Friday, May 20, 2011

Ensemble at UDS-O

UDS-O is now over, I had a chance to meet with the Ensemble team (a bunch of awesome engineers), also had a chance to attend or lead a few sessions concerning future directions of Ensemble. I'll try to summarize UDS outcome wrt Ensemble from a project newcomer perspective

  • Ensemble is now able to do a multi-machine deployment and orchestration
  • It can do Dynamic reconfiguration which means passing parameters to running formulas to adjust behavior. More work needs to land here, but the foundations are there
  • Does formula upgrades, more bits landing soon
  • Firewall auto-configuration (expose, unexpose services). Again, still more bits to land soonish
  • It has a ppa and docs from trunk live at
The focus for the 11.10 Oneiric cycle is going to be stability and polish. While currently Amazon EC2 is the only supported deployment target, the 11.10 cycle should hopefully see more targets added such as Linux Containers (LXC) for local development and testing of Ensemble formulas. Having LXC support in 11.10 is a bit optimistic, so if you can lend a helping hand, please do! Also Eucalyptus cloud support is the works (isn't this just great!)

During 11.10 as well, the infrastructure for Ensemble as a project should be improved. This involves adding better and more structured content to the Ensemble website. Adding more documentation, guides and screencasts. While you can start writing and contributing Ensemble formulas today! (ping me if you're interested) More work will go into refining the process and integrating it into the Ensemble command line tools.

That's mostly it. It is an incredibly interesting time for cloud technologies! Diving into discussions with the Ensemble team about the vision and decisions they have taken, I was blown away. I firmly believe Ensemble is a game changer with respect to rapid provisioning and orchestration. Right now, is such a great time to get involved with Ensemble. If you're interested in joining the Ensemble project, or in learning more about it in any way, please do leave me a comment here, or ping me on irc (kim0)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Cloud Portal one-click launch

Announcing two nice little additions to the cloud portal AMI tool that should make everyone's cloud life a little easier

  • Amazon now allows passing parameters to the AWS console to basically be able to choose the region and AMI-ID to launch. This is now integrated in the cloud portal so that you search for the ami, click the link and it's pre-selected, ready to be launched in AWS console. Here's a screenshot


  • As that image shows as well, you can search now for "cluster" to get Ubuntu cloud cluster-ready images!
Interested to add any features? Have any thoughts or comments, let me know, leave me a word