Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cloud Computing with openQRM 4.2

enjoy Cloud Computing with the just released openQRM 4.2

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Upcoming event: CloudCamp Brussels

Check out the place to be for tomorrow, 30. October 2008 !

CloudCamp in Brussels

This event is the best opportunity to get in conctat with other cloud-computing enthusiasts, to discuss and to get facts about technical details plus the business perspective. Register here and cu there :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

podcast: openQRM and cloud computing

Had the chance to meet John Willis at last weekend's T-Dose open-source conference. He is the man behind the "IT Management and Cloud Blog" and he created a podcast about "OpenQRM - The Little Four are Back" for his "CloudCafe" blog. Thanks John !
Enjoy :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Get the facts about ERP at

If you want to get facts about ERP do not miss the Event on Open Source ERP solutions at the 18 november and 2 december 2008 !

Profoss ( is organising an informative event on 19 november and 2 december 2008 in Brussels about open source ERP solutions, proposing talks by specialists in ERP and enterprise IT. This event is aimed for IT professionals looking to expand their knowledge of the ERP market.

Will be present:

  • Fabien Pinckaers, Founder and CEO of OpenERP,
  • Pierre Spilleboudt, President of Audaxis who will present an open source ERP evaluation method
  • Norbert Wessel, sp├ęcialist in Adempiere and frequent speaker
  • Ron Kramer, sp├ęcialist in OpenBravo
  • Dirk Tombeur, from Microsoft, who will talk about interfacing open source ERP solutions with proprietary products
  • Andreas Kuhne, from Trustable, who will give an example of pripheral software integrated with open source ERP solutions

Case studies will also be presented, enabling participants to discover the implications of an ERP roll-out in their company, with not only possible associated problems but also the solutions to apply.

Due to its goal of objective information, this event is a must for all people interested or involved in the ERP domain, open source or not.

All details about this event and the registration form are available at the Profoss website at

Thursday, October 9, 2008

my mom on linux

Bottom line first: This is a story of success !

My lovely mum was used to a Windows 2003 system which was fully filled with crap programs she never need. With some assistance she got quite familiar with email, surfing in the net, capturing and modifying pictures from her digital camera, scanning paintings, chatting with skype and so on.

So it recently happens that her system got unstable. It turned out to be a physical harddisk-failure crashing the system after a random amount of time. Luckily my mom made her homework and had all her personal data burnt to CD's already. Good mum, I am proud of you.

Since I did not plan to futher maintain any windows system (not to mentioned that I for sure won't install Vista on her computer) I switched her to Linux :) ... my mum seemed to got a bit afraid of this idea, anyway.

I bought a new harddisk and an additonal external USB harddisk for her, replaced the bad disk with the new one, gave the latest Ubuntu CD to my mom and told her :
"Now, please install your computer".

... she looked at me as if was from outter space. I quickly convinced here to start.

So, you know what happened. In less than 10 mouse clicks she had her new Ubuntu Linux-system up + running.

She asked : "That was it ? The installation is already finished now ? Unbelievable ..."

With some help she then put all her personal data back, enabled the mediaubuntu repository, installed skype, get used to openoffice (within some minutes) and enabled the remote-desktop option so that I always can help her from remote. Worked out pretty well I thought and was curious if she adadapts to it and how long it will take.
Now a good week is over since she moved to Linux and here are some quotes from here :

"This Linux made my computer a lot faster than before."

I asked her if the new system is kind to her and she replied :
"Oh, yes, very kind. It is much more convinient and easier to use now"

She told me :
"Really nice, this Linux system. To be honest I was quite afraid that everything will be different and I would need to learn lots of things from the scratch. But no, things are simple to understand and I am already back working with it like I was used to before. It is just easier and more transparent now."

Last thing on my todo list for her is to install a simply rolling backup cron job using rsync to backup her home directoy on the external usb disk. No big deal and we will all slepp better then.

My resume is that switching my mum to Linux was exactly the right thing.
Now her system is maintainable and she really starts to like it very much.
Another positive side-effect is that the friends who previously helped my mum with her computer do not have any clue from Linux so they won't be able to install any useless crap-software she do not need anyway.
Mum is happy and me too, hehehehe. Thought it would be a good example of Linux arriving on the Desktop.

Searching for a professional project manager ?

then I would like to recommend a previous workmate and good friend Kfir Cohen. He is currently looking for new opportunities in Europe.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Friday, August 22, 2008

FrOSCon Conference this weekend

Looking forward to the FrOSCon-Conference this weekend.
Plan to go there with some friends and enjoy some interesting talks about OpenVZ, Virtualization with Xen, Clustering with Linux-HA Version2 and System-monitoring with Nagios. Sounds like fun so cu there.

