Author: Antonio Cimmino (page 1 of 4)

How to install a multi region devstack Part-1

I have introduced Disaster Recovery (DR) services in the tutorial of last ICCLAB  newsletter which also made an overview of possible OpenStack configurations. Several configuration options could be considered. In particular, in case of a stakeholder having both the role of Cloud provider and DR service provider, a suitable safe configuration consists in distributing the infrastructures in different geographic locations. OpenStack gives the possibility to organise the controllers in different Regions which are sharing the same keystone. Here you will find the an overall specification using heat, I will simulate same configurations using devstack on Virtual BoX environments. One of the scope of this blog post is to support  the students who are using Juno devstack.

There will be a second part of this tutorial to show a possible implementation of  DR services lifecycle between two regions.

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Swiss FIWARE acceleration conference – ICCLab 5th Dec.14




The first  Swiss FIWARE acceleration Conference was successfully held on 5-Dec 2014 at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences ICCLab. There were around 40 participants from the pubic and private sectors of Switzerland and some from Germany and Italy.
Overall, it was an excellent opportunity to receive relevant introduction on FIWARE enablers and related coming open calls.

The agenda of the day was organised to provide necessary views for understanding the opportunities offered by FIWARE project. The European Commission (Ragnar Bergström) gave an overview of the Future Internet PPP   and its progress in Brazil and Mexico. The speech was followed by a large introduction of FIWARE project, (Thomas M. Bohnert, ICCLab), its eco-system and an introduction on the Generic Enablers.  In the morning Sandro Brunner (ICCLab) gave a first demo on how to utilise FIWARE LAB and how to mash and application up utilising the sensors infrastructure available in Santander city, Spain. The demo was also reprised in the afternoon and followed by a Q&A session.

Since the entire FIWARE platform is strongly based on the cloud, the participants had also the opportunity to see the view of EQUINIX , sponsor of the event.  The speech of Sachin Sony , Equinix UK met the objectives of giving information on the market trends for cloud services and how his company is worldwide involved as a provider of many Over The Top big players. The conference also offered the opportunity to introduce project ideas, from some participants, to the two A16 accelerators  ( Speedup! Europe  and SOUL-FI  ) represented by Olaf-Gerd Gemein and Maria Augusta Mancini respectively. They extensively explained their project goals and the support offered for the market acceleration and for the coming open calls (Figure.1).

Many thanks for attending the event and Special Thanks to the European Commission represented by Ragnar Bergström and to all the speakers.

by Antonio Cimmino (ICCLab)

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Fig. 1 – Open Call planopen call plan

Sponsors :

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ICCLab News – Nov 2014 Issue no. 3

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ZHAW Service Engineering ICCLab periodically sends Newsletters with information about latest activities of the lab and relevant events. This is the newsletter for November  2014 and the last for the year 2014.

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The market clock and Innovation Cube – Part 1


Understanding how innovation works continues to be a significant agenda item for many researchers. Innovation, however, is generally recognised to be a complex and multi-dimensional phenomenon. Classificatory approaches have been used to provide conceptual frameworks for descriptive purposes and to help better understand innovation. Furthermore, classificatory approaches also attempt to elevate theorising from the specific and contextual to something more abstract and generalisable. In last decades, researchers have sought to explain variance in innovation activities and outcomes in terms of these different ‘types’ of innovation. The innovations are targeted to invent, or increment as we will see, new solutions that will be introduced in the market. Therefore in the methods for classifying the innovations are often utilized or customized to classify the products to specific market momentum or to classify the simply the markets. In the next sections, this part-1 blog introduces at high level the Gartner Market clock classification (for the products) and the innovation cube approach for the classification of the innovations. The second one is mainly a method to identify winning innovation strategies for the market and for the industries.

The part-2 of this blog will be dedicated to practical example to classify the ICT innovation and in particular the ecosystem of products dealing with virtualization an cloud computing.

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Swiss FIWARE Acceleration Conference – 5 December 2014

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Register free HERE

1st SWISS FI-WARE acceleration Conference 5-Dec 2014
Zurich University of Applied Sciences ICCLab
Technikumstrasse 9, 8400 – Winterthur CH – Room: TL201 (chemistry building)

FIWARE, in collaboration with FI-PPP projects, join forces to host a series of events in several cities, bringing an excellent opportunity to receive training and coaching on FIWARE enablers and open calls.

The event offers, to SWISS Small Enterprises and WEB entrepreneurs, the opportunity to introduce project ideas to the professional A16 accelerators.
They will guide you through the difficult time of developing your application and building your business with their expertise.

you2Get your funding up to 150.000 Euro (100% of your costs) !

