FewBar.com - Make It Good This is the personal website of Clint Byrum. Any words on here are expressly Clint's, and not those of whatever employer he has at the moment. http://fewbar.com/ Tue, 22 Nov 2016 05:34:56 +0000 Tue, 22 Nov 2016 05:34:56 +0000 Jekyll v3.3.1 The real newcomers taking your job, since 1961, and still going <p>The recent Presidential and Congressional elections in the US shocked me to the core. I, like many of my closest friends, were certain that the American people would reject Donald Trump and the Republican party’s rhetoric.</p> <p>But the election happened, and since then, I’ve been trying to pay attention to the reasons. I’ve had many conversations with Trump voters and the old adage proves true: It’s the economy, stupid.</p> <p>But what’s wrong with the economy? For me, a tech worker in California, the last 8 years have been the best of my life. My pay has risen, and my job quality has gone up. This is true of all of my close associates as well. We simply haven’t seen this economy as anything but a boon. Of course, we’ve worked hard, and played our cards right. But the timing has never been better for workers in the tech sector.</p> <p>However, I’m not ignorant to the reasons behind this. Why is my salary going up, but those of factory workers in Ohio and Michigan going down?</p> <p>Donald Trump would have you believe it is our trade policies and the lack of a large wall on our southern border. The latter is an absolutely absurd idea on its face, but if you think longer, it’s really just a physical manifestation of the frustration of his supporters. They do see Mexican and Central American immigrants working, and they think “They took some US Citizen’s job.”</p> <p><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/22/us/immigrants-arent-taking-americans-jobs-new-study-finds.html?_r=0">Economists disagree</a>. In fact, those immigrants who have illegally crossed the border tend to take service economy jobs that are low paying and without benefits. Because they live in fear of deportation, they tend not to exercise their labor rights, and as a result, tend to have a very low job quality. That’s not the kind of job that will “make America great again”. That’s the kind of job that comes and goes over time and leads mostly to a lower class lifestyle. Those who come legally tend to come on visas to fill labor shortages, despite rhetoric suggesting that somehow companies are abusing the H1B and other programs.</p> <p>But what about trade policies? Is it simply too easy to make stuff in China, Mexico, or Pakistan, and then import it back to the US?</p> <p>That is a part of it. Those places don’t have the same worker protections and have a lower cost of living, so one would expect that greedy corporations can make more money by reducing manufacturing costs there, and giving back a bit of the margin in shipping costs.</p> <p>But many things made in factories require customization. One difficulty in putting the product so far from the consumer, is that you can only make to stock. Make to order with a 10 week lead time is extremely haphazard and unpopular with most products. Many of the products still made in the US are of this kind.</p> <p>Also many products require skilled labor to produce. While a T-shirt can be sewed by relatively unskilled hands, and an iPhone can be assembled in stages that require minimal training, a wafer of microprocessors must be created in a high level clean room by automation that is overseen by well trained employees. Certain products are simply so American that it would make no sense to make it anywhere else, such as Wilson Footballs which will likely forever be made in the US unless China decides it wants more concussions and we end up with a Shanghai vs. Dallas super bowl in 2035.</p> <p>Also, don’t forget that these countries have now built their own middle class, and will soon run out of cheap labor as well. There are more emerging economies, but the point is, this isn’t a never ending chain, though it is one that doesn’t end soon.</p> <p>So I would suggest that while globalisation is an important factor, it’s been here for a long time, and no recent trade policies have really added to its impact. Those jobs aren’t coming back because our government wills them to. Tarrifs on Chinese imports will just result in China putting Tarrifs on US goods, and soon you’ll find that companies in the US are struggling to grow because the US economy, while large, is not in fact big enough to sustain itself. Whether you agree with the way in which NAFTA or the TPP were implemented, the economy will experience a huge upheaval without international free trade of some kind.</p> <p>So, globalization took jobs away decades ago. What’s going on now? Why haven’t manufacturing jobs grown with the rest of the economy?</p> <p>Well, I’m sorry to say, but in many cases, I took your job. Not me personally, but my industry has made automation and artificial intelligence a reality. And if you are being relied upon to make things even after globalization, get ready to have your job threatened again. <a href="http://www.historyofinformation.com/expanded.php?id=4071">In 1961 the first industrial robot, Unimate</a> took dangerous jobs away from GM factory workers, and since then plenty more robots have been added to the global manufacturing scene. This was an expensive robot to build and oporate, and so, by the 1980’s, we had already seen that generation of robots take as many jobs as were going to be taken.