This last weekend I was over at FOSDEM 2013, where 5,000 geeks descended onto the ULB university in Brussels, Belgium for a huge free and open source software conference.

It was my first time at FOSDEM after many years of nearly attending and the first thing that struck me was the size. 5,000 people in attendance over the two days, 390hrs of talks and every talk was absolutely packed. It reminded me of the Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS), but on steroids.

This was two days packed full of developer talks on everything you can imagine from Java, Gnome, Xorg, MySQL, BSD, Cloud, Law etc and a large room full of stalls from all the distros and latest cloud platforms.

Cloud IaaS was represented very well with lots of talks on OpenNebula, CloudStack, Openstack, Ganeti and others including Synnefo, a Ganeti based IaaS stack with Openstack API's.

Eucalyptus didn't have a talk in the cloud dev room, but I did have a number of great discussions about the latest Eucalyptus version and features in Eucalyptus 3.3, such as ELB, Autoscaling and CloudWatch.


On Saturday I spent the day getting my orientation and attended a number of talks.

Automated Openstack Testing

This was hosted by Canonical folk who are running extensive QA of Openstack above and beyond the QA on the gated upstream trunk of the Openstack projects.

They are doing a heck of a lot of testing across multiple test suites. I think we have something very comparable going on in QA at Eucalyptus now and it would be cool to see a QA presentation from us at FOSDEM next year, there is a dedicated QA/Jenkins developer room which was cool.

oVirt Live Migration

Some interesting notes on live migration in the oVirt project, I think this is above and beyond what KVM/Libvirt are currently offering and adds some nice enterprise features to oVirt, which will eventually be in Red Hat's subscription supported RHEV product.

Boxes - Virtualisation install automation

Boxes is a new virt-manager-esk UI but extremely simplified and allows simple automated installations of Linux and Windows. I was fairly impressed with the way they've done this and it lead me onto a library they are using: libosinfo

Libosinfo is pretty sweet, it provides you with a library that gives you access to metadata about different distributions, how to install them in an automated way, life-cycle, iso location etc. We could use this in Eucalyptus with an image library.

Also attended a Ganeti update talk and oVirt introduction which were both fairly detailed and it seems like there is a lot of progress in both projects.


I sat on the CentOS booth (Thanks to the CentOS guys!) giving out Eucalyptus Faststart DVD's (Thanks to Andy Grimm for quickly creating a modified version that has a minimal CentOS install on it!), Pen's and Stickers.

All 50 DVD's went very quickly and I had a number of conversations regarding our current status and on the WebUI. I demo'ed the WebUI running in the Eucalyptus EMEA test lab to a few people including a Eucalyptus fan at a large hosting company who hadn't see our latest feature set.

I also met the whole ComodIT team, who seem like a great group of developers and I can't wait to see what features they release next.

After I ran out of freebies I headed over to the cloud dev room.

Security Priorities for Cloud Developers

This turned out to be a talk on Cloud Security in Openstack by an HP security guy (Robert Clark) who is on the Openstack security team.

Key takeaways for me was as Openstack is targeting service providers and public clouds, there is a heck of a lot more to think about in terms of security.

"HP Cloud is growing massively, our storage requirements are growing as fast as our data centre monkeys can add disk."

Heat API

I'd had a look at Heat before but I didn't realise that it already implemented CloudWatch and Auto-scaling on-top of CloudFormation. The presentation gave an overview of Heat and a demo of the functionality.

Now that Heat is part of Openstack (incubating), it also has it's own Openstack REST API but will continue to keep CloudFormation API compatibility. I can imagine it will get more and more tied into Openstack components (such as Ceilometer) as it's developed further.

A question at the end asked about other cloud support, apparently there is interest from CloudStack and the design allows pluggable support for other clouds. Deltacloud has a plugin. It would be cool to see if a Eucalyptus plugin was feasible.

All in all, a great conference... with great beer in the evening - FOSDEM, I'll be back!


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