Tag Archives: Personal

Anything personal that might not necessarily be tech related

Oct Recap: It’s Been a Trip

I have recently been doing a lot of travel for work. I know that for some, this amount of travel is routine, but for myself, it has been pretty awesome. In the month of October, I have visited 2 places I have never been to before. But before I start with the picture show and going into the cool thing that I saw, I think I need to start out with how all this happened.

The adventure first started out with an acceptance of a speaking proposal at ContainerCon EU 2016 in Berlin. Yes, you read that right! I was pretty dang stoked to be selected to speak at the event and also to help lead the Apache Mesos Hands-on Lab at the Open Source Storage Summit. The experience was unbelievable and was also a big validation on some of the things that I have been working on; namely a ScaleIO Framework for Apache Mesos which just so happened to be announced at the conference. I was definitely a little nervous about the date/time of my speaking session, last day and last time slot, but the turn out was still fantastic! For those that are interested, my talk focused around Software Defined Storage and Container Schedulers. You can view my slide deck on GitHub here.

CC Berlin

Now on to the fun stuff! Before heading to the conference, a few of my coworkers and I stopped in Munich. I got to check out a bunch of stuff ranging from museums talking about World War 2 to sampling local cuisine (as in eating a lot of freaking sausages). Nothing was cooler though than going to the original Oktoberfest in a legit beer tent. The place was freaking amazing and although I am not a beer fan, I partook in drinking and had a blast.

Interesting side note, Oktoberfest isn’t technically an event… it’s actually a place. Mind Blown! When we picked up our tickets, we asked the concierge “How can we get to Oktoberfest?” They looked at us like we were complete mouth-breathers and smiled. They explained and pointed out where Oktoberfest actually was on the map, explained significance of the area where Oktoberfest takes place, and just told us we could get into any cab and say “Take us to Oktoberfest!”. We found that super funny… a little too much, but it was epic!

Oktoberfest in Munich

We then all took a train from Munich to Berlin, did the conference thing, and then hopped back home. We kicked back for less than a week and flew to Hawaii for work. Yes, that isn’t joke. And also not a joke, I have never been to Hawaii even though I live in the Los Angeles area which is just a small jump over the ocean. Our team, {code} by Dell EMC, was actually sponsoring the World Drone Racing Championships in Hawaii. Super cool! In all seriousness though, drones are emerging into a multi-multi-billion (yes, with a B) dollar industry with commercial applications like performing land surveys and the amount of data being collected by these drones is growing exponentially which is where Dell EMC comes in. Putting the business stuff aside for a second, after having tried it first hand using my Inductrix beginner drone with a cam and the Marvel Vision FPV Googles, flying drones is pretty cool!

Drones

What’s up next? I will be continuing the work that I have been doing on the ScaleIO Framework and will undoubtedly have additional surprises in store hopefully fairly soon! (With a blog post to accompany it!) If you happened to miss the launch of the ScaleIO Framework, you can find more information including a demo on the official {code} by Dell EMC blog.

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LinuxCon ContainerCon Japan: Extended Edition

My recap of LinuxCon ContainerCon Japan just went live on the EMC {code} Blog and it talks about some of the things that happened at the conference as well as talks about some key takeaways. I definitely encourage you to go and take a look at the article. This happens to be my first blog post on the official EMC {code} Blog. Yay!

On to the Fun Stuff

It has been some time since I have been to Japan, but going back was a lot of fun. Below is a not so serious look at Japan outside of the seriousness of the conference.

Walking through one of Japan’s many multi-story electronic stores, I found a $1300 Rice Cooker. Yes, that amount isn’t a typo. I hope that thing washes my car too for that price.

The $1300 Rice Cooker

We found this Okinawan restaurant and found this guy parked outside.

Dragon Holding Some Sake

And in that bar, I got an opportunity to try Habushu which is a Japanese Liquor made with a snake in the bottle (picture below). Yes, there is a snake inside. No joke. Habushu is named after the habu snake, Trimeresurus flavoviridis, which belongs to the pit viper family and is closely related to the rattlesnake and copperhead. (according to wikipedia)

Habushu Liquor

On our last night, we visited the world famous Golden Gai in Shinjuku. It is roughly six alleys connected together that has over 200 tiny shanty-style bars. Each bar is large enough to hold 5-8 people max with most of the ones we saw being about the size of a 5ft x 7ft room.

