Monthly Archives: December 2017

Google Announces Kubeflow to Bring Kubernetes t… » Linux Magazine

After Kubernetes and TensorFlow, Google has now released Kubeflow, a new open source project that makes it easy to consume machine learning (ML) stacks with Kubernetes.

Kubernetes is being touted as the cloud Linux, and an increasing number of people are employing it in different use cases. Machine learning is one of the fastest growing use cases for Kubernetes, but it’s quite a challenge to get the entire machine learning stack up and running.

“Building any production-ready machine learning system involves various components, often mixing vendors and hand-rolled solutions. Connecting and managing these services for even moderately sophisticated setups introduces huge barriers of complexity in adopting machine learning,” said David Aronchick and Jeremy Lewi, Project Manager and Engineer, respectively, on the Kubeflow project. “Infrastructure engineers will often spend a significant amount of time manually tweaking deployments and hand rolling solutions before a single model can be tested.”

Kubeflow solves this problem because it makes using ML stacks on Kubernetes fast and extensible. It’s hosted on GitHub, and the repository contains three components: JupyterHub, to create and manage interactive Jupyter notebooks; a TensorFlow (TF) Custom Resource Definition (CRD) that can be configured to use CPUs or GPUs and adjusted to the size of a cluster with a single setting; and a TF Serving container.

Kubeflow is a muticloud solution, and if you can run Kubernetes in your environment, you can run Kubeflow.

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The Best Is Yet to Come

The storage interface improves flash performance, and will reshape the industry when coupled with SCM.

Non-volatile memory express, NVMe, has been around for a while; development of the interface standard started in 2007 and it was first released in 2011. NVMe promises boosts in storage performance and much lower latency for flash drives, but the real rewards will come down the road when the interface is paired with the next-generation storage media called storage class memory, or SCM. That’s when data storage will take a significant leap forward.

Like all new technologies, the evolution of NVMe has come in phases. About two years ago, a lot of the big storage vendors began using NVMe as an interface for cache. At the time, it offered a high-speed connection, but was still quite expensive, and therefore was focused only on narrow use cases in the array.    

Over the next two years, there’s going to be a land grab of sorts and NVMe will be a given in enterprise storage, just like flash is today. The difference in benefits will be based around implementation. We learned a few years ago with flash that data services matter and proprietary doesn’t work. More businesses require data services to meet requirements for security, protection and availability for their workloads. And a proprietary approach impedes agility and scalability. To keep pace with customer demands, successful vendors will embrace industry standards.

Those lessons will need to be heeded as NVMe becomes more mainstream. It’s also important to understand that in the larger picture, NVMe is only part of the story. NVMe is just the interface or protocol, not the media type.  The transitions in interface and media are moving on parallel tracks. On the interface side, NVMe takes advantage of the parallelism in CPUs and SSDs, leaving behind the overhead of storage protocols like SAS and SATA that were designed for spinning disks.

On the media side, NVMe opens the door to next-generation media. SCM is just beginning to enter the picture in enterprise storage and some day may completely replace SSDs. For now, NVMe will mostly be leveraged with SSDs (NAND flash media), which will improve latency, but come at a premium price. That said, SCM like Intel Optane could be the X-factor in the next generation of storage, with much lower latency than NAND flash.

As SCM becomes available in mainstream enterprise arrays, the expense will make it a subset of the overall persistent storage, with the rest of the array being flash. Therefore, it will be critical to have intelligent software built into the array to make cost-effective use of this media. Then enterprises will be able to consolidate all mission-critical workloads onto a single array; you won’t want to have a dedicated array for your high-performance applications and a separate one for the rest of your tier 1 apps.

All-flash arrays are important, but most people in the high end are already there and wondering what’s coming next and what they have to do to future-proof their investment. NVMe will offer a marked improvement in performance and latency over SAS and SATA for all-flash environments, but it will be the pairing of NVMe with SCM that will propel the industry forward.

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LibreOffice Based CODE 3.0 Released » Linux Magazine

Collabora Productivity, a UK-based company that offers a cloud-based LibreOffice solution, has announced the release of CODE 3.0.

CODE is the community version of LibeOffice Online, which is available free to anyone who wants to run LibreOffice in their own cloud. In a press release,  Collabora Productivity stated, “CODE is the LibreOffice Online solution with the latest developments, perfect for home users that want to integrate their own online Office Suite with their preferred File Share and Sync solution. It allows editing of richly formatted documents directly from a web browser, with excellent support for all popular office file formats, including text documents (docx, doc, odt, …), spreadsheets (xlsx, xls, ods, …), and presentations (pptx, ppt, odp, …).”

Michael Meeks, General Manager of Collabora Productivity, told us that 3.0 is an interesting release in which they have started to bring parts of the rich LibreOffice functionality to the browser. Combined with collaboration, it’s easy to deploy and powerful to use. “In the Office world, people have a choice of any two of feature-depth, collaboration, or web deployment. We’re starting to provide all three,” said Meeks.

CODE 3.0 comes with many new features, including full-feature editing dialog, as seen in the desktop version of LibreOffice. The main purpose of CODE is to provides users early access to the very latest feature additions and updates to LibreOffice Online, to enable them to develop, test to make it better, and contribute back to LibreOffice.

Collabora sells a CODE-based commercial version called Collabora Online.

