The Perfect Time to Try Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus 4.0 is coming soon, and you can try it in beta, on a single system, right now.

To take your own AWS-compatible cloud-in-a-box for a spin, here’s what you do:

  1. Install CentOS 6.5 minimal on a box that supports virtualization. Give it a fixed IP address.
  2. Set aside a range of contiguous IP addresses to play with. 20 should be plenty.
  3. As root, run the following command:

bash <(curl -s https://raw.githubusercontent.com/eucalyptus/eucalyptus-cookbook/master/faststart/cloud-in-a-box.sh)

That’s it.

It’s still in beta, so if it breaks, you get to keep both pieces — but it’s pretty stable for me.

The installation script is based on Chef Solo. The goal is to provide a very simple installation experience that results in either a running cloud, or a very clear explanation of why you do not have a running cloud. Once CentOS minimal is installed, a typical install takes about 15 minutes. (NOTE: do *not* install the Desktop version; NetworkManager and PackageKit get in the way.)

If you have any problems getting your cloud-in-a-box up and running, don’t hesitate to reach out to me on Twitter (@gregdek) or on freenode (gregdek, #eucalyptus). At this stage, bad news is the best news, so if you have bugs, let’s see ’em.

I especially invite my friends who work for OpenStack vendors to see how the other half lives.  😉

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The Perfect Time to Try Eucalyptus

Hobos and Vagrants and Quality

I don’t know how many people have actually met Vic Iglesias, our Quality Hobo.  Here’s what he looks like in his natural habitat:

"Quality!"
Quality Hobo: both smarter and better looking than you.

It’s really super important not to make Quality Hobo angry. Let me assure you from personal experience: no one wants that.

Here are some things that make Quality Hobo angry (and that you should, therefore, avoid):

  • Stealing Quality Hobo’s cigarettes, electronic or otherwise.
  • Remarking upon Quality Hobo’s resemblance to a certain celebrity.
  • Wasting Quality Hobo’s time with questions about which test cases are most recent.
  • Wasting Quality Hobo’s time by writing tests that don’t integrate into Eutester.
  • Wasting Quality Hobo’s time with questions on how to build your QA environment.
  • Wasting Quality Hobo’s time in any way at all.

Here’s what I’m saying: it was only a matter of time before our Hobo got mixed up with a Vagrant.

Vagrant is incredible, and Mitchell Hashimoto is incredible for creating it.  It’s the sort of tool you try out for a particular reason, and then once you’ve used it, you find a million other reasons to use it.  Last night, as I chased down a bug in Faststart, I got to try out Micro-QA, which is a mashup of Vagrant and Eutester and Jenkins and Ansible and all kinds of stuff, built on top of one of the standard Vagrant boxes for Centos 6.4.

Here’s the full instructions  for getting a fully updated, complete testing environment for Eucalyptus installed on your laptop:

  1. Install Vagrant+Virtualbox on your laptop.
  2. Run “git clone” on the Micro-QA repo.
  3. Run “vagrant up”.
  4. Point your browser to http://localhost:8080.

Aaaaand you’re done.

Micro-QA in action. YOUR TEST IS A FAILURE.
Micro-QA in action. YOUR ARGUMENT IS INVALID.

Ease of automated testing is one of those force multipliers that doesn’t seem super-exciting, but really is amazingly super-exciting.  Because here’s the thing: When the cost of testing is higher than basically zero, people don’t bother with it — or, they do a really half-assed job of it and then say “oh yeah, I totally tested that.” Which is waaaaaay worse.

In Micro-QA, we have a tool that brings the cost of automated QA to near-zero.  And not just for QA folks: it’s a tool that can be used by our QA team, our engineering team, our support team, our customers, and our community, all with comparatively little knowledge required. It’s a huge win for us.

And here’s the kicker: it’s not only a QA tool; it’s also a great tool for hybrid cloud diagnostics.  Set up your Euca environment; set up your AWS environment; bake in some tests that run against each; run them on a regular basis; scream when something breaks.  It’s kinda sorta magic.

Anyway. If you’ve got a Euca install, go get Micro-QA running on your laptop, bring it up in your browser, pick some test cases to run, drop the contents of your eucarc file into your test case, and run it.  If it breaks, ping us on Freenode (#eucalyptus-qa) and let us know what broke.

Vic announced Micro-QA less than six months ago.  It was cool at the time, but now it’s way past cool.  I’m really impressed by how far it’s come in such a short time.  It’s like I’m living in the future.

(For the record: Vic is really a super sweetheart of a guy, and I don’t think he actually lives under a bridge at present. I think he may be living Between Two Ferns, though.)

Hobos and Vagrants and Quality

Cloud Horror Stories at OSCON

Running a private cloud can be like being the victim in a horror movie. You stand up the cloud and everything’s just fine. You get some workloads running. You’re scaling up. You’re scaling down. All is well. And then the spooky music starts, and little things start going wrong — and then suddenly the chairs are spinning in the air and you’re running for your life.

If you’re in Portland for OSCON on Monday night, come on by the Cloud Horror Stories birds-of-a-feather session. We’ll have people there with scary stories to tell, so if you’re interested in learning how things can go terrible wrong in cloud-land, come on by. Even better — if you’ve got a story of your own to share, we’d love to hear you tell it, preferably in your spookiest voice.

See you around the campfire. BOOOOOO!

(And no, we’re not actually going to start a campfire in the convention center. Definitely, almost certainly, maybe not. We can do that flashlight-under-the-chin thing, anyway.)

Cloud Horror Stories at OSCON

New FastStart for Eucalyptus is officially live.

Today we officially launch the next generation of FastStart, the quick deployment solution for Eucalyptus.  We think it’s a pretty dramatic improvement to our previous version, and it’s certainly the easiest way to stand up your own AWS-compatible private cloud.

