Tag Archive for: User Group Roundups

Our late winter (almost spring) meetup saw us back in Berlin, hosted by iTelligence and Heinlein Support. The last CloudStack user group held here was June 2016, and we were looking forward to returning to this fantastic city. This was always going to be a great event – the room was at capacity, with attendees traveling from the UK, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Serbia, Latvia, the Czech Republic and Switzerland… and of course a few from Germany (sorry if I’ve missed anyone!). It’s always good to see lots of different countries represented, and it’s typical of this vibrant, friendly community that so many people are willing to travel to attend or talk at these events.

Once everyone had finished lunch, and had a chance to catch up, we all took our seats and were welcomed to the event by our hosts for the day (Maria and Andre from iTelligence, and Melanie and Pere Heinlein from Heinlein-Support), who gave us a bit of background on the German CloudStack User Group, took us through the day and evening agendas, and told us about the giant spaceship buried under Berlin!

After this unique introduction to the day, Giles Sirett (ShapeBlue) was welcomed to the stage for the first talk, setting the tone with CloudStack news past, present and future. To cater for anyone new to the group, Giles started with a brief history of the CloudStack User Group, and also CloudStack itself, before talking through recent and planned software releases and new features – including CloudStack Kubernetes Service, Backup & Recovery, and of course the highly anticipated new UI for CloudStack – Primate (more on which later).

As usual, all the days talks were recorded, but unfortunately they are very dark this time! However, you can hear the audio and see the slides clearly.

 Giles Sirett, CloudStack news:

Next up was Andre Paul, iTelligence, with ‘Importing VMware infrastructures into CloudStack’. This talk showed how the new VMware ingestion feature uses existing VMware Zones, and ‘imports’ them into CloudStack. Andre described the process by which database entries of already existing components of an existing virtual machine are created and how it enables CloudStack to safely manage such instances even though they were not initially set up by CloudStack.

Andre Paul, Importing VMware infrastructures into CloudStack:

After a short break, we welcomed Robert Sander (Heinlein-Support), with his talk ‘CloudStack and Terraform’. Robert’s talk provided an introduction on how to use Terraform to deploy CloudStack infrastructure (VMs, Networks, Storage, etc.) using the Terraform cloudstack modules.

Robert Sander, CloudStack and Terraform:

The next talk was titled ‘Primate, a new CloudStack UI’, and up stepped Paul Angus (ShapeBlue). There is currently significant effort going on in the Apache CloudStack community to develop a new, modern, UI (user interface) for CloudStack: Project Primate. In this talk Paul discussed why this new UI is required, the history of this project and how it will be included in future CloudStack releases.

Paul Angus, Primate, a new CloudStack UI:

The honours for the last talk of the day were given to Sven Vogel (EWERK), with his talk ‘Running Cloudstack and OpenShift with NetApp on KVM’. This talk provides an insight into the way in which EWERK run OpenShift (Kubernetes) Clusters on Cloudstack.

Sven Vogel, Running Cloudstack and OpenShift with NetApp on KVM:

After Sven’s talk, and the usual round of questions and answers, our hosts led us to a (very) nearby bar, where conversation, collaboration and debate continued long into the evening. Many thanks to our hosts and sponsors (iTelligence and Heinlein-Support) for organising a fabulous event and venue, to all our speakers (without whom these events would not be possible), and to the city of Berlin.

See you in London in June!

