open source

Feb 08 2009

Monitoring MySQL

The slides for my Monitoring MySQL talk , which I gave earlier today in an overcrowded MySQl Developersroom at Fosdem are now online, both at my site and at Slideshare

As of now I actually expect people to use those slides for schoolwork or next year in a main Fosdem track :)
As afterall that is the goal of Open Source and spreading the word ..

Feb 06 2009

Image Sprawl , and the new cure ..

When I tell people that the concept of copying VM's around as frequently done in the VMWare world is one of the most stupid ideas on this planet, I get the weirdest looks.

In my world it is, I want my infrastructure to be reproducible , I want to be able to throw any machine in my infrastructure out of the 10th floor of a building and be up and running again in no time. If I spread a bunch of VM copies around who knows what kind of life they start leading. Some will get upgrades, some won't ..
If I get an image from someone, how did he get there ? Nobody knows ..

To me Image Sprawl is more than not being able to to manage your Virtual Machines, it also matters for physical machines that are being deployed using a golden image.

Now rewind back about 4 something years.. back then I wrote a paper for LinuxKongress titled Automating Xen Virtual Machine Deployment which described a Hybrid way of Bootstrapping an infrastructure.
Quicly summarized, you use the benefits of images to quickly deploy a minimal image which
Luke today calls a Stem Cell then go on using centralized package management and a configuration management tool to keep them up to par. There are 2 things that changed in between,
we replaced CFEngine with Puppet , and the fact that today some people do care a bit more about the infrastructure side of the web, guess we have to thank Amazon and the Cloud Hype for that

But fundamentally .. not that much changed :)

Feb 06 2009

On Monty Leaving Sun

When I read Monty's post on leaving this passage struck me the most.

The main reason for leaving was that I am not satisfied with the way the MySQL server has been developed, as can be seen on my previous blog post. In particular I would have like to see the server development to be moved to a true open development environment that would encourage outside participation and without any need of differentiation on the source code. Sun has been considering opening up the server development, but the pace has been too slow.

In short, Sun isn't open enough. I think I've said that enough, it's typically more Open Core than Open Source .. and for a growing amount of people.. that isn't good enough.

Reacting on that post we see Matt Asay trying to convince his CNet Audience that Open Source Ideals don't translate well into a big sofware business.

I think Tarus view I see it as just the opposite. Open source spells the end of big software, if big software is defined as companies that make billions of dollars from selling software licenses. is much more to the point.

And the way Sun has been working, with MySQL, Virtualbox and different others doesn't seem to work that well either.
I stopped counting the P companies but I think I`m allmost a point where I know mere ex-Sun/MySQL employees than current Sun/MySQL employees and it's not just on the MySQL side that this happens.

Maybe Monty leaving Sun will wake up the powers that be, maybe it won't.

Finishing off with another quote from Tarus

In my mind Monty is a role model and I wish him all the best.

Jan 29 2009

What does your BOFH want ? :)

Larry, I`m glad you asked ..

With the risk of receiving a flood of comments pointing me to already existing tools here's my go at what I as a sysadmin of often large deployments am looking for in Drupalland .

You suggest LDAP and syslog integration .. guess we already have that don't we ?

But what I haven't found yet ..
An rpm/deb repository of Drupal modules So we can do an apt-get install drupal-package , yes I know about Drush, but I want the files on my system to be in a package and clearly identified, it helps me keeping my system uncluttered.

apt-get update drupal-package , or yum install drupal-package would be a luxury, same for themes btw.

It would be lovely if the postinstalls of those package also trigger a database upgrade if needed.

Which brings me to the next issue. If I have a multisite setup and I update a module in sites/all/modules, I usually have to go trough each and every site hosted there to update the databases. No really something I like to do for 10+ euh 3+ sites.

Also think big, don't waste your time on desktop apps or guis .since as long as you only have 1 site to manage point an click is fine, for you , Think in terms of what if you have 10 sites, 100 sites, or more .. do you really want to do that kind of administration via a browser or gui ? Some wise man once said If your computer can't install it the installer is broken. A script should or automation tool should be able to interact with the sites, not a human operating a mouse ;) It's not just the RSI , but also the fact that to err is human, and if the computer fails a script you can patch it :)

Jan 26 2009

Stop stupid Software Patents

If you read this blog, you should probably sign the petition !

Jan 18 2009

Is anybody else confused about Chef ?

Chef absolutely confuses me..

Luke is confused too ..

I’m clearly disappointed that someone who has been a high-profile user of Puppet but has never contributed much in the way of code (Ohloh claims 2 commits) would decide to start a whole new project rather than attempt to contribute to Puppet

Now , if you know me a bit you know that reinventing the wheel, or creating identical projects with no clear reasons is something I dislike .

When looking at Chef's FAQ there isn't really a clear reason listed why they wanted to create a new project.

