OSCON 2012 => Monday Ignited, Tuesday OpenShift Session ++

OSCON 2012 Opening Doors
OSCON 2012 Opening Doors

Today kicked off with a monster Reggie Biscuit from Pine State Biscuits. If you live in Portland or are visiting just for the conference and like soul food of the tastiest nature, check it out.

My first day ended up not as planned. Instead of attending sessions I ended up meeting a number of people and discussing the future of Cloud Foundry, where it is headed and in general, the direction of PaaS Technologies. I met Andy Piper (@andypiper) and Raja Rao (@rajaraodv) and discussed Node.js and Cloud Foundry specifically. We then dove into trying out some of the CLI features in the latest VMC builds.

After that I met Mark Atwood for a brief few moments. As always, Mark’s a friendly guy, and might I add pretty smart too. I’ve enjoyed our conversations in the past during the AWS Meetups in Seattle too. He’s always got interesting thoughts and perspectives on open source, linux and now on PaaS Technology too. Ya see, Mark has become the Red Hat OpenShift Advocate. It’s a perfect fit, as Mark loves this stuff!

Ignite!  ….or Bailey’s for more tech talk and #nodejs discussions.

After all of this I almost, and had planned, to attend the Ignite Presentations after OSCON, but instead ended up heading over to talk with some Node.js & JavaScript Coders about some of our latest efforts around getting concrete performance benchmarks for Node.js and some of the various libraries in use.

That brings us to Tuesday…

Tuesday brought forth a super busy, exciting and educational day. I headed straight to OSCON for the OpenShift Workshop with Mark Atwood & Krishna Raman (Mark’s Twitter is @fallenpegasus). The session was great and they hit on a lot of hugely important topics. Let’s go through each of these real quick, as this is where more than just the tech bits were involved.

OpenShift is Truly Open Source Software

Mark & Krishna made a strong point to outline and show how and why OpenShift is open source. For instance, they are following the original precepts of a particular guy named Stallman (http://stallman.org/ if you’re unfamiliar with Richard, he’s the guy who got GNU happening and a major originating advocate of open source software). Mark pointed out that Red Hat is open to keeping the governance of the project completely open, would even cede it to another governance entity when it grows beyond just Red Hat, and they intend to keep all the communication very open and public, as intended with open source projects.

Another thing that Mark and Krishna pointed out, was that the software is on github, and not just in a psuedo “read-only” state, but in an actively useful way, with interactions and tracking on github. The point being that there is no hidden processing of the code or private repositories of code. What you see is what you get in this regard. In addition all of the code that is available, is the exact code that Red Hat is using to actually host the OpenShift PaaS that they provide for testing and demoes. Simply, it is all there available in a completely open, contribution based, interactive, and publicly accessible way.

So far this is even more evident if you do a google search or even trace the twitter activity. They definitely have the search engines working in their favor with all of that searchable content publicly available.

Cloud Foundry & OpenShift

I’m still a huge Cloud Foundry fan, the team and effort and product is getting to be in pretty solid shape. However OpenShift is definitely here to provide some competitive interest. In the end, I’m a fan of PaaS Technology and what it can do for software developers and what we’re trying to achieve on a daily basis. The potential of PaaS to improve, dramatically, the software development lifecycle while reducing the overhead cost is pretty huge. The key is, people have to be aware of and start utilizing the technology well. Just implementing it and saying “I have PaaS” is one thing, but improving your software development process to use PaaS technologies well is where the seriously powerful advantage is.

I’m looking forward to seeing the market unfold and start making progress with these technologies. On that note, day #1 and #2 are finished for me. Cheers!

An Open Source Software ala VMware Guide :: A.K.A. Get Clarity on Contributing to the CloudFoundry Project!

