Thursday, May 23, 2013

The LinuxTag Hack

What do you do when you go to LinuxTag the premier Open Source conference in Berlin Germany ? You give a talk, you hand out tee-shirts at the CloudStack booth, you explain Cloud computing and you hack a CloudStack driver for SaltStack while patching libcloud.

The talk: Talking about Clouds is nice and all, but after many years and many talks, I shamelessly admit that it gets a little old. So lately I have been working on BigData, both as a backend to CloudStack (think Ceph, Riack CS, Gluster) and as a workload to a cloud. I am talking about using Apache Whirr or Apache Provisionr incubating to deploy "one-click" hadoop clusters on public clouds. It is a long story that I will keep for another post as I am trying to write this before going to bed. but check out the slides and keep an eye on pallet and exoscale.

The booth: An open source booth is ..well a booth. I came with my pop-up banner, table cloth, tee-shirts, post-cards, USB stick/bottle openers, it feels a little bit like a traveling sales man, not that I would know but I imagine it like this. I have to explain that the 2 and 3 XL shirts will shrink quite a bit and will fit perfectly people's M or L frames. Then I point at the banner to showcase the magnificient CloudStack UI, I explain that there is an API server behind it. Sometimes I launch devcloud and do a live demo to bring them to their knees, sometimes I have to ask for help on IRC to answer a question, and sometimes a german developer wants to trade a tee-shirt against illegal substances not to be named. Life in the fastlane let me tell you. But that's what it's like to build a community, it is very much an evangelization process.

The hack: Then there is the hack, going to an open source conference without writing code would be a sin. The OSS gods decided to put me next to Tom Hatch the CTO of Saltstack. Tom is a funny guy with a deep voice and madenning Python skills. Saltstack is an alternative to Chef and Puppet which are written in this foreign language Ruby. It does configuration management, remote execution, cloud deployments and tons of other things. I was also happily surprised to find 300 folks on IRC, very chatty folks I might add. Anyway, Saltstack was not going to go anywhere because they did not have a CloudStack driver. EC2 yes, Rackspace yes, Joyent yes, OpenStack yes...but no CloudStack. I had to do something about it. A quick git clone and a RTFM later I was on my way, thanks to my new best friend exoscale, a Swiss public cloud provider (based on CloudStack off course) who gave me 50 Francs worth of Cloud Brownies I could test everything live.

I did not want to run any silly master on my laptop, behind crazy NAT non sense, so I used Salt-cloud, I copied the linode driver and started hacking it. It uses libcloud which thankfully I had looked at just couple weeks ago while writing a bit of CloudStack doc. There was a few issues with the libcloud driver so I opened couple bugs there and committed to patches to fix my own bugs, isn't it nice ? Grant it there are not big bugs, but bugs they are, 329 and 330 to be exact.

I got it working and finished it tonight which explains my excitement. I forked their repo on git and made two pull requests that got merged right away. Let's get down to it, shall we. You need two configuration file: cloud and profile

Your cloud conf defines your Cloud Provider and which driver it uses, that's where I define exoscale, my keys etc...

    path: /compute
    securitygroup: default
    user: root
    provider: cloudstack

Your profile conf defines the instance type that you are going to use, it's a combination of the image, the service offerings and the keys used to access the instance that it will create...

    provider: exoscale
    image: 1d16c78d-268f-47d0-be0c-b80d31e765d2 
    size: b6cd1ff5-3a2f-4e9d-a4d1-8988c1191fe8 
    ssh_interface: public
    ssh_username: root
    keypair: exoscale

With this you can know list-location, list-sizes, list-images:

salt-cloud --list-locations exoscale
[INFO    ] Configuration file path: /Users/sebastiengoasguen/.saltcloud/cloud
[INFO    ] salt-cloud starting
    country: AU
    id: 1128bd56-b4d9-4ac6-a7b9-c715b187ce11

salt-cloud --list-sizes exoscale
[INFO    ] Configuration file path: /Users/sebastiengoasguen/.saltcloud/cloud
[INFO    ] salt-cloud starting
    bandwidth: 0
    disk: 0
    id: 350dc5ea-fe6d-42ba-b6c0-efb8b75617ad
    price: 0
    ram: 16384
    uuid: edb4cd4ae14bbf152d451b30c4b417ab095a5bfe

salt-cloud --list-images exoscale
[INFO    ] Configuration file path: /Users/sebastiengoasguen/.saltcloud/cloud
[INFO    ] salt-cloud starting
  CentOS 5.5(64-bit) no GUI (KVM)
      format: QCOW2
      hypervisor: KVM
      os: CentOS 5.5 (64-bit)
    id: 77d32782-6866-43d4-9524-6fe346594d09
    uuid: 2fb9ae4b32b4ea5eafd3341166cf948cfe24aa7f
And finally of course:
salt-cloud -p ubuntu-exoscale lll
This will start the instance on the cloud, do key based ssh access to it and start bootstrapping saltstack. Tomorrow I will check out their actual configuration management scheme, launch couple minions, hoping to create a monogd cluster or even a hadoop cluster. Before you ask, lll is the name you give to an instance when you get tired.

The caveat to all of this is that my patches to libcloud need to be accepted before the CloudStack SaltStack driver is usable. Enjoy ! Signing off. Busy day: Talk, booth, hack

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