Meet Robert Varga, PANTHEON.tech’s #ons2018 attendee

Robert Varga is PANTHEON.tech’s  Chief Technology Officer who has almost two decades of Information Technology Industry experience ranging from being a C code monkey, through various roles in telecommunications’ IT operations to architecting bleeding edge software platforms.

Robert has a deep expertise in Software Defined Networking, its applications and the OpenDaylight platform.

Within those decades, some of the technologies he had experience are: C/C++, Java, Python, various UNIX-like systems and database systems.

Robert has a very strong background in design, development, deployment, and administration of large-scale platforms with the primary focus on high availability and security.

Robert has been involved in OpenDaylight from its start, architecting, designing and implementing the MD-SAL. He is the sole top, the most prolific OpenDaylight contributor and is a member OpenDaylight Technical Steering Committee, representing the kernel projects. His code contributions revolve around key infrastructure components, such as YANG Tools, MD-SAL and Clustered Data Store. He also designed and implemented the first versions of the BGP and PCEP plugins.

 

Provided by Bitergia Analytics

Until today, Robert Varga had made 11,368 commits in 66 ODL projects over the course of ODL’s lifespan. That is 621,236 added and 524,842 removed lines of code and that translates roughly around 12 great novels written in </code>. ODL continues to be a great example of what an open-source software is and how international contributors can collaborate beautifully to create the next great thing.  There are currently only 13 TCLs in ODL who help steer the project forward and lead the ODL to be the most successful SDN controller in the world. He is proudly one of the ODL Technical Steering Committee Members and a committer to a range of projects.

The all-time top contributor of ODL  Robert Varga, Chief Technology Officer of PANTHEON.tech makes the company proud to be among the top contributor of such innovative, successful project.

Robert shares the PANTHEON.tech’s ambition to create the biggest and most successful open-source Software Defined Networking (SDN) controller in the world.

Robert will be available to share his deep expertise in the field and representing PANTHEON.tech the silver sponsor of Open Networking Summit Europe which will take place on Sep 25-27 in Amsterdam.

Join Robert at PANTHEON.tech’s booth #14 in the event to get a glimpse of the Software Defined Networking future.

 

Meet Miroslav Miklus, PANTHEON.tech’s #ons2018 attendee

Miroslav Mikluš is the vice president of engineering department at PANTHEON.tech.

Since he has had graduated from Slovak Technical University in Bratislava, Miroslav had almost two decades of Information Technologies experience mainly in the Slovak Republic tech companies with titles as Director of Engineering, Head of Information Technology Services division, Senior Technical Leader, etc.

He started his career as a software developer and had climbed many steps of the tech industry to reach where he is now.

Miroslav has helped to develop and deliver dozens of successful software developments and integration projects mostly for the computer networking industry.

He loves to play basketball and running.

You might remember him from the last Open Networking Summit North America with his presentation named ‘Ligato as a Golang integration platform of a BGP daemon with VPP.”

Miroslav will be representing PANTHEON.tech the silver sponsor of Open Networking Summit Europe which is going to take place on Sep 25-27 in Amsterdam. Be sure to be there to meet with him in person in PANTHEON.tech’s booth #14 or the on 5k Fun Run on September 26.

 

PANTHEONtech at Open Networking Summit (ONS) 2018

PANTHEONtech had a unique opportunity to participate on Open Networking Summit (ONS) 2018 this year. Central topic of the ONS 2018 was data center solutions: ONAP and Kubernetes based systems. Also few new projects under the wings of Linux Foundation were introduced. For example “Acumos AI“, “Arkaino Edge stack” and DANOS (Disaggregated Network Operating System project) which is the operating system for white-box switches.

 

PANTHEONtech has traditionally participated on the OpenDaylight (ODL) as well as the fd.io development and we launched our lighty.io product in the ONS. lighty.io changes conventional OpenDaylight attitude on how to build SDN controller applications, making them smaller, nimble and micro-service ready.

lighty.io caught attention of the ODL community members as well as customers struggling with real-life ODL deployments. This solution helps to consume and deploy ODL services faster with lower cost of ownership. Faster builds, quick test runs and smaller distribution sizes are right way to proceed. lighty.io brings also added value into the ONAP eco-system providing runtime for ONAP’s SDN-C link to sdn-c blog/article. We are continuously updating the community with lighty.io use-case examples and also lighty.io video use-cases

 

One of the projects, in which we participate in the community, is The Fast Data Project (FD.io). For the FD.io community, we presented Ligato; Honeycomb’s younger brother. It is an ’easy to learn and easy to use’ integration platform. We love to see, that the FD.io community is growing larger, not only in the number of contributors, but in the number of projects and use-cases as well. We were also pleased to accept an invitation to an introduction of a new FD.io project “Dual Modes, Multi-Protocols, Multi-Instances” (DMM), where we discussed use-cases and integration paths from the current networking stack. FD.io community has a potential of further growth, especially as we see the shift of the networking industry from a closed-sourced hardware-based network functions to an open-source software-based solutions.

ONS 2018 was an exciting opportunity for us. It was a forum where we could easily share our knowledge and provide a much needed innovation. Let’s see how artificial intelligence and machine learning will change the landscape of networking in upcoming years. See you on next ONS event!

 

KubeCon 2017, Austin

KubeCon & CloudNativeCon 2017, Austin

At the beginning of December 2017, we attended the KubeCon & CloudNativeCon 2017 conference in Austin, Texas. The conference, organized by the Linux foundation, brought together leading contributors in cloud native applications and computing, containers, microservices, central orchestration processing and related projects.

KubeCon 2017, Austin

More than four thousands developers, together with other people interested in cloud-native technologies, visited the event in Austin. The growing number of attendees is a testimony to the rising importance of Kubernetes and containerized applications for companies of all sizes.

The schedule was full of talks about various CNCF technologies such as Kubernetes, Prometheus, Docker, Envoy, CNI and many others. “Kubernetes is the new Linux,” pointed out Google’s Kelsey Hightower in his keynote, predicting bright future for these technologies.

