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Cloud Foundry Advisory Board Meeting - 2014 April
by Samantha Singh

Samantha Singh, May 4, 2014
Cloud Foundry Advisory Board April 2014
Impact Update
 
Chris Ferris provided a brief update on the IBM Impact Conference. He noted several BlueMix announcements including updates for the IBM Cloud Marketplace and some additional capabilities for BlueMix. He pointed out that IBM DevOps Services, is essentially an extension of the formerly known "JazzHub" that allowed devops deployments into BlueMix, and “I think potentially into any Cloud Foundry, which is interesting,” remarked Chris.
 
 
 
 
BlueMix Garage
 
For the next announcement, Chris mentioned Rachel Reinitz, one of his colleagues. Rachel has been working closely with Pivotal and a company called Galvanize for the launch of BlueMix Garage. Chris described BlueMix Garage as follows: “bringing in IBM and non-IBM customers who want to play around with BlueMix, and essentially, it’ll be a very agile environment very much modelled after the Pivotal Labs kind of environment where there will be experts on hand, to help people both with agile methodologies as well as working with BlueMix and Cloud Foundry.” 
 
When in San Francisco, Chris remarked that he’s been excited to head over to the BlueMix Garage and he encouraged others to do so as well when they're in the area. He expressed that other Cloud Foundry experts are welcome to come in and help clients, customers, and non-customers, anybody, who wants to learn more about it and become comfortable with BlueMix and Cloud Foundry. Chris sensed a lot of excitement around Cloud Foundry, at Pulse. People were very interested in learning more. Customers were asking about Cloud Foundry and the role it plays inside BlueMix.
 
Cloud Foundry Summit Update
 
The Cloud Foundry Summit, June 9-11, will be similar to the one that was held in September. Joanne Muszynski is working on the event agenda. Monday will be the kickoff with a reception. There are going to be lightning talks and other talks for the first half, on Tuesday and Wednesday. There will be a technical business track breakout, Tuesday afternoon, (Joanne noted there will be re-naming of the technical session). Unconference is planned for Wednesday in the afternoon. Joanne provided a reminder that speaker submissions close Friday (the speaker submission deadline has been subsequently extended to May 9). 
 
There has been some talk about having a hackathon on Tuesday evening, as that timeframe is currently free. Joanne asked for Cornelia Davis’ input. Cornelia suggested a hackathon on Tuesday evening or “office hours”. It was decided that to further leverage Tuesday, Joanne, Cornelia and Rachel Reinitz may connect, and Cathy Spence would also be brought into this conversation.
 
BOSH Updates
 
James Bayer noted that he would go over the various subprojects of Cloud Foundry and the things he’s noticed over the last month. He focused on highlights.
 
A lot is going on with the BOSH team, particularly with stemcells. For more information, see these BOSH downloads. There are also new items to view, one of which is an Ubuntu Trusty, which is the 14.04 version. There is a stemcell for Amazon Web Services and other infrastructure will be coming soon. 
 
No dates or timeframes have been announced yet, but James remarked that it is clear that Lucid, is old and there is going to be a switch. He anticipates an overlap period to accommodate the transition. The team will then stop producing new Lucid stemcells and will switch to Trusty. James mentioned wanting to give everyone enough time to use Trusty. Runtime testing around Trusty has not been completed yet. There’s going to be a period of overlap that will provide enough time to give notice, and enable time for Trusty to be tried. The BOSH team is gearing up for the switch and transition. 
 
Ruby and Go Agent Stemcells
 
There are both Ruby and Go agent stemcells. James noted that the team is switching the little agent that spins up inside of the virtual machines that BOSH creates. “The agent has been written in Ruby for a long time and we’ve had a track of work to switch that over to Go,” remarked James. The team is about ready to make that switch. Greg will be announcing this on the mailing list. They will be encouraging everyone to start adopting the Go agent stemcells and will stop producing the stemcells with the Ruby agent. 
 
