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Can OpenStack Avoid Fragmentation In China?

timothy posted about 9 months ago | from the can-anything? dept.

China 42

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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42 comments

Frosty Piss (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44254391)

Have a nice tall warm glass.

Re:Frosty Piss (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44254873)

How can it be both frosty AND warm?

You hit that bullseye and the rest of the dominoes fell like a house of cards. Checkmate.

what is OpenStack? (2)

Trepidity (597) | about 9 months ago | (#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]?

Re:what is OpenStack? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44254589)

"Does anyone know how it compares to other such platforms, like Eucalyptus [eucalyptus.com] and the confusingly-similar-in-name CloudStack [apache.org]?"

Stack wars: OpenStack v. CloudStack v. Eucalyptus (OpenStack has the buzz, CloudStack has the bucks, Eucalyptus has the bonds with Amazon):
http://www.networkworld.com/supp/2013/enterprise3/060313-ecs3-open-stack-269899.html

Re:what is OpenStack? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44254635)

Google exists.

Re:what is OpenStack? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44254841)

It's not the reader's responsibility to learn everything the summary writer demands they know. If it were, the summary writer wouldn't have anything to do to begin with, as Google would've also found this article elsewhere, meaning it wouldn't need to be posted here.

Re:what is OpenStack? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#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.

Re:what is OpenStack? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44255033)

Up-mod Parent Please. First person experience reports are valuable.

Re:what is OpenStack? (2)

Natales (182136) | about 9 months ago | (#44258789)

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 customization process. Some of them tend to be more enterprise-centric and other ones tend to be more service provider-centric.

Since I'm part of the OpenStack team of one of the corporate members of the OpenStack Foundation, I've had the chance to explore many of them, and I'm most impressed by StackOps which seems to be the most flexible of all so far, although Ubuntu with Jujus is not far behind, specially if you enjoy the command line.

Overall, I see a huge momentum in the OpenStack community and the potential is there to create a true API glue that can finally unite all software components, from proprietary to open source under a single IaaS framework.

Re:what is OpenStack? (2)

GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) | about 9 months ago | (#44258995)

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)!

Re:what is OpenStack? (1)

Lennie (16154) | about 9 months ago | (#44280477)

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

Re:what is OpenStack? (1)

styrotech (136124) | about 9 months ago | (#44257153)

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 :)

Can't Blame China (1, Troll)

SirAstral (1349985) | about 9 months ago | (#44254631)

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.

Re:Can't Blame China (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44254753)

What hardball?

Imagine actual import tariffs on goods that otherwise strangle the world economy from competing for the US consumer dollar?

Re:Can't Blame China (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 9 months ago | (#44255029)

And to be honest, America needs to raise tariffs against China. China has over 400 tariffs while subsidizing/dumps goods on western foreign markets, esp. America. Europe is next.

Re:Can't Blame China (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 9 months ago | (#44255011)

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.

Motive? (1)

hackingbear (988354) | about 9 months ago | (#44254785)

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?

Re:Motive? (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 9 months ago | (#44255479)

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 a copy of the spec, you have to work with the Chinese government. Oh, and they also request you disable WPA2.

You must have it to sell your product in China. You can guess one possible reason why this is so.

Quite likely, the Chinese will fragment it as a China-only option for various reasons. One of which is obvious, the other is advantaging Chinese companies (who get early access to the specs)...

Re:Motive? (1)

GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) | about 9 months ago | (#44259167)

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.

Re:Motive? (1)

GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) | about 9 months ago | (#44259157)

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.

It will not help (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 9 months ago | (#44254835)

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.

Re:May I introduce you to Mr. Edward Snowden... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44255617)

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

Re:May I introduce you to Mr. Edward Snowden... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44256171)

There have been no orders. Just requests to obtain data. And the fact is, that few of the companies actually work with the NSA. MS and Apple were 2 that turned over their data. However, others did not. It was not needed.

Classic mistake (2)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | about 9 months ago | (#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.

Re:Classic mistake (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44255067)

I am an active OpenStack contributor and associated with half the board and all of the employees of the foundation.

My understanding is that the choice to go to Hong Kong is largely to appease the large number of developers and users from Asia that have either had to, or have been unable, to travel to the USA for previous summits.

I'm not sure any fears of fragmentation are specifically, "they think differently than us, lets bring them into our fold". Instead, fears of fragmentation would be more centered around, "they might get pissed and do their own thing if we ignore them".

