Podcast: Fedora 19 is Cloudy – Peter Robinson

peter

With the launch of Fedora 19 in the last two weeks we thought it was time to get a podcast out with Fedora team member Peter Robinson. It coincided with the third birthday party of OpenStack which we (Red Hat) co-sponsored at the BlueFin building this last Friday gone. Peter and I met up to do some work together Friday and then retired from the scorching heat of London South Bank to the sane 1960s concrete jungle that is London’s National Theatre. It’s a great place to chill in the heat but also to record (hint there in case anyones in London and wants somewhere free to record).

We talk Cloud, Fedora 19 ARM goodness, how Fedora is built and we talk about every aspect of FOSS within Fedora. We also pay tribute to Seth Vidal and this podcast is very much in his memory.

Come back next Wednesday for a new show.

Download the podcast here in MP3 format only

I’ve been busy – Red Hat Summit 2013

summitcast

The last ten days have seen me camped out in Boston in the US at Red Hat Summit recording, mastering and publishing fourteen podcasts during Red Hat Summit. Usually I do one a week so to get fourteen recorded and out there on iTunes, Stitcher and a dedicated smartphone app for all platforms was tiring to say the least.

So for those of you wondering why there hadn’t been a Cloud Evangelist podcast last week, go listen to the shows I made available to you on the Red Hat Official Podcast page from Summit by clicking here.

Podcasts on OpenShift, OpenStack, Gluster, RHEV, IBM PowerLinux, ARM and Hyperscale, identity management in the Cloud, SELinux (with Dan himself). We talk NetApp and oVirt with Jon Benedict once more and we have a lot of fun along the way.

Fourteen shows you can’t miss out on with over 10,000 listeners to date – go listen.

Cloud – it’s about relevance

The consensus around the water fountain is in, the sensible folk are achieving and those that play catch up are spending way more corporate investment on keeping up with the achievers and go-getters in Cloud and virtualisation. That sums it up in a nutshell but to simply write an article with less than thirty eight words isn’t going to suffice so let’s explore where the Cloud market is making active differentiation in the evolving dynamic world of corporate and enterprise computing.

Blessed are the geeks for they will inherit the datacentre

There are very few differences in the manner that eighty percent of global enterprises tackle enterprise computing challenges. No matter whether exponents of purely “Cathedral” type platforms and toolsets or the “Bazaar” model of entrepreneurial achievement utilising open standards and challenging established paradigms of development and provisioning by reasoned utilisation and embracing of community ethics and freedoms. I hope I’ve got that right or my ex VA Linux colleague Eric Raymond is going to be less than happy. I use the word geek in the heading above with due reverence, without levity as a badge of achievement.

Whilst you could argue that venture capital and the influx of guidance in the form of management at many of the investment companies are the lifeblood of the evolution of new start companies developing and pushing technologies and products across Cloud. You could also observe that the vast majority of these organisations are building and ramping up harnessing and embracing open source libraries, binaries and technologies in order to get to revenue and to develop products that are relevant.

So what changed ?

The difference between now and the dot.com boom/bust era is that we grew up. Open source grew up too.

The difference is that in 1999/2000 a lot of the advisors who were often positioned or parachuted into new start companies using less “mature” developmental environments and an emerging internet were old school, 1980s/90s boardroom types, often expensive, entirely out of touch with working with dynamic energised folk who were capable at embracing tech but lacked maturity in corporate circles. Management came with money. I was there, I worked at Linuxcare from early days until I parachuted to safety to join the then ebullient VA Linux Systems. It was painful, it was replicated across hundreds of companies globally who all managed to burn huge amounts of funding rounds without generating products or significant revenue. A lot of the blame needs to be levied at the investors who handcuffed companies with legacy management who didn’t understand the gulf between founder management and couldn’t levy influence or control.

In the Cloud arena we have more startup companies producing better product with better guidance from more savvy investor folk, if any of you have ever bumped into the electrically charged spark that is Satish Dharmaraj for example, my former boss at Zimbra (now with a well known VC team) will understand the mental picture I paint entirely. Satish I pick out purely as an example, he isn’t remotely alone in being a trail blazer, at Red Hat you can’t throw a pebble without hitting a key manager or thought leader whose role it is to identify talent and opportunity and then nurture it. We even invest in technology regularly outside of Red Hat.

