Sputnik turns 6! Presenting the folks behind it

November 29, 2018

Six years ago today the first Project Sputnik system appeared on dell.com.

It all started at the beginning of 2012 with a pitch to an internal innovation committee.  A month after the pitch, on the ides of March, the committee gave the go ahead for an exploratory project to test out the idea of a developer laptop.

The original XPS 13 developer edition

Thanks to the interest and support of the community, eight months later, the project became a product.

On November 29, 2012 the Dell XPS 13 developer edition was born.

 

It takes a village

Beyond the developer community, the reason why Project Sputnik is alive and thriving today is because of the support, both official and unofficial, from dozens of people across Dell.

These individuals have come from marketing, engineering, sales, finance, PR, operations… Here are some of the key contributors over the last six years

From then to now

With help from the folks above, Project Sputnik has continued to evolve.

The XPS 13 developer edition, which debuted with only one config and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, is now in its 7th generation, comes with Ubuntu 18.04 and boasts multiple configurations.  Along the way the project also expanded when the Linux-based mobile Precision workstation line joined the effort.

This year was a particularly busy one for the project with new versions of all five Sputnik platforms launching:

Thanks

Thanks once again to the community and everyone within Dell who has driven Project Sputnik from idea, to product, to product line.

Stay tuned and see where we go next!

 

Project Sputnik timeline

2012

  • Project Sputnik announced — May 7, 2012
  • Project Sputnik to go from Pilot to Product — July 18, 2012
  • 1st gen Dell XPS 13 developer edition in the US — November 29, 2012

2013

  • 2nd gen developer edition in US and Europe — February 18, 2013
  • 3rd gen developer edition in US along with instructions on getting Ubuntu up and running on a Precision 3800 mobile workstation — November 15, 2013
  • 3rd gen developer edition in US and Europe — December 20, 2013 

2015

  • Dell Precision M3800 mobile workstation joins Project Sputnik  — January 27, 2015
  • 4th gen Dell XPS 13 developer edition in US and Europe — April 9, 2015

2016

  • 5th gen XPS 13 Developer Edition in US, Ubuntu-based Workstations (5510, 3510, 7510, 7720) available worldwide — March 3, 2016
  • 5th gen XPS 13 developer edition in Europe — March 31, 2016
  • 6th gen XPS 13 Developer Edition in Europe and US — October 04, 2016

2017

  • Next gen Ubuntu-based Precision line-up announced, 5520 and 3520 available — January 9, 2017
  • Precision 7520 and 7720 available — March 18, 2017
  • Precision All-in-One available – April 18

2018

  • 7th gen XPS 13 Developer Edition in Europe and US – January 4
  • Next gen Precision line announced, 3530 available – March 24
  • Precision 7530 and 7730 available – July 2
  • XPS 13 developer edition upgrades to 18.04 – July 27
  • Precision 5530 available – August 31

(For a detailed project history please see last year’s 5th anniversary blog)

Extra-credit reading: news and reviews

Overall program

  • An update from Dell’s Barton George on their Linux initiative Sputnik – Linux Unplugged (starts at 40min)

XPS 13 developer edition

Precision xx30 developer edition line

  • Dell Precision 5530 with Ubuntu Review – Linux Unplugged (review starts at ~36min and goes to ~52min)
  • Dell Precision 5530, Ubuntu Pre-Installed – This Week in Linux  (13:44)
  • Dell Unveils New Ubuntu Laptops — OMG!UBUNTU!
  • Dell Precision ‘Developer Edition’ mobile workstations run Ubuntu Linux and are RHEL certified – betanews
  • Dell refreshes Precision laptops with Ubuntu Linux pre-installed – ZDnet
  • Dell stuffs Intel Coffee Lake CPUs and Ubuntu into latest Precision workstations – The Inquirer
  • Dell launches new Precision mobile workstation line-up powered by Ubuntu – Softpedia
  • Dell Precision 5530 sale a la venta con Ubuntu y certificado para RHEL » MuyLinux
  • Welcome the new Dell Precision developer editions – Barton’s blog
  • Developer Editions of Precision Workstations Now Available — Direct2DellEMC
  • Introducing the Dell Precision 7530 and 7730 with Ubuntu — Ubuntu blog
  • Precision Developer Editions 7530/7730 now online — Welcome the power pair – Barton’s blog

Pau for now…


Installation details for Joyent’s Triton — Dell CTO lab

January 20, 2016

Here is our third and final post walking through the setting up of the Joyent Triton platform in the Dell CTO lab.  In the first post, Don Walker of the CTO office gave an overview of what we were doing and why.  The second laid out the actual components and configuration of the platform.