Interview: OpenQRM's Open Source Systems Management

:) got interviewed by the Ostatic-Team.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

apt-get install openqrm

Installing openQRM wasn't always that easy. I always wanted to have this step running smooth and transparent by having standard packages for the different linux distributions. openQRM should be install-able by e.g. just running :

sudo apt-get install openqrm

Thomas Halinka ( just made this possible !
Here his announcement about the new openQRM package repositories.

Thanks a lot Thomas !

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

"openQRM is not dead" by Kris B.

Kris Buytaert is talking about "openQRM is not dead" at the Linuxsymposium 2008 in Ottawa !

He is talking about the next generation of openQRM ported from java to php.

Please find the slides of his talk at

Many thanks to Kris for pushing the openQRM Project to the next level.

Also big thanks to Aland for organising the virtualization miniconf on
behalf of Linuxsymposium !

Enjoy !

Saturday, July 12, 2008

openQRM: Managing data-center from mobile devices

Since the re-write and port to PHP it is now possible to run the light-weight openQRM GUI on mobile devices like shown below on my Nokia E51 mobile phone. Works flawlessly.

Need to provision some new systems for your customers or check your data-center status while travelling around ? No problem any more :)

scientific toys : a jiggle-bot

I love scientific toys, ecpecially mechanical ones. Here some nice example of "mechanical intellygence", it is a wind-up robot toy which randomly moves around in a very hectic way by jiggling a small weight around. The mechanism is very similar to the one of the bristlebot.

... our cat hates it ;)

Friday, July 4, 2008

udev on the initrd :)

Made some big improvements on the openQRM project today by implementing udev in the initrd-stage so that unique disk identifier are available during the root-mount opterations. So an Iscsi root-device is now e.g. named :


instead of


What a fun !!! Iscsi rocks !
I wanted to have this unique identifiers since the first time we had Iscsi-root deployment support in openQRM some years ago.

.... progressing fine for the next 4.1 release of openQRM

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Nice news coverage of the 4.0 release of openQRM

:) We got some nice coverage in the news about the 4.0 release of openQRM.

Here some samples ...

... on
Kris Buytaert's blog :

on Tarry Singh's blog :

and on :

... also found it on the main page :

and picked it up too :

and on my blog at

Thanks a lot !!

Monday, June 16, 2008

It was so quiet here last months ...

... because I was working full steam ahead on openQRM 4.0 (beta) which was just released at

Here some screenshots

Enjoy !!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Hype about Virtualization reached next level

Couldn't believe my eyes what I just found on Tarry's blog !
The hype about Virtualization reached its next level at

... mhmm, is still free ! I feel my chance .....

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Using openQRM to manage your Datacenter

... this is the title of the talk Kris Buytaert will give at the Linux World Expo Brussel (19.-20.3.2008). Great Kris ! All the best for your presentation :)

Monday, February 25, 2008

The role of openQRM in virtualization management

Toon Vanagt interviewed the speakers of the Virtualization conference for Here a link to the video of the interview with me about the role of openQRM in virtualization management.
Enjoy and many thanks to Toon !

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Backup again, no data lost

Recovered from the bad harddisk crash.
Luckily (and because i DO backups) I did not lost any data.

... do not trust local harddrives !

Local harddrives sucks !
Just came back from a 2 weeks trip from and found my harddisk of my workstation crashing with a hardware failure on first boot-up after the holiday. On recovering my system now. Cu tomorrow.

Monday, February 11, 2008

pluggable virtualization for data-centers

I'm going to FOSDEM, the Free and Open Source Software Developers' European Meeting

... and I will talk about

"openQRM, pluggable virtualization for modern data-centers"

Fosdem 2008 will take place at the 23/24.2.2008 in Brussels, Belgium.
The openQRM talk is scheduled for the Virtualization track (within the Main tracks) next to Achim Hasemueller, presenting Virtualbox and Ian Pratt speaking about Xen.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

EE-music by Chris McCormick

This video shows my friend Chris McCormick performing his really cool experimental electronic music at the Velvet Lounge in Perth/Australia.

The event took place at the 7.2.2008 and was accompanied by stylish video art.

I like his style :)

openQRM presentation at LinuxDays

At this years Linuxdays conference which will take place at the 19+20.2.2008 in Luxembourg I will be talking about :

"Managing automated, profile based server installations with LinuxCOE and openQRM"

Please find the abstract here and the original announcement here. Looking forward to meet you at Linuxdays.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

No, this is NOT a postcard

We are in Perth for a week and this is our local beach

... and nope, this is not a postcard ! The beach here is that awesome :)
Today we spent most of the day in the crystal clear and warm water, relaxing,
sun-bathing and body-boarding. Just GREAT !

