Although it may be a bit self-indulgent, I’d like to kick off 2016 with a look back on my blog stats for 2015.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 250,000 times in 2015. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 11 days for that many people to see it.
A couple of weeks ago I attended KubeCon in San Francisco. There were a series of talks as well as a bunch of vendors who were there in mini-booths chatting with folks and showing off what they do. As always, the part I get the most out of at conferences like this is the “hallway track” where I get to chat one-on-one with various folks.
One such folk was Sarah Novotny, who recently joined Google as the first Kubernetes community lead. Check out the video below where Sarah talks about her goals for the community, how it will fit with the Cloud Native Computing Foundation and how she hopes to extend this beyond a Google only effort.
About a year ago Senior Linux engineer Jose De la Rosa had heard so much Docker and container-mania that he thought he’d find out what the fuss was all about. Jose started looking around for an app within Dell that he could containerize and came across Dell’s OpenManage Server Administrator (OMSA). In case you’re wondering, OMSA is an in house application used to manage and monitor Dell’s PowerEdge servers. Rather than being a micro-service based application, OMSA is an old school legacy app.
To hear how Jose tackled the task, why, and what he learned, check out the following video (also take a look at the deck below that he presented at the Austin Docker meet up).
Here’s the deck Jose presented at the Austin Docker Meetup back in September.
For more info about what Jose and the Dell Linux engineering team are doing in this space, check out linux.dell.com/docker
Last week I headed out to San Francisco to attend Kubecon and soak in the Kubernetes and devops-ecosystem goodness. As the event landing page explained:
KubeCon 2015 is the first inaugural community Kubernetes conference, fully dedicated to education and community engagement focused on early Kubernetes, production users and contributors.
As I normally do at events like this I prowled the halls to look for folks doing cool stuff to interview with my trusty Flipcam.
One of the people I chatted with was Kenneth Jung, developer lead on the Photon Controller team at VMware. The Photon Controller, in short, is a cloud scale IO solution for managing ESX. (One of the things Kenneth alludes to is the open sourcing of the Controller which ended up happening yesterday.)
Some of the ground Kenneth covers
What is the photon controller – cloud scale io solution for managing ESX
How the cluster manager makes deployment and management of large of container frameworks like Kubernetes, easy
How VMware looks at VMs vs containers
The Photon microvisor + Photon OS used in Photon Controller
They will have a cloud foundry release early next year
VMware extends container campaign with open source Photon Controller – InfoWorld
VMware’s Photon Platform and How it Treats Containers – The NewStack
Today ClusterHQ and Dell announced the availability on GitHub of code that allows ClusterHQ’s Flocker to integrate with the Dell Storage SC Series. What this does is allow developer and operations teams to use existing storage to create portable container-level storage for Docker.
Before we dive into the back story on how the plugin came to be, take a listen to ClusterHQ’s founder and CTO Luke Marsden. Luke explains Flocker, how its being used and talks about the Dell/Flocker driver.
How the plugin came about
Rather than coming from an internal planning process or committee, the idea for a Flocker plugin came from Dell storage coder Sean McGinnis. Sean was looking for ways to make Dell Storage an infrastructure component in an open source environment. Some time back he noticed that Flocker seemed to be a good integration point to allow the use of Dell Storage for users looking to move to containerized solutions.
Sean saw a lot of overlap with what his team was already doing with their OpenStack Cinder driver (both written in Python, with some common storage management concepts). He realized that that they could reuse the majority of this code for a Flocker driver by providing the Flocker driver interface to translate Flocker calls into our storage API. Along with Ian Anderson (another Dell Storage engineer) the pair engaged ClusterHQ to explore requirements for brining Storage Center support to Flocker.
Sean and Ian then worked internally to implement our Flocker driver, open source it and put the code up on GitHub.
The code, storage and beyond
-> You can check out the code and play with it for yourself here on GitHub.
Going forward the team is looking to expand Dell Storage’s open source offerings hosted on GitHub. They see a lot of potential for containers and will continue working in this space to make sure enterprise customers can leverage their storage arrays to support these developing environments.
Beyond storage, Dell is looking to start open sourcing more code and putting it up on GitHub. Don’t expect a deluge right off the bat but hopefully over time you will start seeing more and more.
The Container Wars Are Under Way As Dell, And Others, Add Flocker Support – Tom’s IT Pro
Dell works with Cluster HQ to allow Docker containers to leverage Dell Storage – Dell4Enterprise
As Dell as a company continues to evolve we have started implementing DevOps practices in our software development. Dell IT is employing DevOps as are some of our product development teams.
