CloudCamp Gent 2011

I am at the CloudCamp Ghent and can share some notes.

VMware Cloud Foundry
  • Lode Vermeiren, VMware.
  • Talk on Slideshare
  • Long part about VMware products and history that are cloud related.
  • It got actually interesting once he started to demo stuff.
    • The good part was that it was very authentic (e.g. not all parts where working).
    • The bad part was that there was not so much to see, just some basic "upload my simple Hello World app"
  • The speaker distributed USB Keys with a VM and registration codes for the Cloud Foundry service.
  • Look at and use the cloudcampgh code for instant access (till November 26th). Without the code invites might take a couple of days to activate.
Combell Cloud Cases
  • Company is sponsor, this is a short sales pitch
  • Quite refreshing in its brevity
"Devops in the Cloud" is a pleonasm
  • Andrew Shafer (Reductive Labs / CloudScaling)
  • Thesis: Clouds exist only due to DevOps
  • On the question "did you solve the configuration management problem" he suggested packaging it and referred to our package deployment :-)
  • As his laptop did not work he started an interesting discussion about clouds, devops and corporate mindset
  • Bottom line:
    • Total automation
    • Short feedback loops between everybody involved
  • I think that this talk about DevOps and Cloud fits the subject: Prying the Cloud Open: Dell Crowbar & OpenStack, it also fits the OpenStack theme of the CloudCamp OpenStack workshop.
Microsoft Cloud Strategy
  • He started by announcing a "commercial break" before the coffee break. +1 for self-humor.
  • Eventually, every regular product should be available as a cloud service.
  • Office365 is just the start
  • Nothing really useful. But thanks to Microsoft for sponsoring this event.
Manage Non-Cloud Dev & Test Environment With a Cloud Hat On
  • Patrick Debois, and others.
  • Download the talk from Slideshare.
  • Telling his story that brought him to the cloud.
  • His presentations was either plain b/w graphics or really nice cloud photos like
  • Quote: "Buy a new laptop every year" - The cost of a new laptop is much less than the loss in productivity due to ressource limitations. +1 that.
  • Interesting: Pay attention how the focus and understanding changes and evolves when going from local to cloud.
  • Abstraction through cloud libraries: Jclouds, Fog, Boto
  • Trick: Reuse the same workflows internally and in the cloud.
  • One cannot always do everything in the cloud, but you can shape your internal IT as a cloud
  • Here developed a good discussion
  • Challenges: Orchestration - No good and integrated solution available.
Cloud and Security A match made in heaven?
Sorry, it got too dark for my crap phone to take photos.
Challenges of Running and Scaling Cassandra in the Cloud
  • Andy Ormsby
  • Cloud challenges:
    • Performance of single node (significantly) less that physical server
    • Availability, stuff breaks
  • Apache Cassandra tries to answer these challenges
  • OK, this seems to be a Cassandra 101 talk. If you missed this one then try this Slideshare search.
  • As usual, the stories not written on the slides make the talk worthwhile.
I better don't write abou the telenet vendor talk, but I would rather use this opportunity to thank them vor sponsoring the event.

A Practical Introduction to OpenStack

That was the last "official" talk, now off to the break-out sessions. Let's see what we get today. Unfortunately half or more than half of the people left and did not stay for the break out sessions.

The topics where:
  • Private Cloud
  • Identity Management
  • Auto Scaling
  • Orchestration
Interesting discussion, not too many people. Hallway tack is always one of the hightlights of an event.

OpenStack Workshop
I also attended (and this was the main motive for the trip) the OpenStack workshop that occured on Monday before the CloudCamp and on Tuesday. The workshop was held by Tim Dysinger and Andrew Shafer (see above).

The first day focused on building infrastructure, Tim introduced us to vagrant and Chef. The idea was to use vagrant to manage VirtualBox VMs and Chef to configure the VMs to run OpenStack. Tim provided a vagrant project on GitHub which we used to deploy the VMs.

Unfortunately the first workshop day went by with playing around on vagrant and Chef without touching anything OpenStack-related. I must say that I did not know vagrant before and it is a really cool tool. However, this "exposure" to Chef did not convince me to use Chef at work.

The second day shifted focus to actually deploying OpenStack and in the end we just followed the starter guide on the project homepage.

Bottom line is that I learned a lot, met new and interesting people. I hope the next workshop will focus more on OpenStack and less on Chef recipes.


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