Golden Gai in Shinjuku

Last but not least, when you are tried of eating conference bento boxes everyday and you need a change… you get KFC. That also isn’t a joke either. By the way, KFC is waaaaay better in Japan than in the states. Just saying!

KFC

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Looking Back at EMC World 2016

Wow! How quickly a week can go by. Like many of you, EMC World 2016 was my first time in attendance and it also happen to be the first time I have been given the opportunity to be a presenter for a larger audience. I though the experience exceeded my expectations and based on some of the preliminary numbers and feedback that we have been getting on the sessions the EMC {code} team had presented, a good number of you agree the sessions content and presentations were of value to you. Thanks again for attending the sessions and providing your feedback.

Couldn’t make it this year?

For those that couldn’t make it out this year, a number of people in {code} have starting posting the materials and slide decks for our sessions. Official EMC World slide decks should be posted in the coming weeks, but there have been a large number of requests to get a hold of the material ASAP and many of us on the team have been happy to oblige. As for my sessions, you can find the materials below.

Introduction To Mesos & Mesosphere

Here is the session material for Introduction To Mesos & Mesosphere (Monday May 2 at 8:30) which just as the title says is a Apache Mesos 101 type session.

You can download the “Introduction To Mesos & Mesosphere” powerpoint presentation HERE. The video of the demonstration used at the end of the session highlighting Mesos using persistent external storage can be found on YouTube below:

The source code for the MVC Web Application written in Golang can be found in my GitHub repo. The two projects used in demo were RestServer and RestClient.

To launch the MVC Application with external persistent storage, you first need to have each of your Mesos Agent/Slave nodes running Mesos DNS and configured for persistent external storage using this Guide. Once you have those prerequisites in your Mesos Cluster, you can find the Marathon JSON files to launch tasks here. To start up the application, perform the following:

Start PostgreSQL:
curl -k -XPOST -d @postgres-mvc.json -H "Content-Type: application/json" YourMarathonIP:8080/v2/apps

Start RestServer:
curl -k -XPOST -d @restapi.json -H "Content-Type: application/json" YourMarathonIP:8080/v2/apps

Start RestClient:
curl -k -XPOST -d @ui.json -H "Content-Type: application/json" YourMarathonIP:8080/v2/apps

Deep Dive With Mesos & Persistent Storage For Applications

Here is the session material for Deep Dive With Mesos & Persistent Storage For Applications (Tuesday May 3 at 3:00) which covered the importance of Apache Mesos Frameworks and the powerful capabilities that 2 layer scheduling provides in your Datacenter and Mesos cluster.

You can download the “Deep Dive With Mesos & Persistent Storage For Applications” powerpoint presentation HERE. The video of the demonstration used at the end of the session highlighting the Elastic Search Mesos Framework using persistent external storage can be found on YouTube below:

To launch the Elastic Search Framework with external persistent storage, you first need to have at least a 3 Agent/Slave nodes in your Mesos cluster and each of your Mesos Agent/Slave nodes configured for persistent external storage using this Guide. To start the ElasticSearch scheduler, you can find the Marathon JSON files to launch task here. To start up the Scheduler, perform the following:

Start ElasticSearch Scheduler:
curl -k -XPOST -d @elasticsearch.json -H "Content-Type: application/json" YourMarathonIP:8080/v2/apps

If you want to run some of the advanced ElasticSearch functionality used in the demo, you can find additional information in this file here.

What’s Next…

After recharging for a bit, we have already started on our post-EMC World plans and deliverables. Hopefully this will bring a forth a bunch of interesting ideas and projects for the community. To keep up to date with the things that I will be working on, please follow me on Twitter at @dvonthenen. If anyone has any questions about the EMC World presentations, you can always catch me on the {code} Community Slack channel.

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Getting Ready for EMC World 2016

We are getting closer and closer to EMC World 2016. I have to admit, its approaching crazy fast. This will be my first time attending EMC World. Seems odd saying that as I have attended many conferences in my career, but never the one my company throws. This time its going to be a different conference going experience as I will be presenting two sessions in the “Code and Modern Operations” track this year. I am very excited for this opportunity to talk about things that are interesting to me and I hope that are of interest to others out there in the open source community.