In the following video, systems engineer Chris Gully explains how Dell’s Active System Manager has incorporated DevOps into its development. (the audio could be a bit better so you’ll have to crank it up a bit for Chris 🙂
Yesterday at Dell World, Dell’s annual customer event, I did a session entitled: DevOps, Containers and Microservices: Buzzwords or fundamental to survival?
The idea was to explain these concepts, show how they serve as a foundation for digital transformation and talk about where Dell plays in the space. (see abstract below)
Topics and times
2:20 – 5:54 What is DevOps?
6:58 – 9:30 What are containers?
10:24 – 12:30 What are microservices?
12:30- 15:00 Where does Dell play? (professional services, testing, creating MVPs)
Check it out.
Gartner believe that by 2016, DevOps will evolve from a niche strategy employed by large cloud providers to a mainstream strategy employed by 25% of the largest 2000 global organizations . One of the key developments within this space is Container technologies. In turn both DevOps and container technologies are proof of a larger shift in IT to a microservices architecture.
These technologies together serve as the foundation for agility and responsiveness in the modern enterprise. They give organizations an increased ability to serve their customers and, more importantly, are ultimately key to organizational survival in the modern world . This session will explain these technologies in terms of what they mean to your business and how they fit within larger trends in the industry.
 Tech Go-to-Market: How to win with DevOps buyers, May 15, 2015; Gartner
The XPS 13 9343 utilizes the Microsoft Precision Touchpad specification in I2C mode. The specific feature within the Microsoft Precision Touchpad specification is the “Confidence” feature:
Confidence is used to indicate that the contact does not have any dimensions (height or width) > 25mm that implies that it is not an unintended contact. Windows Precision Touchpads should not reject any contacts in firmware processing, but should forward all contacts to the host and indicate the confidence. After a device has deemed a contact to be unintentional, it shall clear the confidence bit for that contact report and all subsequent reports. Until a contact has been deemed unintentional, the device shall set the confidence bit for that contact being reported.
With that feature correctly implemented, palm rejection in I2C mode should work.
Driver feature development is something we work with our vendors on ensuring they develop, though in this case they won’t since the Microsoft Precision Touchpad specification is a feature that falls outside of vendor-specific needs. Synaptics (or any other touchpad vendor) is unlikely to implement this feature in the Linux i2c_hid driver because it’s not vendor-specific but instead a Microsoft specification.
Here is information addressing the lack of palm detection with Ubuntu 15.04. A big shout out to Pilot6 who developed the steps below and shared them with the community on Ask Ubuntu
Some customers have reported frustration with the lack of palm detection due to limitations with the Synaptics driver currently implemented in current stable versions of the Linux Kernel. This walkthrough is intended for advanced users who would like to experiment with the alternate libinput input device driver. This has only been tested to work in the XPS 13 9343 using Ubuntu 15.04 and 15.10 beta.
Note: these steps are not supported by Dell support and you are performing this at your own risk. Compatibility issues could arise and result in your operating system being rendered unable to boot.
Install some needed packages by running the following commands.
Add the following to the blank file you just opened, these options should cause the touchpad to perform similar to an Apple Mac touchpad.
Option “Tapping” “true”
Option “TappingDragLock” “true”
Option “ClickMethod” “none”
Option “NaturalScrolling” “true”
There are many more options available. Not all options are supported, if the option is not supported than the default will be used. In the above example “Natural Scrolling” is set to “true”. If you don’t like natural scrolling just set that option to “false”. Follow the below link for an explanation of the many options that are able to be adjusted in the 99-libinput.conf
In addition to the recent fixes I posted for the XPS 13 developer edition, here is one more from the team.
Some customers may experience an issue where their system crashes when switching wireless networks while running the factory install of Ubuntu 14.04. The issue appears to be a bug within the Broadcom wireless driver. You can follow the bug report at the following link:
Here is my penultimate interview from ContainerCon. Today’s video features Arjan van de Ven of Intel, the lead for The Clear Linux Project. Clear Linux is Intel’s uber light weight OS and is targeted at cloud use cases.
Take a listen as Arjan takes us through the project.
Some of the ground Arjan covers:
Clear Linux as a modular micro distro that demonstrates how Intel’s hardware can be used.
How Clear Linux supports both containers and VMs
What’s coming in the next year for the Clear Linux project
Suspend resume and trackpad cursor freezing: The suspend resume issue and trackpad cursor freezing issue have been rolled up into “over the air” updates from Canonical. We previously had patches that were available through Dell Knowledgebase articles but will no longer be necessary. Going forward you only need to ensure your OS is fully updated to have these fixes in place.
Out of box crashing: The out of box experience crashing issue has been fixed through a change to the Ubuntu image put on the systems at the factory. All future systems shipped will no longer have this issue from the factory.
