Older blog entries for alanr (starting at number 2)

I've decided to try keeping my journal up-to-date as a way of tracking (and hopefully improving) my personal productivity. Unfortunately I had forgotten my Advogato password. But now I have it, so away I go...

This entry is really for yesterday (2000/01/16).

I spent a while trading in a plane ticket for COMDEX (which I didn't go to), for a ticket to LWCE at the end of the month.

I continued a dialogue with lmb about changing the Stonith API. We both agree it needs to change, and I think we're converging on how to change it.

I integrated multicast support into heartbeat CVS.

I integrated APC UPS support code into the Stonith subsystem, and put it under CVS.

Since other folks that I (mostly) don't know wrote these pieces of code, the only conclusion that I can draw is that this open source stuff must be working ;-).

I wrote up some release procedures for heartbeat and posted them on the web.

I got the CVS version to build correctly again after all these changes and put it on my test machines.

(I'm trying to follow my own release procedures ;-))

Things I didn't expect to do was deal with a failure of the black printhead on my HP 2000C printer (it failed about 30% into its expected life).

I dealt with some folks from Avaya, and bought someone lunch who took me to CompUSA to get the print head. I fixed the stupid printer, and helped the fellow who took me to get the print head a little as he repaired our vacuum cleaner.

Somehow my ssh setup for my labs was broken, so I needed to repair that for my test tools.

All in all, a reasonably productive day.

I've been working on the heartbeat API. It actually works pretty well. Marcelo found a couple of bugs in it, and suggested restructuring a small piece of it. So, I fixed one of the bugs, will fix another, and let him do the restructuring (he wanted to). Marcelo's a good guy. I work closely with their people, and really anyone who's interested. I've issued specific invitations to everyone who's active in this area, including those guys in NC. Right now, we have folks from many companies using and contributing to heartbeat. It's a blast!

Linux Fail Safe is nearing it's open source release. We're getting pretty excited about it. It's by far the most powerful of the High-Availability products, open or closed source.

I hope to position heartbeat to be able to do membership and low-level communication for lots of different projects. We'll write a new simple cluster manager, and use the heartbeat API. There is a place for an HA batch queueing system. Of course, it could use heartbeat ;-)

I hope to change FailSafe to use it. Perhaps even the folks at Mission-Critical Linux could use it. SGI is eyeing it for things I don't think I'm free to talk about.

It's basic, but it works pretty darn well, and gets better all the time ;-)

I got some nice feedback from Eric Ayers about my talk at the ALE (Atlanta Linux Enthusiasts) meeting last month. If you want me to speak to your LUG or conference about Linux-HA, let me know. I like giving talks.

I guess I ought to write at least one journal entry.

Lately, I've been spending most of my time doing at least six different things:

Promoting Linux-HA. A week ago last Thursday (whenever that was), I spoke to the Atlanta Linux Enthusiasts. Going to Atlanta in July wasn't my idea of good timing (it's hot and humid then), but they audience was very interested, and quite well-informed. The talk was very well received, and I even got an idea for a useful feature in heartbeat, which I implemented a few days later.

Working on reset code for LinuxFailSafe. It uses the STONITH API below.

Designing, writing, implementing and changing a STONITH API. STONITH == Shoot The Other Node In The Head. Also called STOMITH, substituting Machine for Node. I like STONITH, because of the similarity to Stoning a person representing the ultimate rejection from the community. In any case, I've been designing the abstract API, and writing code to implement it for the BayTech RPC-5.

Designing and implementing an API for heartbeat. Heartbeat is pretty nice in several ways, but it is limited in what it can do. It does heartbeats better than any other open source product I know of, but doesn't integrate with other applications to speak of. The API will allow it to be easily used with lots of other applications, whether with FailSafe, or Piranha, or CXFS, or Kimberlite, or with Stephen's new cluster manager, or some newly designed cluster manager or whatever. It is nearly complete, but needs some minor redesign to eliminate certain security issues from it before people start using it. You can get the code for this and the Stonith API from the Linux-HA CVS repository.

Generally working on heartbeat. Fixing it up, etc.

Strategizing on how SuSE should promote and package Linux-HA. Generally worrying about what should be done, and puzzling over how to get it done. This activity overlaps with lmb.

General Notes
I just got a new user for heartbeat that I am absolutely sure will need some tech support this winter. Heartbeat is now running in Tahiti :-)

I just found out that a talk I gave back in April won an award for the best talk of the day at the Lucent Technologies Software Symposium. That was certainly nice.

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