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Chef for OpenStack Status 11/2

Posted by mattray on November 2, 2012

Getting back into the swing of semi-regular updates. Last week was the Chef Developer Summit, lots of great conversations and quite a few people interested in OpenStack. This week was catching up mostly, trying to clean up a few Essex leftovers before moving to Folsom.

  • I bumped to Essex versions to 2012.1.0 to sync to the OpenStack versioning per feedback at the OpenStack Summit. I tagged everything for Essex and merged to master.
  • Added an ‘lxc’ role to enable using LXC. Just an attribute and it just worked, so awesome.
  • Added placeholder cookbooks for quantum, cinder and ceilometer. These have the suffix “-cookbook” in my GitHub, there was some discussion about wanting to rename the cookbook repos for the other 5 projects, anyone feel strongly?
  • Updated all the Community cookbook dependencies and retested (apt, erlang, database, ntp, apache2, database, mysql, rabbitmq, openssh)
  • Released a new version of pxe_dust which enforces assigning the PXE-booted NIC as eth0.
  • Trying to coordinate Chef support for the bare-metal provisioning tool Razor, ping me if you’re interested.
  • Canceled the NYC Chef for OpenStack Hack Day and NYC Chef Meetup.
  • Preparing for the Opscode/DreamHost webinar “Automating OpenStack and Ceph at DreamHost with Private Chef“.

Next week I’ll be in Chicago presenting at the CME Group Technology Conference, ping me if you’re in Chicago and want to catch up. My OpenStack goals are to merge in the outstanding pull requests and resync with the latest Folsom work from rcbops, hopefully merging in some more branches.

Posted in chef, community, openstack, opschef | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Gettings Started with the Chef for OpenStack docs

Posted by mattray on October 23, 2012

I have primarily been focused on documentation lately and the http://github.com/mattray/openstack-chef-docs is the repository. Since there is so much interaction between the various components, prerequisites and cookbooks, I felt a unified document format would best serve our needs. The various markdown readmes and documentation is slowly migrating to this single repository so it can be kept updated in a single location and link to the various components.

The docs are in Restructured Text and use Sphinx, which is compatible with the http://docs.openstack.org source docs. The license matches the OpenStack documentation’s Apache V2 and Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License. Opscode has standardized on this format for our own documentation and in the near future it will be merged upstream with official Opscode documentation.

The evolving document is currently broken into these 6 components:
* Architecture – overview of the architecture for Chef for OpenStack.
* Prerequisites – the hardware, network and operating system requirements.
* Installation – how to install Chef for Openstack.
* Example Deployment – example configuration of a small test lab.
* Knife-OpenStack – using the OpenStack plugin for Knife for provisioning and managing instances.
* Additional Resources – additional useful information and links related to Chef for OpenStack.

The docs are just getting started, lots of placeholders but I’m active writing. Please feel free to send corrections and additional details to help fill things out. There will be a permanent URL for the docs online soon, here is a temporary link:
http://15.185.230.54/

Posted in chef, community, openstack, opschef | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Chef for OpenStack Status 10/22

Posted by mattray on October 23, 2012

I’ve decided to start cross-posting my status emails for the Chef for OpenStack project to help spread the word. The Chef for OpenStack mailing list is here, please join: http://groups.google.com/group/opscode-chef-openstack

I apologize for the lack of updates, but I come bearing lots of news. For a quick summary of the state of Chef for OpenStack, check out this deck from my presentation at the OpenStack Summit:

http://www.slideshare.net/mattray/chef-for-openstack-openstack-fall-2012-summit

Speaking of the OpenStack Summit, it was quite productive despite not getting to attend enough sessions due to meetings and booth duty. Monday there was a session on “Upstreaming Chef Cookbooks”, which was essentially a meetup of folks working on Chef for OpenStack. We compared notes and there is quite a lot of work being done in the various branches maintained outside the Opscode one, I’m looking forward to merging as much of the work as possible. Tuesday I gave my general Chef for OpenStack presentation linked above and we had a “DevOps Panel” later that day where there was an engaging discussion on the various issues facing deployers of OpenStack. I’ll link up videos as they become available.

Some short-term takeaways from the Summit where that there is a tremendous amount of development effort I was unaware of and the pace is about to pick up substantially. DreamHost and AT&T have a number of patches to be merged and work has already started on Folsom by several folks. The general consensus was to move the focus to Folsom now that it’s out, the cookbooks have been tagged and the repos have all been merged back to master. The ‘essex’ branches are working and have been pushed to the Community site for direct download and are still available of course if you want to continue development.

There were so many great discussions and ideas shared, I’m really looking forward to the work ahead. I’ll try to post more frequently, so the level of engagement will continue to get better.

Posted in chef, community, openstack, opschef, opscode | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

What Would You Say You Do Here?

Posted by mattray on May 25, 2008

I get asked that question fairly frequently, not by people who know Open Source software, but by people outside my realm of employment. “Community Manager for an Open Source systems management company” has gotten more than a few quizzical looks as they slowly back away. I tell people I encourage people to use our software, even if they don’t pay for it, which just creates more questions.

I’ve been at my new job for nearly 2 months and I’m just starting to feel like I’m getting my head around everything. As the Community Manager, my job is a weird hybrid between customer support, development and guerilla marketing. On any given day I can plan on working on something like reviewing documentation and assisting a community member with their ZenPack (a Zenoss extension); and end the day with a blog post, a dozen emails and several discussions about supporting another Open Source project. Some days I miss diving into a code-cocoon where the whole day disappears into a blur of writing software.