DisplayLink driver available: There is now a DisplayLink driver available to make the XPS 13 and M3800 developer editions compatible with our D3000 and D3100 USB 3.0 docking stations as well as the DA100 external video adapter. You can download the driver at the below link. http://www.displaylink.com/downloads/ubuntu.php
Kernel panics when switching wireless networks: there is a bug report filed for this and Canonical and Broadcom are both working on this. Canonical released a PPA, just go to the following link and add it to your repositories and then you can get the patch after running your normal updates. https://launchpad.net/~inaddy/+archive/ubuntu/lp1415880
A couple of weeks ago I took a new position here within Dell. I’m now in
Source: Schlomo Schapiro, OpenTechSummit 2015
the office of the CTO in our enterprise solutions group. In my new role the main areas I will be focusing on are DevOps and OpenSource. And, because you can’t swing a dead cat without hearing about “containers,” I will be looking into that as well. (I will also continue to drive Project Sputnik, the XPS 13 and M3800 developer editions)
While Dell has a bunch of activities in the above areas, they tend to be scattered across the company and we could do a better job of connecting them. This will be one of my internally focused tasks, helping to get these efforts more aligned in order to better help our customers.
Externally I will be talking with customers, vendors and partners to see how we can go about creating viable and valuable POCs that will hopefully lead to bigger solutions. Just like we did with project Sputnik, the idea will be to be transparent about these efforts and to start small and iterate. With the goal of applying lean/agile principles our approach will be to put together quick, basic POCs that we can make available for customers to access and give input on. The goal will be to draw on continuous feedback and course correct as we go.
That’s the plan at least. Watch this space to see how it all unfolds 🙂
Rancher Labs debuted late last year and it has already made quite a splash. Rancher positions itself as a complete infrastructure platform for running Docker in production or, putting it another way, it provides infrastructure services reimagined for containers.
Sheng Liang, who previously founded Cloud.com and then sold it to Citrix, is one of the founders of Rancher Labs and their CEO. I pulled Sheng away from the booth here at ContainerCon and asked him about his latest venture.
Some of the ground Sheng covers
What is Rancher labs and its main offerings: RancherOS (an uber light OS) and Rancher (a management platform for hosts and containers running on those hosts)
Where Sheng got the idea for Rancher labs
How they have taken in customer feedback and innovated to create offerings that hadn’t originally thought of e.g. RancherOS
Yesterday at ContainerCon here in Seattle I ran into Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical and the man behind Ubuntu. I asked Mark about some of the efforts Canonical has been focusing on recently and this is what he had to say:
This is what Mark had to say:
Some of the ground Mark covers:
Ubuntu on the mainframe
LXC (client) and LXD (on servers) which creates, migrates and kills containers
The recent Microsoft announcement that REST APIs from LXD will be implemented on windows
Canonical’s IoT work which leverages their efforts in the mobile area.
How Ubuntu Snappy works, why they built it and where are all the places its being used including drones
Their OpenStack work including connecting LXD w/openstack and using containers instead of VMs. Also how to make much larger openstack clouds and build the ecosystem.
Props for the 4th Generation of Project Sputnik, the XPS 13 developer edition laptop
The other day Canonical came to Dell for a show and tell. The Sputnik team, normally located in various buildings in Austin and Round Rock, all found ourselves in attendance at the event. Here is a quick meet-the-team video introducing ourselves, saying where we’re from and declaring our favorite TV show.
Additionally, here is a short case study giving the Project Sputnik history.
This morning at OSCON a special event was held to announce the launch of Kubernetes 1.0 (Google’s open source container management framework) as well as the introduction of the Cloud Native Computing foundation.
One of the key speakers at the event was Craig McLuckie of Google who is a founding member of Kubernetes’ team. Craig has also been working with the Linux Foundation to set up the Cloud Native Computing foundation.
I sat down with Craig for a quick chat regarding both of these efforts.
Some of the ground Craig covers:
Craig’s role at Google and his relationship with Kubernetes
Today’s announcement as it relates to both Kubernetes 1.0 and the Cloud Native Computing foundation.
Where does Craig see Kubernetes going over the next year and what new workloads will it run
As Kubernetes Hits 1.0, Google Donates Technology To Newly Formed Cloud Native Computing Foundation – TechCrunch
Cloud Native Computing Foundation seeks to forge cloud and container unity – ZDNet
Linux Foundation wrangles app container wranglers into new org – The Register
We are aware of some issues that need to be addressed with our XPS 13 developer edition. While patches have been made available (or coming soon), we are working to add these fixes to the systems at the factory.
Given that we want our customers to have the best experience possible, we have temporarily stopped new sales of the XPS 13 developer edition. Our desire is to bring back the system as soon as possible, but only after we have resolved the outstanding issues at the factory level. [Please realize that this DOES NOT AFFECT the windows version of the XPS 13]
We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your support and patience.