KubeCon 2017, Austin

In addition to talks, the sponsors showcased their projects in a huge exhibit hall. The FD.io booth presented a project our friends from Cisco contributed to – VPP centric network plugin for Kubernetes which aims to provide the fastest connectivity for containers by bypassing the kernel network stack. During the presentation of the project, we were involved in many conversations with attendees from various companies, which proves their interest in the solution.

KubeCon 2017, Austin

Rastislav Szabo, Lukas Macko

Moscow business district under construction

Building Infrastructure Systems 2017 Conference, Moscow

At the end of October 2017, I had a chance to visit one of the world’s largest cities – beautiful Moscow, capital of Russia, where the BIS 2017 event took place. BIS – Building Infrastructure Systems – focused at data centers, networks and technologies connected to these topics. The venue was the impressive Azimut Olympic hotel, which pleasantly surprised everyone by being a fully smoking-free zone with lots of photos on the walls picturing healthy ways of life.

Moscow business district under construction

The event was very well organized and the timing precise; everything was on time and easy to find. The event was attended by nearly 1000 delegates, among them many representatives of businesses and government bodies, highly skilled technical specialists and CxOs managing large companies. Since the very beginning I literally had no time to sit down for a while, such was the number of visitors to our booth. Most of them showed great interest in our company’s scope of work, the level of expertise we provide, projects we participated at; and there were hundreds of other questions they wanted to ask 🙂

BIS 2017 Moscow servers

At 11:20 of the event day, we had a presentation slot allocated to Pantheon Technologies. The room was full of people, showing great interest in the SDN, NFV and IoT technologies. I have had 15 minutes to discuss the latest trends in SDN and NFV and to introduce our company to the audience. Unfortunately, there was almost no time left for the Q&A part, so I invited everyone to our booth. And people came. Right after the presentation, and until the very end of the day, people kept coming and asking questions, asking for references, contacts. That was truly amazing!

BIS 2017, Moscow, Pantheon Technologies brochures

I’ve spoken to people from the Government of Moscow, from financial bodies, telecom and development companies. There were several representatives from largest Russian system integration companies who were interested in cooperation.

At the same time, it was inspiring to listen to their practical “field” experience and their understanding of the market. The overall impression I had is that the SDN/NFV technologies are being actively researched and tested in Russia recently, although significant ROI is still a rare case here. We need more work and time until that point is reached.

BIS 2017, Moscow, robot

My final impression was that we came to show Pantheon Technologies to Russia just in the right time. There are many interesting projects out there where our long-term expertise in the field of networking software development may prove useful.

 

Denis Rasulev

ONUG 2017 stage

ONUG Fall 2017

Open Networking User Group, New York, USA, October 17 – 18, 2017

ONUG 2017 stage

ONUG belongs to the group of conferences rather smaller in size, but surely not in importance. This year it took place in New York. The Big Apple is a truly interesting place and so was the conference. This event was a combination of trade show and a panel discussion. Pantheon Technologies did not actively participate in the trade show part this time, as our focus was more on potential business hunting.

ONUG 2017 crowd

ONUG is a 2-day event fully packed with big names on stage, as part of panel discussions, and a good selection of vendors, community leaders, service and solution providers.

The conference includes keynotes from IT business enterprise leaders as they address their open software-defined cloud-based infrastructure journeys, updates from the Working Group Initiative members, hands-on tutorials and interactive labs, real world use cases, proof of concept demonstrations and a vendor technology showcase.

ONUG 2017 website screenshot - recap

The goal of all ONUG events and initiatives is to bring together the full IT community, to allow IT business leaders to learn from peers, make informed open infrastructure deployment decisions, and to open up the dialogue between the vendor and user communities in order to collectively drive open infrastructure.

ONUG 2017 Pantheon brochures

For Pantheon Technologies this means a good opportunity to understand current networking needs of service providers, enterprises and vendors. This helps us to improve promoting Pantheon even better in the field of our expertise, in customized software development. ONUG clearly showed that service providers are heading more and more towards SD-WAN solutions. We have discussed our expertise in SDN and NFV with almost all of the ONUG participants and have found several potential partners to explore this exciting business with. Software Defined Networking is not only a buzzword anymore, it’s been well established and the market is very competitive, especially the US territory. That is why we at Pantheon Technologies need to be on top of it.

Peter Takáč

Windmills in the Netherlands - SDN NFV cover photo

SDN NFV World Congress: Intent-based Networking Still not in Sight

This year, our colleagues from Pantheon Technologies visited quite a couple of tech events around the globe. Among them, the SDN NFV World Congress, taking place in The Hague, was one we definitely couldn’t have missed. As one of the largest conferences focused at network transformation, it attracted more than 1700 visitors from companies all over the world. And it weren’t only large companies, many of whom are among our long-term clients; a fairly large number of start-ups joined in order to present their solutions.

 

Haag SDN NFV Forum animated GIF

Pantheon Technologies booth @ SDN NFV, Hague

It’s thrilling to follow the gradual transformation of proprietary solutions into those based on open-source. The reason is simple: at Pantheon Technologies, we contribute into several open-source projects, as we firmly believe that it’s the only way to ensure interoperability and standardization of individual building blocks of SDN and NFV solutions.

Yet, SDN, software-defined networking, is still under development. Until the present day, most use-cases have only been dealing with automation. The bottom line is that it’s still HDN, a human-defined network. It’s still people who express the desired state of the network, it’s not done by a software. Therefore, after solving the issues with automation and interoperability of the building blocks, a new adventure from the intent-based networking world might await: the current SDN solutions, offered by the market, will only provide the infrastructure to be used to fulfill the network users’ intentions.

Stefan @ SDN NFV, Hague

During the week which we spent at the conference, we’ve had plenty of interesting discussions, both sales-oriented and technical. Now, we’re very much looking forward to further meetings and talks.

