CloudCatalyst Survey about Cloud Computing Trends

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The EU CloudCatalyst initiative invites you to participate in a survey about cloud computing trends. You can influence over the CloudCatalyst project by collaborating on the identification of existing challenges for Cloud expansion as well as on the definition of new market opportunities. The survey will produce detailed information about the main barriers to cloud adoption in order to help entrepreneurs, researchers, and software developers create value-added Cloud solutions and services.

To take the survey, click the link:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/3GHCM9K

The deadline for filling in the survey is 22 July 2014. The results of the survey will be shared (for free) with all the respondents.

Cloud Catalyst is an initiative funded by the European Commission that aims to provide useful tools to foster the adoption of Cloud Computing in Europe. CloudCatalyst will set up a cross-border advice and support service targeting two main groups:

  1. Software developers, researchers, start-ups, and other Cloud entrepreneurs interested in accelerating the development and deployment of Cloud Computing and internet services
  2. End-users from large industries, SMEs, and public entities interested in knowing how to benefit from the implementation of Cloud solutions.

On behalf of the CloudCatalyst Team,

Thank you in advance for your participation!

CloudCatalyst.eu

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Aftermath of the TechDays in Florida and Bay Area

We have had a great time in OpenNebula Cloud TechDays of the past weeks:

We had the chance to share the new features in OpenNebula 4.6 and the upcoming releases with all the attendess and have them build a fully working private cloud in just a matter of hours. Cloud computing has never been this easy!

But that’s not everything, we had really interesting talks, ranging from PaaS solutions based on OpenNebula: Megam – Cloud orchestrator for OpenNebula, open hardware iniciatives which are a great match for OpenNebula: OCP Open Rack, the renowned distributed object-store: Ceph for Cloud and Virtualization environments and more use cases.

So a big thank you all, for coming and attending the event, for your great feedback and excitement.

And of course big thanks to the hosts: TransUnion|TLOxp and Hyve Solutions for their amazing hospitality, organization and making these events a success!

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Foreman Integration

Firing up a new virtual machine is smooth, straightforward and often done in just seconds, but to reach this point you have to invest some time and effort in setting up a nice and reliable cloud environment. There are a lot of things to do. You have to prepare some images having a operating system installed, you have to take care about your DNS records, put some SSH Keys into your fresh virtual machine and install some useful software on top of it like an Apache web-server etc. For automating these tasks OpenNebula does provide hooks and contextualization for it.

We at Netways have been using the Foreman in combination with Puppet for doing all these tasks on bare metal systems and now implemented a compute resource functionality for the Foreman project. It can be used to deploy virtual machines within OpenNebula using the Foreman interface which configures DNS,DHCP,PXE,Puppet and so on as well. The functionality is covered by using and extending the ruby fog library.

The pull requests can be found on GitHub:

And a quick demo can be found here (speaker is a little bit dozy and its in german, but you can get an idea of how it works):

The idea is to create a blank (empty datablock image) VM via Foreman in OpenNebula, which then will be fully deployed from scratch. Installation will be done with a PXE-Boot and Kickstart/Preseed installation. Additional software on top like Apache and stuff like that will be installed and configured with Puppet. Everything can be chosen via the Foreman interface which interacts with all infrastructure elements. Also it would be possible to use contextualized prepared images, but we did not implemented it yet.

We are using this feature for some days right now in production and it is really cool. It definitely will and should not replace the Sunstone interface, its just a interaction via the XMLRPC API of OpenNebula.

Every feedback is very welcome and contribution or help for getting it pushed to the master branch of the projects (Foreman, Fog) is of course appreciated. For further information or questions leave your comments below.

Windows Contextualization

We have a new addition to our Addon catalog, that delivers the necessary scripts for Windows Contextualization, in order to simplify and ease the use of Windows Virtual Machines in an OpenNebula Cloud.

Windows contextualization is now very complete and easily installable. This is an overview of the features that it offers:

  • Add a User.
  • Update the server Hostname.
  • Enable Remote Desktop.
  • Enable Ping.
  • Configure the Network, using the automatically generated networking variables in the CONTEXT CD-ROM.
  • Run arbritary PowerShell scripts available in the CONTEXT CD-ROM.

All this functionality is implemented by a very easily customizable PowerShell script.

The documentation also includes the procedure for installing and provisioning a Windows VM from scratch.

Links

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Big thanks to André Monteiro and Tiago Batista from the DETI/IEETA Universidade de Aveiro, since this addon is largely based on their work. The orginal guide is available here: OpenNebula – IEETA. André Monteiro is also part of the now official addon.

Wrap-up of the OpenNebula TechDay in Ede, NL

Yesterday the first OpenNebula TechDay took place. And it has been a wonderful experience. Seeing such an involved community, with so many great stories, such determined feedback, great conversations and a really friendly environment made us all participants feel greatly satisfied with the event.

