EMC Dojo – Teaching the way of Modern Software Development

August 24, 2016

Last but not least in my series of interviews from SpringOne Platform stars Brain Roche of EMC.  Brian heads up engineering for EMC Dojo, headquartered in Cambridge Massachusetts.  The dojo, which has been around for a year, teaches modern software development practices based on DevOps and focuses on Cloud Foundry.

Take a listen as Brian talks about the dojo, how it works and where it’s going.

Some of the ground Brian covers

  • Teaching pair programming, extreme programming and more with the goal of showing customers and partners how to rapidly deliver software in the modern world to better serve customers.
  • Qualifying as a Cloud Foundry dojo by contributing to a Cloud Foundry sanctioned open source project.
  • The dojo’s qualifying project is RackHD which acts as a cloud provider interface, providing and management and orchestration layer to run Cloud Foundry on bare metal.
  • The goals for the dojo going forward including expansion and evangelism.

Extra-credit reading

  • EMC Dojo on Github 
  • EMC Dojo Blog
  • EMC Is Pumping $10M Into Open Source, Launching Dev Program in Cambridge – BostonInno
  • RackHD — Storage kingpin EMC is open-sourcing software to manage and orchestrate server deployment – Fortune
  • An Interview with Cloud Foundry Foundation’s CEO, Sam Ramji – Barton’s Blog

Pau for now…


Pivotal Labs: Teaching Clients to Fish Agilely

February 11, 2016

I’ve been in New York the last couple of days and this morning, before I left, I was able to check out Pivotal Labs’ NYC offices.  Pivotal’s New York office is one of 17 labs around the world, a number which will be growing to ~25 by the end of the year.

At the Labs, rather than simply developing software for the clients, Pivotal works the client on a small project in order to teach them new methods of development. East Coast managing director Graham Siener showed me around and gave me the low down on what Pivotal Labs is all about.

Some of the ground Graham covers

  • Helping folks with early stage product development thru XP (extreme programming) and Agile. Working hand in hand with clients so that they build the skills they need to carry on once they leave Pivotal’s offices.
  • Kicked off back in ’89 with the idea of helping change the way people write software.
  • Working with clients from a wide range of verticals: “clients bring the domain expertise, Pivotal supplies the process expertise.”
  • Beyond the labs, what else makes up Pivotal: their big data suite and Cloud Foundry (and how Cloud Foundry fits well to support the skills and methodologies clients pick up from working with Pivotal).
  • Where Graham sees Pivotal Labs going over the next year.

Pau for now…


Talking to ClusterHQ founder about Flocker and the Dell storage plugin

January 7, 2016

Continuing with my videos from KubeCon, here is a chat ClusterHQ’s founder and CTO, Luke Marsden.  Luke explains Flocker, how its being used and talks about the Dell/Flocker driver.

Some of the ground Luke covers

  • What is Flocker (hint: a way to connect the container universe to the storage universe)
  • Why you don’t want containers that are “pets rather than cattle”
  • What types of customers are using Flocker and how Swisscom uses it along with Cloud Foundry
  • The Dell storage center plugin for Flocker

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


Crowbar: Where its been and where its going

October 24, 2011

Rob Hirschfeld, aka “Commander Crowbar,” recently posted a blog entry looking back at how Crowbar came to be, how its grown and where he hopes it will go from here.

What’s a Crowbar?

If you’re not familiar with Crowbar, its an open source software framework that began life as an installation tool to speed installation of OpenStack on Dell hardware.  The project incorporates the Opscode Chef Server tool and was originally created here at Dell by Rob and Greg Althaus.  Just four short months ago at OSCON 2011 the project took a big step forward when, along with the announcement of our OpenStack solution, we announced that we were opensourcing it.

DevOps-ilicous

As Rob points out in his blog, as we were delivering Crowbar as an installer a collective light bulb went off and we realized the role that Chef and tools like it play in a larger movement taking place in many Web shops today: the movement of DevOps.

The DevOps approach to deployment builds up systems in a layered model rather than using packaged images…Crowbar’s use of a DevOps layered deployment model provides flexibility for BOTH modularized and integrated cloud deployments.

On beyond installation and OpenStack

As the team began working more with Crowbar, it occurred to them that its use could be expanded in two ways: it could be used to do more than installation and it could be expanded to work with projects beyond OpenStack.

As for functionality, Crowbar now not only installs and configures but once the initial deployment is complete, Crowbar can be used to maintain, expand, and architect the instance, including BIOS configuration, network discovery, status monitoring, performance data gathering, and alerting.

The first project beyond OpenStack that we used Crowbar on was Hadoop.  In order to expand Crowbar’s usage we created the concept of  “barclamps” which are in essence modules that sit on top of the basic Crowbar functionality.  After we created the Hadoop barclamp, others picked up the charge and VMware created a Cloud Foundry barclamp and DreamHost created a Ceph barclamp.

It takes a community

Crowbar development has recently been moved out into the open.  As Rob explains,

This change was reflected in our work on OpenStack Diablo (+ Keystone and Dashboard) with contributions by Opscode and Rackspace Cloud Builders.  Rather than work internally and push updates at milestones, we are now coding directly from the Crowbar repositories on Github.

So what are you waiting for?  Join our mailing list, download the code or ISO, create a barclamp, make your voice heard.  Who’s next?

Extra-credit reading:

Pau for now…


Cloud Foundry picks up Crowbar to speed installation

August 17, 2011

In case you’re not familiar with Cloud Foundry, it’s an open source Platform as a Service project initiated at VMware.  More specifically it provides a platform for building, deploying, and running cloud apps using Spring for Java developers, Rails and Sinatra for Ruby developers, Node.js and other JVM frameworks including Grails.

The project began two years ago when VMware’s CEO Paul Maritz recruited Derek Collison and Mark Lucovsky out of Google and set them to working on Cloud Foundry.  Collison and Lucovsky, who built and maintained Google’s API services, were brought into leverage their experience of working with hugely scaled out architectures.

The Cloud Foundry project has only been public for a matter of months and one question that I’m sure has popped into your mind is what if I want to pilot Cloud Foundry in my own environment, won’t installation and configuration be a total pain?

Enter the Crowbar

Crowbar is an open source software framework developed at Dell to speed up the installation and configuration of open source cloud software onto bare metal systems.  By automating the process, Crowbar can reduce the time needed for installation from days to hours.

The software is modular in design so while the basic functionality is in Crowbar itself, “barclamps” sit on top of it to allow it work with a variety of projects.  The first use for crowbar was for OpenStack and the barclamp for that has been donated to the community.  Next came The Dell | Cloudera solution for Apache Hadoop and, just recently, Dreamhost announced that they currently working on a Ceph barclamp.  And now…

Two great tastes that taste great together

Today’s big news is that VMware is working with Dell to release and maintain a Crowbar barclamp that, in conjunction with Crowbar, will install and configure Cloud Foundry.  This capability, which will include multi-node configs over time, will allow organizations and service providers the ability to quickly and easily get pilots of Cloud Foundry up and running.

Once the initial deployment is complete, Crowbar can be used to maintain, expand, and architect the instance, including BIOS configuration, network discovery, status monitoring, performance data gathering, and alerting.

If you’d like to try out Crowbar for yourself, check out: https://github.com/DellCloudEdge

Press added after initial posting

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


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