Upcoming events:

The next meetup of this group is in London on Thursday, June 4, and if you would like to submit a talk please contact me (steve.roles@shapeblue.com). More information and registration here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/cloudstack-european-user-group-meetup-tickets-97955187603

The annual CloudStack Collaboration Conference (co-located with Apachecon) in New Orleans, USA. More information, CFP and registration here: http://us.cloudstackcollab.org/

The CloudStack & Ceph day 2020 is Thursday, November 12. Registration is already open: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/cloudstack-european-user-group-ceph-day-tickets-97984762061


Giles Sirett: Introduction and CloudStack news https://www.slideshare.net/ShapeBlue/giles-sirett-introduction-and-cloudstack-news

Andre Paul: Importing VMware infrastructures into CloudStack https://www.slideshare.net/ShapeBlue/paul-andre-importing-vmware-infrastructures-into-cloudstack

CloudStack and Terraform: Robert Sander https://www.slideshare.net/ShapeBlue/cloudstack-and-terraform-robert-sander

Paul Angus: CloudStack new UI (Primate) https://www.slideshare.net/ShapeBlue/paul-angus-cloudstack-new-ui-primate

Sven Vogel: Running CloudStack and OpenShift with NetApp on KVM https://www.slideshare.net/ShapeBlue/sven-vogel-running-cloudstack-and-openshift-with-netapp-on-kvm

YouTube playlist of event: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnIKk7GjgFlYfuOAl_LphJRYHcGiw0tCR

Recordings of previous events can be found on the CloudStack YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwRLeAHTIaONANmGPOWZN_w/featured

On Thursday, October 24 2019 the CloudStack community joined up with the Ceph community for a combined event in London, and it was another super day! The meetup took place at Student Central (formerly University of London Union) on a crisp London day, and registration started early with people enjoying coffee and pastries whilst greeting friends and colleagues. The morning was a mixture of Ceph and CloudStack talks, and the afternoon was split into two tracks – one devoted to Ceph and the other to CloudStack.

All the day’s talks were recorded, and all video can be found here. Links to all presentation slides can be found at the bottom of this article.

CloudStack & Ceph combined morning sessions

Once everyone had enjoyed breakfast, Wido den Hollander (of 42on) and I (Steve Roles, ShapeBlue) took to the podium to welcome everyone, explain a bit about how the event had come about (only the second such combined event, the first was April 2018), and talk a little about both technologies (CloudStack and Ceph) and how well they work together.

Having set the scene Wido was ready to deliver the first presentation of the day, which was prepared to appeal to both communities – ‘Deploying CloudStack and Ceph with flexible VXLAN and BGP networking’. This first talk really got the event off to a flying start, with plenty of questions and interaction from the floor.

Next up was Venko Moyankov (Storpool), with a talk entitled ‘Achieving the ultimate performance with KVM’. Venko talked through private cloud setup with KVM achieving 1M IOPS per hyper-converged (storage+compute) node, posing (and answering) the question: What is the optimum architecture and configuration for performance and efficiency?

After a short break, it was the turn of Andrija Panic (ShapeBlue) to present ‘Ceph with CloudStack’. In this presentation, Andrija gave a brief introduction to Ceph and covered some considerations around its architecture, both in general and related to CloudStack.

CloudStack afternoon sessions

After lunch, the day split into two separate tracks, the first dedicated to CloudStack (the CloudStack European User Group – CSEUG), the second to Ceph. As with the morning, both rooms were very busy with full agendas. As I focused on CloudStack, I cover the CloudStack talks here (at the end of the article I include links to all Ceph presentations).

In the absence of Giles Sirett (CSEUG chairman), I stepped up to talk about CloudStack news, which (as always) there is lots of, including new releases – 4.12, 4.11.3 (LTS), and 4.13 (LTS). I touched on some of the new features introduced in these releases, and also talked a little about what’s coming in the next LTS (Jan / Feb 2020 – 4.14). I won’t go into detail as that was the job of my colleague Andrija in a later talk. I mentioned the recent fantastic CloudStack Collaboration Conference in Las Vegas (all recorded talks can be found here) and that the next CSEUG meetup will likely be in February 2020, and will be in Berlin, hosted by out friends from iTelligence. Registration will be open soon, and please contact me if you would like to give a talk.

