• OpenStack, Outer Space & Left Eyes

    I just realized that I have a conflict of abbreviation.  Common interpretation of “OS” in the industry is generally operating system, and sometimes open source.  To those outside the cloud industry, perhaps one-size, outer-space, or even oculus sinister (the left eye).

    Not to minimize the importance of an operating system, a left eye or outer space, but for the sake of saying:  I hereby propose that the old-skool meanings of OS are obsolete.  Used in a naked context, or without clarifying qualifiers, the OS acronym shall now equate:  OpenStack.  Granted, I could be biased.  Just a silly thought this morning, there you have it.

  • OpenStack One-Liners

    One-line bash commands for managing, deploying and testing OpenStack and related components, hypervisors and containers.  Some simple and obvious, some cool and questionable, hopefully all useful.  Check back on this post, I’ll likely add more.

    #1 – Watch Nova Compute for Non-Active Instances on Openstack

    Outputs total instance count and non-active instances. Useful for keeping an eye on potential problem VMs in a PAUSED, ERROR, SHUTOFF or other non-active state.

    Command:
    watch --interval=1 'nova list --all-tenants | wc -l && nova list --all-tenants | grep -v "ACTIVE"'

    nova-tenant-list

    [Read More…]

  • Moving from CentOS to Ubuntu

    It’s no secret that I have historically been a RHEL and CentOS guy.  Red Hat Advanced Server before that.  I think the recent bond made official between Red Hat and CentOS is exciting for those groups and the affected communities.  Over the past several years, I’ve seen and heard from peers and others the industry … a massive excitement over Ubuntu.  But I already had my stable platforms humming along, so I didn’t pay much attention to Canonical or Ubuntu.  Or at least not until OpenStack.

    For anyone wanting to deploy OpenStack, Ubuntu is the reference platform to do so.  RHEL and CentOS can do it, but it is currently just not a natural fit.  Canonical has one heck of a head start with JuJu, MaaS and Landscape.  Granted – one can indeed use packstack or RDO on RHEL-based distros.  That is still a long shot from where Ubuntu already is today.

    When I decided to seriously consider a career shift in working for Canonical on the Ubuntu Server and Openstack Team, I rebuilt my business and home stacks with Ubuntu LTS.  Prior *nix experience made for a quick pick-up of the Ubuntu/Debian similarities and differences.  In the interest of not inviting yet another Linux distribution debate, I’ll just say that I quite like Ubuntu LTS.  Ubuntu server is now my platform of choice.

    What about Unity?  Mir?  Upstart?  I’m traditionally an X control freak, and enjoy XFCE’s ability to be tweeked and tugged how I see fit.  When I rebuilt my desktop powerhouse, I stuck with XFCE on Ubuntu LTS.  But on my new work laptop, Unity it is!  It just works, no manipulations necessary.  Linux for human beings, check.

    The asynchronous Upstart is probably my biggest acceptance challenge at the moment, but I attribute that to not possessing granular knowledge of it yet.  I understand the contrast and benefits, but that hasn’t stopped me from occasionally tripping over my init tendencies.

    Canonical’s goal of a unified code base for server, desktop, mobile and others is quite a massive and worthy undertaking.  While it may seem to many that they are reinventing the wheel with Mir, and that they have already reinvented the wheel with Upstart, these bold moves are what set Ubuntu aside from all other distros.  The community and the company are investing in some fairly major changes.  Change always brings stress and resistance.  Pushing through the uncomfortable and awkward beginnings is how change is made successful.

    Push on, push on!

    ——————– ——————– ——————–

    Addendum – a useful Ubunto Wiki doc for those making the same journey.  After completing a recent shift from RHEL/CentOS to Ubuntu, I found this nice reference:

    SwitchingToUbuntu – Switching from Red Hat to Ubuntu;  Switching from CentOS to Ubuntu;  an equivalent command translation reference.

    • chkconfig vs. updaterc.d
    • service start vs. invoke-rc.d
    • yum search vs. apt-cache search
    • yum install vs. apt-get install
    • rpm vs. dpkg

     

  • CentOS 7 Beta and RHEL 7 Beta

    It seems like we just made the transition from RHEL and CentOS 5.x to 6.x.   Our 6.5 boxes are running smoothly and…  here comes EL beta 7!  Red Hat announced RHEL7 Beta availability on Dec 11, 2013.

    Karanbir Singh and the CentOS community are posting news, views and reports about CentOS 7 beta downstream here:  http://seven.centos.org.

    I plan to have a box online shortly just to see if RHEL7 / CentOS7 plays well or doesn’t play well with OpenStack.

  • The Customer is the Key: Reflecting on Business Success

    SCTelcom

    Verity Information Systems – SCTelcom
    Medicine Lodge, KS

    Fourteen years ago this month, I came to Pratt, KS as a twenty-something tech geek with an entrepreneurial bug.  Someone wise once told me that a man can build a successful business if he simply identifies a need, finds a way to fill that gap, and then services it with a high level of dependability and integrity.

    So I went to work establishing relationships with area businessmen and women who had a very clear need:  solid computer information systems and responsive support on which they could depend.  I became involved with the local community of professionals, from CPAs to attorneys to utility companies, and focused wholeheartedly on building a business which served their needs.  The success of that business can be attributed to the work and support of many people and strategic business actions.  But ultimately I believe it was in going above and beyond to ensure the success of their business that allowed my business to thrive. Some say the customer is king.  I say the customer is the key.

    Fast forward a decade.  Four years ago this month, SCTelcom acquired my managed IT services business.  This ISP and rural telecom of 50 years had been a valued carrier and vendor for several of my projects.  There was a natural union of interests which seemed to be a no-brainer.   So, we joined forces to expand services, availability, resources and coverage area for our clients.

    Zip ahead four years.  I now have the pleasure of working with this area’s most diverse and talented team of business minds, telecommunications pros and network engineers that you can find.  These are a staff dedicated to the success of the company, and a board of directors diligently progressive and forward-looking.

    My peers at SCTelcom always ask the right question when implementing new systems or changes:  “How will this affect the customer?”

    The customer is still king.  And key.

    ~

    Related links and further reading:

  • Red Hat testing the OpenStack waters

    I’ve been following OpenStack’s maturity pretty closely over the past year.  Since the late 1990’s, I’ve taken note that as goes Red Hat, so goes the herd when it comes to enterprise Linux solutions.  Of course, in many cases, that may very well be “I like what you’ve got going, watch me do it better.”  That is also is not to minimize the impressive impact of Canonical, HP, IBM, Mirantis and Rackspace.  This is merely an observation that when Red Hat throws their support and weight at a project, things tend to change.

    As a relative late-comer to the OpenStack Foundation (platinum member since 2012), Red Hat is contributing $500K per year and a sizable chunk in terms of software engineering labor.  One must assume that it intends to monetize these efforts with a Red Hat OpenStack offering some day soon.  If so, what does that mean for RHEL pet projects oVirt and Aeolus?  And RHEV?  Who knows.  Their continued sponsorship of those projects raises my eyebrow a bit, that they might just be slightly over-hedged and confused.

    Meanwhile, Canonical seems to be quietly dominating this developing space with Ubuntu Server.  It will be interesting to watch as Canonical and Red Hat cloud platform offerings mature.  I’ll be looking for the OpenStack.  May the most clever hat or non-hat win.