</p> <p>But lo, a new generation is upon us. <a href="http://science.howstuffworks.com/baxter-robot3.htm">Robots are on the market right now that cost under $30,000</a>, and will do general purpose tasks with enough flexibility to make things to order. This means that for a capital investment of a low end employee’s salary for a year, a factory can replace a human right here in the US. No more benefits, smaller parking lot, no <em>air conditioning</em> or <em>heating</em>, no cafeteria. And they’ll just need to employ a couple of engineers to keep the whole thing running.</p> <p>So what do we do for those displaced workers as automation happens at this level?</p> <p>Well believe it or not, there are <em>tons</em> of jobs that aren’t getting done because of labor <em>shortages</em>. These jobs aren’t just in computers. They are also civil engineering tasks, environmental engineering, and raw science. These are all things that will want you to have specific training, whether it’s a doctorate degree or some specific training in a particular field.</p> <p>But, you don’t have a college degree, you weren’t trained in one of these fields, and your job is threatened so you’re not going to be able to afford to get one.</p> <p>Well, folks, this is where the recent choice of a Republican Majority government is going to make this hard. The republicans are suggesting that if they let those at the top keep more of their money, they’ll build more factories, and invest in more businesses. But the reality is, that will just enable them to buy more automated infrastructure, and keep even more of their profits. They’ll do this 100% under the protection of the US constitution, and there won’t be anything you can do about it.</p> <p>I know, it sounds like marxism to some, but the answer is to <em>raise</em> taxes on those individuals living far above subsistance and even above comfortable middle class lives. We should then use that money to make college and advanced job training affordable, or even free to those who qualify by their academic achievements. That will get us even more engineers and scientists to actually build the world we want to live in, and also more system administrators, repair technicians, etc. to keep the world running. Most of these are safe jobs, and many of them can be done remotely, so you don’t have to move to a dirty, crowded city to take them.</p> <p>And make no mistake, what I’m arguing for is my own salary to be reduced. If there are more people out there who can do my job, I can expect to make less money. But I’d be happy to have less money, if it meant my kids get to live in a world where everybody has a chance to do what they want with their time, and we have the time to take care of the earth the way it should be done.</p> Mon, 21 Nov 2016 00:00:00 +0000 http://fewbar.com/2016/11/automation-will-change-your-job/ http://fewbar.com/2016/11/automation-will-change-your-job/ automation labor future america Life OpenStack needs an Architecture WG - Because we all can't be Gaudi <p><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antoni_Gaud%C3%AD">Antoni Gaudi</a> designed one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in my life, the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casa_Batll%C3%B3">Casa Batlló</a> in Barcelona. <img src="/images/Casa-Batllo-Barcelona.jpg" alt="Casa Batlló" /></p> <p>While touring the site, the audio tour guide explained multiple times that this entire site, from the basement to the roof, had no written detailed plans. Gaudi had to supervise every aspect of the construction, so that it was exactly the perfect masterpiece it is today. Gaudi is truly a legendary human being, and one of the greatest architectural minds in history. This means that he produced masterpieces, but it also means they can never be duplicated, are nearly impossible to improve, and are even quite difficult to maintain.</p> <p>And it is now, while I’m stuffed into “The giant metal tube” (Thanks <a href="https://twitter.com/robynbergeron">Robyn</a>), that I’m enjoying a rare moment of very clear thought after an <a href="https://www.openstack.org/summit/barcelona-2016/">OpenStack Summit</a> related to “God’s Architect”.</p> <p>The most important session that I attended, and led, was <a href="https://etherpad.openstack.org/p/BCN-architecture-wg">a fishbowl to discuss the Architecture Working Group</a>. Even with <a href="http://lists.openstack.org/pipermail/openstack-dev/2016-June/097657.html">mailing list threads</a>, <a href="https://review.openstack.org/#/c/335141/">review cycles</a>, <a href="https://etherpad.openstack.org/p/architecture-working-group">etherpads</a>, and <a href="https://wiki.openstack.org/wiki/Meetings/Arch-WG">meetings</a> behind us, it was clear from the discussion that there was some broad misunderstanding of what we were doing and why we want it to be a part of the community. We definitely used the time well and I think scraped away some of the boilerplate “we’re a team here we are” boring stuff and dug down to what it is we want to do.