 

 

Miroslav Miklus, Martin Firak

Singapore skyline

Pantheon Technologies visited TechXLR8 in Singapore

Looking for customers and partners in new markets is an essential part of portfolio diversification strategy. New markets bring new opportunities, new insights, needs and challenges. Hence, at the beginning of this October, with my colleagues Denis and Robert we travelled to Singapore in search of all of the above-mentioned. We’ve anticipated finding it all at the huge TechXLR8 event, sponsored by Pantheon Technologies, which comprised of smaller happenings: 5G Asia, IoT World Asia, NV & SDN, the AI Summit and Project Kairos Asia. Being the Silver Sponsor at such a vast event was a brand new experience for us.

Singapore skyline

We’ve spent two days discussing SDN and networking, introducing Pantheon Technologies and our products to the representatives of Asian market. We also had an opportunity to take part in a panel discussion on NFV MANO interoperability and how it fits into the open source world along with related standardization being done by ETSI.

This discussion, more than anything else, showed our presence to other attendees. So, we talked, smiled and explained. People were interested in Visibility Package which we have demonstrated. They asked a lot about the company and our contribution to OpenDaylight, as well as other open source projects we are part of, or have experience with.

 

SDN, OpenDaylight and the others

Pantheon Technologies was not the only company promoting OpenDaylight-related solutions. Official OpenDaylight members were present, as well as other companies and groups offering their ODL based solutions. We have received several offers for cooperation from several company representatives advertising their ODL and SDN-related skills. This clearly indicates the importance of the OpenDaylight project.

IoT is the word

Despite TechXLR8 being crowded with companies presenting different IoT solutions and despite having our booth placed at NFV/SDN area, we have received a great number of IoT-related questions. We talked about IotDM as of oneM2m compliant data broker for ODL. For some people, oneM2M was just another buzzword. They were frequently asking about specific use cases related to the IoT field. Our question, “what do you need?” still hangs there waiting to be answered. Asia seems to be searching for its answer on what IoT stands for. There are open opportunities for us to help finding an answer for this question.

 

Man in the middle

Along all the companies presenting their products, skills or ecosystems, there was one special group of people present. They usually introduced themselves as “the company that represents telco in Asia.” Who were these people?

Asian markets are quite different from what we have experienced so far, in a way how companies search for partners and how partnerships are being built. There are many companies acting as matchmakers. It seems that a significant number of telco companies doesn’t actively search for partners, but rely on matchmakers. Matchmakers actively seek solutions or vendors who might match their telco customers. What do matchmakers have to say about their customer’s expectations?

Singapore conference - people mingling

All of them had pretty much the same answer. We need to approach companies with our solutions and make them think it is what they need. As if only thing market is looking for was advantage over competitors. Whatever solution will make that happen. Even that we can’t honestly say there is a market driving vision missing, it for sure feels that way. Presence of buzzwords without focus on specific case indicates that Asian telco and IT market has evolved differently as markets we use to operate.

 

Hic abundant leones

The best way to describe our first encounter with the Asian market is mapping terra incognita, the unknown land, place where lions are. We’ve made the first step towards the unknown and have found some potential partners on the way. Now we have to figure out how to turn the first contact into a working partnership and collaboration. We need to find a specific use case, or set of use cases, to show to potential customers in Asia, but we aren’t quite sure what to show and whom to show it. Finding that out is our next goal. Find use case to make a showcase of and find audience for it. For that, we need to flood the matchmakers we already know and also keep looking for new ones.

Singapore event - building Pantheon stall

Lesson learned

Are our solutions tailored to fulfill specific needs? Indeed they are. Do our solutions bring variety and scalability? Definitely. Can we deliver? Yes we can. Next time, we have to show that more explicitly. We need to prepare showcases that would amaze people. We need to find equilibrium between our skill and the market’s desire for buzzwords. It does not need to be product quality, does not even need to be a product by itself. It just needs to show – hey, we are the right ones.

Was our journey a success? Our journey to Singapore was a success. Journey to Asian markets has just begun. It is our job to make the most out of it.

Martin Bobák

Technical leader

moscow business district

Ready to Discuss Automation, Data & Networks in Moscow?

Already on October 25, 2017, a very special event will be taking place in Moscow: CIS Event Group’s BIS 2017 / Around Networks, Around Automation, Industry 4.0.

If we had to pick one single event focused on modern engineering infrastructure where we could meet our friends, peers and clients from Russia and the neighboring countries, this would be the one.

moscow business district

Let us introduce ourselves to the Russia’s market: Pantheon Technologies is among the leaders in Network Function Virtualization with deep expertise in the Internet of Things, Software Defined Networking, OpenDaylight and several other fields, such as Sysrepo, Honeycomb and Ligato. As these technologies are gaining traction in Russia and starting to spread throughout the neighborhood, now the time has come for us to get more involved and offer our expertise where it is required most.

We are working towards developing the future of the internet. Are you ready to join?

 

Denis Rasulev

SDN NFV Hague Conference / Binnenhof with tulips

Sponsoring the SDN NFV World Congress Confirmed

In mid-October, the SDN NFV World Congress will dominate Europe’s IT landscape. Taking place in Netherlands’ Hague, the event is Europe’s largest dedicated forum addressing the growing markets of software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV).

SDN NFV Conference - the Hague

Naturally, this is the type of event we at Pantheon Technologies gravitate towards sponsoring. Long story short, we’re one of the partners. There were already a couple of interesting names on board (Open Networking Foundation, Intel, Telefonica, BT, Konia, Orange…) so how could we be the one to miss out?

If you’d like to hear about technologies such as OpenDaylight, FD.io, OPNFV and many more – and learn about the magic we can work with them, we’ll be looking forward to talking to you live! Also, if you just want to know us, or only have a chat, feel free to drop by!

