Helion: HP’s OpenStack Distro – Download Available

Helion is born!

It’s been 2 years since HP announce it would launch a public cloud based on OpenStack ™. Their public cloud (now called HP Helion Public Cloud) went GA in late 2012. Since then, HP has run its public cloud on multiple iterations of OpenStack, gaining a ton of operational know-how. Today HP announced its first OpenStack distro called HP Helion OpenStack Community Edition. The Community Edition is a pure OpenStack distribution that has been been wrapped in an HP installer to make it easy for you to download & install.  This announcement is great news for anyone looking to try the latest version of OpenStack (the current version is based on Icehouse, the 9th OpenStack release). But don’t expect to run an enterprise grade cloud on it. That option will come later when HP releases its commercial edition of Helion.

So what can you do with the Community Edition? The Community Edition is free to download and use. So it’s great for education, proof of concepts, dev and test, and relatively small production workloads. And it is continuously updated and tested by HP on 30 nodes. Anyone using this free distro will get tested updates every six weeks or so. And if you buy support, HP will help you manage those updates. Beyond that, if you need to run a large production cloud, HP recommends you use its enhanced commercial edition which will target global enterprises and service providers when it is released.

Tomorrow at noon (12pm Pacific time), I will be participating in an online chat with Sriram (the Cloud Don) and some folks from HP. Please join us as we discuss Helion, the first OpenStack distribution by HP for its customers and everyone else in the open source community. And if you feel like trying OpenStack, a freshly baked version of Helion is waiting for you to download right here!




CloudCamp Social Good Hackathon

Margaret Dawson, a long time CloudCamp supporter, brought me into HP Cloud where I’ve been consulting for 6 months. My first task was to find the best way for HP Public Cloud to engage with developers. We all agreed a hackathon would fit HP’s interest in engaging directly with developers and innovators. Intel joined as a sponsor and will be showing off their HTML5 tools. Other partners such as ActiveState & SendGrid will be sharing their tools & APIs as well. More importantly, the theme we chose is “Social Good Hackathon” which has created an atmosphere of working together and is turning out to be the best Hackathon theme ever!

The Hackathon begins at 7pm at the Impact Hub SF. We couldn’t have come this far without HP, Intel & the folks at BeMyApp who have been inspiring groups all over the SF Bay Area and beyond. Some participants are flying up from LA. There are a whole bunch of social innovators who will be inspiring developers & designers with their passion. And local CloudCamp peeps will be helping participants get their apps ready to deploy in the Cloud. You can find out more at http://cloudcamp.beymapp.com. It’s about to get busy, so I’ll keep this short. But I’ll post more as the weekend proceeds.

PS. A special shout out to Janette Hausler & Karen Louie who have poured themselves into preparing for this event. Let the fun begin!

Developerweek Hackathon this Saturday

The DeveloperWeek Hackathon is this Friday-Saturday-Sunday. What is it is you ask? it’s a 43-hour app-building contest and the official kick-off of DeveloperWeek 2013. 

The purpose of the hackathon is to give developers, designers, and entrepreneurs the chance to pitch app ideas – form teams – build a prototype of their app – and present to our hackathon judges for a chance to be one of the top 5 hackathon winners who get “incubated” during DeveloperWeek.
The judging is from 11:30am – 12:30pm on Sunday. Here’s the rest of the schedule: http://www.developerweek.com/hackathon/index.html#schedule
As for the hackathon rules
Developers can build any app they want – however they get ‘extra points’ from the judges if their app integrates an external API. That can be anything from google maps or twitter OAuth to one of our sponsor’s API’s!
Here are the rest of the hackathon rules:
  1. You can prepare wireframes, outlines, or notes but you cannot start any of your design or development until Friday February 1st at 6 PM! 
  2. Teams must consist of at least 1 person but at max 5 people 
  3. Your team and your app will be judged based on 3 criteria: 
    1) Are you solving a real problem in an interesting way? 
    2) How well did you present? 
    3) How much progress did you make on your app? 
  4. If you build using a sponsor’s technology then you are also eligible for the sponsor prize! The sponsor prizes are listed here: https://www.hackerleague.org/hackathons/developerweek-2013-hackathon/wikipages/50fdb2fec050da2598000005
The event is sold out, but I may be able to get passes for a few deserving developers. Let me know!

My new hero is Sixto Rodriguez

My new hero is Sixto Rodriguez, a mythical rock legend from the 70′s. Haven’t heard of him? No one has … until now. Do yourself a favor. Watch the movie “Searching for Sugar Man“. It has one of the highest user AND critic ratings I’ve ever seen for a movie.  … SPOILER ALERT!! DO NOT WATCH THE PREVIEWS. They include a spoiler which will take away some of the fun.

Here’s a quote from the movie … “That sort of thing does not happen in a rational universe. It is against the rules of god and nature” -Rian Malan about “Sugar Man”

Peace in the Middle East … How do you Negotiate with Insanity?

Not sure what to think about the recurring conflict between Israel and Hamas? Join the club. I have watched this conflict with concern for at least 13 years. I remember waking up in a cold sweat in a hotel bed one morning in 2002, stressed out from a nightmare of suicide bombings in Tel Aviv. Both sides are clearly to blame in their own way. But repeating the cycle of insanity is what upsets me.

The Cycle of Insanity:

  1. Outsiders (Iran?) pay Hamas to fire missiles at Israel knowing full well that the Israeli military will respond with disproportionate force killing innocent Palestinians.
  2. When fired upon, the Israelis receive sympathy and funding from the West (mainly the US).
  3. Israelis fire back at Palestinians killing many, which increases support and funding for Hamas who repeats Step 1.

They say … “Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results”. How do you negotiate with insanity? My opinion? This insanity will continue until it is no longer profitable for Hamas and the Israel military to fight.

23 Web Development Tools for the Mac

23 Essential Tools For Web Development on a Mac

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind

I’m watching Gandhi, the movie (again). Very inspiring (again). “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind” which is similar to “Two wrongs don’t make a right” and “Turn the other cheek”. Most people understand the long term benefits of this idea, yet find it so hard to follow. Those who are able to live up to this idea sacrifice their health and sometimes their lives not only for for their conscience, but for their society, which is elevated to a higher form of itself as a result.

In the movie, when the British shoot peaceful protesters, Ghandi encourages more peaceful protests instead of revenge killings. Revenge is satisfying in the moment, but damaging to the cause in the long term. Or as Gandhi puts it: “Victory attained by violence is tantamount to a defeat, for it is momentary.”

Not only did he ask his people to exercise incredible restraint, but to stand still and knowingly receive beatings and sometimes even death. Gandhi said that the nonviolent activist, like any soldier, had to be ready to die for their cause. In fact, during India’s struggle for independence, 100′s of Indians were killed by the British. The difference was that the nonviolent activists, while willing to die, were never willing to kill.

Gandhi pointed out three possible responses to oppression and injustice. One he described as the coward’s way: to accept the wrong or run away from it. The second was to stand and fight violence with violence force. Gandhi said this was better than acceptance or running away. But the third way, he said, was best of all and required the most courage: to stand and fight solely by nonviolent means.

Impressive … Gandhi was an incredible visionary and not only an effective leader of his people, but an inspiration to us all.


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