Apache Mesos

The first session is Introduction To Mesos & Mesosphere. This is basically an Apache Mesos 101 type session with a focus on the company, Mesosphere, whom pushes the direction of Mesos. I will be co-presenting this session with Somik Behera from Mesosphere. For those that haven’t heard about Mesos or looking to learn more about it, this is a excellent session outlining why Mesos is among the best workload schedulers in the datacenter and why its the preferred choice among companies looking to scale their applications. You can catch us both Monday morning (May 2) at 8:30am. Yes, you read that right. Going to be difficult for people to drag themselves out of bed that early in the morning… this is Las Vegas after all. Hope you all can make it!

Deep Dive

My second session is Deep Dive With Mesos & Persistent Storage For Applications. After getting some time to digest the information in my previous Mesos 101 session, this will dive into some of the internals of Mesos as we explore Mesos Frameworks and 2 layer scheduling. We will discuss what 2 layer scheduling means and how external storage can enhance the story around applications leveraging Frameworks. For the architects, operators, and consumers of Mesos, this session is packed with things you need to know in order to make your applications function efficiently and be highly available in order to avoid the train wreck. Ultimately the goal of talk is to enable you to put things on autopilot so you don’t need to manage the application.

Train Wreck

If you haven’t purchases tickets for EMC World, I would highly recommend you do as soon as possible. The EMC {code} team has a huge presence this year as we have our own booth along with our own session track, Code and Modern Operations, which I eluded to earlier. The {code} team collectively has 21 sessions at the conference this year talking about everything from Docker, managing larger open source communities, Mesos, and contributing to open source just to name a few. I will have a follow up blog post just before EMC World highlighting some of the other sessions you might want to check out. Catch you all later!

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Looking Back at SCaLE x14

For those that don’t know what SCaLE is… SCaLE stands for the Southern California Linux Expo and this marked the 14th year the conference has been held which happened to be in Pasadena, CA on Jan 21-24. This was the first time I have attended SCaLE and I have to say that it was quite refreshing going to a conference where the primary purpose wasn’t trying to sell you product but rather ideas and open source projects of interest. A lot of this is due to a very community driven focus which encompassed everything from session selection, a large volunteer staff, and etc.

There were a number of sessions and tracks ranging from Ubucon (everything Ubuntu), PostgreSQL, MySQL, Apache Bigtop, Open Source in Education, Unikernels, Robotics using Golang (pictured below) and etc. I took it upon myself to take a slice out of each pie to get a good feel for what the conference had to offer. Like everything in life, there was a range of the good, the bad and the ugly… but I would have to say there wasn’t much, if any, in the latter category. For reference, you can get a copy of the conference schedule here as a sampling of what types of sessions SCaLE provides.

Gobot - Robots Powered by Golang

The other significant difference is that audience or the make up of the attendees in this conference is significantly different than traditional conferences backed by big money which in this instance was predominately developers, DevOps peeps, and sysadmins. Gone are the sales and marketing people with the heavy focus on landing deals with private rooms off to the side where contracts are being drawn up. If you are looking to network with other developers and the actual users of a particular technology, this is a fantastic place to connect with those people.

Without further ado, here are some notes from sessions I found interesting. It should also be noted that I have included a lot of the session links in this blog as many of the slide decks are available on those pages.

IoT and Snappy Ubuntu Core

This session was titled Internet of Things gets ‘snappy’ with Ubuntu Core and its main focus was introducing people to the idea of Snappy Ubuntu Core which Ubuntu is pushing as the solution for building applications in the cloud and on embedded devices. Think of it as a minimal Ubuntu operating system built using the same libraries as traditional Ubuntu just with a much smaller footprint wrapped with a convenient package management that can orchestrate installation and upgrades. The IoT demo was an application built using snappy on a raspberry pi with an IP camera that can do facial tracking. Pretty cool! You can find more information about Snappy Ubuntu Core here.

