As usual with any show, the last day on the exhibit floor is very light. Both Marc and I were scheduled for the morning and Scott was not scheduled at all Thursday. We didn't always stick to the schedule though. Marc didn't get in until after 1pm and Scott was there most of the time anyway. Both Kir and Kostya made their rounds to see other exhibits as well did Scott. Not much swag was left, but it was fun to speak with others. In some cases it turned into just a cold-calling out on the floor.
Today Scott and I had plenty of time to get breakfast at Burger King on the way to the Mascone Center! Food at the food court is not very cheap. So I just didn't eat much yesterday. Had planned to eat with the OpenVZ/SWsoft group Tuesday evening but the location they were at when they called was about 1.4 miles away and we were on foot having just finished walking a mile already back to the apartment. So we had to bag out of going. The offer was up again for dinner tonight but Kir and Kostya needed to go to the airport (SFO) to try extending their stay here in SF. Before departing I let them know it would probably be a bit late for us to be out walking the streets. We are not in the better neighborhoods to be out and about on foot.
Got to the booth at 9 AM. Got the laptops setup. Set out the DVDs. Kir had some flyers he had printed at Kinkos... and the banner was hung nicely.
All five of us were there in the booth today so we all got a chance to take turns talking to people. The booth had quite a bit of activity. We gave away all 25 DVDs we had burned within the first few hours so Kostya and Warren were busy burning DVDs on both of their laptops for most of the day to keep up with demand.
The basic question everyone asked was... how is OpenVZ different from VMware... or Xen? I got rather good at explaining OpenVZ's seven main points.
Decided to go the Moscone Center around 11 AM. Checked in at the exhibitor desk and got an exibitor pass. While we were walking around trying to find the OpenVZ booth I had my video camera out and was taping the journey. Warren was taking pictures with his digital camera. The exhibitor floor was chaotic. There were dozens of fork lifts and various other vehicles running around. Many of the exhibitors have very elaborate booths that take a long time to setup. Finally found the ".org Pavilion" which is just a section of booths in the fair right corner of the exhibit floor. Most .org exhibitors just have a table, two chairs and perhaps a banner. More pictures in full article.
This opportunity kind of fell unexpectedly into my lap when Kir posted an announcement that they were looking for a few community members to help staff the booth given the fact that they had seven exhibit passes and would only be sending two of the OpenVZ developers over from Russia, "as to not stall development."
I've been increasing my OpenVZ knowledge and plan to practice giving demos with Warren a bit on Sunday and Monday. I've been using OpenVZ on a daily basis for over a year now, given two public OpenVZ presentations, written several articles... so interacting with community members and promoting OpenVZ to the crowd at LinuxWorld Expo seems like a natural progression. I really look forward to meeting Kir Kolyshkin and Konstantin Khorenko from the project as well as Marc Perkel who will also be staffing the booth.
I noticed a blog posting by Daniel Veillard on Fedora People about initial support for OpenVZ being added to libvirt. If you aren't familiar with libvirt, it is an underlying library/API that can be used by higher level tools to create, manage, and monitor virtual machines. libvirt is trying to be technology agnostic by supporting several virtualization technologies. They started off with Xen and QEMU but have since added KVM. libvirt is used by the GUI tool Virtual Machine Manager which first appeared in Fedora Core (now Fedora) but became part of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.
Looking at some of the postings in the libvirt mailing list archive for this month, it is mentioned that adding OpenVZ support is a bit different than previous technologies because the OpenVZ tools are already GPLed, "simple and straight forward", and than OpenVZ additions to libvirt "ends up looking very close to the original". I don't know how far away complete support for OpenVZ is in libvirt nor when it will show up in Virtual Machine Manager but I definitely look forward to it... although I doubt it would completely replace vzctl and the other OpenVZ tools for me.
I learned about a handy dandy program today named recordmydesktop and the GUI for it, gtk-recordmydesktop. Seems to work pretty well. How well? So well that I actually ran out and bought a microphone so I could record the following video.
I've done a few presentations on OpenVZ and I had some slides made so... what the heck... I thought I'd slap together a presentation video.
The video is 800x600 and I didn't want to stretch the center column on the front page, so read the full story to see the included video.
This weekend I finally got around to checking out OpenVZ. With lots of prodding from Scott, not to mention lots of help from Scott, I got this thing installed rather quickly. I pretty much followed Scott's latest article Intro to OpenVZ: Part II. I started with installing CentOS 4.4 using the custom minimalist install and updated everything. BTW this machine is an old Dell 2Ghz with 512MB RAM and 40GB drive.
The OpenVZ development team sent out a email today announcing the availability of kernel-2.6.9-023stab037.3. The main difference was stated as:
In-kernel sysfs/uevent layer is now updated to be compatible with FC5 and SLES10 userland.
What that means, I believe, is that whenever one tried to create a VPS of a distro that expects a newer kernel than 2.6.9, that distro would get very cranky... so installing FC5 and SLES10 VPSes used to require using the OpenVZ testing kernel based on 2.6.18. With this kernel upgrade, that no longer seems to be the case. Since I don't have any FC5 nor SLES10 VPSes, I haven't tested this out. Hmm, I wonder if FC6 as a VPS is supported yet?
After looking at a lot of the changes on the changelog page, there seems to be a lot of fixes. I've updated my OpenVZ Host machines and rebooted and it seems to be running nicely... but one always has to watch
/var/log/messages on the Host OS as well as
/proc/user_beancounter on the VPSes.
I think I have all of my VPSes tuned up well enough because I haven't noticed any
failcnt increments in some time.
I got contacted by SearchServerVirtualization.com to write an article about OpenVZ, and like... it was actually a paying gig. :) In the article I introduce OpenVZ as well as explain the process container form of virtualization. Obligatory quote:
There are a number of virtualization products for Linux and while I have used a number of them, the one that best fits my needs is OpenVZ. OpenVZ uses a form of virtualization called "process containers." OpenVZ is not a hardware emulator nor a virtual machine but a form of operating system-level virtualization that offers a way of grouping processes (running programs or system services) together to create a Virtual Environment (VE) or a Virtual Private Server (VPS).