</p> <p>In a nutshell, we’re here to look at the Nova, Neutron, Oslo, et. al masterpieces, and write down the plans that were never created before. While there are change specs, and manuals for much of it, quite a bit has no binding theory of operation. As a result, there is quite a strong cargo cult inside OpenStack, leading to forward progress without understanding. This creates an OpenStack where there are more people writing code than can understand code, which complicates every aspect of developing and even operating it.</p> <p>We want to make sure that OpenStack can continue moving forward, and so, we need to write down how things work now, record the current theory of operation, and then collaborate on improvements to those theories and the actual implementations.</p> <p>Without the Architecture Working Group, I’m sure OpenStack will remain valuable and even be maintainable. However, I’d like to see it continue to evolve and thrive even faster, and I’m proud to be working with people to try and provide a safe place to make that happen.</p> Sun, 30 Oct 2016 00:00:00 +0000 http://fewbar.com/2016/10/openstack-architecture-wg-because-we-all-arent-gaudi/ http://fewbar.com/2016/10/openstack-architecture-wg-because-we-all-arent-gaudi/ communication openstack summit barcelona architecture Life OpenStack Open Source People Communicate <p>As I sit here preparing to cross the Atlantic, I am pondering on what we’ll do <a href="https://www.openstack.org/summit/barcelona-2016/">in barcelona</a>.</p> <p>This will be my… (stopping to count on fingers.. running out of fingers…) 11th Summit. Back in the Essex days, I was communicating about <a href="https://jujucharms.com/">Juju</a> whilst working for <a href="http://www.canonical.com">Canonical</a>. It was a fantastic experience to see some of the same communication methods we had used at <a href="http://uds.ubuntu.com/">Ubuntu Developer Summits</a>, and new ones, coming together to form this massive community.</p> <p>This will be the last summit where we ask <em>every</em> technical contributor to join the fray. An evolution of the process is under way, which has been called the <a href="http://www.openstack.org/ptg">Project Teams Gathering</a>. So this may be the last time we do it the way it has always been done, with technical contributors mingling with business folks at the OpenStack Conference. There are some <a href="http://lists.openstack.org/pipermail/openstack-dev/2016-October/105524.html">concerns about this</a>, some even <a href="http://lists.openstack.org/pipermail/openstack-dev/2016-October/105260.html">expressed by me</a>. But I trust those who have been formulating this plan to be dilligent at iterating on it to improve our throughput.</p> <p>And the reason I trust them is that I have seen one constant throughout successful Open Source contributors. We all communicate. I take it for granted how well we actually communicate, given how distributed we are, and how few shared objectives we have. But I think what separates a pet project on github from an Ansible or OpenStack sized project is contributors who communicate early, and communicate often.</p> <p>So, I am very much looking forward to this upcoming summit. I expect that we will all do our best to communicate by listening, recording, reflecting, and adding our voics. But I am also quite excited to see how the new format works out not only at the PTG in February, but also the <a href="https://www.openstack.org/summit/boston-2017/">next Summit in Boston</a>.</p> Sat, 22 Oct 2016 00:00:00 +0000 http://fewbar.com/2016/10/opensource-people-communicate/ http://fewbar.com/2016/10/opensource-people-communicate/ communication openstack summit barcelona Life OpenStack Goodbye Wordpress+Drizzle+AWS, Hello Github Pages <p>For the past 6 years, my website has been running on WordPress, with <a href="http://drizzle.org">Drizzle</a> as the backend database. As far as I know, I’m the only person who was insane enough to attempt this. It required patching <del>Drizzle</del>WordPress to support valid dates (MySQL allows 0000-00-00 in some cases, wordpress uses this heavily), and that patching has just gotten too difficult to keep up with.<sub><a href="#wordpress-drizzle-plugin">1</a></sub></p> <p>This also included running on a <em>t1.micro</em> at Amazon. This helped me learn how AWS works, and that was useful, but at this point, I think the $17/month or so that I’m paying for it isn’t really worth it, and I don’t login enough to learn much anymore.</p> <p>So I’ve decided to make the jump to GitHub pages. I like the idea of having a nice static page for my blog. Comments can happen on social media.</p> <p>Thanks GitHub for giving us coders a place to drop a static web page.</p> <p>And, so long Drizzle, and thanks for all the fish.</p> <p><a name="wordpress-drizzle-plugin">Edit 1, October 10, 09:27 PDT</a>: <em>I also wrote a <a href="https://launchpad.net/wordpress-drizzle">wordpress drizzle plugin</a> to handle the more straight forward elements of Drizzle’s more strict SQL dialect, but that never gave me any trouble once written. The issue with 0000-00-00 is that it is used all over WordPress as a string literal and there’s no single place to change that.</em></p> Sun, 09 Oct 2016 00:00:00 +0000 http://fewbar.com/2016/10/goodbye-wordpress-drizzle-hello-github-pages/ http://fewbar.com/2016/10/goodbye-wordpress-drizzle-hello-github-pages/ jekyll wordpress drizzle aws ec2 github Life Mitaka, you taka, we all taka in Tokyo <p>OpenStack is weird.