09:00-10:00 Registration and Welcome
10:00 Overview of the Future Internet PPP- European Commission, Ragnar Bergström
10:30 FIWARE project and ecosystem – ZHAW ICCLab, Thomas Michael Bohnert MB
11:00 Swiss industry representative: Equinix
11:30 A16 Speedup! Europe Open Calls – Olaf-Gerd Gemein
12:00 Break
12:15 A16 SOUL-FI Open Calls, Nuno Varandas

12:45 Networking Lunch – A16 face to face meetings

13:30 Guide for the applicants
14:00 Wrap-up and Closing


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The Cloud for testing environments

In our last ICCLab newsletter, in the cloud economics tutorial, we introduced how cloud infrastructures could be utilized for off-loading the variable and unpredictable resource needs. This is one of the basic principles of public cloud business. The InIT ICCLab cloud-economics lecture provides extensive use case studies and lab exercises on these topics.

1. Use Cases

Within the editorial, the same newsletter reported another use case related to the deployment of performing environment for measurements and tests based on the public cloud. Hence this represent another good opportunity to utilize cloud based infrastructures.

top applications

Even GreenPages introduce these concept as enterprise case, however it can be extended to other actors with similar needs. For example, requirements  to simulate production conditions for testing, while not affecting live deployments. With cloud services, suitable environments can be provisioned for apps development teams without affecting production environments, and then can be decommissioned with resulting charge-back reports for the respective cost centers. The Cloud will solve complex business needs with efficient, replicable and cost-effective solutions. With traditional hardware infrastructure, setting up a dedicated development environment could be expensive and time consuming. Unlike physical test environment labs, the tests in the cloud enable to offer architects access to test environments on demand with no resource constraints and eliminating capital expenditure.

2. Automation for Operating costs saving
Compared to traditional test environments (server based) the cloud allows to reduce IT operating costs by utilizing the automation and orchestration features. In addition to these savings, the organization can redirect key resources for manual configuration activities of more mission-critical and value-added tasks increasing the globally the margins. Test cloud environments allow working with live environments for their testing services and not just modeling tools. The scenario prepared for tests are closer to the final production configuration therefore increasing productivity and lowering the risks in the IT environment.

3. What is the best strategy for test deployment in the cloud?

As test configuration may grow in complexity for fast delivery of innovative applications to the marketplace. It is interesting to see how to reduce the time to plan, install and validate test environments. One key aspect is to consider that the cloud enables provisioning of test infrastructures on demand to maximize the utilisation of the asset.  Feasibility studies are required to find the scenarios in which, moving testing to the cloud, can benefit the organization. Cost analysis should be made for private and public cloud utilisation with a correct mix.

test strategy

The steps that should be followed to move, more effectively, applications in the cloud would be:

  • Business needs and understanding of the benefit of the cloud

Define the business and technical objectives of moving a particular testing project to the cloud, to gain more from your cloud investment

  • Formulate the testing strategy

The test strategies should clearly answer what is intended to be achieved by moving testing to the cloud, including cost savings, easy access to infrastructure, short cycle times, etc. The economics need to be analysied for defined type of cloud tests, the risks and the duration of the tests (costs).

  • Plan your infrastructure

To  define the infrastructure requirements necessary for building a test environment (private and public cloud). In case of public cloud, the service provider offers & prices should be an input (costs, terms and conditions, exit or movement to another service provider).

  • Executing the test

The applications are tested according to the defined test strategy. Optimal utilization of the test infrastructure has to be defined  to achieve cost benefits.

  • Monitor and analyze test results

Monitoring of test results in real-time to understand and evaluate capacity and  performance issues. The monitoring will consider also the financial performance of cloud services. The test results could be mined in the cloud and their analytics cloud also take advantages of data science and bigdata technologies. This represents another opportunity.

4. Our experience with testing on the cloud

ICC_Lab is investing a lot on infrastructures dedicated to the cloud and currently we have two OpenStack based installations. Some of them have test environments that will be used for internal projects and cooperation projects in the FI-PPP and H2020 programs.

The advantage of being able to use a cloud environment for testing is clear in our everyday activities. A typical concrete use case is that of setting up backend services running on a certain number of virtual machines, that can be easily (re-)created and destroyed in a very short time and without affecting any other running activity.

These testing backends represent a very convenient and reliable point of presence for the applications that need them, but at the same time, the flexibility of the cloud is such that reorganizing or radically changing the testing environment comes at a very low effort.

Some frequent use cases include:

  • Setting up cloud environments to support applications running locally during the development cycle. Using the cloud approach instead of having local testing environments ensures a higher degree of consistency and reliability.
  • Run automated tests against cloud backends.
  • Support demonstrations. This is a particularly useful scenario, as the testing environment running on the cloud can be easily used to showcase demos of our applications.

Another factor to consider is that a service or the applications using it, can be easily moved from the testing to the pre-production phase. One of the internal projects we are currently developing, requires a Swift backend and, in a longer time frame, nothing to small changes will be required if we will want to distributed our application publicly and still have it running as we expect.