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Presentations

We would like to thank all the speakers and all the attendees, we are sincerely looking forward to hear more stories from them. We would also like to send a heartfelt thank you to the host and sponsor of the event: BIT.nl, which besides being an amazing hosting company that likes to do things well (which makes sense since they are using OpenNebula), have made the event run extremly smoothly and really well organized, special thanks to Stefan Kooman and Bart Vrancken!

Looking forward to meeting you in the next editions of the OpenNebula Technology Days!

OpenNebula at FLOSSUK 2014 – Brighton

FLOSSUK 2014The yearly spring meeting of the FLOSS UK takes place in Brighton this year. The venue in the Old Ship Hotel in Brighton is typical british and about 100 meters away from the ocean. Independent from the lovely countryside i have the chance to take about our way from manual configured XEN-Instanes to a fully fledged OpenNebula-Cloud. Using OpenNebula for years know, is a big advantage for us and helps us a lot in our daily business.

There was a lot of activity in the OpenNebula Project the last year, so i have much things to talk about. Native GlusterFS Support, improved Network and Storage Drivers are just a few examples about that. If you are in Brighton or have a chance to come over please join my talk tomorrow.

I talked to several people yesterday and many of them gave OpenNebula a shot after listening to my last years talk about it. There is nothing better i think :-)

Cached (SSD) Storage Infrastructure for VM’s

Currently there seem to be three choices when it comes to where and how to store your virtual machine images, these would be:

  1. Local storage, either RAW images or Cooked (eg; QCOW2) format
  2. Remote storage, typically a shared and/or replicated system like NFS or Gluster
  3. Shared storage over dedicated hardware

There are “many” issues with each of these options in terms of latency, performance, cost and resilience – there is no ‘ideal’ solution. After facing this problem over and over again, we’ve come up with a fourth option:

  1. Cache your storage on a local SSD, but hold your working copy on a remote server, or indeed servers. Using such a mechanism, we’ve managed to eradicate all of the negatives we experienced historically other options.

Features

  • Virtual machines run against SSD image caches local to the hypervisor
  • Images are stored remotely and accessed via TCP/IP
  • The Cache is LFU (*not* LRU) which makes it relatively ‘intelligent’
  • Bandwidth related operations are typically ‘shaped’ to reduce spikes
  • Cache analysis (1 command) will give you an optimal cache size for your VM usage
  • The storage server support sparse storage, inline compression and snapshots
  • The system supports TRIM end-to-end, VM deletes are reflected in backend usage
  • All reads/writes are checksummed
  • The database is log-structured and takes sequential writes [which is very robust and very quick]
  • Database writing is “near” wire-speed in terms of storage hardware performance
  • Live migration is supported
  • The cache handles Replica’s and will parallel write and stripe read (RAID 10)
  • Snapshot operations are hot and “instant” with almost zero performance overhead
  • Snapshots can be mounted RO on temporary caches
  • Cache presents as a standard Linux block device
  • Raw images are supported to make importing pre-existing VM’s easier

Which means…

In terms of how these features compare to traditional mechanisms, network bottlenecks are greatly reduced as the vast majority of read operations will be serviced locally, indeed if you aim for a cache hit rate of 90%, then you should be able to run 10x the number of VM’s as an NFS based solution on the same hardware (from an IO perspective) Write operations are buffered and you can set an average and peak rate for writing (per instance) so write peaks will be levelled with the local SSD acting as a huge [persistent] write buffer. (this write buffer survives shutdowns and will continue to to flush on reboot)

If you assume a 90% hitrate, then 90% of your requests will be subject to a latency of 0.1ms (SSD) rather then 10ms (HD) , so the responsiveness of instances running on cache when compared (for example) to NFS is fairly staggering. If you take a VM running Ubuntu Server 12.04 for example and type “shutdown -r now”, and time hitting the return key to when it comes back with a login prompt, my test kit takes under 4 seconds – as opposed to 30-60 seconds on traditional NFS based kit.

And when it comes to cost, this software has been designed to run on commodity hardware, that means desktop motherboards / SSD’s on 1G NIC’s – although I’m sure it’ll be more than happy to see server hardware should anyone feels that way inclined.

The software is still at the Beta stage, but we now have a working interface for OpenNebula. Although it’s not complete it can be used to create, run and maintain both persistent and non-persistent images. Note that although this should run with any Linux based hypervisor, every system has it’s quirks – for now we’re working with KVM only and using Ubuntu 13.10 as a host. (13.04 should also be Ok, but there are issues with older kernels so 12.xx doesn’t currently fly [as a host])

As of today we have a public rack-based testbed so we should be able to provide a demonstration within the next few weeks, so if you’re interested in helping / testing, please do get in touch => gareth [@] linux.co.uk

OpenNebula Einführungs Webinar von NETWAYS

OpenNebula und NETWAYS verbindet bereits seit Jahren eine lange Freundschaft, die inzwischen auch in einer Premiumpartnerschaft resultierte. Heute habe ich, als NETWAYS-Mitarbeiter, die Ehre, als Gast-Blogger einen Artikel zu schreiben (Thanks OpenNebula!).

