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China Open Source

Can OpenStack Avoid Fragmentation In China? 42

Posted by timothy
from the can-anything? dept.
itwbennett writes "More people visit the OpenStack Web site from Beijing than any other city in the world and developers in China account for the second largest number of code commits. But beyond a high level of interest, there's another reason that the OpenStack Foundation might do well to host its next summit in Hong Kong: Avoiding fragmentation. China has a history of going its own way in technology. 'I watched it develop its own 3G technology, much to the dismay of global network and phone makers who were shut out of the market. More recently, Chinese companies have gleefully gone on their own with Android,' writes ITworld's Nancy Gohring. It seems like a long shot, but maybe by holding the next summit in Hong Kong, OpenStack can draw contributors into the fold."
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Can OpenStack Avoid Fragmentation In China?

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  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@@@hackish...org> on Thursday July 11, 2013 @02:55PM (#44254467)

    The summary does not tell me what this thing, apparently popular in Beijing, actually is! You could at least link their website [openstack.org]. :)

    Anyway, looking at their website, it looks like it's a "cloud operating system", i.e. infrastructure for managing a cluster in a virtualized, "cloud-like" way. Does anyone know how it compares to other such platforms, like Eucalyptus [eucalyptus.com] and the confusingly-similar-in-name CloudStack [apache.org]?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 11, 2013 @03:28PM (#44254735)

      Like Eucalyptus and Cloudstack, Openstack is a framework for managing a virtualization environment. It's basically an IaaS, written mostly in python to glue together:

      Image provisioning, by way of a service called glance.

      VM provisioning, by a virtualization technology of your choice. You can do kvm/xen/vmware/hyperv and I wanna say openvz as well, although kvm is the most supported with xen being the hypervisor employed in Rackspace's deployment of openstack. This service is called Nova. They took it from Nasa

      Networking provisioning, by the way of linux bridges (and vlan management if you chose) using a service called nova-network, or by the way openvswitch/linuxbridges offering ip over ip or 8021q using a service called quantum. Clients can be assigned a shared network, their own network with their own vlan (using nova network), or Clients can be assigned a shared network and/their own networks linked between vm hosts using gre tunnelling or vlan management.

      ISCSI is provisioned by a framework called cinder.

      You can also configure an s3 like service called Swift.

      Openstacks greatest feature and flaw is that it is extremely configurable, extremely extensible and that features are added very quickly. As a site admin, you are expected to upgrade every six months. The upgrade guide offers a facsimile of reality, which is its own pain point. Many features are not documented very well, some features are deprecated between releases and the upgrade guide sometimes fails to mention it.

      I'm taking care of two installations of openstack. I've just upgraded one from the previous release to the current one, and another which was two releases back. It was painful. If you have an admin team that likes to fly by the seat of their pants, openstack is not for you. It requires a great deal of institutional restraint.

      But when it works, it is a unix sysadmin's wet dream. The command line tools work properly in this release, and you can script everything you need to do for day to day maintenance in bash. If you want to use ec2's api to interact with your vms, it's a supported configuration. If you want to use openstack's better thought out apis to do so, all the better. If you know python, you can really make this thing sing. You can script snapshotting vms and have the snap shots go to glance. You can move vms from one host to another, so long as you have a common shared storage area for storing the vm images. You can write your own scheduler for deploying vms, you can make filters to make pick how resources are allocated very very easily. There's also a vm management web interface called Horizon. I think it exposes just the right amount of functionality to the user, especially those that don't care about the openstack underbelly.

      When it works right, openstack is a dream to play with. When it doesn't, you have your work cut out for you.

      • by Natales (182136)
        The evolution of OpenStack is analogous to Linux. Linux is basically a kernel, no more, no less. You need a series of tools around it to make it useful. The kernel with the proper tools overtime became "distributions". OpenStack is undergoing the same process. RedHat just announced their own OpenStack distribution, and several others like Canonical (Ubuntu), Nebula, StackOps, Piston, Rackspace, etc, they all have their own distributions of OpenStack. They are all trying to make "easy" the installation and c
        • RedHat just announced their own OpenStack distribution, and several others like Canonical (Ubuntu), Nebula, StackOps, Piston, Rackspace, etc, they all have their own distributions of OpenStack.

          You forgot about Debian. As the maintainer of the packages (working full time on them), I would really appreciate if you try to remember me! :)

          They are all trying to make "easy" the installation and customization process.

          ...especially since I consider my packages the most easy ones to install (thanks to debconf things)!

          • by Lennie (16154)

            You are doing an awesome job, thank you and your employer for sponsoring your work.

    • by styrotech (136124)

      So you know about Eucalytus and CloudStack, but don't know what OpenStack is? OpenStacks press coverage / hype over the last year or more has completely dwarfed that of the other two.

      That seems like knowing a bit about NetBSD and OpenBSD, but having no idea what Linux is.

      Unless of course Eucalytus and CloudStack were recent discoveries from researching OpenStack... in which case I'll shut up now :)

  • If you were are new, up and coming world power, would you want enemies of the past foisting their standards on you? Especially considering the current dimplomatic trends regarding Tech Patents, Snowden revelations, and just technology politics in general?

    American Business interests have proven beyond all shadow of doubt its willingness to play hard ball (unfairly) to trap you into their business models.

