Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Impressions from SmartOS Talk, July 3 2012

On July 3 2012 NOSIG organized its 4th meeting. This time we had Max Bruning from Joyent joining us. Max delivered a wonderful, 2.5 hour talk on SmartOS. Venue was again the University of Amsterdam (UvA).

The whole meeting was broadcasted live on the Internet using Ustream. Go here to watch the recording. The slides are also available for download. Ate Brink has put up a nice series of photographs taken at the venue.

This was the first time we broadcasted a NOSIG get-together live to the Internet. The idea came from Deirdre Straughan from Joyent, who's the SmartOS Community Manager. Originally we planned to have Max present from Geneva (to save traveling costs), broadcasting live to the Internet and then beam his presentation on a large screen in the room in Amsterdam where we organized the meeting. But after several tests Max' conclusion was: "I'll try and find funding to come to Amsterdam". I will not go into too much detail here but imagine audio/video being out of sync, connection drops, video freezes... anything and everything you don't want when broadcasting.

Thanks to Joyent and to the Netherlands Unix Users Group (NLUUG - NOSIGs parent organization and sponsor) who both covered parts of the cost, Max was able to come to Amsterdam. We picked him up from Amsterdam airport no less than 1 hour and 15 minutes before the live broadcast would start, rushed to the venue, unpacked laptops and prepared for the presentation... and then the fun started.

Being techies (and stubborn ;-)) we still wanted to do a live broadcast though, so people could tune in from elsewhere. So Jeroen Roodhart from UvA went above and beyond and managed to get things working! In the end we used a MacBook and the Ustream Producer software. We had a camera connected to do the live video, and could do Desktop Sharing from Max' laptop to show the slides.

Jeroen and I tested this many many times and it all worked - until we wanted to start the evening. Then of course everything broke down. We still have no clue why but after 30 minutes of rebooting, resetting, reconnecting everything worked again and Max could finally kick off.

In good spirit of NOSIG we had Q&A during his talk. We organized for the possibility to do Q&A for remote people by using Twitter - people could send a Tweet @nosigorg that then showed up as a "mention" in the nosigorg Twitter account that I monitored during the presentation. Worked like a charm!

What more can I say? From this point on everything went on smoothly. We did the traditional "break - with extensive socializing and networking" but shortened that to 10 minutes and left everyting running including the recording to be sure things wouldn't collapse again. At 22:00pm CET Max finished his talk and 30 seconds later a guard showed up reminding us that the building closes at 10. Great planning eh? :-)

Some aftermath:
  • 15 people in the room
  • 269 views of the live Ustream (during the event)
  • Peak of 44 people watching the stream at the same time
  • About 10 questions came in through Twitter
 I really cannot thank the following people and companies enough:
  • Max Bruning - for his great presentation and all the time he spent preparing and traveling
  • Deirdre Straughan - for her never ending support, great ideas, and live Twittering the event
  • Jeroen Roodhart from UvA - for spending half a day making things work (and for the sandwiches we had for dinner)
  • Joyent - for allowing and funding Max to travel
  • University of Amsterdam - for their hospitality and for letting us use their A/V equipment
  • NLUUG - for supporting NOSIG and for the sponsoring

Sunday, June 10, 2012

July 3 2012: NOSIG talk on SmartOS (broadcasted on Ustream)

I'm very pleased to announce the 4th Netherlands Open Solaris Interest Group.  Subject for the evening: Joyent SmartOS - Solaris for the Cloud.

Please register if you plan to attend (you'll not receive a confirmation).

Updates (29-jun-2012)
  1. Max will be in Amsterdam to present! Thanks Joyent for making this possible!
  2. We plan to broadcast this event live on Ustream. The channel to tune in to is: 
  3. Parking is most convenient on P3.  Cost: 2.40 EUR/hour. Here's more info and a PDF of the map.

I am very proud that Max Bruning from Joyent will be our speaker for the evening. Max will do 2 talks of one hour each, separated by our traditional "break - with extensive networking and socializing".
This is the first NOSIG meeting where the spotlight will be on a Solaris that is not from Oracle - which fits perfectly in the goals of NOSIG. Also, we plan to use Ustream to broadcast his presentation ... WorldWide!! Details on how to join are at the top of this page and on the NOSIG website.

Here are the details for the venue (also to be found on the NOSIG website).


University of Amsterdam
Faculteit der Natuurwetenschappen, Wiskunde en Informatica
Sciene Park 904
1098 XH Amsterdam

(More details below)

1. Opening (at 19:30 CET)
2. Introducing the Netherlands Open Solaris Interest Group - Bart Muijzer - NOSIG leader
3. SmartOS (part 1) - Max Bruning, Joyent
  • Introduction to Joyent and to SmartOS
  • Modifications to IllumOS that Joyent made in SmartOS
  • How Zones are used for cloud provisioning

BREAK - with extensive networking and socializing

4. SmartOS (part 2) - Max Bruning, Joyent
  • SmartOS KVM implementation
5. Open floor, Q&A, discussions etc
6. Closing (around 22:00 CET)

AFTERMATH - with Snacks and Drinks

Here's how Max himself describes the flow of his presentations:

"The talk will start with a short introduction on how Joyent uses SmartOS for
our cloud products. It will then go into modifications and additions we have
made within SmartOS, and some general techniques we use in our products,
specifically with respect to zones and zfs. From there, I'll go into some
detail on how KVM works on SmartOS, and how we use it with zones for
provisioning virtual machines.

Biography for Max Bruning:
Max Bruning began using and programming Unix-based systems while obtaining a Master's degree at Columbia University in the mid 1970's. He has been teaching Unix Internals, Device Drivers, and various other courses since 1981. Max has also spent many years doing kernel development, device driver work, and debugging work, mostly on SVR4-based systems. He has done consulting and/or training work for Bell Labs, AT&T, Motorola, Sun Microsystems, HP, Siemens-Nixdorf, and various other companies. Max has had articles published on device drivers, ZFS, Solaris/Linux/Freebsd kernels, and application programming on Solaris and Linux. In September, 2010, he started porting Linux KVM to SmartOS for Joyent. His extremely occasionally written blog is at, and website is at

NOSIG blogs moved to

Hello World! :-)

This is the inaugural posting of the NOSIG blog series hosted on . NOSIG -the Netherlands Open Solaris Interest Group- started hosting its blogs here on June 9th 2012. With this post, the series of NOSIG blogs from Bart Muijzer  has come to an end and will continue on . The reason is that with this move the NOSIG blogs are now no longer published on the site, making them really independent from Oracle.
Please spread the word and our new blogs address!

To be continued, stay tuned, etc etc ;-)