On a different perspective than that of testing applications we are developing, we often use our cloud to setup temporary services (e.g., open source frameworks) for evaluation or analysis purposes. This kind of testing takes great advantage from the “on-demand, self-service” factor of cloud computing!

by Antonio Cimmino, Vincenzo Pii 


8th Swiss Openstack meetup

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Last week, 16 Oct 2014, great participation to OpenStack User Group – Meeting @ICCLab Winterthur. We have co-located it with docker CH meetupAround 60 participants from both the user groups.

For this event, we have organised the agenda trying to have a good mix of big players and developers presentations. Goals : Analysis of OpenStack and Docker Solutions, deployments and containers orchestration.

Final Agenda  start: 18.00

Snacks and Drinks were kindly offered by ZHAWMirantis

We had some interesting technical discussions and Q&A with some speakers during the evening apero, as usual.


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8th Swiss OpenStack and Docker User Group meeting – announcement

docker-logo-loggedout         chosug  icclab-logo

OpenStack User Group – Meeting, 16 Oct. at ICCLab Winterthur

Co-located with docker CH meeting

Goals: Analysis of OpenStack  Solutions, deployments and container solutions.


ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Science
Technikumstrasse 9, 8401 Winterthur
Data: 16.10.2013 –   18:00 – 21:00

Agenda  start: 18.00 –  ROOM TL203  (Chemistry Building)

(order of speakers may change)

– Intro & Welcome 5 mins (Florian & Antonio)
– Peter Mumenthaler – Puzzle ITC – “Docker, blessing or curse? (15m)
– Marco Kueding and Rolf Schaerer (Cisco CH) – “Intercloud and Cisco OpenStack strategy.  (35 m)
– Michael Erne, ZHAW ICCLab – “Manage Docker at scale with Kubernetes” (15m)

Drink break

– Jesper Kuhl, Nuage Networks & Alcatel Lucent  “VSP – Virtualized Services Platform” (25m)
– Srikanta Patanjali, ZHAW ICCLab – ” Updates on CYCLOPS – A Charging platform for OPenStack Clouds” (20m)
– Alexander Gabert, Cynthia, “Network Virtualization” (20m)

– Common Wrap up and apero

Looking forward to seeing you all!
Snacks and Drinks kindly offered by ZHAWMirantis

Main features of Hypervisors reviewed

We prepared this blog post to help students understand the hypervisor-support matrix introduced by OpenStack .  This information is spread throughout different sources. Many of these include Redhat Linux and OpenStack. We have tried to provide more general explanation where possible and reference links to other relevant sources.

The respective features’ command syntax are of course different for different cloud platforms. This information is however not provided currently but we will provide it in an update along with covering any comments received.

Launch (boot) – Command to launch an instance. To specify the server name, flavor ID (small., large..), and image ID.

Reboot – Soft- or hard-reboot a running instance. A soft-reboot attempts a graceful shut down and restart of the instance. A hard-reboot power cycles the instance. By default, when you reboot a server, it is a soft-reboot.

Terminate – When an instance is no longer needed, use the terminate or delete command, to terminate it. You can use the instance name or the ID string.

Resize – If the size of a virtual machine needs to be changed, such as adding more memory or cores, this can be done using the resize operations. Using resize, you can select a new flavor for your virtual machine and instruct the cloud to adjust the configuration to match the new size. The operation will reboot the virtual machine and takes several minutes of downtime. Network configuration will be maintained but connectivity is lost during the reboot so this operation should be scheduled as it will lead to application downtime.

Rescue – An instance’s filesystem could become corrupted with prolonged usage. Rescue mode provides a mechanism for access even when the VM’s image renders the instance inaccessible. It is possible to reboot a virtual machine in rescue mode. A rescue VM is launched that allows a user to fix their VMs (by accessing with a new root password).

Pause / Un-pause – This command stores the state of the VM in RAM. A paused instance continues to run in a frozen state.

Suspend / Resume – Administrative users might want to suspend / resume an instance if it is infrequently used or to perform system maintenance. When you suspend an instance, its VM state is stored on disk, all memory is written to disk, and the virtual machine is stopped. Suspending an instance is similar to placing a device in hibernation; memory and vCPUs become available to create other instances.

Inject Networking – Allows to  set up a private network between two or more virtual machines. This network won’t be seen from the other virtual machines nor from the real network.

Inject File – It is a feature that allows to include files during the boot. Normally the target is a root partition of guest images. There are sub features that enable further functionality to inspect arbitrarily complex guest images and find the root partition to inject to.

Serial Console Output – It is possible to access VM directly using the TTY Serial Console interface, in which case setting up bridged networking, SSH, and similar is not necessary.

VNC Console – VNC (Virtual Network Computing)  is a software for remote control, it is based on server agents installed on the hypervisor. This feature indicates the support of VNC for the hypervisor and VMs.

