Developer Blog

Evolution of OpenStack - From Infancy to Enterprise

Recently I had the pleasure of hosting a webinar covering the Evolution of OpenStack. No matter how many times I review the history of OpenStack, I manage to learn something new. Just the idea that multiple companies, with distinct unique ideas can come together to make what I consider to be a super platform is amazing. Whether you think OpenStack is ready for prime time or not, it is hard to deny the power and disruptive nature it has in the current cloud market.

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cs-reboot-info: A tool to assist with upcoming maintenance

In the wake of recently announced vulnerabilities to the Xen hypervisor that our Cloud Servers platform is built on top of, a reboot will be necessary in some instances on both our First Generation and Next Generation Cloud Servers. The details of our announcement are available at and via

In order to complete the patching of our systems, we have scheduled reboot windows on a per-region basis beginning Monday March 2 and running through Monday March 9. To discover the time ranges during which your affected servers will be rebooted, your Cloud Control Panel will contain the information for whichever region is currently visible (Note: you can change this via the region selector on the left side of the control panel). Alternatively, you can run our cs-reboot-info tool to discover the reboot windows of servers across all regions at once. Binary downloads for many platforms are available here.

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MySQL backup to Rackspace Cloud Files

While this blog post may seem trivial on the surface, it does pack some very interesting information on how very flexible the Rackspace Cloud Files product can be. While executing another customer project, the age old question of: “Where are we going to put the database backups?” was raised. Back in the day this question only really had one solution. In the current age of the cloud, you have a few options. Since I like to live life on the edge…I raised my hand and said Cloud Files.

For those of you not familiar with Cloud Files, the easiest way to describe it is shared Object Storage. In OpenStack lingo, you could also call it shared Swift. Cloud Files is an API enabled Object storage capability found on the Rackspace Public cloud platform. In this post, we will walk you thru how easy it is to store something as simple as database backups in Cloud Files using simple automation, fronted by Ansible of course (my orchestration drug of choice). I promise this post will be short and sweet.

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Monitoring Hadoop with Rackspace Cloud services — managing partial failure

Hadoop is constructed from a large set of servers (or nodes) so to properly manage it you need to have a good overall view of the system. It is ok if some data nodes are not in service — up to a certain number — which is called partial failure. The important thing is to be able to see how many nodes are in an up or down state to know the overall health of the cluster.

This article discusses how The Rackspace Global Data team created a well-monitored Hadoop cluster by taking advantage of cloud services.

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I Loved PyTennessee 2015

Python Tennessee was a wonderfully put together conference with a great variety of speakers.

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Introducing PoshStack, the PowerShell client for OpenStack

Here's PoshStack

OpenStack SDKs exist for several programming languages, including Python, Go, Ruby, and many more. For those who don't wish to write code, users in the *nix world can use Curl at the command line to perform operations.

What about Microsoft Windows administrators? Are they required to learn linux and bash and curl? What if they could use the skills they already have, or learn new skills that are native to the Windows environment, for OpenStack administration? Is there a command line or scripting tool that suits the Windows DevOps world?

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OpenStack Orchestration In Depth, Part IV: Scaling

This is the fourth and last article in my series on OpenStack orchestration with Heat. In the previous articles, I gave you a gentle introduction to Heat, and then I showed you some techniques to orchestrate the deployment of single and multiple instance applications on the cloud, all done with generic and reusable components.

Today I'm going to discuss how Heat can help with one of the most important topics in cloud computing: scalability. Like in my previous articles, I'm going to give you actual examples that you can play with on your OpenStack cloud, so make sure you have an environment where you can run tests, whether it's a Rackspace Private Cloud, DevStack or any other OpenStack distribution that includes Heat.

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How did we serve more than 20,000 IPython notebooks for Nature readers?

The IPython/Jupyter notebook is a wonderful environment for computations, prose, plots, and interactive widgets that you can share with collaborators. People use the notebook all over the place across many varied languages. It gets used by data scientists, researchers, analysts, developers, and people in between.

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Using Docker Machine to run your Docker Containers in Rackspace


Docker announced Docker Machine in December 2014. This clever new software eliminates the need to create virtual machines and install Docker before starting Docker containers on them. It handles the provisioning and install process for you behind the scenes. You can learn more about Docker Machines at its GitHub project page.

Let's take a quick look at how we can get some of this awesomeness!

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Automate deploying Rackspace Cloud Monitoring agent

So after being asked to do what I considered to be a easy thing, I soon realized that it was not :(. Rather it was easy to do, just not easy to automate doing it. Figured others could benefit from my discoveries. Before getting started, please note these instructions are for RHEL, Fedora and CentOS. Some minor modifications would be needed to accommodate Ubuntu, but the same concepts apply.

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