More importantly nowadays, most of these advisors attaching to first and second round funding have emerged from the Open Source community and are helping shape the direction that many Cloud startups are now able to follow. Thats a good thing. Lower burn rates, better code, better practices and revenue centric companies using Open Source as a base. For those basing companies on revenue (the small percentage) it’s even more impressive.

However they ALL have one thing in common, they’re all aiming to be relevant.

Make relevance your personal mantra for 2013, especially in Cloud

The number of times in recent months I’ve sat down with people in technology circles and talked open hybrid cloud, talked to them about how this gospel I preach weekly from my podcast pulpit of how at Red Hat we are working to demonstrate how we’re innovating by providing key RELEVANT capabilities. If you’re a listener to my podcast broadcasts I weekly try to provide you with balanced thought around cloud and virtualisation but with a passion that comes from a need to “do this right”. To stay relevant with the needs of my listeners.

Arming, influencing, determining datacentre future behaviour and enterprise adoption of cloud across physical bare metal platforms, virtual, private cloud and public cloud with the Red Hat stack. Marshalling and creating the frameworks for growth that are significantly different from proprietary platforms such as VMWare and Microsoft and with more relevance (see it crops up again) to the problems that enterprise companies need to solve. Built openly, built with focus around application development and portability underwritten by the glue that is Red Hat’s continued core open source belief as part of the fabric of cloud today. ISVs and startup companies who are aiming to be relevant and to drive product adoption and therefore revenue growth (either based on revenue or with the help of investors) are all looking to Cloud.

So next time you are stood, board marker in hand in front of your team drawing out your tiers of your architecture or brain blasting APIs and platform decisions with those in your circle who you rely on just consider. Is the technology and the platform and direction I am taking relevant ? Relevant now, relevant tomorrow, flexible and rugged enough to grow with your organisation, flexible enough to change securely, relevant enough to get you to the finish line, relevant enough to drive revenue and growth to match your ambition.

Unless you’re doing this harnessing open technology, truly open source components and stacks you need to pay attention, you aren’t going to be relevant, and neither is your Cloud.

If you want to know how this all glues together reach out to me and I’ll point you at some folk who will change and empower your needs in Cloud. If you’ve been on Red Hat tour or been to Red Hat Summit (the next kicks off in Boston at The Hynes Convention Center in a few weeks time) then you’ll be aware of the common sense relevance of what we mean by Open.

Red Hat – this is what we do, be open, be relevant and be part of the future of Cloud. Ignore me at your peril.

Podcast: Cloud Security Special

Todays podcast is a must for anyone in Cloud who needs to understand high level security. I’m joined over the ether to my studio in Bath in the UK by Gunnar Hellekson and David Egts. We’re talking access controls, SELinux, sVirt, hardening, security in Government and how we engage in Cloud, security and KVM, Common Criteria – the whole works.

We talk RHEV, RHEL, OpenShift, CloudForms, ManageIQ, auditing, logging, hardening, security – learn how Red Hat secure the important enterprise, Government and industry platforms – allowing our customers to sleep easy.

You cannot afford to miss this weeks show !

Gunnar is the Chief Technology Strategist in Red Hat’s US Public Sector team, trusted by government and the military alike and David is one of our Principal Architects at Red Hat. They both “live eat breathe” security so this podcast is three of us who are very passionate about the topic.

And folks theres more, if you liked this podcast tune in to the first few episodes of Dave and Gunnar’s new podcast – the appropriately named Dave and Gunnar show which you can listen to by following this link directly. I totally recommend it, great listening. I’ve been working with them over the last few months recommending kit and I really think this is a show you should be listening to on a regular basis. Gunnar and Dave have taken a totally different spin on podcasting that Rhys Oxenham and I have been planning since November to do monthly that I bought the kit to do – but we haven’t had the time to do. Since Christmas we’ve been set up to make the changes I keep mooting, and this will happen.

It’s so nice to be back in the studio able to control the level of audio again, seems like an age since I was sat at a mixing desk recording this stuff. Listening to this podcast you wouldn’t think that David was in Ohio, Gunnar in Houston, Texas and me the other side of the pond, and all recorded produced and released using Fedora – no Mac’s here folks.

Come back soon for some great podcast content and if you haven’t yet subscribed via iTunes or my RSS feed simply follow the menu bar above to get the links you need. Come back next week for some more great content.