I then introduced the first talk of the CloudStack track, welcoming Andre Walter and Sebastien Bretschneider (iTelligence) with ‘Cloud Management Portal – Admin View’. Another great talk for both communities with a technical overview showing how iTelligence as a cloud service provider use CloudStack & Ceph and how they extended their infrastructure with additional service components to enhance their cloud service portfolio.

Next up was Slavka Peleva (also of Storpool) with a talk entitled ‘Storage-based Snapshots for KVM VMs in CloudStack’. Slavka talked us through this feature, starting with VM & disk / volume snapshots, before explaining in detail the solution of employing the underlying storage provider’s capability to create, revert and delete disk snapshots.

As mentioned earlier, next up was Andrija Panic (ShapeBlue), with ‘New stuff in CloudStack!’ Andrija went through new user features, operator features and integrations such as… VM Ingestion, Backup & Recovery framework, Vmware 6.7 support, Kubernetes integration, and of course – a new, modern UI for CloudStack. This demonstrated just how much work and development is going into CloudStack, and if you are interested to see just how much work and development, I urge you to read through Andrija’s comprehensive slides, and watch his video:

After a short break, we welcomed Graeme Wright (Smart Communications) with his talk ‘Our journey with CloudStack’. This sort is talk is always fascinating, as everyone has a slightly different journey and reasoning behind technology decisions. The questions Graeme answered: Why we chose CloudStack for Smart Communications… How we use CloudStack and the features we employ… What CloudStack enables us to achieve for our cloud solution.

The last talk of the day was Sven Vogel (EWERK ) with ‘Running OpenShift Clusters in a Cloudstack Environment’. This talk provided an insight into the way in which EWERK run OpenShift (kubernetes) Clusters on Cloudstack.

The end of this last talk of the CloudStack track coincided with the end of the last Ceph talk next door, so we all congregated together to hear some last thoughts and acknowledgements from Wido. This was the second collaborative day between Ceph and CloudStack, and much like the first it was a resounding success, thanks in no small part to the vibrant communities that support these technologies. This will now be an annual event, with the next one provisionally scheduled for October 2020.

Bringing the event to a close, we all moved the conversations downstairs to the bar (a definite advantage of holding the event at a student union), where the event continued late into a busy London evening.

Thanks to our sponsors, without which these great events wouldn’t be possible – Softiron and the Ceph Foundation (for providing the venue and catering), the State51 Music Group (for buying drinks in the bar afterwards) and 42on for helping with organisation and logistics. And of course – thanks to the day’s speakers, many of whom traveled from afar (Amsterdam, Bulgaria, Serbia, Germany) to give their time and expertise freely. Hope to see you next time!

All presentation slides:

Deploying CloudStack and Ceph with flexible VXLAN and BGP networking


Venko Moyankov: Achieving the ultimate performance with KVM


Andrija Panic: Ceph with CloudStack


Steve Roles: CloudStack news


Andre Walter & Sebastian Bretschneider: Cloud Management Portal – Admin View


Slavka Peleva: Storage based snapshots for KVM VMs in CloudStack


Chris Ellis: Routed Fabrics For Ceph


Andrija Panic: New stuff in CloudStack!


James Page: Managing Ceph operational complexity with Juju


Graeme Wright: Our journey with CloudStack


Zoltan Arnold: Disaggregating Ceph using NVMeoF


Sven Vogel: Running OpenShift Clusters in a Cloudstack Environment


Thomas Bennet: Ceph for Storing MeerKAT Radio Telescope Data


It’s taken me a couple of weeks to write this blog, and not because it took me that long to recover from a week in Las Vegas! The CloudStack Collaboration Conference is part of ApacheCon, and this was a year for anniversaries – not only ApacheCon 20th anniversary, but an anniversary of sorts for CloudStack, as our first ever Collaboration Conference was in Las Vegas 7 years ago.

