Linux World Conference and Expo - Day Two
I didn't get a chance to write this up yesterday... but here is my report for Day Two - Wednesday, August 6th.
[Update:] Check out the LWCE 2008 photo gallery.
Ok, so I should have noticed this on Day One but I didn't. No one showed up to man the Debian booth which was actually one booth over from us. I have no idea why... although there was a hand written sign that said many of the Debian folks were in Argentina at some Debian specific conference. Ok?!?
Oddly enough no one showed up to man the Gentoo booth either. It was in the next isle over from us. There wasn't any explanation as to why their booth was empty. Eventually someone took the Gentoo sign down.
As has been a tradition, FreeBSD had a booth at Linux World. The same folks were manning the FreeBSD booth as last year... and they also made it to as were at Linuxfest Northwest back in April. Them seem to have a good source of funding for the shows. I wonder how many shows they go to a year. Since they are such a fixture at so many Linux shows they are well known and are quite friendly folks. They had a ton of PC-BSD install CDs that they were giving away. If you are lucky enough to be befriended by any of them, you are rewarded with a set of devil horns to wear. Most of the Joomla booth staff were wearing horns.
At some point the FreeBSD folks noticed that the Debian and Gentoo booths were uninhabited so they decided to take them over. They covered the Debian and Gentoo booth tables with PC-BSD install media. At one point they even had a person sitting at the booths. The joke was that BSD stands for "Beats the Sh1t out of Debian". I thought the practice was tacky but in their defence someone in the Joomla booth said that the FreeBSD booth staff were really good friends with the Debian booth staff who would appreciate the joke.
The LXer Dude
I submitted my Day One report as an item for LXer.com and at the bottom of the submission, I put in a note to Scott Ruecker to stop by our booth so I could tell him about OpenVZ. He did stop by and we talked for a bit, mostly me telling him about OpenVZ, and he did actually mention me in some of his LWCE coverage.
OpenVZ in upcoming Debian
During slack time in the OpenVZ booth, I talked to Kir and learned a few things. The upcoming release of Debian sometime this year (Lenny, 5.0?) will have a kernel package that includes support for OpenVZ. It will be based on the 2.6.26 kernel. There are two Debian kernel package maintainers who are working on it... one who is supposedly an OpenVZ fan and the other one who isn't opposed to it. OpenVZ in 2.6.26 will not have all of the features of the current stable branches. For example, OpenVZ wrote a custom CPU scheduler for the RHEL5 based 2.6.18 kernel... BUT... there have been a lot of changes from 2.6.18 and 2.6.26.. SO... it appears to be more work than it is worth to forward port the CPU scheduler to 2.6.26 so it going to be dropped.
Also when the OpenVZ kernel developers are happy with the progress on 2.6.26, the 2.6.24 development branch is going to be dropped. What does that mean for Ubuntu who has a flavor of the OpenVZ kernel for Ubuntu 8.04 based on 2.6.24? They will have to maintain it... or perhaps switch to the 2.6.26 kernel... which I think would be a better option.
OpenVZ Future Partners?
Kir gave gave a presentation entitled, "Containers, Virtualization, and Live Migration". As the day progressed a number of people who had attended Kir's presentation stopped by the booth to get more info and ask questions.
A fellow from Cray Inc. wanted to know if OpenVZ would be appropriate for a particular project he was doing at Cray. I talked to him for a while and turned him over to Kir for some of his more technical questions. He mentioned that they have a lot of computationally intensive applications and would like to run multiple copies of their software on a single machine... but it was hard to do because they would step on each others toes. The idea was that he would try OpenVZ and use it to isolate the multiple copies of the software on the same physical host. I wish him luck and would love to hear how well OpenVZ ends up meeting their special needs.
Kir told me that he had recently gotten a number of emails regarding E*Trade working torward a big OpenVZ deployment. Daniel Robbins is working for / with them on the project and he appears to be a big OpenVZ fan. He has an automated build process that builds updated Gentoo OS Templates a couple of times a week for the various arch flavors supported by Gentoo. More on the E*Trade thingie later.
Roadmap for Linux Native Containers?
There was a Containers mini-summit at the Ottawa Linux Symposium on July 22nd where most of the developers working together on cgroups (Control Groups aka Linux Native Containers) meet to lay out a roadmap. The OpenVZ wiki has an article with the notes from that meeting.
At last year's LWCE we were saying that we hoped containers would be done in the mainline Linux kernel within twelve months. Twelve months have come and gone... and while significant progress has been made, and the OpenVZ patch gets smaller and smaller... there is still a lot of work to be done. What is the new guess on how long it will take Linux Native Containers to emerge? Kir's guess now is three to five years. While that sounds like a long time it should be noted that none of the existing OpenVZ code is being used and all of the cgroup code going into the mainline kernel (starting with 2.6.24) is completely new and being produced and approved by a number of stake holders including a few developers from Google and IBM. It looks like OpenVZ will be around for some time to come, eh?
Beer for Exhibitors and Presentors
After the day was over there was a bash inside of the Moscone center that ran from 5 - 7PM where they were giving away two types of on-tap beer, large soft pretzels, and mixed nuts. It appeared that people who didn't have anything better to do showed up... so Kir and I went. :) We got a couple of beers and sat down at a table. It just so happens that I sat down next to the author of Puppet and founder of Reductive Labs Inc., Luke Kanies. Just so happens that he said he would be flying to Houston next week to visit with E*Trade to work on using Puppet with their upcoming OpenVZ deployment. Cool.
There was also a large (up to your knee) metal grid ball robot thingie that flashed lights in a number of colors and played back random sci-fi sounds as it rolled around the room. There was a wireless controller for it that looked similar to a gaming console controller that was being passed around the crowd. One guy must have enjoyed his beer because he started dancing with it and jumping over it. Shortly after that we got the line, "You don't have to go home but you can't stay here," and the event was over.
What a fun day.