 Download the podcast here in MP3 format only

Podcast: Robyn Bergeron talks Fedora

Today’s podcast is with Robyn Bergeron who is of course the Community Project Leader of the Fedora Project, the erstwhile evergreen Linux distribution sponsored by Red Hat.

Last June Robyn and I were in Boston together and I meant to get her in front of one of my microphones to record a podcast but it was the last day of Red Hat Summit and people were packing up and getting ready to disappear all points east and west and it never happened.

So it was a given that the first opportunity I had to record something with her turned into a forty five minute recording I’ve cut down to about 25 minutes or so for this podcast.  We talk Fedora of course, releases, release criteria and etiquette, conventions and community, we talk OpenStack, we talk Aeolus and JBoss and all things technical that make up Fedora’s capabilities as part of upstream RHEL.

Listen carefully and you may even hear John Mark Walker from Gluster.org muscle in on the recording. Do of course download and listen, or subscribe via iTunes, Stitcher Internet Radio, Podfeed or via the RSS using your client of choice.

Download the podcast here in MP3 format only

Fedora 18 is out and it’s Cloudy

So we’ve released the latest version of Fedora, release 18. It’s the hard work of Robyn Bergeron and her team of erstwhile project maintainers, community contributors, documentation editors and hundreds of people with Fedora carved in their hearts. Kudos to their efforts, this release has been a labour of love. I was on the phone to Robyn last week and we were talking about the herculean efforts of all those involved to get this release out – albeit later than planned because of the documented issues with the whole Microsoft bootloader crap.

This release also features latest release of oVirt 3.1 (listen to the podcast with Jon Benedict in the Podcast directory above), latest version of Eucalyptus appearing for the first time (ver 3.2), as well as the Folsom release of OpenStack and the very cool Red Hat sponsored HeatAPI that we’ve featured in the podcast with Steven Hardy recently.

Robyn and I will be recording a podcast in a few weeks at FOSDEM in Brussels talking Fedora 18 and I think I may even be doing some stuff more formally with the Fedora crew if everything aligns. Watch this space for more news if and when it happens.

A grumble first. The new installer has real issues. To say that you are replacing the existing Anaconda because its old doesn’t wash if you don’t look at the behaviour of your former installation engine scripting. It’s quite a big fail and hopefully this will be fixed and fixed fast. If you are installing over or upgrading  a previous version of Fedora and you have previously used LUKS/DMCrypt the partitioning tool doesn’t allow you to authenticate the underlying volume or mount it just telling you you have 900k or whatever free on your drive. Non sensical – all old versions of Anaconda supported mounting of encrypted partitions. So if you are installing and have LUKS/DMCrypt on a partition my advice is back it up to a drive and blast it away as otherwise you’re potentially going to be screaming at the installer screen. You could argue that to install a fresh squeaky clean F18 install its nice to start with a clean harddrive but in reality we’re all adults and thats just bonkers. You have to think out the box and think that a LOT of your existing users will be using disk encryption and where applicable you document and build on screen assistance to what is the worst partitioning logic I have ever seen in an installer.

Think back 12 years to Caldera’s LISA installer and the emergence of Anaconda circa 2000/1 replacing the libnewt traditional installer and what a breath of fresh air it was. This is a major major step back. Oh and the artwork really sucks. No idea what high school grad they got to use Inkscape in his/her lunchbreak. Poor.

So you’ve installed Fedora 18, what next ? I like to customise my Fedora and to do that I have always preferred to use Fedora Utils thats just moved to GitHub. Fedora Utils is the ongoing work of Satyajit Sahoo and it saves a lot of time and hassle to get you a box with restricted codecs and applications.

Once you’ve installed the codecs and tools installed from Fedora Utils drop to the console and immediately avoid GPG key failure error messages grab both these RPMs

http://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-branched.noarch.rpm
http://download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-branched.noarch.rpm

In a console move to the directory that you’ve downloaded to and issue the following command for each RPM both FREE and NON FREE

sudo yum localinstall --nogpgcheck

Next step, again as root

# yum clean all
# yum check-update
# yum update

Once update then add the following tools (especially if you use HP all in one devices or Jetdirect printers).

yum install hplip-gui gthumb gimp pulsecaster audacity ardour

You’re good to go

Oh and remember to encrypt your boot partition, LUKS/DMCrypt is your friend – security costs nothing folks.

Great distro – major move – but the installer is just very poor as is the logic behind partitioning and disk mounting. Let’s the side down, but as with everything in Open Source we can get under the hood and fix it.