Keeping up with everything can be hard, I’ve recently started using the Getting Things Done methodology (a blog post about that soon) and I’ve found it really helps. The hardest thing is that I rarely feel I can focus on something for several days, I have too many spinning plates and have a hard time tuning everything else out. Hopefully with better prioritization and GTD I can fix that. I could also spend as much or as little time on any subject I come across. I could spend all day on IRC helping users, read documentation until I figure everything out, or learn Python as well as I’d like. But there is almost always something of higher priority bumping my schedule, so I’m keeping much busier than any of my last few jobs kept me.

This isn’t to complain though, I actually enjoy my job quite a bit. There’s constant variety so I’m never bored and I enjoy engaging most of the people I come across. Zenoss has a very passionate user-base, which is one of the things I’d noticed when I was evaluating the company. This makes my job a little easier, it feels good to work on a project that you feel proud about, as opposed to some random software that someone, somewhere is using (quite possibly not by choice). I really wanted to work for an Open Source company, or at least be in a position where I could contribute substantially to one, so I guess I’m doing pretty good.

So there you have it, hopefully the Bobs are satisfied.

Posted in career, community, sausage, zenoss | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

OSX IRC Client Shootout

Posted by mattray on May 2, 2008

My IRC needs are quite basic, I need an OSX IRC client I can leave open all day without having it crash or consume 100% of my CPU and/or memory. I’ll be hanging out on the #zenoss channel on the irc.freenode.net servers as part of my new job. Open Source is preferred, and I’d like configurable Growl integration and detailed, searchable logging; but stability is my #1 priority. Below is my 15-minute per client IRC shootout.

The Contestants:

Colloquy 2.1:
Colloquy was the first I tried because I remembered it seemed pretty good from a few years ago, but then my company started blocking IRC and I never got around to using it again. It is GPL and configuration seemed to go fine except for the fact that everytime the window lost focus, it started bouncing on the Dock. After I fixed that annoyance, after about 10 minutes of IRC, my CPU hit 100% and Colloquy was the culprit. That could be related to this ticket, but that was a major strike against it. After switching to my new MacBook Pro, I figured the PPC bug would be gone and it would be OK, but then channels would open and stay empty, so I decided I’d had enough.

Irssix .7:
Very minimal and GPL, I got online with no fuss. No themes, just black on white and it seemed to resist my attempts at applying different fonts. No Growl or offline logging either. Never noticed CPU or memory usage. It set a very stable, no-frills baseline.

Ircle 3.1.2:
30-Day shareware, interesting project because they still support OS 9 and the 68K platform. Kinda ugly and complicated out of the box, with an annoying sound theme on by default. irc.freenode.net wasn’t on the list of 2300+ servers as far as I could tell. Configuration was also complicated, didn’t see Growl integration, but auto-logging was available (and I assume searchable outside the application). Crashed when I shut it down (report sent).

Snak 5.3.3:
30-Day shareware, but the money is donated to charity so that’s a positive. The first run started with a setup assistant, which seemed innocuous enough and it worked immediately. Themes were mostly pleasing pastels and there was a nice transparency slider. Growl integration in the action list, where you could trigger highlighting or other actions based on input was a very slick feature. Memory and CPU usage seemed minimal. Logging sent to an external file with configuration for the formatting. Everything seemed stable and straightforward, no complaints in my 15 minutes.

X-Chat Aqua .16
I used to use XChat for Linux back in the day, this is the GPL OSX Aqua update. For eye-candy it had a transparency slider and extensive color support but no themes. Logging to external files is supported. The event notifications configuration is quite nice. You can choose Growl, indicate on or bounce the Dock or a sound file for just about everything IRC related with toggling for when XChat is the foreground application. I never noticed memory or CPU usage. Apparently it hasn’t been updated in awhile, but it seems to be working just fine. Occasionally OSX’s Spaces will forget to pin it to all desktops, but that’s just an odd bug for now.

And the winner is…

X-Chat Aqua hit all the right features and seems stable enough. If it turns into a resource hog after a few days, I’d probably give Snak another look. I’m sure I probably overlooked some other IRC clients or missed out on the greatness of one of the ones I did review. Feel free to leave feedback and maybe if X-Chat stops being good enough I’ll reevaluate the competition.

PDF Scribd link.

Posted in community, osx, zenoss | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

On my way to LinuxFest NW

Posted by mattray on April 24, 2008

Tomorrow I’ll be flying to sunny(?) Bellingham, WA for LinuxFest Northwest. It’s my first business trip for my new job. If you happen to be there, look for me at my Zenoss presentation or around the conference. LinuxFest NW Totem

Posted in community, zenoss | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

My New Gig

Posted by mattray on April 18, 2008

In case you hadn’t heard, I recently left my old job for a new job at Zenoss, an Open Source Enterprise Systems Management company. I am now the Community Manager, which is essentially a technical liaison between Zenoss and the Open Source developer community. My job is to help build, strengthen and support Zenoss’ community because they are the ones who use and help support, direct and write the software we provide as a company. I’ll be active in every community-facing aspect I can, and you’ll find me on the forums and mailing lists, IRC, blogs and email asking lots of questions and trying to find as many answers as I can.

While my last job was at one of “The Big 4” as a Java developer, I had a Linux consulting company on the side and I’ve been involved with the Open Source community in one form or another for over 10 years. I’ve worked in Systems Management, retail, distributed computing, banking, scientific and educational software over the years and I’ve been at several startups and founded a few myself. While I’m a fairly new to the Python community, I’ve coded in Java, Ruby, Perl, C, Lisp and many other languages professionally and for fun so I hope to get into the swing of things pretty fast.

I’ll be posting stuff here and at the Zenoss Blog from time to time on my experiences. Feel free to contact me with feedback, questions or answers:

  • Email: mray@zenoss.com
  • AIM: mrayzenoss
  • Twitter: mattray
  • IRC: #zenoss on irc.freenode.net as mrayzenoss

Posted in career, community, python, zenoss | Tagged: | 6 Comments »