Just like 7 years ago (and every year since) this was a fantastic few days, with great talks and more evidence (if any was required) proving that Apache CloudStack continues getting better and stronger. What evidence? The representation at the conference from enterprises wanting to say ‘we use CloudStack’ (more on that later); the effort put into the hackathon where a room full of CloudStack users and developers talked passionately about new features; the sheer quantity of attendees (2nd largest registration ever) and the wide variety of talks on diverse topics (22 presentations over 2 tracks, plus a day long hackathon).

The conference started Monday, September 9, at 0900 when our very own Paul Angus (ShapeBlue’s CTO and current VP of the CloudStack project) took to the stage to welcome us to this year’s Cloudstack Collaboration Conference. Paul set the tone of the event by talking us through how the next few days look, and giving us a brief ‘State of the (CloudStack) Union’, talking about latest releases and features, the community, and how CloudStack has recently been recognised by Newsweek in their inaugural list of Best Business Tools in the ‘Cloud Services’ category. Paul also talked about the Apache Foundation (their mission statement always bears repeating: “The mission of the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) is to provide software for the public good”).

I won’t be giving a summary of all talks but Paul’s talk was notable as we had a few quotes and special guests who wanted to tell us why they use CloudStack. These included:

BT Compute: Maurice Nettesheim, Head of Shared & Cloud Services:

“CloudStack gives us the full range of functionality we require while still being easy to deploy, scalable, flexible and robust”

Leaseweb: Jeffrey Kriegsman, Senior System Engineer

“We like CloudStack because it is highly customisable”

Ticketmaster: Jean-Francois Nadeau, Principle Systems Engineer

“CloudStack is simple to understand, extensible and upgrading is easy”

Apple: Anthony Shortland, Senior Manager, Cloud Engineering, Internet Software and Services

“The vast majority of Apple Services Group revenue is from internet services, and right in the middle of that is a very large CloudStack cloud”

This opening presentation was indicative of the days to follow. Fascinating talks and presentations, a day long hackathon and evenings spent in the company of this great, growing, vibrant community.

If you were there – I hope you enjoyed the event as much as I did. If you weren’t there – all the talks were recorded and can be found on the Apache Foundation YouTube channel, and all ShapeBlue slide-decks can be found below. Either way – I hope to see you at next year’s conference (location TBC), or maybe at the next CloudStack event, here in London Thursday, October 24. We have a CloudStack / Ceph day. Registration, information on presentations and more information here.

Thanks to the Apache Foundation and to Las Vegas for a great week!

Al ShapeBlue slide-decks:

Paul Angus – Welcome to CloudStack Collaboration Conference

Abhishek Kumar – CloudStack Locking Service

Rohit Yadav – Modern UI for CloudStack

Anurag Awasthi – Machine Learning applications for CloudStack

Rohit Yadav – The future of the CloudStack Virtual Router

Boris Stoyanov – Troubleshooting the Virtual Router – Run and Get Diagnostics

Andrija Panic – Ceph with CloudStack

Nicolas Vazquez – Open vSwitch with DPDK on CloudStack

Paul Angus – CloudStack Backup and Recovery Framework

Last Thursday saw us back at BT, London, for the Summer meetup of the CloudStack European User Group (CSEUG). A full schedule meant a prompt start, and Giles Sirett (CSEUG chairman) brought the meeting to order and started with introductions and CloudStack news.

Since the last meetup, CloudStack 4.9.2 has been released, with 4.9.3 due for early September (4.9.x is the LTS branch). CloudStack continues to develop and add new features, and the recent release of 4.10 introduced OOBM for hosts, user defined roles, additional hypervisor support (including XenServer 7) as well as several other features and improvements – see Giles slides for more detail:

