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From Matt Hogstrom <>
Subject Re: [libcloud] All about Images
Date Thu, 01 Apr 2010 13:34:30 GMT
Timely topic Paul.  I've been playing around with images on several different clouds and find
that the image construction is one of several other aspects that would be great to standardize
on.  Another area that I've been involved with is what we call activiation.  This includes
the activation of the images for the first boot strap as well as for ongoing events of the
image over its life time.  For initial activation we've (here at mother IBM) built a framework
in python (we're actually using jython so that it is portable across all OS's) that provides
a common activation experience for Linux, AIX, Windows, etc.  

Does this sound like this fits in with your thinking?  I'm considering taking our implementation
in its current form and donating it and lib cloud seems like a great place to do this.  Its
not complete and could use lots of input and help but the goal is to provide a common activation
experience across clouds and for helping to orchestrate startup within a collection of VMs.


On Mar 29, 2010, at 9:04 PM, Paul Querna wrote:

> Where to start.
> Images today are one of the other major stumbling blocks for most
> users of clouds -- not just building, but the versioning and
> distribution of the images are still too painful.  People revert back
> to using traditional configuration management tools, because
> re-rolling a server image is a time consuming and painful procedure.
> In addition, there is no abstraction layer between generating the most
> common image format, Amazon's AMI, and other formats, preventing wider
> adoption and support of image formats by other hosting providers.
> I have talked about it on IRC in #libcloud, and in person with a few
> people, about maybe expanding the scope of the libcloud project, to
> include "Cloud Images".
> I think if libcloud took the same approach to images that it took to
> APIs -- start simple, support everyone, get the hosting providers
> involved, and iterate quickly, we could get good adoption of an image
> format and specification quite quickly, where other complicated
> standards have faltered.   In addition, because libcloud is about
> producing actual software, not just a specification, I feel like we
> could provide the tools to providers to make integration of the image
> format extremely simple.
> I think the most interesting project in this space right now is
> dotCloud's cloudlet:
> The short version is they use a filesystem, integrated with version
> control, and that is able to export to various formats, from a chroot,
> to a tarball, or an AMI.  There is also support for templating things
> like configuration files inside the image, which will make it very
> easy to support multiple cloud providers with a single baseline image.
> I think the most interesting possibility is to build on Cloudlet
> (maybe even convince cloudlet's authors to join us inside the ASF),
> but I am getting ahead of myself there :-)
> What does everyone else think about Cloud Images?  Does it belong in a
> place like libcloud, or do you feel that the standardization efforts
> elsewhere are sufficient?
> Thanks,
> Paul

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