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

LCA2008: 2009 in Tasmania

Next years (2009) will take in Tasmania so be sure to not miss the call4papers :)

LCA2008: Wii-pong by Rusty Russels

This video was taken on the Open-day at 2008. It shows Rusty Russell's Pong-game which can be played on any surface it is projected to. The game is based on the techniques researched by
Jonny Chung Lee.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

LCA2008: Open day

... some pictures of the open day at 2008

Video of the famous Reprap 3D printer (

Freedom Lovers !!!!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

LCA2008: Hacking on lguest (2)

This is a video from the "hacking on lguest" tutorial at 2008 in Melbourne.

Lguest is a new and very light virtualization technology created by Rusty Russels.
It is very fast and basically allows to run "linux on linux". The video shows the lguest-host Qemu-image which was provided by the lguest-tutorial at 2008. After the lguest-host is booted up a lguest virtual-machine is started by a simple user-space launcher. It also shows the simple hypercall printing out "Hey Ho Lguest" which was implemented during the tutorial.

Cool stuff by Rusty !

Getting used to left-hand traffic

I am slowly adapting to the left-hand traffic in Australia ...

LCA2008: Talks finished, Google-party and Open-day

After the last presentations and talks at 2008 everybody was heading over to the big party sponsored by Google. Nice !

... sadly we noticed that somehow the catering service stopped giving out beer at 8.30 p.m ! What the h... ??
Sorry, but no party without beer so we grouped up with some people and found a nice pub in Brunswick. That was fun and we had a great night.

But LCA 2008 is NOT over yet but opening its doors to the public today. Lots of interesting projects will be presented and everybody is invited to join the "freedom lovers".

Friday, February 1, 2008

OLPC mobile phone

At 2008 a bunch of OLPC's were given out as present. The only premise was to either do something cool with it or to pass it over to somebody else who will do something cool with it. Nice !

... some of the guys actually seemed to "misuse" the OLPC's as mobile phones. Strange evolution, mobile phones actually seemed to get bigger and bigger.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

LCA2008: Hacking on lguest

Great introduction and tutorial about lguest from Rusty Russels at 2008 today (thursday). Lguest (former "lhype") is a very fast and lightweight virtualization approach which concentrates on "running Linux on Linux". New lguests vms are started by a lguest launcher util which basically reserves a specifc memory region in the Host kernel and then re-maps the (l)guests hypercalls.

The lguest tutorial provided a ready prepared Qemu filesystem so the participants could bring up their own lguest-Hosts easy and start hacking on the the different tutorial tasks. What a fun. Even myself was able to implement a new hypercall printing out some string on the lguest console at startup (and i do not consider myself a kernel-hacker).

Lguest is definitely an interesting project and i am curious how it will find its place along the other available virtualization technologies used today.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Fire alarm at 2008

We just experienced a fire alarm at the Old Arts building used by
Luckily it could be resolved quite quick, nobody got hurt and the talks continuing.

Funny thing was that the alarm ring seemed to be in a kind of high-available mode because it tried to restart again and again even after it has being turned off.

.... reminded me to yesterday when a small bread on the toaster in the hotel room immediately started the fire alarm. I was flying downstairs to the reception because i read before that it is directly connected to the fire brigade and that you have to pay a real high fine if they are coming out. Luckily it was only the smoke alarm in the room and not the fire alarm of the hotel. Puuuah.

Now i am looking forward to the Penguin Dinner tonight which will be at the tonight at the night market in Melbourne. The social events (and of course the partners program) of LCA rocks !

Combining the virtual and real world

Today Jonathan Oxer presented at 2008 about "Joining Second Life to the Real World". Really cool stuff !

He demonstrated how to interact with the virtual objects inside Second Life using "real world" objects using various small hardware-hacks and making use of the famous Arduino microcontroller. One example was to use a serial RFID-reader, connected to a network socket, to open/close a virtual door within the Second Life virtual reality (John actually has a RFID chip implanted in his arm).

Actually his talk remembers me to my "Data-center within Second Life" project which i was working on about a year ago. My idea that time was to rebuild a "real world" data-center infra-structure inside Second Life, connect it to an openQRM server and enable the administration of real servers from within Second Life.

Basically it is about using the 3D virtual reality of SL as a user-interface for real world objects and/or applications. It worked out pretty well and i even gave a presentation including a live-demonstration within Second Life.about this openQRM sub-project

Here some links to videos of this virtual presentations:
part 1
part 2
part 3

Please find some pictures from this event here.

