Category Archives: Stiri IT Externe

Docker Embraces Kubernetes » Linux Magazine

At DockerCon Europe, Solomon Hykes, the founder of Docker, announced support for Kubernetes as an orchestration platform alongside Swarm, it’s own orchestration tool.

“The addition of Kubernetes as an option alongside Swarm gives our users and customers the ability to make an orchestration choice with the added security, management, and end-to-end Docker experience that they’ve come to expect from Docker since the very beginning. We look forward to working with the Kubernetes community to help users, partners, and customers achieve the full benefits of the containerization revolution,” said Hykes.

The company said that through its integration with Docker EE, Kubernetes will be available across certified infrastructure platforms, including multiple Linux distributions (SLES, CentOS, RHEL, Ubuntu, Oracle Linux) and Windows, as well as all cloud platforms, including AWS and Azure.

Developers running Docker on Mac and Windows will be able to use features like multistage builds and application composition (Docker Compose) in container development and have them run consistently from development all the way to production. Developers have the flexibility to write their applications in Docker and can choose their orchestrator without requiring any additional modification.

In an interview with Linux Pro, Hykes said that Docker will continue to engage with the Kubernetes community as a good citizen.

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Object Storage: 8 Things to Know

Object storage is one of the hottest technology trends, but it isn’t a particularly new idea: The concept surfaced in the mid-90s and by 2005 a number of alternatives had entered the market. Resistance from the entrenched file (NAS) and block (SAN) vendors, coupled with a new interface method, slowed adoption of object storage. Today, with the brilliant success of Amazon Web Services’ S3 storage system, object storage is here to stay and is making huge gains against older storage methods.

Object storage is well suited to the new data environment. Unstructured data, which includes large media files and so-called big data objects, is growing at a much faster rate than structured data and, overall, data itself is growing at a phenomenal rate.

Experience has taught us that traditional block systems become complex to manage at a relatively low scale, while the concept of creating a single pool of data breaks down as the number of appliances increases, especially if the pool crosses the boundaries of different equipment types. Filers have hierarchies of file folders which become cumbersome at scale, while today’s thousands of virtual instances make file-sharing systems clumsy.

An inherent design feature of object stores is distribution of objects across all of the storage devices, or at least into subsets if there is a large number of devices in the cluster. This removes a design weakness of the block/file approach, where failure in an appliance or in more than a single drive could cause either a loss of data availability or even loss of data itself.

Object stores typically use an algorithm such as CRUSH to spread chunks of a data object out in a known and predictable way. Coupling this with replication, and more recently with erasure coding, means that several nodes or drives can fail without materially impacting data integrity or access performance. The object approach also effectively parallelizes access to larger objects, since a number of nodes will all be transferring pieces of the object at the same time.

There are now a good number of software-only vendors today, all of which are installable on a wide variety of COTS hardware platforms. This includes the popular Ceph open source solution, backed by Red Hat. The combination of any of these software stacks and low-cost COTS gear makes object stores attractive on a price-per-terabyte basis, compared to traditional proprietary NAS or SAN gear.

Object storage is evolving to absorb the other storage models by offering a “universal storage” model where object, file and block access portals all talk to the same pool of raw object storage.  Likely, universal storage will deploy as object storage, with the other two access modes being used to create a file or block secondary storage to say all-flash arrays or filers. In the long term, universal storage looks to be the converging solution for the whole industry.

This trend is enhanced by the growth of software-defined storage (SDS). Object stores all run natively in a COTS standard server engine, which means the transition from software built onto an appliance to software virtualized into the instance pool is in most cases trivial. This is most definitely not the case for older proprietary NAS or SAN code. For object stores, SDS makes it possible to scale services such as compression and deduplication easily. It also opens up rich services such as data indexing.

Continue on to get up to speed on object storage and learn how it’s shaking up enterprise storage.

(Image: Kitch Bain/Shutterstock)

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Linux Comes to Windows » Linux Magazine

Microsoft has announced that WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux, also known as Bash on Windows, is now out of beta. With Windows 10 Fall Creator update, every Windows user will be able to use the feature. However, WSL is not enabled by default. User have to enable it from the Settings turn Windows features on or off feature.

Microsoft will offer supported Linux distributions from the Windows Store, so there is no need to install them manually. Some of the supported distros include openSUSE, SUSE Linux Enterprise, and Ubuntu. Fedora is expected to arrive soon. Microsoft will offer official support for these distributions in partnership with the respective distribution.

Customers can now run multiple Linux distributions, which means they can use commands, utilities, and tools specific to different distributions.

Although WSL is still in the works, it now supports USB mounts that gives developers access to USB devices from Linux.

Microsoft is also bringing WSL to Windows Server and Azure Cloud. “Using WSL, Windows Server administrators, devops engineers, developers, etc., will be able to run their favorite Linux tools, apps, and scripts, alongside their favorite Windows admin tools. This will make it easier than ever before to automate, control, manage, and deploy an ever broader portfolio of technologies & tools atop Windows Server,” wrote Microsoft Program Manager Rich Turner in a company blog.

