The spring meetup on March 3 saw us back at the BT Centre Showcase here in London, and it was an impressive turnout, maybe helped by a beautiful, sunny day. This was a truly European user group, with people joining us from Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and from as far afield in the UK as Belfast, Glasgow and York. We also welcomed friends from Japan.

After everyone had enjoyed lunch, we settled down and Giles Sirett (ShapeBlue CEO and chairman of the user group) kicked off the meetup with his usual introductions and CloudStack news. As Giles pointed out – since our last meetup there has been a lot of news! In a relatively short space of time there have been 5 new CloudStack releases (the latest being 4.8) including a host of new features introduced. Giles explained the pros and cons of such a rapid release schedule, and went on to present an alternative – an LTS (long term support) initiative, which would provide a stable version and the assurance that it would be maintained.

Giles then reported on what new features and improvements are planned or in development, and mentioned BTs own Christian Lafferty who has developed a driver for Docker Machine. Giles then presented the results of RightScale’s ‘State of the Cloud’ report 2016, before introducing Miguel Ferreira of Schuberg Philis to explain why they will be developing their own fork of CloudStack. Giles then touched on Citrix’s recent sale of CloudPlatform, and introduced Michael Crossey of Accelerite. Michael told us that they were looking forward to becoming a part of the community, and we welcome and look forward to working with Accelerite.

Giles then let us know that all the videos from the recent CloudStack Collaboration Conference in Dublin were online (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLbzoR-pLrL6ruJrhXZ-jSSYw0m3WfK4ea), and that plans for the next conference in Brazil this September are well under way. We hope to see a lot of you there! Please see Giles’ slides for lots more information:

Our first guest speaker was Rohit Yadav (ShapeBlue), with a talk entitled ‘Improving CloudStack for Operators’. Rohit is one of the CloudStack project’s top committers, and his knowledge and passion for CloudStack always come across when he talks. Rohit focussed on what work has been done in CloudStack to really make a difference for users – SAML2 SSO authentication, Metrics Views and Out of Band management; and also the improvements to CloudMonkey. Rohit then talked about other features in development, finishing by discussing the improvements in CloudStack clustering. I have provided only a brief summary of what was a technical and detailed talk. Rohit’s slides are here and are packed with information:

Following Rohit was Sebastien Goasguen, with a talk entitled ‘Containers and CloudStack’. Sebastien is the current Vice-President of Apache CloudStack, a committer and member of the Project Management Committee (PMC). In his talk Sebastien reviewed the state of the art and brought some context around container orchestrators and how they relate to CloudStack. He then discussed how container orchestration can be easily integrated in CloudStack. Full details of Sebastien’s talk can be found in his slides:

After a quick coffee break, we welcomed Dag Sonstebo to the podium to talk about using the KVM hypervisor in CloudStack. Dag is a Cloud Architect here at ShapeBlue, and drew on his real world experience giving an overview of the pros and cons of working with KVM in a CloudStack environment. Dag also went deeper into installation, configuration, networking and storage options. Much more information to be found in Dag’s slides:

Our last talk of the day was from Jon Noble of Trend Micro, giving us his talk on securing a cloud environment. Jon spoke about the changing landscape of security, and how more traditional security measures were increasingly incapable of protecting cloudy workloads and VMs. He then referenced some recent, high profile attacks (Talk Talk and Sony), talked about the various tools that may have been used, and how they could have been purchased on the dark web. Jon’s slides are here and they’re well worth a look:

After Jon’s talk and questions, we adjourned to a nearby hostelry, where discussion continued over a couple of drinks.

Thanks to BT for providing a superb venue and lunch, to SolidFire for buying the drinks, and to Rohit, Sebastien, Dag and Jon for their talks. The next CloudStack European User Group will be in June, and we will announce details shortly.