BOSH Errands
 
James brought up another area related to BOSH and stated: “there’s been downstream consumers, especially at Pivotal but I’m not sure the community really understands this concept of BOSH errands; that’s a feature that was recently finished by the BOSH team that really allows for one-off tasks to be produced in BOSH as opposed to, forever running, long-running processes.” If you want to do a health check or register a service broker after you do a BOSH deployment or unregister a service broker if deleting a BOSH deployment, or run a smoke-test; those actions might be one-off tasks, and only run for a short period of time. James noted that, “BOSH errands are a way that you can package those one-off tasks with the BOSH release and run those in a predictable way.”
 
He envisions that “people are probably excited to move to Trusty given that it has the newer kernel and would support things like; the things that Docker needs, other things that people want to do, that have been more difficult to do with Lucid.”
 
Single Sign-On
 
James Bayer moved on to discuss the Services Team and single sign-on (SSO). He remarked that if you’re running a service broker for Cloud Foundry and you want to bring in a dashboard because it has its own user interface, you can use the service dashboard SSO and have integration with the UAA such that end users of your service can have a single sign-on experience. Whether they might be in your development portal or whatever web console you’re running in, you can have a single sign-on experience and not have to supply credentials for that service user interface.
 
Performance Acceptance Tests (PAT) tool
 
In the last week of April, IBM came to the Pivotal San Francisco offices with their engineers who had been working on performance acceptance tests (PAT). They gave a presentation about how the PAT tool works and the progress of their developments.
 
James described how the PAT tool “allows you to run a bunch of in parallel performance tests against the cloud controller API, and over time, we’d like to be able to use something like this to see performance regressions testing in our CI pipelines for Cloud Foundry.” IBM is driving this work within the Cloud Foundry community.
 
You can find this tool on Github. There is also an Incubator Proposal document that explains the motivation and anticipated plans for the tool.
 
Heroku Buildpack
 
There has been a lot of vcap-dev discussion on Heroku buildpack specification change. There are calls for input, especially from those who have strong opinions about how this should be carried out. For those who wish to weigh in, comments can take place in the vcap-dev thread.
 
Diego Milestone
 
A milestone has taken place with Diego. They are able to stage applications in the pre-production CI pipeline environment. CenturyLink and IronFoundry came to the Pivotal San Francisco offices, to work together on connecting IronFoundry into this Diego style of working. James asked for questions, and if anyone at IronFoundry or CenturyLink had anything to add. Brian Button at CenturyLink Cloud shared a blog post.
 
OpenStack Added to Continuous Integration Tests
 
The runtime has a lot of Openstack continuous integration work planned for the next couple of iterations. James noted that, right now when there is a check in new code across various projects on the team, there is a series of pipelines doing unit tests and then integration tests, and those are mostly done on Amazon Web Services. OpenStack is being added to the continuous integration tests to enable early warning when there is a check in code. OpenStack is also being added so that whether or not, the code works on something like Amazon Web Services, it is being tested to work across other infrastructures who are on support like OpenStack.
 
CLI Plug-in
 
James noted that there has been discussion around CLI plug-ins on vcap-dev. For internationalization with the CLI: IBM has taken a lead in this area.
 
GitHub "cloudfoundry-community" Guidelines
 
Patrick Mueller discussed a Node.js package called `cf-env` which provides some ease-of-use functions to deal with Cloud Foundry environment variables, including VCAP_SERVICES and others. Looking to make a contribution to the GitHub cloudfoundry-community org he asked about the process. Patrick also suggested spelling out the process on the cloudfoundry-community GitHub org page, or posting a link to the process. In response, Dr. Nic shared a screenshot of 46 people listed who can be reached in order to create repos in Cloud Foundry community.
 
Golang Buildpack
 
James mentioned that the golang buildpack had been sitting in the incubator and the team working on the buildpacks would like to promote it to a top level project. The buildpacks team is currently a Pivotal team out of the New York Pivotal Labs offices. They have also been helping with existing buildpacks like bringing the Ruby buildpacks and Node.js buildpacks up-to-date so they can more easily track along with Heroku and yet still work in an offline environment. James sought community input and a vote ensued. 
 