SPICE Console – Red Hat introduced the SPICE remote computing protocol that is used for Spice client-server communication. Other components developed include QXL display device and driver, etc, solution for interaction with virtualized desktop devices.The Spice project deals with both the virtualized devices and the front-end. It is needed to enable the spice server in qemu and also needs a client to view the guest.

RDP Console – It allows to connect the hypervisor and VMs via Remote Desktop Protocol based console.

Attach / Detach Volume Allows to add / remove new volume in the volume pool. This feature also allows to add / remove extra Volumes to existing running VMs.

Live Migration – Migration describes the process of moving a guest virtual machine from one host physical machine to another. This is possible because guest virtual machines are running in a virtualized environment instead of directly on the hardware. In a live migration, the guest virtual machine continues to run on the source host physical machine while its memory pages are transferred, in order, to the destination host physical machine.

Snapshot – A snapshot creates a coherent copy of a number of block devices at a given time. Live snapshot are used if a snapshot is taken while a virtual machine is running. Ideal for live backup of guests, without guest intervention.

iSCSI – iSCSI is Internet Small Computer System Interface, an Internet Protocol (IP)-based storage networking standard for linking data storage facilities. This feature of an Hypervisor means that you can add iSCSI based disks  to the storage pool.

iSCSI CHAP – Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol (CHAP) is a network login protocol that uses a challenge-response mechanism. You can use CHAP authentication to restrict iSCSI access to volumes and snapshots to hosts that supply the correct account name and password (or “secret”) combination. Using CHAP authentication can facilitate the management of access controls because it restricts access through account names and passwords, instead of IP addresses or iSCSI initiator names.

Fibre Channel – This feature indicates that the hypervisor support optical fiber connectivity. In particular for Fibre Channel storage network which are cabled and configured with the appropriate Fibre Channel switches. This has implication on how the zones are configured. For example, KVM virtualization with VMControl supports only SAN storage over Fibre Channel. Typically, one of the fabric switches is configured with the zoning information. Additionally, VMControl requires that the Fibre Channel network has hard zoning enabled.

Set Admin Pass – This feature is the use of a guest agent to change the administrative (root) password on an instance.

Get Guest Info – To get info about the guest machine of the hypervisor. This info can be retrieved within VM. Hypervisors can handle several guest machines which are resource configurations assigned by the virtualisation environment.

Get Host Info – To get information about the node which is hosting the  VMs.

Glance Integration – Glance is the image storage system used to store images of VM. This feature indicates that the hypervisor integrates glance storage capabilities.

Service Control – The hypervisor / compute is a collection of services that enable you to launch virtual machine instances. You can configure these services to run on separate nodes or the same node. Most services run on the controller node and the service that launches virtual machines runs on a dedicated compute node. This feature also allow to install and configure these services on the controller node.

VLAN Networking – It indicates that it is possible to pass VLAN traffic from a virtual machine out to the wider network.

Flat Networking – FlatNetworking uses ethernet adapters configured as bridges to allow network traffic to transit between all the various nodes. This setup can be done with a single adapter on the physical host, or multiple. This option does not require a switch that does VLAN tagging as VLAN networking does, and is a common development installation or proof of concept setup. For example, when you choose Flat networking, Nova does not manage networking at all. Instead, IP addresses are injected into the instance via the file system (or passed in via a guest agent). Metadata forwarding must be configured manually on the gateway if it is required within your network.

Security Groups – This is a feature of the hypervisor (compute). There are similar features offered by cloud Networking Service using a mechanism that is more flexible and powerful than the security group capabilities built in. In this case the built in should be disabled and proxy all security group calls to the Networking API . If you do not, security policies will conflict by being simultaneously applied by both services.

Firewall Rules – Allows service providers to apply firewall rules at a level above security group rules.

Routing –    It is the feature of the hypervisor to map internal addresses and external public addresses. The network part of the hypervisor essentially functions as an L2 switch and routing.

Config Drive – Auto configure disk – Automatically reconfigure the size of the partition to match the size of the flavor’s root drive before booting

Evacuate – As cloud administrator, while you are managing your cloud, you may get to the point where one of the cloud compute nodes fails. For example, due to hardware malfunction. At that point you may use server evacuation in order to make managed instances available again.

Volume swap – The hypervisor support the definition of a swap volume (disk) to be utilised as additional virtual memory.

Volume rate limiting – It is rate limiting (per day , hour ) for volume access, It is used to enable rate-limiting for all back-ends regardless of built-in feature set of back-ends.

Twitter: @ICC-LabICC_Lab newsletter


ICCLab News – July 2014 Issue no.2

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ZHAW Service Engineering ICCLab periodically sends Newsletters with short information about latest activities of the lab and relevant events. This is the newsletter for July 2014.

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