I’ve jumped into committing some source code to the Cloud Foundry Project and I wanted to document the process so far. The Cloud Foundry project is a little trickier than most open source projects, because there are a host of tools around the process. As that is the case, it isn’t a simple github repository with easy to push pull requests and other flows. Instead, there’s a trick to it all and that’s what this blog entry is about. These observations about getting a first pull request submitted:

  • The instructions, sort of, are located here for contributions: http://cloudfoundry.org/contribute There however seems to be some key parts missing from these (or I didn’t find them on any of the immediate links). The main one being any connection, information, or workflow around the internal git repository that they have setup. That should be more prominently displayed. Can I submit a pull request for the contributions page?  🙂
  • The github repository. I won’t beat around the bush on this particular observation. The github repository is almost entirely useless. You can’t send pull requests to it, nobody communicates around it, and all the existing pull requests are dead. It is a read-only repo of the internal git repo. So don’t look there for any key pieces of information – check the Google Groups and other information I’ve linked in this blog entry.
  • The real code base is in an internal git repository held by VMware that has a gerrit (code review) + Jenkins (awesome build server). This is actually a pretty slick setup. Albeit I admit this is absolutely more work for contributors. But when you got a hot potato you gotta pass around the pain (is that even an colloquialism? Probably not, so I just made it up).
  • There are some very useful google groups that you should sign up for if you intend to contribute code to Cloud Foundry.  This is where all the super smart and also friendly Cloud Foundry core team hang out. Even if you aren’t going to commit code, go sign up anyway. You’ll be able to get a lot of very useful information from these guys related to setting up, using, and deploying Cloud Foundry. http://groups.google.com/a/cloudfoundry.org/groups/dir
  • They also ask you to sign a document related to contributions located here: http://cloudfoundry.org/individualcontribution.pdf basically promising you didn’t steal someone else’s code and that you won’t sue VMware for making this code public.
  • The JIRA site (another account login you’ll need to setup, it is worth it to, so get one if you intend to commit code. Otherwise if you just want to lurk then don’t really worry about the JIRA site too much.)
  • Once you are logged in to the Google Groups you can hit this link: https://groups.google.com/a/cloudfoundry.org/group/vcap-dev/browse_thread/thread/af205159a17ec358 which actually has the best instructions I’ve found on getting a good clone and submitting a pull request via the gerrit command line tool.
  • Another more immediate way to get help is to bounce into IRC via freenode and join the #cloudfoundry channel. The core devs plus a number of other coders hang out in that room.

Getting it Cloned

Per the instructions above, the first thing you’ll need is the code base. You’ll need to make sure you have a gerrit account first and that you’ve submitted your SSH public keys to gain access. Then get the vcap code base via the gerrit CLI:

[sourcecode language=”bash”]
$ sudo gem install gerrit-cli
Successfully installed gerrit-cli-0.0.11 gem installed
Installing ri documentation for gerrit-cli-0.0.1…
Installing RDoc documentation for gerrit-cli-0.0.1…

I left the results of the command in just for familiarities sake. The next command is to clone the repo gerrit style.

[sourcecode language=”bash”]
$ gerrit clone ssh://adron@reviews.cloudfoundry.org:29418/vcap
Cloning into ‘vcap’…remote:
Counting objects: 12253, doneremote: Finding sources: 100% (12253/12253)Receiving objects: 89% (10961/12253), Receiving objects: 89% (10961/12253), Receiving objects: 89% (10961/12253), Receiving objects: 89% (10961/12253), Receiving objects: 89% (10961/12253), Receiving objects: 89% (10961/12253), 247.05Receiving objects: 94% (11631/12
Receiving objects: 94% (11631/12253), Receiving objects: 94% (11631/12253), Receiving objects: 94% (11631/12253), Receiving objects: 94% (11631/12253), 548.27 MiB | 105
remote: Total 12253 (delta 6438), reused 11765 (delta 6438)
Receiving objects: 100% (12253/12253), 773.92 MiB | 311 KiB/s, done.

Resolving deltas: 100% (6438/6438), done.

Installing commit-msg hooks into ‘vcap/.git/hooks’.commit-msg
100% 2331 2.3KB/s 00:00

Installing tracked git hooks:


NOTE: This will likely take a long while for the vcap repo. It took me about 45 minutes to clone. That’s based on two seperate machines on two different fast internet connections with two different operating systems.  So just be patient.

Then just cd vcap into the working directory and create your changes. Once the changes are committed then pull the latest, merging again if needed, and then push the pull request via the following command.

