amits is currently certified at Journeyer level.

Name: Amit Shah
Member since: 2003-01-31 07:23:08
Last Login: 2010-02-22 09:45:10

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* Virtualization (KVM , QEMU)
* Linux
* Free Software
* Debian
* Fedora

* AudioLink project, which makes managing and searching music on local storage a breeze. It's basically a music cataloger / categorizer and a playlist generator.


Recent blog entries by amits

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KVM Forum 2014 Schedule

The 2014 edition of KVM Forum is less than a week away.  The schedule of the talks is available at this location.  Use this link to add the schedule to your calendar.  A few slides have already been uploaded for some of the talks.

As with last year, we’ll live-stream and record all talks, keep an eye on the wiki page for details.

One notable observation about the schedule is that it’s much relaxed from the last few years, and there are far fewer talks in parallel this time around.  There’s a lot of time for interaction / networking / socializing.  If you’re in Dusseldorf next week, please come by and say ‘hello!’

Syndicated 2014-10-09 19:34:42 (Updated 2014-10-09 19:51:08) from Think. Debate. Innovate.

OpenStack Pune Meetup

I participated in the OpenStack Meetup at the Red Hat Pune office a few weekends ago.  I have been too caught up on the lower-level KVM/QEMU layers of the virt stack, and know there aren’t too many people involved in those layers in Pune (or even India); and was curious to learn more about OpenStack and also find out more about the OpenStack community in Pune.  The event was on a Saturday, which means sacrificing one day of rest and relaxation – but I went along because curiousity got the better of me.

This was a small, informal event where we had a few talks and several hallway discussions.  Praveen has already blogged about his experiences, here are my notes about the meetup.

There were a few scheduled talks for the day; speakers nominated themselves on the meetup page and the event organizers allotted slots for them.  The proceedings started off with configuring and setting up OpenStack via DevStack.  I wished (for the audience present there) there would’ve been an introductory talk before a deep-dive into DevStack.  I could spot a few newbies in the crowd, and they would have benefitted by an intro.

In a few discussions with the organizers, I learnt one of their pain points for such meetups: there inevitably are newbies at each meetup, and they can’t move on to advanced topics just because they have to start from scratch for each meetup.  I suggested they have a clear focus for each meetup: tell explicitly what each meetup is about, and the expertise level that’s going to be assumed.  For example, there’s nothing wrong with a newbie-focused event; but then some other event could focus on the networking part of OpenStack, and they assume people are familiar with configuring and deploying openstack and are familiar with basic networking priciples.  This suggestion is based on the Pune FADs we want to conduct and have in the pipeline; and was welcomed by the organizers.

Other talks followed; and I noticed a trend: not many people understood, or even knew about, the lower layers that make up the infrastructure beneath OpenStack.  I asked the organizers if they could spare 10 mins for me to provide a peek into the lower levels, and they agreed.  Right after a short working-lunch break, I took the stage.

I spoke about Linux, KVM and QEMU; dove into details of how each of them co-operate and how libvirt drives the interactions between the upper layers and the lower layers.  Also spoke a little about the alternative hypervisor support that libvirt has, but the advantages of the default hypervisor, QEMU/KVM has over others.  I then spoke about how improvements in Linux in general (e.g. the memory management layer) benefits the thousands of people running Linux, the thousands people running the KVM hypervisor, and in effect, benefit all the OpenStack deployments.  I then mentioned a bit about how features flow from upstream into distributions, and how all the advantages trickle down naturally, without anyone having to bother about particular parts of the infrastructure.

The short talk was well received, and judging by the questions I got asked, it was apparent that some people didn’t know the dynamics involved, and the way I presented it was very helpful to them and they wanted to learn more.  I also got asked a few hypervisor comparison questions.  I had to cut the interaction because I easily overflowed the 15 mins allotted to me, and asked people to follow up with me later, which several did.

One of the results of all those conversations was that I got volunteered to do more in-depth talks on the topic at future meetups.  The organizers lamented there’s a dearth of such talks and subject-matter experts; and many meetups generally end up being just talks from people who have read or heard about things rather than real users or implementers of the technology.  They said they would like to have more people from Red Hat talking about the work we do upstream and all the contributions we make.  I’m just glad our contributions are noticed :-)

Another related topic that came up during discussions with the organizers are hackathons, and getting people to contribute and actually do stuff.  I expect a hackathon to be proposed soon.

I had a very interesting conversation with Sajid, one of the organizers.  He mentioned Reliance Jio are setting up data centres across India, and are going to launch cloud computing services with their 4G rollout.  Their entire infrastructure is based on OpenStack.

There were other conversations as well, but I’ll perhaps talk about them in other posts.

Internally at Red Hat, we had a few discussions on how to improve our organization for such events (even though they’re community events; we should be geared up to serve the attendees better).  Mostly included stuff around making it easier to get people in (ie working with security), getting the AV equipment in place, etc.  All of this was working fine during this event, but basically ensuring all of the things that do go right are also part of the list of things to look at while organizing events so we don’t slip up.

