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Report from GanetiCon 2013 in Athens


as announced in [0] Faidon and I attended GanetiCon 2013 in Athens
on behalf of the Debian Systems Administration Team (DSA).
Please find below my report on the conference.

Agenda also all slides of the conference can be found at [1].

I arrived in Athens on Monday afternoon and joined a Team from Google
visiting Acropolis and Athens downtown.

[0] https://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2013/08/msg00065.html
[1] https://sites.google.com/site/ganeticon/

Conference Day 1
Day one of the conference (hosted by Skrutz) started with an extended
workshop on the new and upcoming features. Of special interest for the
DSA team will be the upcoming new features in hroller(1) - like 
rebooting a cluster in a coordinated way- and the possibility of
clustering clusters (which reduces some administration overhead for
the DSA team).

Also very helpful is the new extStorage feature in Ganeti 2.7,
which provides a tighter integration of shared SAN devices to Ganeti. This
will reduce a lot amount of administration overhead for the DSA team at
our Bytemark and UBCECE data centres.

After lunch, Skrutz, Debian (Faidon and I) and OSUOSL gave their user
experience reports. Skrutz gave a deep insight in moving their platforms 
between datacenters using Ganeti and the challenges they experienced.
Faidon and I gave an insight talk about the current Debian setup and
how we moved from libvirt to Ganeti. Lance Albertson from OSUOSL showed
us the progress of his current version of the Ganeti web manager and
gave some ideas on how instances could get deployed more dynamicly.

Conference Day 2
Day two continued with user experience reports. GRNET reported about 
their own implementation of a Ganeti web manager, the "~okeanos Public
Cloud Service" and the challenges they experienced due to the speed 
of the Queue and RAPI Daemon. 

I took the opportunity that having access the Ganeti developers presented
to upgrade Ganeti on our clusters[2] from version 2.5 to 2.7.
During that upgrade, a design bug was detected and reported upstream. It has been
scheduled to be fixed in the next version.

While the afternoon was mostly about design discussion regarding "Location
Awareness in Ganeti", "Ganeti Job Queue Control" and improvement in the
network management of Ganeti, I took the time to file several [3][4][5]
enhancement request bugs, and started writing a patch for [5].

[2] http://lists.debian.org/<20130904073922.GA13626@ftbfs.de>
[3] https://code.google.com/p/ganeti/issues/detail?id=562
[4] https://code.google.com/p/ganeti/issues/detail?id=565
[5] https://code.google.com/p/ganeti/issues/detail?id=566

Conference Day 3
Day three started with a discussion about reducing the need of the
"root" user within Ganeti. Several suggestions have been made, from
using sudo for all the calls that need root to chroot'ing the daemons.
Also discussed was the need to address the need to monitor ganeti nodes
but to avoid spawning the monitoring processes frequently.

The second discussion was about Deploying & Managing Instance Images and
how to improve the status quo. This discussion was quite heated and no
real solution that suits all needs had been found until the lunch break.

I needed to leave the conference at that point, as I needed to catch my
flight back to Germany. Skroutz and Google talked about "Build System 
Overhaul and Upgrades" and GRNET about "Disks as Independent Entities"
after I left.  Maybe Guido Trotter, part of the Google Ganeti team, can 
give us more details about that.

All in all it was a very successful conference, which gave me good
insight into Ganeti development.  It was helpful to meet all the
developers and contributors in person and share the all the ideas and 
thoughts that are floating around.

I would like to thank everyone who donated to the Debian Project and
made it possible for me to attend.


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