Martin Firak

blog - Singapore Tech XLR8 Asia 600x373 px

Pantheon partners up with TechXLR8 Asia

We’ve already started establishing a tradition of Pantheon Technologies partnering with the best tech events around the globe. To keep up with it, we’ll be sponsoring the Network Virtualization & SDN Asia conference, which will be taking place this fall in Singapore as a part of TechXLR8 Asia. On board with partners such as Juniper Networks, Fujitsu and VMware, we’ll be joining as a silver sponsor.

 

Singapore Marina Bay Sands hotel

What does this mean in practice? Our colleagues will be able to showcase the Pantheon skills and know-how both as speakers and in the exhibition area.

As we were recently proven at TechXLR8 London, our portfolio is quite unique. The topics revolving around ODL, SysRepo, FD.io, Honeycomb and Vector Packet Processing have struck the cord. Not only that we’ve met lots of interesting people from telco, SDN and content delivery companies, but our business card supply wasn’t able to cover the demand!

Is there anything specific you’d like to hear us talk about?

See you in Singapore on October 3-4!

Martin Firak

ODL Santa Clara

OpenDaylight Developer Design Forum 2017: Nitrogen

On a regular basis, OpenDaylight (ODL) developers meet in order to discuss their ideas as well as plans for upcoming releases. Pantheon Technologies’ Robert Varga and Vratko Polak have joined this year’s gathering. Vratko’s account of the event follows.

OpenDaylight Developer Design Forum 2017: Nitrogen

Brief introduction to ODL

OpenDaylight is an open source project aimed at supporting Software Defined Networking, mainly through a Java application (also called ODL). It’s capable of communicating with network elements via various protocols (southbound) while accepting requests from humans and other programs (northbound), again, via various protocols (although RESCONF is currently the main one).

ODL as a project is hosted by the Linux Foundation (LF), but has its own governance. ODL itself consists of (sub)projects, each has its own Git repository, committers and Project Lead. The Technical Steering Committee (TSC) allows creation of new projects, archival of old projects, and provides guidance for inter-project matters. Most projects focus on providing code for the Java application, so most of their code is in Java, together with Maven definitions used to build artifacts. Those projects depend on each other, ODLParent is the most “upstream” of such projects. Leaf projects are those which do not have other ODL Java project depending on them, not counting Integration/Distribution, which is a project aggregating all artifacts of a particular release into a file archive containing ODL installation.

Integration/Test then runs system tests (CSIT stands for Continuous System Integration Testing) against this archive. Both building and testing is done in Jenkins, Releng/Builder is the project responsible for configuring those Jenkis jobs (and other minutae of infrastructure). In between releases, ODL projects build Snapshot artifacts that are stored in a Nexus server, so artifact version does not define a unique code, and there are possible race conditions when one job uploads new artifacts while other job downloads them. To avoid these downsides, Releng/Autorelease is a project which downloads all the code, bumps it to a non-snapshot version, builds that, and uploads to a staging repository, thus creating a release candidate. Integration/ and Releng/ projects are examples of Support projects.

ODL releases are named after periodic table elements. This Forum has taken place just after the Carbon release, and its goal was to bring developers together in order to speed up discussion and planning of the Nitrogen release. One of the few things every project has to agree with, is the choice of the Java container. From Beryllium up to Carbon, the container of choice was Karaf, versions from the 3.0.x series. Karaf is a Java container based on OSGi. The main concept in Karaf is a Feature, which can contain OSGi bundles, config files and other Karaf features. ODL seems to be using Karaf features in a slightly different way from what Karaf developers have intended, therefore the Carbon initiative to upgrade to Karaf 4 has failed. Previous ODL releases tended to come in roughly 8-month cycles. But ODL is now part of larger ecosystem of networking-focused projects, so TSC decided to change to a 6-month cycle. And to fit into a correct slot, Nitrogen is scheduled to be released only 4 months after Carbon, with upgrading to Karaf 4 as its main goal.

The Developer Design Forum (DDF) for Nitrogen has taken place in Hotel Marriott, Santa Clara, California. The official program was two days long, opening on May 31 and concluding on June 1, 2017. DDF gatherings usually consist of scheduled “conference” sessions, accompanied by parallel “unconference” sessions, created on the spot. Compared to previous DDFs, there were less participants than usual (roughly 50 compared to 150 in the past), leading to only one meeting room being used for conferences and leaving the other available for unconferences.

A list of sessions that I attended follows, together with short descriptions. Please note that the descriptions (and session names) are very loose paraphrases of what was actually discussed, based rather on my personal impressions than the official program.

 

Karaf 4 planning conference session

After reiterating facts about Nitrogen being a “short” release focused on Karaf 4 transition, a rough timeline was presented. It was stressed that active participation of all projects is required. Projects too slow to respond will be dropped from the release mercilessly.

ODL DDF Nitrogen karaf logo

Not many technical details were discussed at this point, aside from notifying projects that there will be a time period where usual build and test jobs will not be running (at least not for every project) as incompatible changes will require time for rebuilds, to be performed in order throughout the project dependency graph.

 

Emergency leaf project removal plan unconference session

Around half of current projects are in dormant state, not being developed anymore, usually with only one person performing critical maintenance in their spare time. It is expected that multiple projects in this state will be unable to perform their Karaf 4 migration duties in time. Therefore, many Carbon projects are not going to make it into Nitrogen official release. Yet, there is a backup plan in place, at least for leaf projects: they could release their artifacts in a standalone release. That means their artifacts will not be built within the usual Autorelease job. Releng/Builder can create a job template for that kind of release, so that project won’t need much work to perform such release. Integration/Test would need more changes to allow CSIT for such projects, but we do not envision many projects asking for that.

 

ODLParent standalone release unconference session

It is a long-standing plan to “decentralize” the ODL release process, so that it depends less on Releng/Autorelease forcing everyone to release at the same time. ODLParent will be the first project to do separate releases (and still end up in Integration/Distribution builds). This needs a new job template, basically the same one as for the removed leafs. Version bumping in downstream will be somewhat painful at first, but the Autorelease project already has all the scripts and rights needed, and an automated job can be created later.

