Have you heard of Ensemble? Are you excited about Cloud/Service Orchestration? What? Ok you’re not alone if you are scratching your head.
Ensemble is an implementation of a new idea that has been taking shape the last couple of years. Ever since Amazon hooked up a remote API to thousands of machines to provide access to their virtual infrastructure (and called it macaroni? err.. AWS), people have been dreaming up ways to take advantage of what is basically a robotic “NOC guy”. No longer do you have to pre-rack servers or call your vendor frantically to get servers sent next-day to your colo. Right?
Naturally, the system administrators that would normally be in charge of racking servers, applied their existing tools to the job, to mixed success. Config management is really good at modelling identical hosts. But with virtual hosts instantly available, this left those thinking at a higher level wanting more. Chef in particular implemented a nice set of tools and functionality to allow this high level “service” definition with their knife tools and simple ruby API.
But how easy are Chef’s cookbooks to share and use without modification? Continue reading →
I attended Puppet Camp in San Francisco this month, thanks to my benevolent employer Canonical’s sponsorship of the event.
It was quite an interesting ride. I’d consider myself an intermediate level puppet user, having only edited existing puppet configurations and used it for proof of concept work, not actual giant deployments. I went in large part to get in touch with users and potential users of Ubuntu Server to see what they think of it now, and what they want out of it in the future. Also Puppet is a really interesting technology that I think will be a key part of this march into the cloud that we’ve all begun.
After about 16 hours in the air and waiting on the tarmac, I arrived here in Brussels, Belgium for my first day on the job at Canonical.
I actually really love the feeling one gets when pushed to their limits of sleep deprivation. For me, my ego tends to shrink and go away after this long without sleep. I did catch a few winks on the plane, but they were mostly drunken winks, so they weren’t quite as restful as, say stretching out on a pile of broken glass. With the sun hanging in the air while my body wanted it to be under foot safely blocked out by a ball of mud, magma and water, I arrived feeling pretty much like I was in outer space.
That feeling was rather fitting, given that the first Canonical employee I met at lunch was none other than Mark Shuttleworth, who actually *has* been in outer space. Continue reading →