IoT using Snappy Ubuntu Core on a Raspberry Pi

Juju Charms

This was my first exposure to Juju Charms. I had heard the name being thrown around before but didn’t have the time to take a look at the offering. The session Writing your first Juju Charm was a well presented introduction for first time users. The main takeaway is that Juju models relationships with other applications encapsulated in what is called a charm and that those charms, for example MySQL, are created, maintained, and tuned by subject experts. Pulling those vetted charms helps provide a solid foundation to build your applications on. Dependencies in charms are automatically pulled in and the likeness was compared that to the layers of an onion; you just layer in the applications you want. Then when pulling together your solution, its simply dragging and connecting these charms within the UI.

In writing your own charm, the method of hooking these applications together is done by an event driven engine. For example, your application contained within your own charm doesn’t get installed until the http server started and the MariaDB started event are received. Overall a good session. You can find more information about Juju here and here.

Docker and Unikernels

Although what I am going to write about here wasn’t a session at SCaLE per se, but speakers from both the Docker and Unikernel presentations at this special edition of the Docker LA Meetup SCaLE x14 Edition had sessions at the conference. The first speaker was Jérôme Petazzoni from Docker (pictured on the right). We discussed Swarm and the advances made in the latest release specifically around mulit-network orchestration between containers instances to satisfy the cluster use case. I did enjoy the fact that the discussion was almost completely driven by demonstration, but from the sounds of known issues even walking into this demo, it makes me think that this isn’t ready for prime time yet. I definitely appreciate the candor and honesty from the presenter about these issue; speaks to his professionalism.

The second half of the meetup quickly switched gears to talk about the Docker acquisition of Unikernel Systems who is the primary driver of the open source ecosystem of unikernel.org. Presenting a 101 type course on unikernels was Amir Chaudhry and Richard Mortier (pictured on the left). The session was quite fascinating considering I had not heard of the term unikernel until Docker made the announcement that morning. In a nutshell, the idea of a unikernel is such that you only take the various parts of a particular stack, say networking, that you need in order for your application to run. This implies that the stack is modular and has clear separation of concerns. The claim is that this type of operating system has:

  • a smaller footprint in terms of size
  • better security because they have a lower penetration profile
  • better performance because unnecessary services aren’t running
  • boots quicker than a traditional operating system which lends to cloud applications

While all this might be true, I have some reservations about dynamically pulling pieces of the operating system to build your final application image. Unikernel System via their tools claim to have solved that dependency nightmare. For the sake of argument if we accept that have been able to solve dynamic dependencies between modules, a lot of these operating systems have been rewritten to the ground up which begs the questions about stability. Additionally, these unikernels don’t have a traditional kernel or protected layer meaning that the application has full access all the way down the stack. Think about the security ramifications of this design.

It seems like unikernels are at odds with what Ubuntu Core decided to do which was just create a common minimal operating system using the same exact libraries we have been using for decades to run cloud and embedded applications. I think I prefer the Ubuntu Core design, but I have a feeling the hype and backing of Docker’s marketing machine might smash that idea.

Jérôme Petazzoni of Docker, Amir Chaudhry and Richard Mortier of Unikernel Systems

Mentoring in Open Source

I attended the Dent the Universe: Mentoring in Open Source session after a fellow coworker was interested in but was unable to attend SCaLE. I was pleasantly surprised with both the content of the discussion as well as the make up of the audience. The audience had a mix of gender, race, backgrounds, and also age… as in there were teens, toddlers, and babies in the audience (pretty sure the babies didn’t really follow was was going on).

The upshot of the session is that relationships between mentors and mentees bring forth a sense of community like what we see in the open source world. Its a platform for exchanging ideas similar to a meetup but on an individual 1 on 1 setting. There are many open source projects and organizations out there that have mentoring programs included by not limited to: Google, Apache, Fedora, and Ubuntu. The session covered what mentors are and aren’t, how you build that relationship, the dedication that mentors need to have, and even how mentees might go about getting a mentor. Of all the sessions that I did sit in on, I have to say I took the most amount of notes in this one… maybe it was because the subject matter was so different, but nonetheless this was definitely an excellent session and was well worth the time.

