Jan 272011

tux-rhYesterday I followed the online event Virtual Experience, presented by Red Hat.

The event was presented in 4 main areas :Red Hat Enterprise 6, Cloud Computing, Virtualization and Jboss, for an idea of the sessions available take a look here.

I followed some of the sessions and from what I saw I had the impression that Cloud is the key word (or fashion) that is often repeated even in talks about  other  topics,  RH  surely   is betting a lot there, but  we are still in the early phases and there are enabling technologies, but the solutions must be built ad hoc on your infrastructure.

Regarding this topic i suggest the talk made by Alex Heublein: Building a Private Cloud: practical Considerations perhaps is not the most technical but very useful regarding organizations aspects

Interesting the approach of RH toward the cloud: “Portability and interoperability over all”, while other vendors will try to put their feet in your company and do a lock in of all their stack, RH claim that is ready to work with all or a single level of his software stack: Virtualization with Kvm, Operating system with RHEL, and middleware with JBOSS.

In the Cloud topic i suggest also the “keynote – Open source cloud: A technology Evolution” by Brian Stevens an interesting talk that show how the evolution of the hardware and the software in the last years as been fundamental to think about cloud computing.

For more info regarding the cloud i suggest also the new “portal” made by RH : Cloud Foundations where you can find some whitepaper and all the last informations.

Red Hat Enterprise 6 has been one of the other main topics, RH has presented the last born of his enterprise operating system, numbers show in the talks say that RHEL 6 has a kernel with better performance and that many application will benefit from this.

In one of the talks it’s arisen the question: I am looking for some real data to tell my customers that the upgrade from 5 to 6 will give you X% performance increase over your current 5 environment

Answer: We all know the answer in a generic sense is “your mileage will vary”. By that I mean that we can’t guarantee that all workloads will see a specific X% increase. That depends on the nature of the app. ie, whether its cpu bound, io bound, using virt, etc.
Certainly from a scalability perspective for higher end systems – with high io rates, large cpu count, memory usage there will be performance enhance in rhel6.
yet other workloads are just strictly CPU bound spending little time in the OS. So in those cases no major perf bump would be anticipated.
We are working on publication of a variety of workload benchmark publications that you will be able to refer to and try to find one best approaching your use case.

For more info i suggest the talk “Red Hat 6 Overview” by
Tim Burke

Another interesting talk about RHE6 that introduce cgroup is “Manage System resource using red hat Enterprise Linux 6 Control Groups” by Linda Wang, for what i’ve seen cgroup could be really useful in the future to put fence between process (virtual machines ?).

On the Virtualization track i’ve followed the talk “Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Architecture” by Itamar Hein; presented in this talk there is also Red Hat Virtual Manager a centralized solution for managing virtual machines.

This solution at the moment is wrote in c# and run under windows but RH is porting it in Java to be run under Jboss (and so it will be available also for Linux).

More informations on this can be found here

For the Jboss tracks I’ve only seen the talk “ Jboss in the Trenches ” by Ronak Malik, who also talks of the approach that you have to put into production a service and so it can also be applied to other contexts, I recommend it.

And as the last thing I recommend “Using Red Hat Network Satellite to Dynamically Scale Applications in a Private Cloud” by James Labocki
Very interesting talk on the use of satellites to do automatically (compared with an increase in load) provisioning of a new virtual machine that is then placed in a JBoss cluster. The video shows practical activities on satellite. Videos and slides are available here: http://people.redhat.com/jlabocki/summit/2010/

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  One Response to “Notes from RH: Virtual Experience”

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