</p> <p>In past professional lives, when I've taken on projects bigger than myself, I've always had to learn to make peace where there was conflict, and drive past all of the fun houses and arcades to get to an even better, happier, cleaner place at the end of that long dark road. But OpenStack makes that weird because sometimes you literally end up in arcades and fun houses.<a id="more"></a><a id="more-657"></a></p> <p>Take Robot Restaurant. Why wouldn't you put a tourist-aimed show highlighting robots, manga, and taiko drums in a basement in the middle of the red light district? Same question, why not <a href="http://lists.openstack.org/pipermail/openstack-dev/2015-October/076918.html">post to a thread </a>about experimental scheduler rewrites? Like the show, these threads are just a never ending sequence of retorts, with the tanks defeating the panda, and the giant snake defeating the tanks, and the giant laser robot dragon defeating the snake, and then robot ballet, and eventually you forget that the point of this was to save nature and instead you just want <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="http://lists.openstack.org/pipermail/openstack-dev/2015-October/076825.html"><strong><span style="color: #ff0000; text-decoration: underline;">MORE DRAGONS</span></strong></a></span>. <a href="http://www.shinjuku-robot.com/pc/"><img class="alignnone" title="MOAR DRAGONS" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_6g9nEzO2oQRy3i_cD2yKawnzJYJdrTFAQ2-3DWJCk628u7f6gi_WyiXhVWPSOiecxefC2PCjymgpcNmAcQdutkC_UZ_YxJHfIB60vBuQFkqeuvMFMXOz2SvXKMl9FsE9QLN_GJ68MVB7pvpS-QqCxjsb0kqEzbDexWjNPgFiJ0VMYQjfB-QzyePUctioj5O27tB3Aq3e97f7NkltMK6cXxZ2OUeAwBegt0utLgVzAjVuRX3l9EKUSY8BZepdcgFyLp4xiNav3_5mu6z_K-BmnbgxIX81P87lE5dvo-4WnrJHuiO8ONGUJ1oVb84Uabc0Ow_Q6NuPBJNwikAoAHWJ09DpnxOTcUyb0BPWKe4j_g1DTMNngLpNnTkHSd9_kZJsnTpabUWYFJevCJDOfAabc8hvz3D79RzwYqwDARo-Qn6nFnw5kKP-5q_xRiGbRZyc-mXmfnojAo8rmjzx4V5u-i3ealeQPLoGtDuJXbQFjV39_GyudCJHSocTRLsQIIpcDJF2IUnZnwYVo7d1PiyfugsWTJFNf0d7gAKUDihlGoa=w1920-h1032-no" alt="" width="700" /></a>Whatever the point of this, once you escape it, you realize that while that idea may have been on the road to the end goal of scaling OpenStack up and out, it probably wasn't the next step. And beside that, we haven't even gotten to the summit yet!</p> <p>OpenStack is weird, because a lot of the time you read the code, you think you know what it means, and then you have a conversation whilst walking by a Koi pond, and it shatters what you thought you knew.</p> <p>For instance, I had always assumed that cells were in fact just sharding the control plane for the sake of scaling out the control plane. But whilst strolling past Shinto shrines in the hotel garden in Tokyo, John Garbutt explained to me that cells are so much more. They also are about scaling at the rate that current cells users like to scale their business. The whole control plane that goes along with that scaling unit is just a handy layer around new servers which has some nice aspects like being able to test this new gaggle of servers a bit before throwing the wild and crazy users onto it. This helps me understand why single cells were never pushed beyond a few hundred servers worth of scale now. It also makes me want to double-down my efforts to scale cells up quite a bit, as some of us would like to scale our business in smaller and larger batches. Inner peace achieved.</p> <p>Also, sometimes you think "well certainly people will have just accepted the JVM as their RAM's eventual keeper", and then you find out that there are entire ops departments that flatly refuse to support Java in any way, and if you asked them to run <a href="https://zookeeper.apache.org/">Zookeeper</a> (a java based distributed lock manager++) to help coordinate your python based OpenStack services, they'd probably start looking for a new way to run a cloud. Point one for <a href="http://consul.io">consul.io</a> and abstractions like tooz that will let us experiment and run other things written in the new crop of languages which I like to call "notjava". This isn't a fun house on the way to scaling, this is the arcade. This arcade is similar to the one we wandered into in Shinjuku, where there are many, many old boring looking games that we've all played before, are still fun, and actually work great, and a few new shiny games that look fantastic, but are supremely crappy and mostly just take your money. My advice: either play street fighter (Zookeeper), or rock that new Taiko drum thing (Consul).<a href="http://consul.io"><img class="alignnone" title="Taiko Drums as a Service" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/uBj0FEomq76TpdneR5iqsoVREJhXSbyX2p_hWbIoXPz9VexkmokxW7UvKPFlX493zOSF5DcedUhNVvh90L_twlntqH9CZOTZn5XxKM1KUMqrGV5wbz_jUA0TyYST5pRnHTqIrJ0axDLAKwHaQij2p7WGDg-CCgDS7m9mlIBj6bsXjefAGTaoqYOBkPiquhEXEbN87nLL47ynoNAiJY6ee_m1lGKfBiGR8-D20n4I71q7gjLlOMsqA3QaSc50SEMoOYKS4p2eg1SSQxzw-jWeb6ZUNPP2rJeDU9-RyCFXmEzKQiTo3jretYIqUyApWZqsV_SkZnO7NA7l0vgvY3woZN26rhQLkYIa31kS6KnjsnhzquPgXmz7A55hM1i2MUK8vpM_iH2Ti3XHYiyd5vYHntumno_SpTiuLseCJS7dhHSrxBQsSAe5DU2duE4lQC-A5TRsiPqp0VNTN3nqHTbC4y_bTzpVhNCwz2EEUzT7qjzTWw1TBd8FKyv_ODYM2JTf1oouGBAp14qEBvQnztgqjx5F7wTtUuSKn7cJ8pS3HitZ=w829-h1105-no" alt="" width="700" /></a>Whatever you do, <strong>make sure you're doing it because it gets you out of that arcade as soon as possible</strong>. You're not making a distributed lock thing, you're making an OpenStack!