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UDS Maverick – day2 highlights

  • btrfs – BTRFS is pretty awesome, with filesystem level snapshotting and compression, it promises to make some waves on the server and small devices. Unfortunately, its still marked as EXPERIMENTAL by its own developers, and there are known bugs. However, you can choose to play with it in Ubuntu 10.04, which should be helpful for people finding and submitting bugs so the developers can feel better about people using it. There is a desire to have it as the default filesystem for the next Ubuntu LTS release, which is pretty exciting.
  • Monitoring is too easy – Any time I see 10+ implementations of the same idea, I figure its probably something that is easy enough that people tend to write their own instead of searching for a solution. Monitoring and graphing seem to be in this category, with many solutions such as nagios, opennms, zenoss, munin, ganglia… the list goes on and on. We talked a lot about what to do in Ubuntu Server to make sure this is done well and makes sense, and basically ran out of time. The best part of the session though, was that we decided to focus on solving the data collection problem first, so each server takes responsibility for itself, and then allow centralized aggregation on another level.
  • Server Community – There is some desire to have people test Ubuntu Server before a release, especially for the LTS releases. A beta program was proposed, but there is some doubt (my own included) that this will actually get people to test before the .0 release. Basically I have to think that as a server admin, people aren’t interested in even trying something in an unstable state. They’ll take the .0 and build a new server rev, but they’re not going to go around upgrading stable servers. This needs more thought and discussion definitely.

Sitting in the first session for Wednesday now listening to a session about the next 6 months of Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud and Eucalyptus development. Very exciting stuff!


May 12, 2010 at 7:57 am Comments (0)

Ubuntu Developer Summit Day 1 survived

After about 16 hours in the air and waiting on the tarmac, I arrived here in Brussels, Belgium for my first day on the job at Canonical.

I actually really love the feeling one gets when pushed to their limits of sleep deprivation. For me, my ego tends to shrink and go away after this long without sleep. I did catch a few winks on the plane, but they were mostly drunken winks, so they weren’t quite as restful as, say stretching out on a pile of broken glass. With the sun hanging in the air while my body wanted it to be under foot safely blocked out by a ball of mud, magma and water, I arrived feeling pretty much like I was in outer space.

That feeling was rather fitting, given that the first Canonical employee I met at lunch was none other than Mark Shuttleworth, who actually *has* been in outer space. It was quite random, I grabbed a place in the salad line, and there he was. We had a pretty good discussion ranging from why people still choose CentOS to Darwin’s Theory of Sexual Selection, its really awesome knowing that the guy at the helm gets what we’re doing.

The afternoon was spent in sessions, and I have some quick take aways from them:

  • Puppet integration in Ubuntu Server is about to get really damn good. Some things that have been discussed are making client registration automatic and decoupled from hostname, allowing re-provisioning without reconfiguring anything.
  • PPA’s for volatile software that releases nightly builds are continuing to flesh out. This makes upstream bug reports much easier, as when they say “try the latest nightly build” you can, in fact, try it without suddenly shifting from the package installed version to a custom compiled, or trying to build your own package. I think one challenge for that is going to be making sure that users know that the PPA exists.

Well, I got some sleep, so now I’m up at 0-dark-thirty and ready to attend some sessions. My favorites for the day are:

https://blueprints.edge.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+spec/server-maverick-monitoring-framework

Monitoring is near and dear to me. Mathiaz has some awesome ideas about how to make it fault tolerant.

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Specs/ARMServer

A full rack of servers using only 7.5kw  … can’t wait to see this presentation.

https://blueprints.edge.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+spec/server-maverick-hadoop-pig

I want to learn more about this and play with it.


May 11, 2010 at 12:11 pm Comments (0)

Canonical, and Ubuntu Developer Summit, here I come!

As of next Monday, I will officially be in the employ of Canonical as a member of the Ubuntu Server Team. Please come say hi if you’re going to the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Belgium, as I’ll be there all week (try the fish!).


May 4, 2010 at 7:27 am Comments (0)