Syndicated 2014-10-05 07:09:10 from Think. Debate. Innovate.

KVM Forum 2014

The KVM Forums are a great way to learn and talk about the future of KVM virtualization. The KVM Forum has been co-located with the Linux Foundation’s LinuxCon events for the past several years, and this year too will be held along with LinuxCon EU in Dusseldorf, Germany.

The KVM Forums also are a great documentation resource on several features, and the slides and videos from the past KVM Forums are freely available online. This year’s Forum will be no different, and we’ll have all the material on the KVM wiki.

Syndicated 2014-09-29 07:39:55 from Think. Debate. Innovate.

Planet Virt

For a long time various people have been telling me there’s not much information on the low-level / plumbing details of the virt stack on Linux. Especially information related to qemu and its various settings, devices, and so on.

Documentation surely is difficult to come by, but a quick and straightforward solution is to syndicate all of the blog posts that people doing virt development write into a common stream: a planet virt. I started hosting and testing such an instance on openshift, but was quickly pointed to the existing Virt Tools Planet by Rich Jones and Dan Berrange. Dan added the list of people whose blogs I followed for virt development to that instance.

I updated the KVM and QEMU wikis to ensure the Planet gets more visibility, and hope this goes a small way to quell the complaints of not enough available information.

Syndicated 2014-09-29 07:34:10 (Updated 2014-09-29 08:09:54) from Think. Debate. Innovate.

24 Aug 2014 (updated 29 Sep 2014 at 08:13 UTC) »

Fedora Activity Day Pune Report

I participated in the Fedora Activity Day at the RH office in Pune yesterday. There was a decent turnout, 20+ people, and it was fun to test the in-progress version of the upcoming F21 release along with other folks.

Siddhesh came up with the idea of rebooting Fedora-related activities in Pune, and a few of us showed interest in such an activity. We quickly agreed on what to focus on for the first such activity: test the upcoming release. This would give us an opportunity to improve the experience with F21, and also be a low-barrier-to-entry activity for first-time contributors: we have had some FADs in the past, but the people who turn up tend to be usually familiar with Fedora or particular aspects of the OS; so focussing on using the OS, and filing bugs along the way, was thought to be a great way to initiate newcomers without necessarily diving deep into technical details.

FAD Photo 3
FAD Photo 3

In that respect, I’d like to think the FAD was a success. We had people testing the installer, the GNOME and KDE desktops within VMs and via live images on laptops, and also a few specific items like VM snapshots and DNSSEC.

Before the FAD, I downloaded and tested in a VM two nightly images – the default workstation image with the GNOME desktop, and the KDE spin. The Aug 20 nightly for both the images worked fine, so we declared them as gold images for the FAD. Most people already had downloaded them before they came for the FAD, and this helped us start with the FAD as soon as our laptops were booted.

We started off at about 9 AM, and I was around till a bit after 4 PM. I tested the default GNOME live image on an X200 laptop, and also inside a VM. I found a couple of suspend-to-ram related issues in GNOME and in the kernel. Quite a few people tested the installer, and I liked how we kept conversing about the issues people were seeing, others attempting to replicate the issues, and once there were 2 or 3 +1s for a particular kind of an issue, we knew it was a fairly reproducible bug.

FAD Photo
FAD Photo 2

Some people ran through some Fedora Test Day test cases, some went through ON_QA bugs to provide karma on bodhi.

PJP took the lead on educating us on DNSSEC and walking us through setting it up as well as testing whether everything works fine.

Kashyap then spoke a bit about how VM snapshots are a great tool for testing destructive things, and showed the couple of different snapshot techniques, and how to set them up and use them using libvirt. Quite a few people agreed this was really cool, and I expect them to start using snapshots in their regular $DAYJOB activities.

We kept recording our progress, bugs found, etc., on an etherpad. The #fedora-india channel helped us exchange links and was helpful for general chit-chat. (Edit: The contents of the etherpad as on the day of the FAD are archived here)

Through the day, quite a few categories and components were tested, as noted in the etherpad.

The FAD wiki page‘s status area is still being populated, but the etherpad has links to bugs found and filed.

The initial mails about hosting a FAD to the fedora-india list showed there was interest in a lot of topics to cover for FADs, so I’m sure we’ll have more such FADs organized with more topics in the future.

Since this was mostly a volunteer-driven event, everything was quite informal. Red Hat sponsored the venue and snacks, and everything else was handled by us on the fly, like lunch being ordered when people started feeling hungry — according to preferences by show-of-hands. Since this FAD was cobbled together in very quick time, we didn’t have enough time to engage with the Fedora contacts for budget for swag or food; hopefully we will be able to get that sorted out soon — especially since we have interest in the FADs and also topics lined up to work on.

Syndicated 2014-08-24 08:50:40 (Updated 2014-09-29 07:42:12) from Think. Debate. Innovate.

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