</p> <p>And after wandering around all of these fascinating places, and sampling all of these grand ideas, one realizes that all you really want is something fresh and new that hasn't been sitting around getting older. So instead of chatting into the wee hours over Yoichi Whiskey and so many bottles of sake, you turn in early, wake up at 0600, and wander alone into the fish market for sushi breakfast. And there, you realize that you do not need to wait for others in OpenStack. Certainly, tell them where you're going, and why you're going to bed early and doing things that might confuse them. And if they ask to come, be polite and offer them a way to join you. But ultimately, get your sushi. Enjoy your <a href="https://review.openstack.org/#/c/230183/">fresh ideas</a>, and enjoy implementing them. Sure, you might wander into the wrong subway station, take 3 stops in the wrong direction, even drop a receipt, shaming your entire nationality when you force a thoughtful Japanese person to pick it up and inform you of your transgression politely. But ultimately, you will find your sushi, and as a result, your belly will be full, and commerce will continue, whether you participate or not.</p> Tue, 03 Nov 2015 18:52:34 +0000 http://fewbar.com/2015/11/mitaka-you-taka-we-all-taka-in-tokyo/ http://fewbar.com/2015/11/mitaka-you-taka-we-all-taka-in-tokyo/ Scalability openstack mitaka tokyo zookeeper consul cells sushi Life Scalability OpenStack One small step for an open source developer, one giant leap for OpenStack kind <p>The great thing about working in Open Source is that often one can drive a single mission through multiple organizations to an end goal that makes the most sense for the community. I hope that some find the changes I made to OpenStack while at HP useful both inside HP, and outside. They were a fantastic employer and I'm eager to see where HP Enterprise goes from here.</p> <p>That said, I'm extremely excited to be joining IBM to work on OpenStack from a different angle. We'll be doing some really cool things, and I just can't wait to get the ball rolling! In fact I won't have to wait as today is my first day, and I'm here in North Carolina at the Research Triangle Park to begin my assimilation into the borg.. er.. to be oriented for employment at IBM.</p> Mon, 21 Sep 2015 11:00:24 +0000 http://fewbar.com/2015/09/one-small-step-for-an-open-source-developer-one-giant-leap-for-openstack-kind/ http://fewbar.com/2015/09/one-small-step-for-an-open-source-developer-one-giant-leap-for-openstack-kind/ cloud openstack ibm hp Life OpenStack Self Reflection: Collaboration requires trust <p>Medical doctors have a fairly well understood job, at least on the surface.. I think. People arrive in front of them, and describe their problems with a specific mind to get those problems solved. A medical doctor observes, listens and examines, and then takes action based on incomplete information. They may decide to run tests, or take a best-effort guess at a treatment plan. At this point, they are prescribing to solve problems which the owner of the problem cannot solve themselves.</p> <p>Engineers sometimes act like doctors. Specifically, I have often acted in this way in the past. At times, this works out well. A confused set of engineers describes their issues, and I can respond with strategies to fix them.</p> <p>However, when an engineering effort reaches a certain size, this simply does not scale. As the doctor, you will either be crushed under the weight of so many requests, or you will be operating under such stress that your information will be wildly inaccurate and your understanding of each team's problems will be skewed.<a id="more"></a><a id="more-640"></a></p> <p>I've been in this situation, and often start to draw tribal lines subconsciously. The use of the word "<span style="color: #993300;">they</span>" instead of "<span style="color: #339966;">we</span>" is a good indicator of when you've decided people are not part of your tribe. And by drawing these lines, you shrink your sphere of concern to a level that allows you to continue prescribing solutions. If the other tribe enters, they are not looked as a whole group with real issues. They are part of "they", and thus get the same answer: "Do it my way or be gone."</p> <p>I've often felt that this was justified. I've said things to myself or others in my tribe like "We are doing something a bit radical, so it's natural for <span style="color: #ff0000;">them</span> to fight it." or "<span style="color: #ff0000;">They</span>'re just frustrated because this is so different from the way <span style="color: #ff0000;">they</span> do things."</p> <p>This is all garbage. This is caused by trying to prescribe and act like the doctor, rather than being a collaborative and helpful engineer. Collaboration means listening, and applying a reasonable amount of both scepticism and trust with your peers. It means forming working groups and being "<span style="color: #99cc00;">we</span>" and "<span style="color: #008000;">us</span>", and making sure that the members of that group that aren't part of your usual tribe are aware they are peers in the effort.