Today’s video is a walk-through of the installation process where Don shares his experience in setting up the Triton Platform.

When we pick this series up again it will focus on containerizing Dell’s Active System Manager and then loading it on Triton.  Not sure how long this work will take so stay tuned!

Some of the ground Don covers:

  • Before installing Triton, you need networking set up and working.  Don double clicks on the network configuration and what we did to make sure it was working.
  • Step one in installing Triton, is to create a bootable USB key and install the head node.  There is a scripted set up which is dead simple. Lays down SmartOS and Triton services
  • Compute node install is also scripted which contains a lot of the info you entered during the head node configuration.  After this you run acceptance tests
  • Great support from Joyent with a couple of small issues we had
    • Unacceptable character in pswd. This info was fed back to the devs and is now fixed.
    • We forgot to disable the SATA port and kept getting error messages. Once we disabled it, it worked.
  • Reference: Installing Triton Elastic Container Infrastructure — Joyent website

Extra credit reading

Pau for now…


The platform supporting Joyent’s Triton — Dell CTO lab

January 19, 2016

Continuing from the previous post, here is a more detailed explanation of the Joyent Triton platform we set up in the CTO lab.  Triton is Joyent’s elastic container infrastructure that runs on their cloud, a private cloud or both.

The idea behind setting up this instance is, working with Joyent, to learn about the platform.  The next step is to work with the Dell Active System Manager (ASM) team to decompose ASM into microservices and then run it on the Triton platform.

Take a listen as Don walks through the actual layout of the instance.

Some of the ground Don covers

  • Our minimalist set-up featuring two Dell R730 servers (the schematic only shows one for simplicity. An R730 contains two 520s).  Don explains how they are configured and how ZFS affects the set up.
  • The two Dell Force 10 S6000 switches.
  • A double-click on the networking set up
  • The roles the compute and head nodes (the head node acts as the admin into the system).
  • Reference: Installing Triton Elastic Container Infrastructure — Joyent website

Extra credit reading

Pau for now…


Intro: Setting up Joyent’s Triton in Dell’s CTO lab

January 18, 2016

A while back I tweeted how we had begun setting up a mini-instance of Joyent’s Triton in our Dell CTO lab.  Triton is Joyent’s elastic container infrastructure that runs on their cloud, a private cloud or both.  This cloud platform includes OS and machine virtualization (e.g. Docker with regards to the former and typical VMs under KVM for the latter).

About a week ago we got the platform set up about and I grabbed sometime with Don Walker of Dell’s enterprise CTO office to tell us about it.

In this first of three videos, Don gives an overview of the work Dell is doing with Joyent.  He describes what we’ve set up in the lab and talks about where we hope to take it.

Some of the ground Don covers

  • Don’s focus on Open Source Cloud eg Open Stack, containers, cloud networking and storage solutions
  • What the enterprise CTO office does
  • What we’re doing with Joyent: evaluating Triton and the process of taking existing products and put them into microservices and containers.
  • Looking at Dell’s ASM (Active System Manager) and what it means to refactor for microservices and containers
  • Overview of what was set up in the lab: a minimalist 2 node instance consisting of head and compute nodes.

Extra credit reading

Pau for now…


Incorporating DevOps into the development of Dell’s Active System Manager

November 5, 2015

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 🙂

Some of the ground Chris covers:

  • What is the Dell Active Systems Manager (ASM)
  • Putting the ASM code up on GitHub
  • Their path from Dev -> IT -> Ops -> Customer -> Feedback
  • What were some of the issues the team had to overcome when implementing

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


Meet the project Sputnik team + Case Study

July 29, 2015

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.

Pau for now…


What type of customers utilize Dell’s IoT lab

May 5, 2015

Here is the second in a series of four blog entries focusing on Dell’s Internet of Things lab in Santa Clara, California.  Following the overall overview in the last entry, today’s post focuses on the customers who utilize the IoT laboratory.

Product Technologist, Raja Tamilarasan explains how customers of all sizes, from small start-ups to large telcos utilize the lab. He talks about how the customers utilize the lab and what levels of individuals within those companies attend.

Two to go

With two down, there are two more entries on tap:

  • Dell’s smart building demo (parts 1 & 2)
  • Dell’s IoT data center

Extra-credit reading

 

Pau for now…

 


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