Giles went on to report on recent events – namely the Spring CSEUG meetup in Prague, and the CloudStack Collaboration Conference in Miami – both well attended events that showcased not only the depth of interest in CloudStack, but also the vibrant and continually growing community.
The first speaker was Mike Tutowski (NetApp Solidfire), with a talk entitled ‘Leveraging VMWare Storage I/O Control (SIOC) in CloudStack’. Starting with a high level overview of CloudStack and storage, Mike then focused in on SIOC and how it works with CloudStack. This was a detailed talk full of information, and Mike’s slides can be found here:
Next up was ‘Policy Driven SDN in CloudStack’, a talk from Sigert Goeminne of Nuage Networks. Starting with an introduction to Nuage, SDN and the existing Nuage VSP plugin, Sigert went on to talk through the exciting new features coming with CloudStack 4.11, such as VSD managed subnets, and migrating a native cloud to Nuage. More detail in Sigert’s slides:
After a very brief coffee break (as I said – a full schedule!), Giles welcomed Paul Angus of ShapeBlue, with a talk about Cloudstack and NFV. Paul’s talk stepped through an introduction to NFV, what CloudStack can do with NFV, and some of the exciting work currently going on around NFV in CloudStack… pretty much covering all angles! Paul’s talk was (as always) packed with detail, and you will find much more information in Paul’s slides:

The next talk was all about a new CloudStack UI – given by Ilya Zolotukhin of Bitworks (who joined us all the way from Siberia). Ilya explained why they started the project: based on their experience of the UI they knew about its shortcomings and knew what functionality they needed it to provide. Ilya then compared the native UI with the new one, and went on to talk through the UX goals before going into technical detail and the future direction that the project may take. This was a presentation packed with detail, and I recommend you take a look through Ilya’s slides:

Continuing to be spoilt by the number and quality of talks, next up was ‘Monitoring CloudStack and Components’, presented by Alexander Stock of leading SAP integrators Bit.Group GmbH. This was an in depth talk about how Bit.group use Nagios and a front-end tool called Check_MK, what they monitor in CloudStack, and how the monitoring is distributed an automated. Alexander’s slides are right here:

Time was running short, so we moved right along with the last talk of the day: ‘Running Cloudstack with IPv6’, a talk given Wido Den Hollender of PCExtreme. PCExtreme use CloudStack to deliver their hugely successful Aurora compute service. Wido is not only a CloudStack user and developer, he is also the current CloudStack VP. Opening with some reasons for IPv6 (eg. we are almost out of IPv4 addresses), he went on to state that ‘with the release of CloudStack 4.10 IPv6 is fully supported in basic networking’. Explaining how PCExtreme is currently using IPv4 and IPv6, he also said that they are currently working on providing IPv6 only VMs. Wido’s slides have a lot of information:

Following a Q&A session, the discussions continued seamlessly in a local pub, where the day’s speakers continued to answer questions and discuss CloudStack and future collaboration.

Thanks to all our speakers, to BT for providing lunch and a fabulous venue, and to all attendees for once again proving what a varied and active community CloudStack has. Next event TBC, but should be around November and will be announced on the ShapeBlue website.

The third and final day of the CloudStack Collaboration Conference 2017 (North America) is underway, and as usual it has been a fantastic few days. Attendees have been truly spoilt with a plethora of speakers from all over the world – hearing from operators, users, vendors, developers, service providers and business owners.

Although the CloudStack conference started properly on Wednesday, Tuesday also had lots going on for attendees, with an all-day hackathon, and a day of CloudStack training for those new to the technology. The hackathon was a great way to start the conference, encouraging early engagement, discussion, and collaboration.

The Wednesday morning keynote set the tone for what to expect. Giles Sirett (ShapeBlue), Ian Rae (CloudOps), Sergey Levitskiy (Autodesk), Simon Weller (ENA) and Marcelo Oliveira (Cable & Wireless) took turns talking, between them creating a vibrant, exciting and positive atmosphere drawing on personal experience of how CloudStack drives their businesses. The key messages that came out of these talks resonated throughout the conference:








The talks, demos, discussions and collaboration continue for a few hours yet, and hopefully on into what will surely be another beautiful Miami evening! Having made lots of new friends, listened to lots of interesting talks and experienced the passion and continuing innovation of this community, I am already looking forward to the next conference.

