OLS Day 1

So Ottawa Linux Symposium, at last .. OLS been in my planning for ages.. but finally this year I made it..
Compared to Linux.conf.eu or Linux.conf.au , OLS is obviously one of the bigger conferences around. With approximately 600 visitors it might even be the biggest.

First on the shedule was Matthew WilCox Keynote , titled The Kernel Report

Matthew asked some interesting questions, such as
What would happen if we ran the Mindcraft tests again now on the same hardware.. some Linux 2.6 version against Vista .. who would win ?
A reply from the audience obviously was .. Vista probably wouldn't run ..

He gave a good overview of new features in the kernel that need my attention such as pluggable congestion control UBIFS and SMACK

After the state of the kernel keynote I went to Cloud computing talk from Gerrit Huizenga, a bit dissapointing as he didn't really talk about potential implementations and just trying to define it ..
Obviously Gerrit works for Bigblue as after 3 minutes I lost count on how many times he mentionned the 3 letter word.

Probably good for people that are new to it.. not for people that already build these kinda things..like me ..
But still fairly well presented.

Then Into Arnaldo "Caipirinia" Carvalhlo de Melo 's talk about If I turn this knob .. what happens.

An interesting talk to get deeper into debugging scheduling , cpu affinity and realtime related issues.

Arnaldo mentioned tools such as python-schedutils, python-linux-procfs,ait ,tuna ,
and tuneit, Lots of work to be done here :)

After lunch I was late for the Second Arches workshop about Fedora on different architectures, but I was in time for the talk about Virtualization Workloads by Andrew Theurer

The big question which also some thesis students I know have run into is How do you define a relevant workloads for virtualization.
Initially one just takes the oldschool test to figure out the overhead that the Hypervisor adds.
Then you try to scale up the number of virtual machines and figure out what happens.

So there are a couple of workloads around
VMmark created by VMware .. it requires Exchange etc.. does 6 different benchmarks including web, mail, database, fileserver a java spec that requires a Bea JVM and an Idle server.

Also vConsolidate , created by Intel requires proprietary tools., it has a very similar approach as VMMark only running just 5 tests.

So one of the problems is that one can't just build an image that you can reuse to run on your environment, mainly due to licensing issues on most of these platforms.

With that in mind there is work ongoing at Spec that should be finished Q1 2009 to create a standardized virtualization benchmark.

However that's still not going to solve the fact that one can't just take prebuild image and run that on his test setup.

After the Workload talk I went to the talk about Korset , an Automated Zero False Alarm IDS it basically tracks regular behavour of certain binaries and finds out when it deviates.
We ran into the Korset guy already at the Speaker boat trip .. one of the questinos I had was why kill offending the process you might want to keep track of whats happening and alert someone.. but you might not want to kill it of by default.