Build a Cloud Day roundup

On Thursday 10th October, the quarterly meeting of the CloudStack European User Group was combined with a Build A Cloud Day – a format for people looking to understand the basics of building clouds using open-source technology.

The event  was hosted by our friends ControlCircle: a leading provider of managed and cloud-based services to enterprises and on-line businesses. ControlCircle have been involved in the Cloudstack community for some time now: using Cloudstack as the basis for their own managed cloud product, Hybrix

The morning session started with an introduction from Sebastien Goasguen (@Sebgoa) , Citrix open source evangelist and Cloudstack committer and PMC member. Sebastien did a great session, introducing Apache Cloudstack as a technology, it’s history and also explained a number of complementary OSS technologies from Apache and other sources.

Next up was Giles Sirett (@shapeblue) , CEO of ShapeBlue and author of this blog who did a talk on the Business Use cases for Apache Cloudstack, looking at what’s driving organisations to build IaaS cloud infrastructures and also why those organisations are choosing Apache Cloudstack ahead of other technologies.

Paul Angus (@cloudyangus) then took us on a beginners tour of the cloudstack UI and API, with his talk “CloudStack 101”. Always one to be ambitious, Paul decided to do a series of live demos based on an environment he had built during the first coffee break (to be fair, comms issues had prevented him getting out to his intended demo environment ). Paul did great job of explaining key UI & API features of Cloudstack and tied them in nicely to both public cloud and devops use-casees’. He also did a great job of showing us how Xen server doesn’t like the 16k of memory his laptop had available and how to read the cloudstack error log :-)

After Paul, Geoff Higginbottom (@cloudstackguru) did a short “Introduction to Cloudstack Networking” talk . Many people acknowledge that there’s nobody on planet earth who knows as much about Cloudstack Networking as Geoff. Luckily he decided to throttle back a little on his usual detail levels and did an excellent job of explaining the key cloudstack networking features and also had a good look that the new & improved VPC functionality available in Cloudstack 4.2

After lunch, we had a couple of talks looking at new and exciting storage options available around the cloudstack ecosystem. Wido den Hollander (@widoh) did a great presentation on his work to integrate Cloudstack to Ceph. As well as learning about Ceph (a, hugely scalable distributed storage platform ), I found Widos talk really exciting as it demonstrates the power of an well governed open source project. 18 months ago, Wido’s company decided that they would like to use both Ceph and Cloudstack in their hosting environment . Unfortunately, there was no integration between the two so Wido stepped up and, almost singlehandedly, wrote the integration. The power of OSS projects to bring about innovation like this never ceases to amaze me.

Next up was Stuart McCaul from Basho. Basho are makers (or rather, governors since its all been open-sourced) of RIAK and RIAK CS, a really nice distributed database & object store that integrates beautifully with Cloudstack. It’s exciting to see Basho also committed to integrating their technology into Cloudstack

Many thanks for ControlCircle for hosting, ShapeBlue (my employers) for organising the event and the pizza, and to all of the speakers who gave up their time to share their experiences.

The final point to note was that attendees of the day were invited to the upcoming Cloudstack Collaboration Conference (20-22 November, Amsterdam). It would be great to see some attendees of the event in London, being able to make this great conference.