[sourcecode language=”bash”]
$ gerrit push[/sourcecode]

Once that is done your pull request will be put into the continuous integration build queue. Then someone from the core team will up vote your code or deny it with reasons. You can check out the status:

The OSS-Docs are located on Github, check those out here. They’re not super complete, but the information they do have in them is pretty solid. So check these out while hacking:  https://github.com/cloudfoundry/oss-docs.

In my next write up about my efforts with Cloud Foundry, I’ll dive into what I’m pushing and what for. So keep reading, I’ll be back with more good bits.

Learn About TDD, Cloud Foundry, OSS, and OS Bridge

I’ll be attending OS Bridge (you should attend too, it’s only a few hundred bucks!!) this year. Hopefully I’ll be presenting also but I need everybody’s help! If you would, favorite (with the star) my presentations/workshops. Also leave a note of feedback related to how you’d dig seeing me present!  (I’ll owe ya a beer, feel free to call me on it at OS Bridge and the round is on me!)

Presentation #1:  Putting It Together, Letting Apps Lead the Cycle, TDD in the Cloud (Click Here to Favorite)

I’ll be taking a deep dive into cloud architectures and how to build applications, generally at the PaaS level mixed with a little IaaS, to get people rolling with high velocity, high quality, and without the need to worry about the little things.


Want to learn about why PaaS and cloud computing is altering the very fabric of the development cycle? Want to know how to dive in with some abstractions and behavioral practices on the cloud, using PaaS, to bring apps, prototypes, and UX to market faster than anyone else? I’ll be touching on all of these things during this long form session. The sessions will step through these core concepts and ideas.

  • How to get up and running using cloud computing technologies and specifically to take advantage of PaaS providers.
  • How to bring UX designs and prototypes into a usable state even faster.
  • How to bridge that gap between development, test, QA, user acceptance testing, staging, and production (or whatever environments…) without blowing the bank.
  • How to scale, once the cycle is in place and continuous deployment is ready.

Presentation #2: Removing the Operating System Barrier with Platform as a Service (Click Here to Favorite)

This session will cover the major advances of platform as a service technology, what’s available in the OSS space to enable faster, easier, higher quality software development cycles in the cloud. The session will complete with a demo of PAAS technology in use, deploying a highly scalable, distributed & dispersed web application.


This presentation will show why PAAS is the way of the future for application deployments. Enterprise, small business, and especially startups will want to learn more about the available PAAS OSS technology and also learn about what is coming in the near future.

This presentation will build upon my New Relic Blog Series on “Removing the Operating System Barrier with Platform as a Service”:

Spotlight on HP Open Source

While at OSCON 2011 I spoke to a Phil Robb, Bryan Gartner, and Terri Molini with HP. Phil is heading up the Open Source Program Office for HP, which we spoke about.

Context and Clarity: I knew HP was involved in cloud computing to some degree, know they make tons of devices, hardware, printers, and know they are involved in open source. Beyond that I did not know too much about any particular aspect of HP, nor have I ever worked for them. So if I swoon in response to any of their products or open source efforts don’t think I’m just being a shill, because if you know me, you know better! With that, let’s hit on this discussion and exploration of HP.

The first BIG thing that HP announced, that we all learned about at once via OSCON is HP’s signing up to support the OpenStack Project!  This is pretty big news, as OpenStack is a big deal for future Cloud Computing Development focuses on enabling a company versus locking them into a single provider. For those that don’t know much about OpenStack, I’ll be publishing a Spotlight on OpenStack in the near future!

Cloud Computing, Not Just OpenStack

During our conversation, one of the things I really wanted to know about was HP’s efforts around cloud computing without any specific focus. I wanted to know where they are headed, what their plans are, and how they’re currently involved. Of course many of those questions can be answered just by looking at HP’s signing on with OpenStack! Me being the curious type, I wanted more though.

Phil laid out the focus for me with a great quote, “Open Source & Mobile is exceedingly important, and we’re right there with cloud technologies as well.”  As our conversation progressed it is evident that HP has many current inroads they’re making into cloud computing. Some of those include Linux (of course that’s a no brainer! :)), the LinuxCOE, and other deployment and management software.

