How to Write a Cinder Driver

After too many hours of trial and error and searching for the right solution on how to properly write and integrate your own backend in cinder, here are all the steps and instructions necessary. So if you are looking for a guide on how to integrate your own cinder driver, look no further. Continue reading

Service Engineering Highlights 2015

The year 2016 has arrived. I hope you had an excellent time with family for the Christmas and New Year celebrations and are prepared for 2016 with vigour and motivation.

Looking back at the year 2015, we witnessed a plethora of events around the world that will shape a different tomorrow. Detrimental changes in technology, politics, weather that moves or pushes humanity to a new era, sometimes bringing positive changes and some occurrences forcing a step backwards. Continue reading

4th Open Cloud Day – Highlights

ocd3The 4th Open Cloud Day, which we co-organised with The Swiss Open Users Group (/ch/open), took place earlier this week. The event held a gathering of about 120 participants, from industry and academia together. There were in total 17 talks and 3 workshop sessions.

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SmartDataCenter APIs – turning up the Heat

As mentioned in the first post about SmartDataCenter, it features various APIs. In this post we will have a look at them. Further I would like to present sdcadmin & sdc-heat, two small Python projects I have been working on. The former is a Python client library for SDCs admin APIs. The latter is an OpenStack Heat plugin that allows provisioning of SmartMachines and KVM VMs on SDC.

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Introduction to SmartDataCenter

Joyent recently open sourced the IaaS Platform SmartDataCenter and the Object Storage Manta, the software they use for their own service offerings. So, what’s all the buzz about? Why should you be excited? Why is it even worth talking (or in this case, writing) about SDC when we have OpenStack? In this blog post I will cover some of the fundamentals of SDC and why it’s worth a second look.

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Events: 30th birthday of the Swiss Informatics Society SI today at the HES-SO Fribourg.

As announced in previous posts, we report below the agenda of the  Cloud Computing in Switzerland workshop, chaired by ICCLab  from 8.45 AM to 10.45 AM today at the 30th birthday of the Swiss Informatics Society SI – the HES-SO Fribourg.

8:45 – 9:00  Intro by Christof Marti (ZHAW)

Workshop introduction, goals and activities on Cloud Computing at ZHAW.

9:00-09:20  Peter Kunszt  (Systemsx) 

The view of the scientific community on technological trends and the opportunities offered by Cloud Computing infrastructures.

Cloud computing services for research – first steps and recommendations”

9:20-09:40 Markus Brunner (Swisscom)

The view of the operators on how cloud computing is transforming the ecosystem and related risks & challenges.

9:40-10:00  Sergio Maffioletti (University of Zurich) 

The view of the scientific community on how cloud technology could be used as a foundation for building a national research support infrastructure.

“Roadmap for an Open Cloud Academic Research Infrastructure”

10:00-10:20 Michèal Higgins  (CloudSigma) - remote

The view of the industry on how cloud computing is transforming the ecosystem and related risks & challenges.

“CloudSigma and the Challenges of Big Science in the Cloud”

10:20-10:40 Muharem Hrnjadovic (RackSpace)

An overview of key capabilities of cloud based infrastructures like OpenStack and challenging scenarios.

10:40-10:45 All

Q&A session

 

Monitoring and OpenStack

Motivation for OpenStack monitoring

Many people think it maybe an unnecessary burden to set up a monitoring system for their infrastructure. However this, when it comes to an OpenStack installation should be considered indispensable and required. Knowing which resources are used by which VMs (and tenants) is crucial for cloud computing providers as well for their customers from billing and usage perspectives.

Customers want to be sure they get what they pay for at any time whereas the cloud provider needs the information for his billing and rating system. Furthermore this information can be useful when it comes to dimension and scalability questions.

Requirements for OpenStack monitoring

For monitoring an OpenStack environment there are different requirements:

  • An OpenStack monitoring tool must be able to monitor not only physical machines but also virtual machines or network devices.
  • The information of the monitored resources must be assignable to its tenant.
  • The metered values must be collected and correlated automatically
  • The monitoring tool must be as generic as possible to ensure support of any device.
  • The monitoring tool must offer an API.

 

architecture monitoring tool

Architecture Monitoring Tool

 

As-is state

There exist a lot of tools for network and server monitoring like Nagios, Zabbix and Munin. Most of them do not easily support OpenStack monitoring.

Zenoss is one of the few monitoring tools that supports an integration for OpenStack. It is possible to download and install an extension for OpenStack monitoring (https://github.com/zenoss/ZenPacks.zenoss.OpenStack). Unfortunately the latest version of this extension does only support the OpenStack API Version 1.1. The Folsom release ships with an OpenStack API version 2.0. The extension allows Zenoss to collect data only from a single tenant. That is not good enough because we need some more data to do rating and billing.

Another promising monitoring tool will be included in the upcoming OpenStack release Grizzly (March 2013) and is known as Ceilometer.  It will be part of the OpenStack core. Ceilometer makes it easy to monitor VMs belonging to a tenant. What Ceilometer cannot offer at the moment is physical device monitoring.

After an evaluation we decided to extend Ceilometer to monitor the physical devices as well. With this extension Ceilometer will be able to monitor the whole OpenStack environment of the ICCLab and provide the data for further systems like the billing module.

Puppet

Puppet is an infrastructure automation system for the efficient management of large scale infrastructures. Using a declarative approach puppet can manage infrastructure lifecycles from provisioning, configuration, update and compliance management. All of these management capabilities are managed logically in a centralised fashion, however the system itself can be implemented in a distributed manner. A key motivation in using puppet is that all system configuration is codified using puppet’s declarative language. This enables the sharing of “infrastructure as code” not only through out an organisation but outside of an organisation by following open source models. Puppet is the automation framework that enables [the ICCLab research infrastructure](http://www.cloudcomp.ch/research/foundation/projects/the-init-cloud-lab/).

OpenShift

[OpenShift](https://openshift.redhat.com/app/) is one of the Open Source Platform as a Service cloud computing frameworks that the ICCLabs works with. For developers, deploying their application to this runtime is a simple as using the all-familiar `git` command. Currently, OpenShift supports the following development runtimes:

* node.js
* Ruby (Rack, RoR)
* Python (WSGI, Django)
* Perl (PSGI)
* PHP (CodeIgniter, CakePHP)
* Java (Java EE 6)

CloudFoundry

“[Cloud Foundry](http://www.cloudfoundry.com) is an open platform as a service, providing a choice of clouds, developer frameworks and application services. Initiated by VMware, with broad industry support, Cloud Foundry makes it faster and easier to build, test, deploy and scale applications. It is an open source project and is available through a variety of private cloud distributions and public cloud instances, including CloudFoundry.com.” [CloudFoundry FAQ](http://www.cloudfoundry.com/faq#whatis)