The city of Prague was the venue for the spring meeting of the Cloudstack European user group. There was a great turnout  for the meeting  and a first count showing 14 different nationalities represented; some people having travelled from as far as Ukraine, UK and France.

The event was kindly hosted by Interoute Czech.

There were 8 speakers on the day with a wide range of technical and user talks. Even the speakers reflected the true pan-european nature of this group with 6 different nationalities being represented.

Group Chairman Giles Sirett started proceedings. Giles gave a roundup of Cloudstack news, talking through recent releases 4.9.2 and  the upcoming 4.10 release. He also told the group about the upcoming Cloudstack collaboration conference in Miami Giles was briefly joined by Wido den Hollander, the recently appointed Vice President of Apache CloudStack who introduced himself to the group and also encouraged them to come to Miami !


The first speaker was Alex Matteoli  from Interoute, our hosts for the day.  Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe’s largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 15 data centres, 17 Virtual Data Centres and 33 colocation centres, with connections to 195 additional third-party data centres across Europe. Alex fave an overview of how Interoute use Apache Cloudstack do deliver their hugely successfully VDC cloud service.

Their platform runs  17 zones, distributed across 3 continents, running workloads from some of the worlds largest companies. One of the most interesting aspects of Interoutes Cloudstack deployment is that they expose the native Cloudstack GUI (with a few modifications) to their users  He briefly mentioned some of the exciting and innovative plans for new services that Interoute have.

Next up was Vladimir Melnik from Tucha Cloud Services in the Ukraine, another company running IaaS services on Apache Cloudstack.  Vladimir is the original author and maintainer of Monkeyman, a perl5 framework for Apache CloudStack automation. Vladimir explained his original drivers for creating an object orientated interface to Cloudstack (which weren’t just that he prefers programming in perl to  python). Monkeyman is open source and Valdimir is keen for others to try the tool and contribute to its ongoing maintenance.

Boris  Stoyanov (Bobby to his friends) was the only talk of the day to include a quiz. Bobby, who describes himself as BreakerOfThings@shapeblue (he’s a Software Test Engineer) , was here to talk about the new dynamic roles functionality in CloudStack 4.9. But first he decided to test the audience’s knowledge of the existing fixed roles security model. The clear winner of the competition was Vladimir (who hadn’t yet sat down)

Cloudstack dynamic roles give a true RBAC layer to cloudstack, giving a fully flexible &  granular approach to security. Bobby talked through the new functionality and how to migrated existing Cloudstack environments.


Next up was Mike  Tutowski. Despite working for Netapp Solidfire, Mike spends most  of his time working on Apache Cloudstack and is a PMC member of the project. Mike gave an overview of his work on cloudstack to allow it to support  primary storage QOS. Mike decided that his talk should be 100% demo – which was interesting on the day but means we have nothing to show in this roundup. Shame


Paul Angus was next, giving a talk on CloudStack Container Service. Paul explained how this feature had started life as as an internal customer project at his company (ShapeBlue), evolved into an opensource  external plugin  and is in the process of being donated to the Cloudstack project. Cloudstack Container Service gives a framework for deploying container clusters in Cloudstack – with the first integration point being Kubernetes. Paul gave a great demo of  provisioning  Kubernetes clusters with just a few clicks in the Cloudstack UI and then deploying containerised apps into those clusters.


The Cloudstack European User Group is not just a technical forum. We really enjoy hearing sucess stories and how organisations are using Cloudstack in innovative ways. Martins Paurs from Telia Latvija came to tell us how his company have leveraged Cloudstack to help evolve their business from a traditional Telco business into a modern cloud providers.

As well as their own public IaaS offering, Telia Latvia now runs on Cloudstack  their own internal workloads and services such as cloud-based surveillance, virtual desktops, backup and storage as a service. This has given them far greater agilty in bringing new service to market.

