Sunday, January 20, 2013

FUDCon 2013, Lawrence, KS Day 2

Slow start today, seems lots of folks were up late last  night and had trouble getting up this morning. Unfortunately, I had to skip out on the game night.

Today, more interesting conversations and sessions:

1. Automated testing and QA - conversations about AutoQA, RobotFramework, Autotest, Cucumber, and more. Watch that space for more to come.
2. Spot's grandiose ideas:
  a. Fedora Badging via systemd and fedmsg. The idea is an incentive project to motivate users to test applications by awarding them badges for running applications, badges might be rewarded with real world rewards, ie., Raspberry Pi, etc.
  b. Fedora App store - build an infrastructure that provides the users with an app store interface for software, as opposed to the current mechanism of packageKit updates. Third party apps might be made available via COPRs (see yesterday's post).
3. Formulas - For the moment, this seems to be Ansible playbooks that can be used to quickly and efficiently create a system with a "personality".
4. GPG Smart card authentication capabilities - Herlo has a github repo with instructions on setting this up and the scripts necessary to accomplish. Interesting alternative to CAC authentication that's popular with government agencies now.

An interesting conversation that is ongoing and will take some serious soul searching and long, late night conversations, related to Spot's talks and ideas, revolved around the future of Fedora. Given the shift in the marketplace/user community/world to a mobile platform space, where does that leave desktop focused linux distributions? This runs us into the existential question - what is Fedora really? Many of the conversations focused on the aspect of Red Hat's relationship to the project - Fedora as an R&D platform for RHEL and other RH products.

An interesting suggestion, that's definitely contentious, was that the project focus on providing a smaller footprint platform, a "core" somewhat like Fedora Core but somehow different, that has the basic functionality necessary on which things like an app store, desktop, images, mobile device interface, etc., can be installed. Those pieces would all still potentially be part of the Fedora Project, where as the premiere product or offering from the project is the distribution. In essence, changing the vision from an RPM based yum repo distribution to a core OS, usable in many spaces (think mobile devices - smart phones and tablets), with the ability to have app stores, formulas, servers, cloud images, etc., that can be built on top of the offering.

Oh yeah, something I almost forgot about from yesterday - Peer-to-peer installation mechanism. The idea here is that if we have to install thousands of systems at once, network b/w is going to be a huge bottleneck. If we can have the installer potentially share out the packages that are being installed to other install processes, we can reduce the amount of bandwith and load on the authoritative media source.

The use case is a datacenter composed of multi-system pizza boxes. Hardware vendors are beginning to see increased interest in 1U and 2U with multiple systems inside. A few  folks from some hardware companies mentioned to me that they are building systems with 48, quad core systems  in a 1U and they are working on figuring out how to install a plant with cabinets of these systems. In other words, 1000s of systems in a single cabinet.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Updated! - FUDCon 2012, Lawrence, KS Day 1

Now with links!!

Wow, so many interesting and fascinating ideas. Here's what I've learned about and will be investigating further over the next few months:

1. Pulp 2.0 - Extensible past RPM content, right now puppet modules can be pushed via pulp.
2. Ansible - Fireball mode uses ZeroMQ, allows large scalability and fast messaging.
3. COPRs - Collection Of Package Repos, method of building and distributing packages without needing a Koji infrastructure. Interesting for third party software.
4. OpenLMI - Interesting idea, standardization of management tools into a larger framework, unless I am completely misunderstood.

Lots of things that are very relevant to the work I do and will be doing in the next few years. The lightning talks and presentations were very interesting. As always, it's been great to see all the Fedora friends in person!!

More coming tomorrow.