Chris noted that the answers came across as overwhelmingly, yes. 
 
Current OpenStack CPI
 
Weian Deng brought up the current OpenStack CPI and its restrictions. He mentioned the restrictions for each VM in the manifest and as a result only one network in the interface can be specified. If there is an attempt to specify more than one, Weian noted that it will automatically error out.
 
According to Weian, many of the telecom services and applications, require multiple interfaces on the VM. He is seeking to remove the restriction. Yet, Weian also inquired if there were any concerns from the community if he were to proceed to do so.
 
Ferdy Rodenas noted that he did not have concerns with Weian seeking to make this change.
 
Bookbinder
 
Elisabeth Hendrickson discussed Cloud Foundry documentation and a tool, written in Ruby, Gem, with command-line utility, called bookbinder.
 
“Bookbinder enables modular documentation that can be used in multiple contexts,” according to Elisabeth. It was tailor-made for the Cloud Foundry documentation. In order to make it possible for others to use bookbinder as part of their documentation strategy related to Cloud Foundry, she noted wanting to see bookbinder moved into the Cloud Foundry incubator, in order to become a Cloud Foundry project.
 
A vote ensued. The vote question: Make bookbinder an incubation project? Yes or No. Manuel Garcia had reservations and voted No. He was unable to be on the call at this time, and Renat Khasanshyn, spoke in his stead. Renat suggested that the reservations could stem from core vs non-core items, further to the Cloud Foundry Summit in September; having a strong core that is directly related to this project is key. Renat noted Manuel may view this as non-core. All others who voted, selected yes. Further discussion ensued. Renat gave a go-ahead.
 
vCloud CPI Update   
 
Killian Murphy noted that updates culminating over the past six months were now available for vCloud CPI. The updated open source documentation was made available at cloundfoundry.org as well.  
 
Major and Minor Releases
 
Aaron Huber raised for discussion, the topic of changing releases and having major and minor releases, where you can move from one base to the next major release. The last he had heard on this subject, there were recommendations to move through every release. He wanted to inquire if there was further thought on this matter. James responded, sharing his understanding for the motivations / needs behind the inquiry. He noted, that, at present, the current recommended course of action is to move through every release. James suggested that further discussion could take place at the upcoming Cloud Foundry Summit.
 
PAT Proposed as an Incubator Project
 
Alex Tarpinian described some of the benefits of the PAT tool. He noted that with each new version of Cloud Foundry, a set of tests could be run that can quickly determine changes between releases that may have a performance impact. He also pointed out that there are some things you can do visually to assess and view the output, yet, it is a separate thing that could be worked on. He highlighted that with data you can view each time you go through a build, this visibility can lend to picking up things early on, and seeing good performance, early on too.
 
Alex provided a brief recap of the IBM demo that had taken place at the Pivotal San Francisco offices, and he proposed moving the PAT tool into a formal incubator.
 
Chris arranged the vote, the question: Make pat an incubator project? All who voted, were in favor.
 
Conclusion
 
Chris asked for any other topics, and he closed the meeting, looking forward to the upcoming June 9-11 Cloud Foundry Summit.  
 
The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, May 28th at 8am PST.  
 

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Samantha joined ActiveState as Public Relations Manager. She is passionate about technology, especially Stackato® and effective communications. Samantha specializes in investor and public relations, strategic communications and inbound marketing. With ten years of experience helping businesses communicate and build their brands, she has worked with top ten global international research firms, a national non-profit organization and public and private corporations in the IT education, broadband, pre-paid and stored value products and software sectors. She is the co-author of an article published for the ESOMAR Annual Congress on the redefinition of multi-modal research and the use of apps to understand audience engagement during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™. When not at the office Samantha enjoys reading, writing, wakeboarding and having hiked the West Coast Trail and the Markha Valley Trail she is contemplating a next adventure.