 

Karaf 4 specific changes unconference session

In Carbon it was discovered that two main ways to install features (the featuresBoot configuration line and feature:install runtime command) use different code paths in Karaf 4, and therefore supporting both of them might not be possible. If Linux Foundation pays a Karaf developer, it might become possible, but we cannot count on that within the Nitrogen cycle. The first Karaf 4 ready ODLParent release will drop support for Karaf 3, Integration/Distribution will stop building Karaf 3 distribution, and all CSIT testing will be switched to Karaf 4. That means we do not need to support a transition period of both versions being built and tested at the same time. If we decide to only support feature:install, changes to Releng/Builder scripts (for CSIT) will be needed.

 

Releng/Builder needed changes unconference session

This was a technical session, hashing out details of how items from the two previous sessions will be implemented. Few general enhancements were also discussed briefly, however, with no plans of implementing them in the Nitrogen cycle.

 

Jira instead of Bugzilla conference session

There is a long-standing plan of migrating from Bugzilla to Jira. We’ve discussed several technical reasons why we really need that, as well as a few risks involved. The general consensus is that we want Jira, but it takes some work and we need a person to take the responsibility and make it happen. Not likely within Nitrogen.

 

ODLParent planning conference session

Technical explanation of what went wrong with Karaf 4 in Carbon. We have a general plan to finally fix that, consisting of 4 approaches we intend to try. Explicit steps of how ODLParent standalone releases and Karaf 4 support will be done, with milestones and deadlines for ODLParent, Java projects, Integration/Distribution and Integration/Test. There will be at least one period where the usual Jenkins jobs will not work, perhaps more if multiple ODLParent releases are needed. Karaf 3 support will be propped as soon as possible, so that projects are motivated to help their upstream with migration.

ODL DDF Nitrogen writing

Integration/Test planning unconference session

Few ideas were mentioned, but they were postponed in general, as Karaf 4 migration will consume most of the time. The old plan of migrating ODL installation logic from Releng/Builder bash scripts to Robot Framework suites is still good, but demanding. General Robot code maintenance will remain a slow gradual process. Having a small set of reliable “sanity” tests is still desired. We have a stub already running; all we need is to add more suites which are stable and quick enough. Test result availability and comprehensibility is still a major issue. The current plan is to export the test results to a database, and have a dashboard to render results in a user-friendly way. We have new interns to work on both steps.

 

MD-SAL usage conference session

A highly technical session where our colleague from Pantheon Technologies, Robert Varga, was talking about the ways MD-SAL (Model Driven Service Abstraction Layer) can be interacted with. Each has its pros and cons. Single listener subscribed to a set of subtrees seems to be the approach avoiding the most of pitfalls, but the cluster implementation is not ready yet.

 

Infrastructure and CSIT, retrospective and improvements conference session

The changes to Integration/Test and Releng/Builder done in Carbon. Current gaps and how we plan to bridge them, rehashing some ideas from the unconference earlier.

 

Upgrade-ability conference session

initially, we will be satisfied with reliable offline upgrades. We know that there are significant API changes between releases, and MD-SAL lacks a service which would tell the user that ODL has finished booting up. ODL has a built-in persistence, but some of it is cleared on startup and, perhaps, also corrupted on shutdown. Nevertheless, companies that create ODL-based solutions usually have a way to transfer data from earlier to later version of ODL, so it should be possible to create a basic mechanism in ODL itself. The Daexim project provides a basic set of tools, but it is not equipped to handle data structure changes caused by API changes in each project. The ODL core can help by sticking to the current schema.

 

Service recovery mechanisms conference session

As the ‘uninstall’ feature does not really work correctly in ODL, current recovery options are limited to restarting the Java Virtual Machine. However, some services present in ODL support a softer restart on demand. A simple model was presented to abstract services and some actions on them, which would allow a client application to query service state and cause a restart without knowing details of a particular service implementation.

 

Unit testing async code conference session

One of the criteria for ODL code quality is test coverage. Instead of testing each class as a unit, a higher-level “component” tests are the more common option. They still rely upon JUnit executed during a Maven build, but they test a construct consisting of several classes wired together. This is quite positive, as a “real” unit test would frequently have more complicated assertions, and it would still not be clear whether a composite would behave correctly (while such unit tests would take significantly longer to develop). During Carbon development, a significant progress has been achieved in the wiring part of component tests, yet there still is one area that needs improvement: most of ODL code is asynchronous, which means the component consists of several Java threads running concurrently.

One issue is that JUnit requires the assertion to be executed in the main thread to take effect. Another issue is that many asynchronous components lack visible intermediate state changes, which the main thread could check. Most current tests just use sleep for a fixed time before launching the final assert. However, everybody knows, that a test which relies on sleep is a bad test. The ideal solution would be for each class within a component to support dependency injection of asynchronous building blocks, such as executors and listeners. That way the component test can inject specialized building blocks with all hooks the test needs. Failing that, the cheapest solution is to use Awaitility, which, basically, spins an assert (not changing the state) until it passes, or a predefined time runs out. That is better that sleep in that it can pass more quickly.

 

Closing remarks conference session

The closing session mostly consisted of discussing, why we were joined by way less attendees than is usual. What can be done? One possibility is to merge the Developer Design Forum with some other LF event, however, people argued that this would take away focus from ODL planning. Another option is to ask member organizations to provide the venue, so that a smaller event like this could be hosted without hotel-high venue cost.

Vratko Polák

TechXLR8, London

In mid-June, the TechXLR8 multi-genre tech festival took place in London. Although being part of the London Tech Week 2017, it comprised of further eight ‘smaller’ events: 5G World, IoT World Europe, Cloud & DevOps World, Apps World Evolution, VR & AR World, AI & Machine Learning World, Connected Cars & Autonomous Vehicles Europe and Project Kairos.

