CloudStack European User Group roundup – June 2016

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The Summer meetup on June 16 found us in Berlin, hosted by our friends from BIT.group. One of the reasons for meeting here was to build the CloudStack community in Germany and the surrounding countries, and with all tickets for the event reserved, we certainly achieved that with a packed room! People from all over Europe (including Germany, France, Italy, UK, Holland and Latvia) attended the event to listen to the talks, ask questions, and join us for a drink in the evening.

After lunch and a chance to say hello to friends old and new, Giles Sirett (ShapeBlue CEO and chairman of the user group) brought the meeting to order, welcomed everyone to Berlin and kicked off with CloudStack news. Starting with some apologies – firstly for Andy Roberts absence (bizarrely stuck in a lift at Heathrow), and to all English people in the room as the event was clashing with England vs. Wales at Euro 2016! Giles started by outlining the recent releases and latest features available in CloudStack 4.6, 4.7, 4.8 and 4.9, then expanding on plans for LTS (long term support) releases that was mentioned at the last meetup. For users wishing to deploy the latest features immediately, the rapid release schedule will continue. However, for those users who would rather work to a structured upgrade and change controlled approach, they will be able to benefit from LTS releases. Giles then spoke about the features currently in development, new community initiatives, and what improvements are planned in CloudStack for the future.

Giles went on to discuss the findings of the recent RightScale ‘State of the Cloud Report’, Citrix’s departure from the project and the sale of CloudPlatform to Accelerite. He also advised new members of the group where to find more talks – all the video from the CloudStack Collaboration Conference in Dublin are now available: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLbzoR-pLrL6ruJrhXZ-jSSYw0m3WfK4ea. The talks from Montreal (June 2016) soon will be, and plans for the next conference in Brazil this September are well under way. We hope to see you there! Please see Giles’ slides for lots more information on the topics he covered:

Next up was… Giles Sirett! As this was our first meetup in Berlin, Giles had a great talk lined up: ‘CloudStack – the best kept secret in the cloud’. This was a talk that illustrated how widely deployed CloudStack is around the world, running some of the biggest clouds for some of the biggest companies in the world, but is just not talked about! Starting with a brief history of the technology, Giles went on to show some of the companies using CloudStack, where its focus is in the stack, and the ‘headlines’ of just what it is, finishing up with a summary of how it’s managed by the Apache Foundation. A great community, vibrant user groups around the world, 100’s of committers, 1000’s of downloads. As Giles asked ‘So, a well-governed opensource project. Why is it such a secret then?’

Giles’ slides have a lot more information:

Next up was Paul Angus of ShapeBlue, with his talk on CloudStack networking. Starting with the physical, Paul talked about why you would separate networks, converged networking, labelling, mappings and some of the mistakes it is easy to make. Touching on storage and guest networks, Paul moved onto the pros and cons of isolated and shared networks. Paul finished by talking about an exciting new feature that ShapeBlue have developed – OSPF and routed VPC. There is much, MUCH more detail in Paul’s slides:

Following a short coffee break, the next speaker was introduced to the stage – Ingo Jochim of BIT.group, with a talk entitled ‘Fast SAP system provisioning based on CloudStack’. Starting with an introduction into what they are trying to achieve (eg. standardised landscapes, consistent configurations, reduced effort), Ingo talked us through some of the challenges they have faced, how many different steps and considerations there were, eventually asking the question – could this be automated into a single process? Expanding on exactly what apps and services they need to deploy, Ingo started a live demo of the process. Whilst this was going on in the background he explained exactly what is automated and what technologies are being used to achieve the automation. He also told us why BIT.group had chosen CloudStack after evaluating other solutions, mentioning (among other things) how easy it is to upgrade (30 minutes) compared to some other solutions. Periodically checking on the demo’s progress, Ingo also talked through Ceph and Ansible.

This was a great presentation, and I have given only a brief summary. Ingo’s slides contain the detail you will need:

The last talk of the day was Paul again (stepping in at the last minute to replace Andy Roberts, who was still in the lift), with a talk entitled: ‘Creating a native Containers as a Service (CaaS) offering on CloudStack’. Cloud native applications running in containerised environments look set to create a paradigm shift in the way compute resources are consumed. However, this presents challenges (both technical and business) to Cloud Service providers who have already invested heavily in Infrastructure as a Service offerings based on the virtual machine model. Paul discussed these challenges, looked at the services that end-users will demand in a containerised world and how major public cloud providers have overcome these challenges. He then previewed an exciting new project that gives a simple method for operators to deploy Containers as a Service to their end-users, based on Apache CloudStack. It was during Paul’s talk that England beat Wales 2-1!

Please take a look at Paul’s slides for much more information on this hot topic:

Following the last talk, and lots of questions and discussion for the day’s speakers, it was time to enjoy an evening in Berlin. Andre Walter of BIT.group had organised an excellent venue for us, and most of the people from the day joined us for a drink or two, some food from the BBQ, in some cases a Cuban cigar, and for continued discussion and collaboration. As usual, new friends and contacts were made, the CloudStack community grew and it was a thoroughly enjoyable day… the only thing that could have made it perfect would have been Germany winning their group game which was that evening!

Huge thanks to Andre and the team from BIT.group for organising a great event, and we look forward to seeing you again very soon. Auf Wiedersehen!