Hello Again : My life up to this point

This post is a catch-up for all the stuff I should have written about but didn’t in the last few weeks. For those that don’t know, I recently moved from EMC over to VMware into a brand new kind of role. Right now I am caught in the trifecta of learning a new company, meeting new teams, and trying to help bootstrap my own with recruiting and design work.

Which results in my blog getting a lack of attention.

But, all that is going to change. My new mission with this blog is to just start dumping from my brain a combination of what I am playing with and what I have discovered along the way. I am working on tools and special things for the cloud community at large. But these will take a bit of time to see the light of day. So my new post will be titled: “Nick’s Distractions” – and will be a summary of mildly interesting topics that distracted me somehow during my week.

So here is my first catch-up:

Project Razor:

Razor has exploded way bigger than I expected. Funny how solving personal problems can result in public acceptance. The current forks are over 50+ and watchers are almost 200 on the github repo(https://github.com/puppetlabs/Razor). This is just awesome, as I had always envisioned Razor as being truly powerful when it becomes a part of an open community that contributes 99.99% of the code and design.

Now for the updates:

1. I was lucky enough to be able to do the short Razor session at PuppetConf 2012. I ended up redoing my presentation the night before to better fit the audience. I ended up doing a live demo and preso at the same time. PupeptConf has to be one of my favorite audiences to speak to, ever. You can actually watch the whole presentation, which is a GREAT way to get to know Razor right here:

2. Another secret trick I have been working on with Razor was actually announced during the keynote at PuppetConf by Dan Hushon. I had spent about two months trying to figure out a way to do Microsoft Windows provisioning with 100% Razor deployment and all the same ease and power as you would get with Ubuntu or Centos. While it is still in private alpha until I get a pull request up, here is the video showing the Windows magic happening. This includes full control of the Windows version, language, and everything in between.

3. There was a major update right before PuppetConf which updated the REST and CLI API’s for a much more consistent control of Razor.
The Wiki got a major update so if you haven’t checked it out go peruse the new Wiki: https://github.com/puppetlabs/Razor/wiki

4. There is also a nice new install guide: https://github.com/puppetlabs/Razor/wiki/Installation

5. Razor is going to be used by RackSpace to qualify hardware for their OpenStack efforts:

6. Turns out Cisco’s demo of deploying their OpenStack + Puppet at OpenStack Summit including using Razor (Dan Bode from PuppetLabs co-wrote the Puppet->Razor control). Can’t find the video at the moment.

Random stuff:

1. If you haven’t played with it before: AntlrWorks(http://www.antlr.org/works/index.html) is an awesome GUI/IDE for using the Antlr lexer/parser generator(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ANTLR)

2. In exploring Basho’s Riak software I discovered some interesting constraints around getting a list of keys or range of keys. Here is a very good thread I found around this including how to handle it with secondary indexing and good design approaches: http://riak-users.197444.n3.nabble.com/Getting-all-the-Keys-td2308764.html

3. Here is a very cool post on Twitter’s Storm project: http://www.michael-noll.com/blog/2012/10/16/understanding-the-parallelism-of-a-storm-topology/ (thanks to Clint Greenwood for showing me)

Cloud Coding Commentary Distractions Life/Work

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