Nomad, a Golang Cluster Scheduler

I just want to give a quick mention about the Nomad – An introduction to Cluster Schedulers session. I found the overall design of Nomad intriguing based on the claimed feature set. Nomad is a HashiCorp project which if you don’t know who HashiCorp is, they are the ones who brought you projects like Vagrant and Consul. Nomad is written in Golang and supports scheduling for virtual infrastructure, Docker, Java applications, and etc. They have support for Global and Local cluster regions (think multi-datacenter support) and has facilities for deploying, scaling, rolling updates, load balancing, integrates with Consul and more. Although it seems like scale isn’t their strong suit as the presenter only believes the stress testing has only been done on 100 or so nodes; however, Nomad might be a good enough solution for a mid-sized business. I will be keeping on eye on this considering the success that HashiCorp has had on their other projects.

Expo Floor at SCaLE x14

Conclusion

Overall, SCaLE was a great conference with veritable buffet of topics that can interest a wide variety of people who attend. Hell for the price, under $40 if you get in on a coupon code, you can’t beat the value for the level of information in the sessions and the discussions had with the many attendees and speakers. I would definitely recommend checking out this conference next year and if you can convince your employer to fund the trip or if you can’t and have the spare time and (not much) cash to come on your own dime, its definitely a worth while experience.

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Who is David vonThenen?

Hi! My name is David vonThenen. I am a Developer Advocate with EMC {code}. Yes, that EMC that makes all the storage products we have all come to know and love. I have recently been given the opportunity to join a fairly new group, the {code} team, within EMC that lives and breathes Open Source by making contributions back to the community. Part of this new journey includes a lot of outward facing collaboration with users of projects that EMC has open sourced but also a lot of collaboration with other developer and community projects out there. That leads me to my first blog post!

Who am I? I have been working in the technology industry for many years now in varying disciplines including: semiconductors, mainframes, storage area networks (FC, iSCSI, FCoE), distributed systems, backup/recovery solutions, virtualization (VMware), cloud, and etc. All these roles have been in your traditional enterprise corporate environment where you get some requirements from some product marketing monkey to tell you how they interpreted what the customer wants. Ever play a game of telephone? Now try it with a non-technical person armed with only acronyms. Yea, usually doesn’t go well but I digress.

When I heard about EMC {code}, I jump at the opportunity to take how I developed software and completely turn that world upside-down. Gone are the days of those marketing monkeys, gone are those silly 6 to 12 month development cycles, and gone are the closed proprietary software solutions. One of the biggest draws for me going Open Source was the collaboration with developers and users and the other social aspects of this change, like the idea of speaking at meetups. A lot of software engineer would say “whaaaa?” Yup, even the simple side of social media like tweeting what I have been working on without having the fear of exposing some critical feature before the release or tipping our hand to competitors.

Social Interaction What?

Another thing I am looking forward is working with all the new technology out there. Docker, Mesos, and etc. I have been predominately known as a C++ and Java Spring developer, but I am very interested in learning some of the new modern languages out there. I just recently picked up Golang by going through some online tutorials, reading a couple of books (yea, I still do that), and recreating several projects that I quite frequently need to do in C++ or Spring land by making the Golang equivalent. Looking forward to my first real project using it.

What about outside work?

Well enough of that boring crap. I got started with programming around the time I was in high school, but was self-taught programmer primarily in C++ making my own video games. One of my favorite subjects in high school was chemistry so I did start off as a chemistry major in college (hence, the Breaking Bad motif of my blog), but about 2 years in, I realized that I couldn’t leave programming, computers and technology behind. So I ended up double majoring in Computer Science as well. I love poker (particularly no limit Texas Hold’em), I actually enjoy going to the gym and have a home gym for when I can’t make it, I am the proud owner of 2 boxer dogs (Sydney and Izzy), huge fan of aged Irish Whiskey (love Glenfiddich 18 or Jameson for your casual kind of drinking), I am a foodie who will try anything once, and I am one of those car guys who drives a muscle car.

Sydney and Izzy

Now what?

Well I hope that you stick around and visit my blog every once in a while as I plan to blog on various topics relating to technology, some of the things that I am working or even things that interest me. If you happen to live in the Orange or Los Angeles County area, I have been active in the MeetUp community. You can also find me on Twitter, LinkedIn and GitHub.

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