The final speaker of the day was Mark Wilson, also from Interoute. Interoute have recently migrated their VMware Cloudstack environment from standard vswitches to distributed Vswitches, giving them some massive performance  enhancements  across their IaaS environment.  Mark explained his approach to this migration (mainly scripted in powershell), ran through a demo of how it all hung together.

As is always the case at CSEUUG, the day finished with a Q&A session in a  local bar. Topics discussed included cloud storage, IPv6, Brexit and which nation consumes the most beer annually.

Many thanks to our speakers and to Interoute for kindly hosting us. The next User group meeting will be in June watch the LinkedIn Group for  venue and dates

Our Winter meetup last Thursday, November 24 found us back in London at the BT Centre Showcase, and as usual Europe was well represented with CloudStack users joining us from all over.

After lunch and catching up with friends old and new, Giles Sirett (ShapeBlue CEO and chairman of the user group) called the meetup to order and started with introductions and CloudStack news. And yet again – what a lot of news! One of Giles’ early slides always lists the other CloudStack user groups around the world, and following our Summer meetup in Berlin, it’s great to see that the guys from BIT.group have now started a regular CloudStack Germany User Group.

First item on Giles’ list was the most recent major release of CloudStack (4.9), which included such new features as OOB power management of hosts and user defined security roles, as well os over 180 minor enhancements and fixes. This will also be the base for the LTS (long term support) release in January 2017. Also upgraded was CloudMonkey (5.3.3), featuring support for shell history, improved CSV output and improved error handling.

Having covered where CloudStack is, next up was a summary of where it’s going. Well, we’ve got 4.10 coming this December, which will have system VMs on managed storage, backup of snapshots to managed storage, VMWare nested virtualization and improvements to the Virtual Router. This will be followed in February 2017 by 4.11 which will see robust, generic HA, and improved hypervisor support – vSphere 6.0 and 6.5, and XenServer 7 will all be supported (these hypervisors will also be supported in 4.9 LTS). Giles also talked about community activity – there has been a huge effort in automated test suites, and there is now an ‘automated build and test’ pipeline. We are also moving towards distributed testing.

Next up Giles reported on a couple of this year’s CloudStack events – the CloudStack Collaboration Conference (CCC) in Montreal, and the last meetup in Berlin (both in June). Both fantastic events – a good place to find videos of the talks at CCC is here, and you can find a roundup of the Berlin meetup here.

Of particular interest in the community is the recent news that ShapeBlue has open-sourced its CloudStack Container Service (CCS) software, and Giles was keen to explain a bit more about CCS. There is a great deal more information in Giles slides:

After the CloudStack news, Giles introduced the first guest speaker of the day – Maurice Nettesheim of BT, with a talk entitled ‘Making the Digital Possible’. This talk was appropriate for the audience as it was all about how BT deliver cloud services. Maurice gave us a detailed overview of how the BT Compute Management System delivers services (such as BT Cloud Compute, BT Private Compute, etc,) to customers around the world (20 countries, 5 continents). This is an all too brief summary – please see Maurice’s slides for much more detail:

After a quick coffee break, we welcomed the next speakers to the podium – Len Bellemore and Tulio de Souza from Alternative Networks with ‘Making Stuff Better Through CloudStack’. This talk started with some background about what they were delivering (in this instance, telephony and unified communications services) and why CloudStack was chosen as a platform upon which to deploy these services. After a brief rundown of the technologies used and what a typical deployment looks like, Len and Tulio compared how the system and a deployment looked before and after CloudStack – citing less resource required and automated infrastructure builds as stand-out benefits. We were then taken through ‘how it works’, with an explanation of how a system is deployed, including some pros and cons.

