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Re: Possibly moving Debian services to a CDN

On 2013-11-14 05:20:12, Tollef Fog Heen wrote:
> ]] anarcat 
>> All the tools currently running the Debian mirror architecture. Some
>> mirrors may run an FTP mirror on a non-free software, but they don't
>> *have* to, and we unfortunately can't control that.
> No, they can't.  You can't route a packet through the public internet
> without it hitting non-free software.

You can't *right now*. I assume you are talking in part of those cisco
switches that litter the network, and I can tell you a lot of people are
tired of those - for example Facebook (of all places...) is building an
open alternative for those.

As much as I can, we try to build infrastructure that is free. At every
step of the way people tell me "don't do that, use cisco switches
dumbass". But somewhat, I still manage to use as free hardware and free
software as I can.

> Heck, you can't get a normal server that will run without non-free
> software.  (If nothing else, firmware for the ethernet controller or
> the firmware for the EC or disks.)

Sure, but we at least try. A lot of great people are working on coreboot
and such initiatives that go a long way, probably farther that we've
ever been, in making sure that the stack is as open as we can.

> This is not a two-tone discussion and trying to make it one will not
> lead to a useful outcome.

And saying that "because there's proprietary firmware in your BIOS it's
okay to offload all of Debian's infrastructure to a non-free CDN is okay"
seems to me to be a slippery slope.

Sure, there are shades of gray here, but i'd try to avoid going further
down the non-free path.

>> Yes, it's extra work, but it's feasible. The question is: do we want to
>> keep on running our own CDN, or do we want to give up?
>> I say we should keep doing it. Autonomy is important for our
>> community. And a commercial CDN will come with strings attached - Gimp
>> just moved off Sourceforge for that reason...
> It's not a vote, and it's easy for the people who do not have to do
> anything but send mails to a mailing list to say «we should spend more
> effort».

Well, if it's not a vote, and if my opinion doesn't actually matter, why
are we discussing this on -project in the first place?

We have been considering making our own mirror for Debian here. What kept
us is of course labour, but also bandwidth costs. And the problem is
mostly that those are not clearly established variables: if we knew how
much a mirror would consume in terms of bandwidth, we would be in a
better position to make such a decision. Right now, the documentation
seems a little outdated, saying that we need a "T1" or better...

From what I understand, the labour involved in running a mirror right
now is simply running the ftpsync cronjob and maintaining a few GB of
disk space (1TB for the full archive) on a good connexion (which still
needs some clarification, FWICT).

And the improvements necessary to get this to a "commercial-grade" CDN
doesn't seem to me like much more: some IP alias on the mirror machine,
and BGP announcements.

Am I missing something?

Voter, c'est abdiquer
                        - Élisée Reclus

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