WSL is intended for developers who need native Linux tools to run and manage their Linux systems on Azure and other clouds; officially, it’s not intended for desktop users.

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10 Hyperconvergence Vendors Setting the Pace

As companies look for ways to make their IT infrastructure more agile and efficient, hyperconvergence has become a top consideration. The integrated technology promises faster deployment and simplified management for the cloud era.

An Enterprise Strategy Group survey last year found that 70% of 308 respondents plan to use hyperconverged infrastructure while 15% already use it and 10% are interested in it. IDC reported that hyperconverged sales grew 48.5% year over year in the second quarter of this year, generating $763.4 million in sales. Transparency Market Research estimates the global HCI market to reach $31 billion by 2025, up from $1.5 billion last year.

“It’s moved well beyond the hype phase into the established infrastructure phase,” Christian Perry, research manager covering IT infrastructure at 451 Research, told me in an interview.

With hyperconvergence, organizations can quickly deploy infrastructure to support new workloads, divisions, or projects, he said. “In that sense, it really provides an on-premises cloud-like option.”

Hyperconverged infrastructure leverages software to integrate compute and storage typically in a single appliance on commodity hardware. Fully virtualized, hyperconverged products take a building-block approach and are designed to scale out easily by adding nodes. According to IDC, a key differentiator for hyperconverged systems, compared to other integrated systems, is their scale-out architecture and ability to provide all compute and storage functions through the same x86 server-based resources.

ESG Analyst Dan Conde told me that some newer hyperconverged systems include broader networking features, but that for the most part, the technology’s focus is on storage and “in-the-box” connectivity.

VDI has been a top use case for hyperconverged infrastructure, but Perry said 451 Research is seeing the technology used for a range of use cases, including data protection, and traditional virtualized workloads such as Microsoft applications. Because it’s easy to deploy, the technology is well suited for branch and remote locations, but companies are also running it in the core data centers alongside traditional infrastructure, he said.

Vendor lock-in, high cost, and inflexible scaling (compute and storage capacity must be added at the same rate) are among the drawbacks that some have cited with hyperconvergence platforms. Perry said he hasn’t seen scalability issues among adopters, and that opex costs are much lower than traditional infrastructure. Hyperconverged products also have proven to be highly resilient, he added.

Perry said the first step for organizations evaluating hyperconverged products is to clearly identify their use case, which will narrow their choices. They also should take into account how the product will integrate with the rest of their infrastructure; for example, if it uses a different hypervisor, will the IT team be able to support multiple hypervisors? Companies interested in a product supplied by multiple vendors also need to determine which one will provide support, he said.

The hyperconvergence market has changed quite a bit since its early days when it was dominated by pure-play startups such as Nutanix and SimpliVity. Today, infrastructure vendors such as Cisco and NetApp have moved into the space and SimpliVity is now part of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise. Nutanix remains a top supplier after going public last year, and some startups remain, but they face stiff competition from the established vendors.

Here’s a look at some of the key players in hyperconvergence today. Please note this list is in alphabetical order and not a ranking.

(Image: kentoh/Shutterstock)

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Final Ubuntu Desktop 17.10 Beta Arrives » Linux Magazine

Canonical has announced the release of the final beta of Ubuntu 17.10, code named Artful Aardvark. With this release, Ubuntu codenames have gone back to the beginning of the English alphabet. It’s actually an apt name, because with this release, Ubuntu is kind of starting fresh. Canonical dropped its desktop ambitions earlier this year, signaling the shutdown of efforts like Unity. This is the first release of Ubuntu that comes with Gnome as the official and default desktop environment and shell.

However, Canonical has ensured that people upgrading from the previous release of Ubuntu, running Unity 7, will not be in for a shock. Ubuntu developers have worked on adding some custom features and functionalities so that users don’t have to change their workflow too much.

Will Cooke, Director of Ubuntu Desktop at Canonical said, “… we’ve spent time making sure that the people who having been using Unity 7 for years don’t have to change their workflow too much. The most obvious example of this is the Ubuntu Dock (based on Dash To Dock and developed upstream).”

Ubuntu is also adopting Wayland as the default display server for the desktop, depending on the hardware. However, users can switch between Wayland and Xorg. Beyond these cosmetic changes to help existing Ubuntu users, Canonical is sticking to default Gnome settings and features. Some of the new features include the newly designed Gnome Settings. Ubuntu 17.10 brings support for all driverless printers, which means no need to install drivers.

Canonical has also discontinued its own Ubuntu Store, and it now defaults to Gnome software, which also allows it to update the system itself.

With this release, you can also move away from distro-specific RPM and DEB packages and use bundled Snap packages. Unfortunately, the rest of the desktop Linux world is rallying behind Flatpak, so it will be interesting to see if Canonical drops Snaps on the desktop and adopts Flatpak.

You can download the beta from the official Ubuntu page.

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