Talking to Phil, Bryan, and some other HP Devs and Evangelists we discussed the various approachs HP is taking to get people “cloud enabled”. Their approach is open, as one might expect, and encompasses a wide breadth of capabilities. One of the approaches they have is the distribution of virtual images, regardless of your virtualization software. They’ve worked to provide additional ways to expand and distribute images as necessary.

Web OS, Webkit, and V8

HP also contributes or works with several technologies within the JavaScript Tech Stack including Node.js, V8, and Webkit. They also use these tools extensively in putting together solutions for WebOS or other tool stacks internally. I’m always stoked to hear about more companies and individuals stepping in and contributing even more to Node.js, V8, and that whole echelon of server side js technology.

Other tools, technologies and efforts they’re actively contributing to in some way or another include jQuery, PhoneGap Applications, and others. HP reviews several thousands projects monthly and makes decisions to get involved or contribute in other ways.


HP is a major contributor of several major open source projects. They contribute actively and are involved actively, making a positive impact to the community and projects themselves. HP’s ongoing efforts with cloud computing is continuing to grow, and with the recent boarding of the OpenStack train they’re in line to make some major steps into the cloud computing world. Overall, I’m impressed, to HP & the teams there, keep up the good work. You guys and gals are kicking ass!

OSCON: The Web, It’s HUGE! Cloud Computing More Realistically…

It is day 3 of OSCON data & java, and the kick off to the main keynotes and core conference. There are a repeating topics throughout the conference:

The Web, It’s Still HUGE!  Imagine that!

HTML 5, CSS3, JavaScript/jQuery/Node.js – This is starting to look like it will be the development stack of the web. If you use ASP.NET MVC, Ruby on Rails, PHP, Java, or some other web stack these core technologies are here to augment or even in some cases completely replace traditional web stacks.

Node.js can replace web servers in some situations when core APIs or other fundamental simple services are needed. In addition to that the Node server will eventually, I have no doubt, be able to completely replace traditional web servers like Apache, Tomcat, or IIS for almost any web site. In addition to web sites though, Node provides a very valuable engine to develop and test hard core JavaScript, building reusable libraries, and other server oriented needs. The other huge boost for Node.js is the ability for a dev shop to be able to centralize development around a single language. Something that Java and .NET have tried in the past, yet failed to ever achieve. The big irony is JavaScript never started out with this intent, but here it is!

In addition to Node.js making inroads to the server environments worldwide, JavaScript in general is starting to be used for all sorts of tools, stacks, and frameworks outside of just the browser. It can be used to submit a request against Hadoop, it can create a way to access and manipulate CouchDb, MongoDb, and other databases. Javascript is becoming the one language to rule them all (please excuse my Tolkenism 😉 )

Cloud Computing or More Realistically, “Distributed, Geographically Dispersed, Highly Available, Highly Available, Resilient, Compute and Storage Segmented Functionality, and not to forget, Business Agility Oriented Utility Computing“.

Long enough title? There are numerous open source cloud platforms and infrastructure offerings available. At OSCON there was discussion and multiple session about OpenStack, the Open Cloud Initiative, Stratos, and other open software solutions for cloud computing. This is great news for developer working with cloud computing technologies, especially for ongoing efforts and pushes to gain adoption of cloud computing within Enterprise.

Companies will continue to push their own proprietary capabilities and features, but it would behoove the industry to standardize on an open platform such as OpenStack. Currently most major cloud/utility computing providers such as Amazon Web Services and Windows Azure lock a company into their specific APIs, SDKs, and custom way of doing things. A development team that is savvy can prevent that, but if the core feature sets around comput, storage, and otherwise were standardized this lock in issue could be resolved.

Half Way Mark, Check

So far the conference has provided lots of insight into the open source community. Announcements have been made that keep the open source community moving forward into the future. With that, some of the things to look forward to:

  • I’ll have some in depth coverage of products, product releases, and services for some of the top open source companies.
  • I will hopefully win a Github T-shirt, to go along with my score of t-shirts for Heroku and others that I’ve received!
  • I’ll dig into some of the bleeding edge technologies around cloud computing including the likes of DotCloud!
So stay tuned, I’ll be back with the action packed details shortly.  Cheers!