</p> <p>The main reason to do this is trust. Without trust, you start to make decisions, conscious or unconscious, that exclude the untrusted parties. Pretty soon it gets even less comfortable because now you have secrets, and likely they do too.</p> <p>After this, whoever is doing the prescribing (such as me in some recent dealings) finds themselves prescribing solutions to the wind, because those who were untrusted and treated as inferior will find a way to go forward without you.</p> <p>So, I hope that somebody finds the advice I have recently given myself useful: collaborate, avoid prescribing, and always be aware of the impact your actions may have on trust.</p> Wed, 28 Jan 2015 08:57:52 +0000 http://fewbar.com/2015/01/self-reflection-collaboration-requires-trust/ http://fewbar.com/2015/01/self-reflection-collaboration-requires-trust/ Life Engineers NEWS FLASH: Facebook does not improve your life <p>Up until recently, I felt like Facebook/Google+/Twitter/etc. had made life better. I told myself that I could live ANYWHERE in the world and still be so close to everyone.</p> <p>Oh how misguided that view is. I posit that the truth is really quite the .. op..posite. The more I lean on Facebook to keep me close to my "friends", the further they seem from me. When I meet somebody new who seems like they'd be a good friend, exchanging facebook information just means we probably won't ever see eachother again.<a id="more"></a><a id="more-619"></a></p> <p>But, we will get to know eachother digitally. Now we have efficient online communication. We can share all of the great, funny moments in our lives. It is wonderful, isn't it?</p> <p>But it's not. When we didn't have these sharing devices, we actually had to get together and <strong>SHOW EACHOTHER</strong> our photos. When we didn't have Twitter and we thought of something witty, we'd just say it. When we want to watch the Cowboys play against that new friend's dirty rotten Redskins, we'd arrange to watch the game with them. And likewise, when we had a shitty day, we'd share it with the people we really care about, and they'd be happy to share it too, because your problems make them feel like theirs aren't nearly as bad.</p> <p>So, in true Conan O'Brien fashion, I endeavor to contrast 2013, with "The year two-thousaaaaaand".</p> <p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/V-rdq1RFHCw" frameborder="0" width="420" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>Reading a good book and want to share your feelings with friends. <strong>2013</strong>: Facebook status update "zOMG the red wedding was mind blowing. Crying." 42 likes, 6 comments, flame war over spoilers. <strong>2000</strong>: Call best friend, make them promise they will start tonight and read through three books just to get to the red wedding. Head to happy hour with co-workers who like the book because the sadness of being alone at home with this knowledge is just too much.  Learn that Trevor from QA also has red eared slider turtles and exchange tips for cleaning the tank.</p> <p>Testing out new recipe for tortellini. <strong>2013</strong>: Tweet picture of tortellinis, leave out 6 batches of "bad ones" and just show the single plate of awesomeness. 2 favorites, 3 replies along the lines of "YUMM!", 1 retweet. <strong>2000</strong>: Make tortellini for self, wretch. Make more, wretch. Make first edible batch, give to wife. Watch her wretch. Laugh with wife and have food fight. Make baby. Make good tortellini. Invite friends over for dinner, make them laugh telling them food fight story. 9 months later they name <em>their</em> baby after you.</p> <p>Overspend when money is tight then get hit with car repair bill. <strong>2013</strong>: Facebook status update "Who doesn't love Ramen?" 73 likes, 49 coments. <strong>2000</strong>: Call best friend and confide in them. Go to liquor store and buy 18 pack of Coors Light, run into neighbor who hates you because your cat craps in his yard. See that neighbor is buying box wine. Bond over cheap alcohol. Invite neighbor over, brings his niece, niece and your visiting 31 year old son fall in love, get married, and name their baby after you.</p> <p>See, it is clear. Social networking is robbing us of babies and killing our turtles.</p> Sat, 31 Aug 2013 04:43:49 +0000 http://fewbar.com/2013/08/news-flash-facebook-does-not-improve-your-life/ http://fewbar.com/2013/08/news-flash-facebook-does-not-improve-your-life/ google facebook twitter social networking babies Life The Rocket Ship to Havana - OpenStack Summit Spring 2013 <p>I started this blog post as "The Road to Havana", but immediately it struck me that the term "road" just doesn't do this summit justice.</p> <p>Day 1 was full of <a href="http://wiki.openstack.org/Heat">Heat</a> for me. As a recent addition to the Heat core reviewer team, it was quite helpful and a pleasure to meet most of the other developers in person. This happened about 10 minutes before our first session together. It never ceases to impress me how easy it is to meet somebody in real life whom you've been corresponding with over only IRC and email. In this case, I felt face to face contact just added warmth and depth to already warm and friendly professional relationships.