    • Thats funny. That is just what Europe did and China currently does.
      Europe told all of their colonies to send them raw material and then did their best to prevent anybody from competing against them.
      America was simply a massive economic powerhouse because of WWII.
      Now china is cheating massively, and the world allow it. Sickening.
  • Fragmenting an existing standard creates a new standard that can draw in $$$. Everything else, national security, national pride, etc., are just excused to rip public funds. US or China.

    and isn't open source meant to encourage such -- can you count how many Linux distributions out there?

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      Fragmenting an existing standard creates a new standard that can draw in $$$. Everything else, national security, national pride, etc., are just excused to rip public funds. US or China.

      Or in China, it's more a case of having to work with the Chinese government on technology.

      China's gone their own way on a lot of stuff - one important one not mentioned is WiFi. China's got a similar-but-quite-unlike-WPA2 security standard [wikipedia.org] that only China uses. And every WiFi devise there has to support it. Of course, to get

      • I wonder how you heard about this WiFi story. Everyone uses pretty standard WPA2 over there. This might have been yet another thing that the government failed to impose.

        As for the fragmentation, well, I don't believe this will happen. People in China just need to get their hands on OpenStack, and that's far from done. Yet, being able to fork is beyond what I think is possible.
    • What both HP and Rackspace have experienced shows the exact opposite thing: getting out of the safe path of the trunk can be a very costly choice that you are going to regret later on. They both reported on this fact.
  • Chinese owned businesses are still under gov. orders. And part of that is they MUST fragment this. What they want to do, is use their overwhelming population and sales to drive down prices, but then control the standards.
    IOW, doing it there will help nothing.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      May I introduce you to Mr. Edward Snowden who has been sharing with the world the extent to which American owned businesses are under their own government orders... and the extent to which they have been doing their government's secret agencies bidding.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Snowden

  • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Thursday July 11, 2013 @03:41PM (#44254869)

    It seems like a long shot, but maybe by holding the next summit in Hong Kong, OpenStack can draw contributors into the fold.

    Only marketing flacks think that something like holding an event in a particular place is going to impress the locals enough to abandon their current priorities and go with the group hosting the event. Every Olympic Games and World Cup in dodgy countries, every peace negotiation in a symbolic place ever has demonstrated two things: hosting the event validates what the host is doing, and the other participants just complain about travel times to reach the destination.

    This idea that hosting an event in a particular place can fundamentally change - or even influence - how the locals regard something is ridiculous, has long been proven wrong, and needs to die in a fire. If anything, hosting the next Openstack meeting in Hong Kong would merely validate the idea that the Chinese are on the right track with their own implementation.

  • More recently, Chinese companies have gleefully gone on their own with Android,

    What are you talking about? From that article they made a few comments about how they wish to move away from Google's Android. And actually here's the exact quote that sentiment was extrapolated from:

    "Our country's mobile operating system research and development is heavily reliant on Android," according to a white paper from a research division of China's tech regulator, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. "Although the Android system currently remains open source, the core technologies and technology roadmap is strictly controlled by Google."

    That's a quote from some Chinese Ministry, not even a group of Chinese developers. I hear that more like "Chinese are reluctantly still installing Google's Android on most of their phones. Google's Android use still rising sharply in China with no end in sight." Can you point me to the Chinese repo for the

  • Of course that will not work. Very few people who live and work in Beijing are going to fly down to Hong Kong to attend some stupid Summit. Hold the Summit in Beijing and you might have some impact and get some participation. Hold the summit in Hong Kong and you cut that to 1/10.

    It's a 3 hour flight down and a 3 hour flight back, air tickets cost about 2 weeks worth of wages for the average IT guy. And you need a special travel document which most people in China don't have, so they'll have to apply for it.

    • Of course that will not work. Very few people who live and work in Beijing are going to fly down to Hong Kong to attend some stupid Summit. Hold the Summit in Beijing and you might have some impact and get some participation. Hold the summit in Hong Kong and you cut that to 1/10.

      Ah, finally, a good post. Mod this up!!!

      It's a 3 hour flight down and a 3 hour flight back, air tickets cost about 2 weeks worth of wages for the average IT guy.

      There, you got it very wrong. The cheapest flight I can find on english.ctrip.com is about 2700 RMB (including air port taxes, one way). If you decide to go through Shengzhen (which is next to HongKong, connected with a very cheap train), it drops to 1300 RMB. A decent salary in the IT, and especially if you are able to work on Openstack, would be about 10 times this amount. So, that's probably half a week of work that we are talking about. That's affordable. Plus a l

      • by cpaglee (665238)

        Not going to debate IT wages in China / Chinese airplane ticket prices / advanced purchase plane ticket discounts or walking across the Shenzhen border on Slashdot. Maybe I exaggerated a little. My point is plenty people will refrain from attending because of the cost of the airplane ticket alone.

        If "More people visit the OpenStack Web site from Beijing than any other city in the world and developers in China account for the second largest number of code commits." then hold the conference in Beijing!

        • I do agree with all of your points, and the fact that Beijing would have been a much better place, but I don't agree that plane ticket price is the blocker. There's also the high speed train from Beijing to Guanzhou as an option btw.

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