Als Open Source IT-Systemhaus unterstützen wir seit mehr als 15 Jahren Unternehmen bei der Einführung von Open Source Software und bieten hierfür unter anderem Consulting, Supportleistungen, Managed Services und eine breite Auswahl an Schulungen und Konferenzen an. In Zusammenarbeit mit C12G veranstalten wir z.B. im September (24.-26. Sept. 2013) die weltweit erste OpenNebula Conf.

Um noch mehr Open Source begeisterte zu erreichen, starten wir am Donnerstag, den 05. September 2013 um 14:00 Uhr unsere neue Webinar-Reihe.

Natürlich werden wir gleich mit einem Webinar über OpenNebula starten!

Die Registrierung findet direkt über unsere Website statt.

Wer also einen ersten Einblick in diese Open Source Lösung oder weitere Details sucht, ist hier genau richtig!

Wir freuen uns bereits auf beide Events und auf eine rege Teilnahme!

Grüße aus Nürnberg

Christian / NETWAYS GmbH

ONE User Group – Hungary

Egy 2013 tavaszán érkezett megtisztelő felkérés eredményeként örömmel jelentjük be, hogy ezennel elindult a Magyar OpenNebula Felhasználói Közösség weboldala. A Közösség azért jött létre, amire a neve is utal: hogy összehozzuk a magyar OpenNebula felhasználókat. A nemzeti ONE közösségek első hullámával egy időben induló magyarországi weboldallal célunk, hogy elsősorban a szoftvert, másodsorban felhő technológiát minél szélesebb körben ismertté és érthetővé tegyük a magyarországi felhasználók számára; és egy állandó, megbízható szakmai közösség kialakítása, amelyet a szoftver felhasználói és fejlesztői, kezdő, haladó és profi szinten egyaránt magukénak éreznek.
Szeretnénk, ha mi, a szoftver magyarországi felhasználói egy valódi közösséget alkotnánk, amely egy olyan fórum lenne, ahová mindnyájan bátran, bizalommal fordulhatunk véleményünkkel, kérdéseinkkel, élményeinkkel. Ha magyarul beszélő OpenNebula felhasználó vagy, ne habozz, keress meg bennünket a lenti elérhetőségeink bármelyikén!

Építsük együtt a Magyar OpenNebula Felhasználói Közösséget!

Web: http://opennebula.sztaki.hu
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MagyarOpennebulaFelhasznaloiKozosseg
Twitter: http://twitter.com/felhesz

OPTIMIS Toolkit Now Available in the OpenNebula Ecosystem

OPTIMIS (Optimized Infrastructure Services) is an open source cloud computing research project that has recently published the final release of its toolkit (v3.0). The OPTIMIS toolkit is now available in the OpenNebula Ecosystem and can be downloaded from optimistoolkit.com. The code is also available on GitHub and in a publicly available SVN repository. The OPTIMIS project kicked off in 2010, co-financed by the EU’s FP7 framework program. The project is led by IT services company Atos and includes Umea Universitet, 451 Research, Universität Stuttgart (HLRS), ICCS, Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), SAP, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, University of Leeds, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Flexiant, BT Group, City UNiversity London and Arsys.

The primary goal of the OPTIMIS project was to optimize cloud infrastructure services by producing an architectural framework and a development toolkit covering the full cloud service lifecycle (construction, deployment and operation). With its newly developed programming model, integrated development environment and deployment tools, OPTIMIS gives service providers the capability to easily orchestrate cloud services from scratch, run legacy apps on the cloud and make intelligent deployment decisions based on their – or their customers’ – preferences regarding trust, risk, eco-efficiency and cost (TREC). It supports end-to-end security and compliance with data protection and green legislation. The toolkit also allows for developing once and deploying services across different types of cloud environments – private, hybrid, federated or multi-clouds. The OPTIMIS operation tools are intended to simplify and automate the management of infrastructure, and aim to improve resource utilization efficiency.

OPTIMIS supports ‘best execution venue’ strategies. It is fundamentally a cloud-enabling technology that ultimately allows users to schedule and automate the delivery of workloads to the most suitable venues (internal or external) based on policies such as TREC. The OPTIMIS software tools are deployed in the datacenter, and are a complement to cloud management and orchestration platforms.

Most of the OPTIMIS components are open-source-based, primarily Apache, but not all of them. Joining the OpenNebula Ecosystem makes perfect sense for OPTIMIS.

Try out the toolkit and let the OPTIMIS team know what you think!