</p> <p>Heat is on a path toward being a really great solution for managing large application deployments in OpenStack clouds. <a id="more"></a><a id="more-608"></a>Six months ago I was focused on <a href="http://juju.ubuntu.com/">Juju</a> as a part of that discussion, and Heat was just this little incubating <a href="http://aws.amazon.com/cloudformation/aws-cloudformation-templates/">AWS CloudFormation</a> compatibility engine. Juju has been focusing on a rewrite, which I think is a mistake the project will likely be regretting for a long time. Meanwhile, Heat has turned into a project to gather effort around making orchestration and high order control services built in features of OpenStack.</p> <p>We had a few discussions about scaling and performance, including <a href="https://blueprints.launchpad.net/heat/+spec/concurrent-resource-scheduling">concurrent launching of resources</a> and <a href="https://blueprints.launchpad.net/heat/+spec/multiple-engines">scaling out the Heat engine</a>. These were pretty low level discussions involving mostly the developers already involved, and like any good summit, we had contributions of ideas from many attendees, and solutions seem clear.</p> <p>One thing that was clear to me before the summit was that a storm was brewing with regards to how Heat users would express their application deployments.</p> <p>From some of the larger "enterprise" focused vendors, my own employer (HP) included, comes <a href="https://blueprints.launchpad.net/heat/+spec/tosca-support">a recommendation to support TOSCA</a>. This is a really large, <a href="https://www.oasis-open.org/committees/tosca/">wide ranging standard</a> that only partially even applies to Heat's current scope. However, it seems like a natural fit for TOSCA users to use something built into the cloud to deploy their applications.</p> <p><a href="https://wiki.openstack.org/wiki/Heat/DSL">Rackspace contributed a spec</a> and will likely contribute some existing code for a native format that Heat users can use. This format is more narrow in focus than TOSCA, and I think has real potential. It was in need of a good name, so I dubbed it "Heat Orchestration Template" during a session. HOT seems to have stuck for at least a while, though "Heat DSL" may also end up being its name.</p> <p>There were also some interesting discussions around auto scaling going into Heat. I think it is understood by everyone that this is a different interface to similar, but not identical, control services. Because having competing control services can be problematic, it makes sense to have them all live in Heat for now. Rackspace has committed some developers to getting the problem solved and code published during this cycle, so we are all excited to see their work.</p> <p>On a larger scale, the "<a href="http://github.com/tripleo">TripleO</a> (OpenStack on OpenStack)" program that our team at HP has been driving under the tutelage of Robert Collins got extreme amounts of exposure. With Bare-Metal nova landing in OpenStack for grizzly, and Heat fully integrated, nearly all of our components are blessed and thus prepped for the usual community contribution fire hose that OpenStack brings. The other pieces, <a href="http://github.com/stackforge/diskimage-builder">diskimage-builder</a>, <a href="http://github.com/stackforge/os-config-applier">os-config-applier</a>, and <a href="http://github.com/stackforge/os-refresh-config">os-refresh-config</a>, are all in StackForge and will be absorbed into OpenStack as we flesh out the TripleO effort.</p> <p>After the day 1 "Heat firehose" of sessions, I spent a lot of time just communicating to various interested parties about what it all means and where Heat and TripleO fit in with the OpenStack ecosystem. My talk about using Heat to manage OpenStack was well attended and there were some great questions. <a href="https://region-a.geo-1.objects.hpcloudsvc.com:443/v1/42841271810042/Docs/OpenStackSummit_HeatOpenStackManagement.pdf">Slides are available here</a>. <em>Update 2013-04-26: videos have been posted!</em></p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/O-SdNaFq2CQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>One big surprise was to see the tool chain of TripleO mentioned in the keynote by Mark Shuttleworth. The concept we have subscribed to is to copy the Unix tool method. One needs to support incremental adoption of tools and thus one tool should do one job well. To demonstrate this, I have used this image a few times:</p> <p><img class="alignnone" src="http://spamaps.org/tripleo-gospel.svg" alt="" width="1052" height="744" /></p> <p>This is not a controversial pattern, and has proven successful for solving large problems in computing before. So, imagine my surprise when I saw that Mark Shuttleworth was arguing against it in a slide, showing Juju trying to do all of these jobs, and suggesting this was better than our (unfinished) effort to break the problem up and write a single tool for each distinct task. I spoke with Mark afterwards, and I think we will just agree to disagree on the approach. Having been quite involved with Juju since very early in its existence, I am still rooting for Juju to accomplish what it has set out to do. However, I am troubled by the lack of focus and unclear integration path.</p> <p>I want to end on a happy note. This was my first OpenStack summit as an employee of <a href="http://hpcloud.com">HP Cloud Services</a>. I want to thank HP for the opportunities provided to me, and also for sponsoring OpenStack. There are so many talented and focused people at HP, I think we're going to do some really amazing work together.