.

* Met with the http://www.shinken-monitoring.org/ author and discussed the monitoring problems specific to OpenStack. I told him that the next Debian GNU/Linux stable is coming soon and that it would be nice to have the latest shinken in there. The currently packaged version http://qa.debian.org/developer.php?packages=shinken is lagging behind with 0.6 where the latest is 1.0.1 http://www.shinken-monitoring.org/download/ .

* Discussed with a cfengine expert at http://www.normation.com/ about the OpenStack specific problems, namely deleting resources, orchestrating the deployment of munin and nagios. It is a pain point for puppet & chef. We were interrupted and it is to be continued.

* Asked about the future of Drupal in the cloud at the drupal non-profit booth. A representative of http://kernel42.com/ told me that the next version (8) should take better advantage of the cloud to scale out. The topic was unfamiliar and we did not go into details.

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_ESB was presented by http://www.pymma.com/ and I suggested that it could run on top of OpenStack and that they could try it out using the Debian GNU/Linux HOWTO. It probably is a long shot but since it's a Free Software application, it's worth it.

I also made two one hour presentation for the benefit of people working in Free Sofware oriented companies. They did not know about OpenStack although they have been using virtualization for some time. After a Horizon demonstration and the nova command line, we discussed the concepts of OpenStack and the roadmap of its development and integration in Debian GNU/Linux.

It is likely that during my presence at http://2012.rmll.info/ I'll keep demonstrating OpenStack on Debian GNU/Linux and explain that it's actually useable and how to deploy it. I enjoy it very much and I hope it will be increasingly adopted by Debian users.

Please let me know if you have questions or suggestions

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