Re:Classic mistake (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | about 9 months ago | (#44255555)

My understanding is that the choice to go to Hong Kong is largely to appease the large number of developers and users from Asia that have either had to, or have been unable, to travel to the USA for previous summits.

Great - that's the only thing that conference/event participants care about. Where is it located, and how difficult will it be to get there and get out of there? But I sure hope that no one thinks that it is going to do anything other than allow the maximum amount of people to participate. Granted, there is a definite path for a slow fork to take place once there are two places to gather, but that's by definition.

So again - either the goal is self-evident (you meet where the most people can meet), or it is idiotic (if we meet there, the locals will like us more!).

China is still communist. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44254897)

Well, at least it still has a centrally steared economy. That means it doesn't make one iota of a difference what the OpenStack Foundation does. If the Chinese government decides they want control, and they need to fork the standard for them to get it, they will.

Re:China is still communist. (1)

GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) | about 9 months ago | (#44259175)

As if the Chinese gov. was able to fork such a project as OpenStack. Lots of laughs reading this over here reading this.

Stupid Patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44254905)

Why did China develop its own 3G standard? Patents. Of course.

Re:Stupid Patents (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 9 months ago | (#44255047)

no. Not due to patents. It was so that they could control the standard. IOW, they are using their economic might/consumer base to control things.

Re:Stupid Patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44255623)

no. Not due to patents. It was so that they could control the standard. IOW, they are using their economic might/consumer base to control things.

You probably didn't rtfa linked in the summary about China's 3G tech.

'Gone Their Own Way with Android'? What? (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 9 months ago | (#44254965)

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 forked source to android? Surely if it's widely distributed it must also make the source available?

'Gleefully gone their own way'? Yeah, tell you what, fork Android for China and let's compare the two code bases for support and worldwide use one year later. I suspect the glee will be entirely one-sided and it's not going to be China's Android.

China 3G technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44255163)

3G have huge licencing costs. Developing new standart can save big $.

frist sTop (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44255547)

though, I have to move any equipment that has grown up that FreeBSD is United State5. in time. For all

Developers in Beijing, Summit in Hong Kong??? (1)

cpaglee (665238) | about 9 months ago | (#44256499)

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. And if you don't have a Beijing ID then Chinese people need a visa to travel to Hong Kong. And the hotels in Hong Kong are $100 minimum per night. Hotels in Beijing are as cheap as $25 per night.

Who planned this?

Re:Developers in Beijing, Summit in Hong Kong??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44257209)

You'd be surprised.

Keep in mind there was even plenty of attendance from China when the summit was in USA :)

Re:Developers in Beijing, Summit in Hong Kong??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44257335)

Who planned this?

My guess would be those people who want a free vacation to Hong Kong? Considering its lack of sales tax and availability of all the latest electronics, it would be a great vacation site for the technically inclined.

To be fair, HK is a good place for holding conferences, it just ain't cheap.

Re:Developers in Beijing, Summit in Hong Kong??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44258223)

Welcome to slashdot. Where things China don't ever make sense, as its all rhetoric, and no actual informed opinion.

I completely concur with you. HK isn't China. Mainlanders need a visa to visit their "own" country., so for all intents and purposes its a foreign place.
Holding it in Beijing would have been a lot better, although Shenzhen or Guangzhou might not be a bad idea either - as they're just as cheap, and its just as convenient to fly into. Shanghai is too expensive these days to consider.

Re:Developers in Beijing, Summit in Hong Kong??? (1)

GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) | about 9 months ago | (#44259203)

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 lot of the Chinese OpenStack community is in Guanzhou. I agree it should have been in mainland for other reasons which you stated below (and facilities for such an event, in both Beijing and Shanghai, are much better as well)

And you need a special travel document which most people in China don't have, so they'll have to apply for it. And if you don't have a Beijing ID then Chinese people need a visa to travel to Hong Kong. And the hotels in Hong Kong are $100 minimum per night. Hotels in Beijing are as cheap as $25 per night.

Who planned this?

Re:Developers in Beijing, Summit in Hong Kong??? (1)

cpaglee (665238) | about 9 months ago | (#44259729)

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!

Re:Developers in Beijing, Summit in Hong Kong??? (1)

GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) | about 9 months ago | (#44261125)

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.

Re:Developers in Beijing, Summit in Hong Kong??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44260601)

Absolutely! Hosting in Hong Kong sounds like a very poorly researched marketing decision. Beijing or maybe even Shenzhen would demonstrate a better understanding of local markets.

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