Well, ‘smaller’ events… We are talking about a happening with more than 15 000 participants from 8 000 companies catered to by more than eight hundred tech guru speakers. Thus, these were not really what you would call small family gatherings…

Since it was, from a global perspective, one of the key industry meetings, Pantheon Technologies could not have missed it. We’ve participated in TechXLR8’s Cloud & DevOps World section where we showcased our SDN, ODL and networking skills and know-how: we’ve seen a lot of great things, we’ve managed to acquire interesting contacts with international companies active in telco, content delivery and SDN segments. Products from our portfolio such as SysRepo, ODL, HoneyComb, VPP, FD.io turned out to be really great topics for discussion.

Which keywords did the participants respond to best? Linux Foundation, OpenStack, Docker, Kubernetes, BigData. The demand for Pantheon’s business cards was so high that it caught us by surprise. We even had to ration them on the last day, such was the appetite for Pantheon!

Juraj Veverka

GeeCon 2017, Krakow

Every year, Krakow welcomes some of the biggest industry names to talk about Java and everything related. This time, we couldn’t miss it.

 

 

May 16th

The proverbial long and winding road does exist. It sits between Žilina in northern Slovakia and Polish Krakow. After a couple of hours of tiresome driving, we’ve safely arrived in the city. It was a lonesome journey with only radio Pogoda keeping us company by talking gibberish and playing some traditional Polish songs (also in gibberish). The city of Wypadki is surely a magical place. A place where trucks have voting rights and bikers outnumber pigeons 3 to 1. Unfortunately, there was no time to explore further. We checked-in with the cutest receptionist available and prepared a schedule of talks to visit.

 

May 17th

GeeCon took place in a well-equipped multiplex near the city centre. As it turned out, the venue was not built for this type of events. The corridors‘ bottleneck started to fill with attendees blocking the passage to talk rooms, and you could have spent the whole breaks standing in line in front of a bathroom.

However, the 2017 GeeCon brought out the big guns right at the beginning. David Moore from Sabre showed us the true meaning of “experience.” Although his talk had a rather bland title “Platform and Product Evolution at Sabre,” he touched a broad spectrum of topics – from organizational structures and their need to reflect the software architecture to his hatred towards “layered-cake” architecture designs.

Next on the schedule were some sub-par talks about Java 9 in general, mixed with some never-ending Docker hype, CUDA computing, and introductory profiling. And then we got the juicy stuff. Milen Dyankov from Liferay was not afraid to speak openly about the state and purpose of Jigsaw, the need for the OSGi, and where it all fits together. Great talk for an audience of all levels of familiarity with modular concepts in Java. And of all genders, of course.

We were really pumped up for Monica Beckwith’s talk boldly called “Java Performance Engineers’ Survival guide.” The abstract was attractive and her CV was, so to put it, quite impressive: JavaOne rock star, previously working in AMD as performance engineer, then Sun, later at Oracle working on GC… Suffice to say, the expectations were really high. However, this was probably the biggest disappointment of the entire event.

We ended the day with a dry sauna back at the hotel and went to sleep.

 

May 18th

After such an exhausting first day, we started with a well-prepared soft-skills talk promising to improve our client presentations, only to continue with the trend of microservices and reactive programming. Right before lunch, Jarosław Pałka showed us the magic of bytecode. It stood up to the high anticipations and made us want to –javaagent something.

Avast people demonstrated how to utilize Docker in production and Marcin Grzejszczak explained the idea behind consumer-driven contracts of APIs. This certainly got our attention and we will consider it for future projects.

After Steve Poole’s light talk about Java vulnerabilities, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the biggest IT party of the year. A large club located inside an old fort hosted geeks the entire night and they seriously did show their mad dancing skills, as you can see in the photo.

 

May 19th

The morning after the party, waking up was a bit more painful. We ate the breakfast quickly. Another pretty receptionist did the checkout.


And back to the conference… Even though the party was hard, the audience listened carefully at the first presentation about interrupted exception. We decided to fork us and take a part at different presentations. To the roots of JVM – Java native runtime and another hype – Akka (full auditorium with no spare room left). Later on, we continued with some general JavaScript and JPA lectures. We joined together at the presentation called “Distributed systems explained (with NodeJS),” given by Bruno Bossola, also known as the “network is a bitch” guy. Our long-standing question of how to do testing properly was answered by Anton Arhipov – TestContainers.

There was a great presentation about code generation and the reasons why we should generate configurations instead of code at the very end of the conference. Here we felt as if the future was already here. Rod Johnson presented Atomist – a bot for Slack.

Big thanks goes to Pantheon Technologies and to the organizers of GeeCon for this amazing experience.

Martin Dindoffer

Milan Frátrik

Sponsoring Tokyo’s Automotive Linux Summit

Pantheon Technologies is proud to announce that we’ve become a Silver Sponsor of the Automotive Linux Summit, which will be taking place at Tokyo Conference Center Ariake from May 31 till June 2, 2017. In practice, this means more visibility for our brand plus a lot of networking potential. Which equals great potential for meeting new customers.

The Automotive Linux Summit is a one-of-a-kind event where automotive innovators meet with Linux ninjas, research & development managers and business executives. The result? Connecting developers with their peers and vendors, driving innovation towards the automotive future.

With Pantheon Technologies’ background, skills and global plans, this is a place where we naturally belong.

And we’re not going to miss the chance.

Martin Firák

We believe in women in IT

The biggest Python conference in Slovakia, Pycon 2017, is being held during the weekend of March 10 – 12, 2017. We have decided to grant sponsorship to a one-day workshop called Django Girls. The project believes in women’s potential in IT and since the co-owner of Pantheon Technologies, Janka Švorcová, is a woman, we considered our support as a matter of course.

The workshop is focused on website development and thanks to sponsor contributions is completely free of charge. Also, a grant programme covering the travel and accommodation costs for the participants was set up. The application was open to all girls who speak Slovak or English and own a computer. The participants do not need any previous skills or knowledge in this field, since the programming curriculum covers even the very basics.
The whole project and workshop take place as a part of Django Girls, an international initiative and NGO aiming at making IT more attractive to women. Django Girls’ learning tools are being used by volunteers to teach programming skills all around the world.