So go try it out.

And while I have you, I’d like to shout out to the guy who made most of this happen: a guy named Bill Teachenor.  When you use FastStart today and discover that it’s totally awesome, come by #eucalyptus and say thanks to bteachenor for all his hard work on the Silvereye project, the codebase upon which the new FastStart is based.  There were plenty of other folks who helped — but Bill was the one who took the ball.

Open source is powerful because you don’t need anyone’s permission to make it better.  You just need time, belief, determination, and a bit of skill in the right places.  Bill looked at FastStart with the eyes of an experienced sysadmin, picked out a whole bunch of places where we could do stuff better, and led the way.  When you write good code that does useful stuff, people will follow.  Rough consensus and working code: it’s what drives the open source world.

So here’s to Bill, and all the folks who say “I can make this better” and then commit code at 2am to prove it.

New FastStart for Eucalyptus is officially live.

Step two: put your cloud in that box!

(I’m sure you all know that step one is “cut a hole in the box”.)

We’ve been continually working to improve the install process of Eucalyptus over the past few months.   In particular, we’ve been working on a project that we call Silvereye.  Our most recent goal: make it trivial to install a fully-running Eucalyptus cloud on a single machine.

A cloud on one machine?  Why bother?  Well, lots of reasons, actually.  The biggest: the developer workstation.  If you’re hacking on Eucalyptus, it’s pretty awesome to have Eucalyptus on a single system that you tear down and rebuild in 15 minutes.

Anyway: mission accomplished.  Go to our Silvereye downloads directory and get the latest build (right now it’s silvereye_centos6_20121004.iso).  Burn it to DVD, boot your target system, and choose the “Cloud-in-a-box” option from the Centos-based installer.  Answer some simple questions.  Boom, in 15 minutes you’ve got a cloud-in-a-box!

(Note #1: a helpful README can be found in the Github repo for Silvereye: github.com/eucalyptus/silvereye.)

(Note #2: in the cloud-in-a-box config, when you log in as root for the post-install config, it’ll say “hey, do you want to install the frontend now?”  Answer yes.  It automatically installs the node controller for you.)

(Note #3: Silvereye is not supported. At all. If you use it, there are ABSOLUTELY NO GUARANTEES that it won’t burn down your house, steal your pickup truck, or throw your mother into a wood-chipper.)

Silvereye is mostly the work of sysadmin-par-excellence Bill Teachenor, based on the original Faststart installer written by David Kavanagh — but various folks are now working on it; Andy Grimm, Graziano Obertelli, and Andrew Hamilton have all been pushing the cloud-in-a-box on various distros, and Scott Moser of Canonical did some great proof-of-concept work on the UEC code. So thanks to all of them, and everyone else who’s played with it.

Give it a spin; it really is dead-easy.  We still need to round off a few corners before we can call it the official installer of record, but we’re quite close now.

Want that AWS-compatible cloud on your laptop?  Of course you do.  Now go get it.

Step two: put your cloud in that box!

Today is the day.

Eucalyptus 3.1 is open for business.

No more artificial separation between Enterprise and Community.  No more frenzied checkins to the “enterprise edition” while the separate-but-equal “community version” atrophies.  No more working on new features behind closed doors for months on end.  No more wondering about what’s on the roadmap.  No more going weeks without any publicly visible check-ins.  No more.

Today is the day that we release Eucalyptus 3.1, and reassert our position as the world’s leading open source cloud software company.  With the emphasis on open source.  We’ve been working to get to this day for months, and now, the day has come.

For those who want to get started with the new bits immediately, the Faststart installer can be found here.  With two virt-capable laptops installed with Centos 6.2 minimal, you can have a private cloud running in 15 minutes if you follow the directions — and a few hours if you don’t.  🙂

Package repositories for the various distributions can be found here.

Source code is on Github. Here’s a look at all the recent commit activity.

Anyone who has questions can ask them here or here.

A list of all currently known bugs in 3.1 can be found here.

The list of features we’re currently scoping for 3.2 can be found here.

We have lots of other projects moving forward on Github as well.  Projects like Eutester for automated testing of Eucalyptus (and Amazon) instances, Recipes for automated deployments of Eucalytpus (and Amazon) instances, our nextgen installer Silvereye, and many others.

All of these projects are open to community participation and transparently managed.  We hold weekly meetings on IRC.  You can find the weekly meeting schedule here.  Minutes for all meetings for the past six months can be found here.

We’re also hiring.

“Build together. Run together. Manage together.”  That’s been the mantra for this release, and it speaks directly to the culture of our company.   If I learned anything at Red Hat, it’s that company culture matters.  It literally makes or breaks the company.  Especially in open source: either you’re an open source company, or you’re not.  We are deeply committed to the open source model, because we believe that it creates the best software, and we’re going to prove it.

The most exciting thing about today’s release, to me, is that we’re only getting started.  It’s been a long climb to get to this plateau. We’ve still got a lot of mountain yet to climb, though, and we’re looking forward to the challenge — but that can wait for another day. Maybe two.  Today is about appreciating where we’ve been, and enjoying the view.

Well done, Eucalyptians.  Well done.

Today is the day.

Eucalyptus 3.1 Beta Packages now available

We now have beta packages, along with installation instructions, available for CentOS/RHEL and Ubuntu.

Note: beta still means beta. We’re aiming for release candidates for Eucalyptus 3.1 within the next month or so.  Still, these packages are pretty stable for us so far, pass the majority of our ridiculous battery of QA tests, and are altogether suitable for a quick install to see what the fuss is all about.  And it’s a whole lot simpler than building from source.

As always, questions can be directed to mailing list or forums or IRC.

Eucalyptus 3.1 Beta Packages now available