I could understand if Chef were written in a total different language .. but hmm.. it's written in Ruby again .. I can only think of one other area where there are 2 major competing tools written in the same language and that is OTRS and RT, still wondering how that can happen.

One of the core values of an Open Source project is that you can contribute, adapt , and even fork.. why would you want to start over from scratch ?
So launching a competing open source project in that way therefore doesn't really seem like a smart thing to do,

Maybe one way to explain it is the European vs American style of Open Source Adoption ... , Luke has the more European approach (consultancy, build new features, support, train, evangelize, earn a good living) , where as OpsCode with Jesse Robins in charge might head for a more American style (Productize, Dual License , CashOut ).

So can the Chefs please explain why they didn't contribute to Puppet, or as their FAQ , well it doesn't really Answer any of the Questions

Jan 18 2009

New interesting open Source releases

In case you haven't noticed them yet ..
MySQL Proxy has a new release and moved it's public repo to Launchpad.

(Still Launchpad isn't open source yet .. a matter of time .. but in the meanwhile Jira and Confluence are sadly gaining adoption in the market)

In the devministration area there is a new Puppet module that automagically populates puppet managed machines in Zenoss , I've seen different people using Puppet to populate their Nagios configs, but adding Zenoss to the list is new.. so when will we see the Zabbix and Hyperic plugins ?

Oh yes.. and then there is Chef

Jan 15 2009

How popular is an Open Source project ?

There is a really easy way to figure out ...

Look at the size of of the devrooms , if at all , a project gets at Fosdem
It's really interresting to see the Embedded room move to a 500 seat room which it really needed when the first openMoko talk was held there in a previous edition.

The FDO , Drupal, Mozilla, Centos/Fedora and Suse rooms stay in similar size rooms as last year.. But it seems lik the BSD and PostgreSQL room which was pretty crowded moved to a bigger location.

The Ruby room also seems to move to a bigger room. Fosdem has a couple of new rooms too it seems this freed up room for new groups such as the MySQL Crowd

Obviously these sizes aren't a real match to the size of a community, as the new rooms might need (and probably will need) a reshuffle for next year ;)

Different schedules for the devrooms are online .. you'll probably find me in the Debian , Fedora+CentOS, MySQL or Drupal rooms :)

Did I mention that :

and I`ll actually be speaking there again about Monitoring MySQL

Jan 14 2009

Contributing Back

A while ago Dries wondered about Contributing back to Drupal .

Now Inuits is not a Webshop, we are an Open Source shop, so you won't see a zillion Drupal modules being contributed by us in the near future (albeit there are a couple) , we are company assisting other organisations in their adoption of Open Source, and Drupal is amongst the projects we care for. You'll notice code from us in the different other Open Source projects, including the Linux Kernel and other core infrastructure. And not all of it was code, there is a lot of published documentation, methodologies, bughunting and also spreading the words, or talking about our experiences around different topics such as MySQL Cluster and Drupal, or different alternatives to Monitor , or to Monitor MySQL etc ..

But we've been contributing in different other ways to open source and we have always been benefiting from that. And we try to convince our customers to do so too.
So Dries is right in all his reasons why one should contribute back to open source, specially as an organisation that uses OpenSource for it's customers you just have to.

The lack of contributions however might have different reasons
I can imagine however that the moment a commercial Open Source company starts backing or distributing people start looking at that project in a different way.

The amount of contributions to a pure open source project has been traditionally lower than the amount of code contributed to an open core project.

And I`m pretty sure that most of the braindead box moving RedHat and other so called Value Added Resellers aren't contributing a single line of code and my fear is that with the current growth of open source adoption that more of those traditional IT shops will just resell support subscriptions as if it were just another software product.

Now the Drupal community is one with a lot of developers so things might be different there compared to a group of system integrators that are installing operating systems and don't know the difference between python and php.

I think we'll see more and more open source users that aren't planning to contribute back, (although it is easy ) , But do we honestly think te group of developers is infinite ? However the more Open Source users the more chance we have these users turn into developers, I just don't think the current percentages will stay the same.

Anyway .. we'll continue to contribute.. and we hope you do the same ...

Dec 18 2008

Free Beer, Meetup today has a lot of active open source users and contributors.
The weird thing is that we never meet apart from Fosdem.
Yes, we occasionally run into eachother at other events but there's not enough beer involved.

I've had different people ask me what and where are the Open Source gatherings in Belgium, and we must admit that apart
from Fosdem there isn't that much in our little country.

There were a couple of MySQL User Group events, some Drupal ones, some LUG had meetings altough I have the idea most of them have dried out :(

So I have this crazy idea of inviting you all to grab a beer, maybe even free beer :) on december 29 some in a pub in Antwerp

I`m open for suggestions on good locations.

Oh and everybody is welcome, both readers and writers :)

PS. Yes I know that some of you will be drinking in Berlin at that time .. we'll drink an extra one for you.