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Set Ubuntu Derivatives Back to Default with Resetter |

How many times have you dived deep into Ubuntu (or a Ubuntu derivative), configuring things and installing software, only to find that your desktop (or server) platform isn’t exactly what you wanted. This situation can be problematic when you already have all of your user files on the machine. In this case, you have a choice, you can either back up all your data, reinstall the operating system, and copy your data back onto the machine, or you can give a tool like Resetter a go.

Resetter is a new tool (written by Canadian developer that goes by the name “gaining”), written in Python and pyqt, that will reset Ubuntu, Linux Mint (and a few other, Ubuntu-based distributions) back to stock configurations. Resetter offers two different reset options: Automatic and Custom. With the Automatic option, the tool will:

  • Remove user-installed apps

  • Delete users and home directories

  • Create default backup user

  • Auto install missing pre-installed apps (MPIAs)

  • Remove non-default users

  • Remove snap packages

The Custom option will:

  • Remove user-installed apps or allow you to select which apps to remove

  • Remove  old kernels

  • Allow you to choose users to delete

  • Delete users and home directories

  • Create default backup user

  • Allow you to create custom backup user

  • Auto install MPIAs or chose which MPIAs to install

  • Remove non-default users

  • View all dependent packages

  • Remove snap packages

I’m going to walk you through the process of installing and using Resetter. However, I must tell you that this tool is very much in beta. Even so, resetter is definitely worth a go. In fact, I would encourage you to test the app and submit bug reports (you can either submit them via GitHub or send them directly to the developer’s email address,

It should also be noted that, at the moment, the only supported distributions are:

  • Debian 9.2 (stable) Gnome edition

  • Linux Mint 17.3+ (support for mint 18.3 coming soon)

  • Ubuntu 14.04+ (Although I found 17.10 not supported)

  • Elementary OS 0.4+

  • Linux Deepin 15.4+

With that said, let’s install and use Resetter. I’ll be demonstrating on Elementary OS Loki.


There are a couple of ways to install Resetter. The method I chose is by way of the gdebi helper app. Why? Because it will pick up all the necessary dependencies for installation. First, we must install that particular tool. Open up a terminal window and issue the command:

sudo apt install gdebi

Once that is installed, point your browser to the Resetter Download Page and download the most recent version of the software. Once it has downloaded, open up the file manager, navigate to the downloaded file, and click (or double-click, depending on how you’ve configured your desktop) on the resetter_XXX-stable_all.deb file (where XXX is the release number). The gdebi app will open (Figure 1). Click on the Install Package button, type your sudo password, and Resetter will install.

Once Resetter is installed, you’re ready to go.

Using Resetter

Remember, before you do this, you must back up your data. You’ve been warned.

From your terminal window, issue the command sudo resetter. You’ll be prompted for your sudo password. Once Resetter opens, it will automatically detect your distribution (Figure 2).

We’re going to test the Resetter waters by running an automatic reset. From the main window, click Automatic Reset. The app will offer up a clear warning that it is about to reset your operating system (in my case, Elementary OS 0.4.1 Loki) to its factory defaults (Figure 3).

Once you click Yes, Resetter will display all of the packages it will remove (Figure 4). If you’re okay with that, click OK and the reset will begin.

During the reset, the application will display a progress window (Figure 5). Depending upon how much you’ve installed, the process shouldn’t take too long.

When the process completes, Resetter will display a new username and password for you to use, in order to log back into your newly reset distribution (Figure 6).

Click OK and then, when prompted, click Yes to reboot the system. Once you are prompted to login, use the new credentials given to you by the Resetter app. After a successful login, you’ll need to recreate your original user. That user’s home directory will still be intact, so all you need to do is issue the command sudo useradd USERNAME (where USERNAME is the name of the user). Once you’ve done that, issue the command sudo passwd USERNAME (where USERNAME is the name of the user). With the user/password set, you can log out and log back in as your old user (enjoying the same home directory you had before resetting the operating system).

My results

I have to confess, after adding the password back to my old user (and testing it by using the su command to change to that user), I was unable to log into the Elementary OS desktop with that user. To solve that problem, I logged in with the Resetter-created user, moved the old user home directory, deleted the old user (with the command sudo deluser jack), and recreated the old user (with the command sudo useradd -m jack).

After doing that, I checked the original home directory, only to find out the ownership had been changed from jack.jack to 1000.1000. That could have been fixed simply by issuing the command sudo chown -R jack.jack /home/jack. The lesson? If you use Resetter and find you cannot log in with your old user (after you’ve re-created user and given it a new password), make sure to change the ownership of the user’s home directory.

Outside of that on issue, Resetter did a great job of taking Elementary OS Loki back to a default state. Although Resetter is in beta, it’s a rather impressive tool. Give it a try and see if you don’t have the same outstanding results I did.

Learn more about Linux through the free “Introduction to Linux” course from The Linux Foundation and edX.

What’s Ahead for Infrastructure in 2018

Interop ITX research reveals enterprise storage and networking plans for the year ahead.

In IT, we hear all the time about the rise of the cloud. The way some vendors and industry pundits talk, you’d think all organizations are jumping to public cloud services and doing away with their on-premises infrastructure. Not so fast.

According to the Interop ITX and InformationWeek 2018 State of Infrastructure study, IT infrastructure is alive and well. In fact, many organizations are focused on expanding their on-premises capabilities in the upcoming year. They’re investing in data center, storage, and networking technologies to keep up with soaring data demands and to advance their digital initiatives.

For details on how enterprises are planning to expand their infrastructure, check out this snapshot of our survey’s top findings:

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