</p> <p>Overall, this was a great OpenStack Summit. The Havana cycle will see OpenStack growing more features and improving the deployment story, which is good for everyone. I am particularly excited about the proposition of gathering for "OpenStack 'I'", which will be in Hong Kong! So, rock on Stackers, can't wait to see you all again in the fall!</p> Mon, 22 Apr 2013 21:00:58 +0000 http://fewbar.com/2013/04/the-rocket-ship-to-havana-openstack-summit-spring-2013/ http://fewbar.com/2013/04/the-rocket-ship-to-havana-openstack-summit-spring-2013/ ubuntu cloud juju openstack tripleo heat Cloud OpenStack What can Cloud do for you? <p>For a while now, many in the computing industry, myself included, have been referring to the cloud as "utility computing". Why, Amazon is just the GE of the age of utility computing, right? HP Cloud is just building power plants to compete in that marketplace. Plug in your code, and out comes computed things.. just like the light socket in your bedroom or the one out in the shop where you make custom cedar furniture in your spare time, right?</p> <p>But let me ask you this, how much power do you put back into the grid on a regular basis? How many gallons of water have you fed back into the water supply?<a id="more"></a><a id="more-602"></a></p> <p>When you use a compute cloud, you are not simply spinning up servers, and then sucking down compute power. You are pushing data into said cloud, and then processing it, and pushing said processed data back out of the cloud, and into the cloud again.</p> <p>In fact, where you get value from using the cloud is that your data is your product, and thus needs to be transported to the end customer. If you make widgets, widget making is what you're good at, not shipping. With software service, way you produce your product is by taking input data and running it through processing. The parallels to meat-space manufacturing are pretty interesting.</p> <p>Computing seems special, because the speed with which raw materials (input data) can arrive is astronomically higher than say iron ore can arrive at a steel mill. Also, one can change the process without retooling anything physically. But these are both just variables in the same process. More liquid supply and demand simply means your process needs to be able to scale up and down elastically.</p> <p>Cheaper process changes just means you can move into markets where the external factors change. This is why Google has dominated the search engine space by simply changing its search algorithm over and over, based on expectations of users and their own knowledge of how the web works.</p> <p>But none of this changes what the cloud is. A steel mill needs a source of power to perform its processes. Isn't that just what IaaS is?</p> <p>Well again, they just consume the power, they don't put any of the steel they generate into the power grid, do they? But in the cloud, your data ends up *in the cloud*. If the steel mill loses power, it stops the process. It does not lose the steel, and in fact, it can still ship the complete steel. Steel that is on the road is still kept on the road to customers.</p> <p>But, if the steel mill's transportation provider fails, that is more like a cloud component failure. The steel just sits there, and can't get to customers.</p> <p>It is for this reason that I think we can pull more interesting analogies (and hopefully, wisdom) from the transportation industry.</p> <p>[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="&quot;Hello? UPS? Yes do you ship clouds?&quot;"]<a href="http://www.chucklez.com/2012/01/20/cloud-in-a-box/"><img title="Cloud in a box" src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7167/6732179701_9783d74ce3.jpg" alt="Cloud in a box" width="500" height="374" /></a>[/caption]</p> <p>Given that, what are we doing wrong with clouds now that the transportation industry has figured out long ago?</p> <p>Well for one thing, public clouds are really like shipping carriers, such as UPS or FedEx. They have massive markets and broad appeal. What they offer is not just fast time to delivery, but zero infrastructure, fast time to delivery. Call FedEx, they'll come take whatever you give them and take it where you tell them to for a fee. This feels an awful lot like a private cloud provider. Last I checked, HP Cloud and EC2 were about as easy as attaching a credit card to your account. If your cloud provider isn't as easy as this to use, why?</p> <p>Also UPS and FedEx have spent years optimizing things internally. They've focused on pushing costs down and keeping SLA's high. But externally, they're just brown / purple&amp;white trucks. Their brand keeps it simple. At some point the two big carriers bought the Mailboxes etc. and Kinkos. PaaS anyone?</p> <p>Anyway, before I take this analogy too far.. I'm curious what others think. Should we stop calling it "utility computing" and instead just call it something else? "outsourced infrastructure"?</p> Fri, 11 Jan 2013 00:25:59 +0000 http://fewbar.com/2013/01/cloud-is-transportation-not-utility/ http://fewbar.com/2013/01/cloud-is-transportation-not-utility/ ec2 ubuntu cloud hpcloud Scalability Ubuntu Cloud