 

Gabriel Žifčák

Marketing officer at Pantheon

Sources:

https://djangogirls.org/

https://www.pycon.sk/2017/

 

Your Time is Now

  • 12,000 registered visitors at place –
  • 14,000 connected devices –
  • 25,000 registered online visitors –
  • 29,374,360 words presented in sessions –
  • 67,000 meals packed for Rise Against Hunger (17,000 more than planned!) –
  • 2,713 customer and partner meetings in the Meeting Village –
  • 31,000,000 people have seen the CLEUR (Cisco Live Europe) content –

This year’s Cisco Live (CL) Berlin 2017 rocked the Messe Berlin. From a Cisco Data Center standpoint ACI, Tetration and ASAP continued to grab the headlines. In particular, Cisco ACI has established itself as the dominant SDN technology with over 2,700 customers and a growing eco-system of 65 partners in just two and a half years.

cisco live 2017

 

Keynotes

Future-Proof your Business – fantastic and catchy opening keynotes were delivered by Cisco Vice President of Growth Initiatives (and Chief of Staff to CEO Chuck Robbins) Ruba Borno, who shared Cisco’s vision that the only future-proofed solution for digital transformation would be the next-generation secure network.

Cisco’s intelligence unit consists of more than 250 leading security experts, data scientists and hackers. These are the guys who are hacking the hackers. This is an organization that has the back of every Cisco partner’s customer. Cisco’s products teams then take all this intelligence and add automation, add machine learning, and provide Cisco’s partners and customers with integrated security architecture. All of this in order to protect their partners, protect their employees, their assets and their intellectual property.

By the way, did you know that Cisco has the best breach detection time in the market? They are able of detecting over 90% security incidents within three minutes and since Cisco put the web everywhere, it’s now time to abandon the legacy point product security behavior and adopt an integrated and dynamic self-learning holistic approach. So, that you not only have less complexity, but also feel more secure.

With Cisco, we know that we have the best networking hardware with the most advanced software. Yet you shouldn’t be satisfied with the best software of today. What you should go for is the best software for tomorrow. And it not only needs to be advanced, it also needs to be advanceable.

Tetration, according to Ruba Borno, is one of the coolest platforms Cisco has. It understands your entire data center in the context of the application environment. It can automatically map your application landscape, it can automatically map your dependences across applications, it can also determine which security policy to apply. And it can also enforce it and it, doing so at scale.

The closing guest keynote was delivered by Virgin Galactic’s Commercial Director Stephen Attenborough, who, at one point, was also the company’s first employee. He was the one who had established Virgin Galactic’s commercial foundations including a community of 700 future astronauts, and is now also responsible for work streams investigating additional applications and markets for space vehicles. This also includes the now very actively pursued small satellite launch program.

 

ACI Solutions Partners

CL Berlin’s platinum sponsor was Citrix who’ve had a significant presence in the partner area this year. At booth P2, you could engage their experts on how to securely deliver apps and data over any network with Citrix XenDesktop, XenApp and NetScaler on Cisco UCS/HyperFlex virtualization infrastructure in order to increase your business’s productivity, agility and differentiation.

 

DevNet Zone

DevNet is Cisco’s new developer program which provides their partners with tools to produce Cisco-enabled applications. These can then be sold to Cisco’s customers and (or) use the company’s API to enhance or manage your existing Cisco network. Or, to put it more simply, DevNet is where applications meet the infrastructure. DevNet is often considered an old tool, but did you know it’s only been around for three years, launched in December 2013?

DevNet is teaching researchers and engineers how to use new tools and resources as well as helping them in their daily work and careers to impact their companies. DevNet is about helping people innovate. And what specific role did DevNet play at this year’s Cisco Live? According to Cisco’s Senior Director Rick Tywoniak, one of DevNet’s contributions to CL Berlin week was working with 13 innovation centers around the world, helping the CL visitors in cooperation with the engineers working out there, and highlighting some of the cool apps that were developed using Cisco’s APIs. One of such examples can be found in the retail space: MishiPay is a company whose software allows integrating self-checkouts via wi-fi. In case you decide to leave the store without checking out all your items, the MishiPay application learns of your misbehavior and sets the alarm off!

 

Data Center Innovation: Speaker one

Liz Centoni (Senior Vice President & General Manager, Computing Systems Product Group at Cisco)

The world of Data Centers and the Cloud happens to be very dynamic. The amount of network changes that we see in modern data centers is much bigger than probably in any other segment in the IT space. The real challenge is managing all of these. The user community is evolving – this is something known and traditional. Applications that can be anywhere from bare metal to virtualization to containers, and can sit anywhere – multiple clouds and on the premises as well. In order to address all of these, let’s have a look at the overall holistic approach that is based on four elements (four design principles), that build an integrated architecture: Analyze – Simplify – Automate – Protect.

 

 

What Liz Centoni sees as a well working customer driven product can be described by three keywords: one architecture – standardized operations – simplicity. An example of this is Cisco integrated system for Microsoft Azure Stack. Its advantages comprise of unified infrastructure management, Cisco generation 4 VIC card, optimized fabric design, and proven policy driven architecture.

 

Data Center Innovation: Speaker two

Ishmael Limkakeng (Vice President, Product Marketing at Cisco)

“Combination of Cisco’s portfolio in a Data Center right now is the best it has ever been. We use Tetration to understand how an application works. We use ACI to automate how an application gets installed. We use Data Center to deploy that, wherever the right workload for the right environment. And then we come back again to Analytics to understand what we did, to make sure, we did, what we intended. That’s how we see this all coming together.”

 

 

Demos and Theater Presentations at World of Solutions

At this year’s World of Solutions this year, SDN/ACI, Tetration Analytics, UCS and Cloud took center stage in the Data Center category. There were multiple demos showcasing ACI and Tetration innovations.