...... mhmmmm, guess i was "too early" with my idea ;)

Linus Torvalds at 2008 in Melbourne

Here a pic of Linus Torvalds enjoying 2008

... a quote from my wife :

"Until now, no groupies; seems Linus is save this year"

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Pictures from

Raphael put pictures from the event online at Flickr.

Here myself giving the presentation about "Conform deployment of virtual and physical machines with openQRM and Xen"

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Interview about openQRM presentation at

Please find an interview about the topics of the upcoming openQRM presenation

"Conform deployment of virtual and physical machines with openQRM and Xen"

taking place at in Bruessels on the 22. and 23. january here.

Here some more infos about this upcoming event :

The european virtualisation conference organised by Profoss ( will take place on 22 and 23 january in Brussels, featuring non-commercial, informative talks by specialists in their fields (CEOs, analysts, technology specialists, developers, ..). The first day will focus on business and management aspects, the second day on technical aspects. Most of the important players of the market will be present. With the multiple discussion and coffee breaks, you should have time to meet and discuss with speakers, sponsors and attendants.

The schedule is available at
and the speakers' profiles are published at

Many thanks to Raphael Bauduin for organizing this Event !

Hope to see you all there !

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Saturday, January 5, 2008

CIOs and IT Managers: Are you willing to adopt virtualization now?

Tarry pointed out an interesting question on Linkedin :

CIOs and IT Managers: Are you willing to adopt virtualization now?

I fully agree with him about the challenge to adopt to virtualization today. It adds another layer of complexity to the IT infra structure which current tools are not ready to manage in a flexible and transparent way for the system-administrators.

Nowadays a common data-center is normally still very static, powered by lots of physical systems with a custom installation, configured and maintained by a couple of loosely connected tools.

Virtualization claims to provide the option to move to an appliance-based deployment via virtual machines to ease-up deployment and to better use the resources of the data-center. Since bringing up a virtual machine more or less just requires space on a storage for the virtual-disk the need for high-end NAS and SAN data-storage systems raises.

On the other hand virtualization adds another level of complexity.
Systems and services migrated to virtual
machines still needs to be setup, monitored and maintained just in the same way as for physical servers.
With a raising number of servers (physical and virtual) it gets more hard to fulfill this task in a successful and efficient way.

Migration itself (e.g. from physical systems to virtual machines) can be a really tricky thing too since most virtualization technologies are still lacking this feature.

Another difficult task for the IT-department is to decide which of the current available virtualization technologies to use.

There comes the question if it is not a disadvantage to be limited to a single virtualization technology ?

To my mind it is because of two reasons :

1) Different virtualization technologies are available today.
There is "full-virtualization" (e.g. Qemu/KVM), "para-virtualization" (e.g. Xen) and "light-virtualization" which is in most cases based on a process-isolation (e.g. Linux-VServer, Solaris Zones).
Each technology has its advantages but also its "limitations".
Now, in a common data-center we normally find lots of different
applications with custom needs e.g. a web hosting company may have hundreds of "idle" customer web-servers plus a couple of in-house oracle data-base servers.
For the web-servers it would make the most sense to choose one of the "light-virtualization" or "para-virtualization" technologies to limit the virtualization overhead to a minimum.
Using "light- or para-virtualization" a single, physical machine can easily host several hundreds virtual partitions.
(please see "Building a virtualized web-farm with openQRM")

On the other hand the data-base servers are CPU, IO and network intensive so choosing one of the "full-virtualization" technologies would be a benefit.
So one reason that it is a disadvantage for the IT-department to limit themselves to a single virtualization technology is that the virtualization type should be selected according to the application needs.

2) The other reason is to simply avoid vendor-locking.

So if it would be best to choose the virtualization technology according the applications and services the IT infra-structure does not only need to support several different virtualization options but also provide an option to move from one virtualization type to another and also the possibility to migrate a virtual machine back to a physical system.

Today, if you try to move a e.g. VMware-partition to Linux-VServer
or a Xen-partition back to a physical machine, sure there are eventually some custom utils, scripts and howtos available which will help but at all this will be an "adventure".

Both situations, the common static data-center using physical servers and the new virtual-appliance-based infra-structure are already quite tricky to manage on their own but with the move to virtualization the system-administrator today even needs to handle "mixed environments", both physical and virtual.

To my mind we would need a tool which seamlessly integrates with the different virtualization technologies and conforms resource-planning, deployment and management of physical systems and virtual machines. This tool should also integrate with modern storage-systems to take the full advantage of fast-cloning servers for rapid and automated provisioning. It should have an open- and plugg-able architecture so that custom third-party utilities can be integrated in an easy way to combine them into a single-management console for the whole IT infra-structure.

If you are interested in such a tool you may want to take a look at the openQRM project which is exactly providing this kind of framework.

Enjoy !

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