More detail in the slides from this talk:

Paul Angus (ShapeBlue) was next, with ‘The Hitch-Hikers Guide to CI/CD’. Paul has recently announced Trillian, an open-source automation tool. Due to the sheer number of different options in a CloudStack deployment, it has so far been difficult to automate testing, so Trillian has been designed to provide fully automated deployment of CloudStack environments from any CloudStack package repo. Paul explained some of the tenets of Trillian: the ability to support multiple concurrent environment, no hardcoding to a specific lab/environment, scripted command-line use, ability to support as many hypervisors as possible, etc.

Paul then talked us through the background requirements and challenges he wanted to overcome, explained the technologies that make up Trillian, stepped through the process and gave a few examples of how you would use the solution. In summary Trillian provides an extremely flexible way to quickly build cloud environments for a multitude of purposes. I recommend looking at Paul’s slides for much more information:

Last up was 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, 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. Ingo also talked through Ceph and Ansible, and how they integrate into the overall solution.

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

After the last official talk we strolled over the road to enjoy several unofficial talks over a beer or two! As always, lively discussion continued and new friends were made. Thanks to BT for providing a superb venue and lunch, and to Paul, Ingo, Len, Tulio and Maurice for their talks. The next CloudStack European User Group will be in February 2017, and we will announce details shortly. See you there!


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!

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.

An intimate feel at yesterday’s European User Group only seemed to encourage discussion, and despite slightly lower numbers than usual we managed to run a little late! Hosted by our friends at Trend Micro here in London, we started with lunch, and once everyone had eaten it was down to business.

Giles Sirett (chairman of the user group) sent his apologies, as he was unable to assume his usual meetup duties. Hosting was therefore down to Paul Angus and me (Steve Roles). I started by welcoming everyone to the group, briefly running through the agenda and talking about the recent CloudStack Collaboration Conference in Dublin. All the videos of all the fantastic talks from that event can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLGeM09tlguZSeNyOyQKJHNX4pxgK-yoTA. It’s looking like next year’s conference will be held in Sao Paulo, Brazil (dates TBC) but we’re already looking forward to another great event. Paul then took us through the CloudStack news, including new features in 4.6 (currently in the voting stages). For more details take a look through our slides:

Time for our first speaker of the day – René Moser of Swiss TXT joined us from Switzerland, to talk about Ansible and CloudStack. Rene started with some general use cases for Ansible before going into some detail on how Swiss TXT use it with CloudStack. He then gave us an overview and brief history of Ansible. Ansible has 21 CloudStack modules, all integration tested and included in v2.0, and to show this integration René was brave enough to give us live demos. René’s slides are here:

Next up was Daan Hoogland of Leaseweb, who made the trip over from Amsterdam. Daan talked about testing, and the need for more of it! The need for the community to run almost continuous functional testing against CloudStack, by using ‘mini clouds’ or nested environments. The importance of integration into customer environments, and the benefits of using Jenkins were discussed and provoked lively discussion in the room. For more information Daan’s slides are here:

After a coffee break, it was the turn of our host – Jon Noble of Trend Micro to give us his talk on securing a cloud environment, which probably provoked the most discussion and questions, continuing in the pub well after the meeting had finished! 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 the recent, high profile attacks (Talk Talk and Sony), and 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:

Last up was our very own Paul Angus, with a talk on CloudStack Networking. Starting with physical (networking), 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 are currently working on – OSPF and routed VPC. There is much, MUCH more detail in Paul’s slides:

Following Paul’s talk and questions, we enjoyed a few beers in a Paddington bar where the discussions continued. Our next European CloudStack User Group will be in London in March 2016 – if you’re interested in CloudStack and want to get involved – come to the meetups, join the CloudStack European User Group on LinkedIn, and join the conversation on the mailing lists https://cloudstack.apache.org/mailing-lists.html.

Thanks to Trend Micro for hosting our meetup, and thanks to Rene, Daan, Jon and Paul for giving us their time and expertise to prepare talks.