Generally speaking, as Cisco’s recent ground-breaking innovation, Tetration was a hot topic during the whole CL. At the Tetration demo area, customers learned the details about end-to-end application visibility and automated white-list policies for granular segmentation. It was a unique occasion to meet Cisco’s experts and discuss with them recent innovations such as automatic policy enforcement, Tetration Apps, flexible form-factor based deployment options. Following the Tetration launch on February 1, 2017, its innovations have attracted endorsements from customers, partners and media. Check out ecosystem partner quotes here.

Social Networking

Last but not least, as a Cisco Live attendee, you benefited from the opportunity to interact with your peers, Cisco staff and partner technical experts in both structured and informal settings. And this is what counts the most!

Andrej Vanko, MSc.

IT Project Manager at Pantheon Technologies, s.r.o.

 

Sources:

blogs.cisco.com

www.ciscolive.com

youtube channel: Cisco Live Europe

OPNFV Fast Data Stack on FOSDEM 2017

On February 5th, we presented the OPNFV Fast Data Stack on FOSDEM conference that is hosted every year at Brussels’ Université libre de Bruxelles. It was a great gathering of software developers who presented their work in the form of 30-minute presentation. People came not just from Europe, but also oversees and other parts of world.  Lectures took place in more than 30 rooms and more than 600 speakers were presenting their projects.

There was a number of interesting lectures not only in the field of networking, but also robotics, neural networks, microprocessors, algorithms and data modeling. Some presenters were members of large teams, some were presenting their own projects. The scope was very wide including almost every programing language one had ever heard about. Visitors could see everything from startups up to trending projects such as Kubernetes, OpenDaylight or OpenStack. Every lecture was recorded and videos can be found on the FOSDEM website. Our presentation was scheduled in the NFV (Network Function Virtualization) section.

 

About virtualization and networking

Virtualization became very popular over the last years. Virtual machines curb the need for physical resources and make data centers more flexible and accessible. Today’s servers are really powerful and therefore able of hosting many VMs. This shed a new point of view on networking and, as a response, it got virtualized too in the form of virtual forwarders – processes capable of forwarding traffic within a hosting machine. OVS and VPP are the popular technologies these days and both support a very powerful set of data plane libraries and network interface controller drivers for fast packet processing, called DPDK. You may think of VPP and OVS as virtual forwarders between physical NICs and the virtual machines.

 

What is OPNFV Fast Data Stack?

OPNFV FDS makes it easier to maintain complicated data center environments. It’s a complex multilayer suite that includes software components designed for creating virtual machines and forwarding traffic. All the components are built with Apex installer on given set of host machines that need to match demanding performance needs and have a basic connectivity as well. As a result, a complex stack is created, providing a rich user-interface to network operators. The input exposes abstract set of tools for managing the life cycle of network, virtual machines and policies across given nodes.

 

Under the hood

Let’s have a look on key components of the OPNFV FDS suite. As mentioned above, multiple components operate at different layers of the stack. Each component participates in transforming defined abstraction to an actual configuration for underlying infrastructure.  On top of the stack resides OpenStack. This software is known for its scalability, loads of plugins and vast community. FDS uses OpenStack for managing VMs and for defining forwarding topology and policy rules. Forwarding inputs can be characterized by elements such as networks, subnets, routers or ports. Policy inputs by security groups and security group rules. One layer bellow is the OpenDaylight controller, also popular for its community, and plugins.

In the OPNFV FDS setup, it is used as a controller unit that consumes OpenStack’s abstractions and applies it to an underlying infrastructure using OpenDaylight’s Group Based Policy plugin. When the plugin detects that a policy can be resolved for at least two endpoints, configuration is generated and flushed to forwarders. OPNFV FDS setup, presented on FOSDEM, is using VPP in the hypervisor to forward packets between physical NICs and the VMs.

VPP, Vector Packet Processing, is a virtual switching/routing technology operating at a very impressive rate. It is impressively fast thanks to the DPDK library and CPU cache optimizing techniques. The beauty of Vector Packet Processing is that instead of handling packets one by one, VPP will perform one micro-operation after another to a group of packets which performs better with heavy load and results in increased throughput. VPP exposes C APIs and CLI for configuration. However, it’s not yet possible to use C API remotely because VPP does not run any management client.  Therefore, Honeycomb is used in the setup to provide NETCONF interface for the VPP forwarder. OpenDaylight uses NETCONF to talk to a HC Agent.

 

Supported scenarios

The FDS Demo presented on FOSEDEM showed the L2 scenario, meaning that L2 traffic is passed via VXLAN tunnels between the nodes. Traffic is routed on centralized node and routing is not performed by VPP itself, but by the OpenStack Qrouter service that is interconnected into every L2 domain in VPP via tap ports. NAT and routing towards external networks is also done by Qrouter.

Moving forward, FDS project is also looking at the L3 scenarios, where routing could be either distributed or centralized and will be done by VPP process together with NAT. All this efforts need attention on every layer of the stack including Apex installer.

Conclusion

We were pleased to present the FDS project at the FOSDEM conference. We believe that OPNFV FDS is a key component in network virtualization with a very bright future. For more information about the setup, and project itself, please visit https://wiki.opnfv.org/display/fds.

Tomáš Čechvala

and

Michal Čmarada

Software Engineers

ngPoland and beyond

In late November 2016 we visited one of the world’s biggest Angular conferences – ngPoland. Just two months before, Angular2 had been released, so all the sessions were more or less discussing it.

The first session was focused at Angular CLI. Tracy Lee showed us how to make a simple application and put it into Firebase in 30 minutes. All with the help of Angular CLI – a command line tool which helps build applications faster, since it prepares your dev environment and you can start coding right away.
We’ve already tried Angular CLI in our project and it’s great. Do you want to watch functionality with live reload, do unit testing with Karma, and end-to-end testing with Protractor? It’s all there, plus much more.

Shai Reznik told us the Legend Of ngModules, a pretty funny story with lot of interesting info on how to write, yes, modules. Seems like a skilled developer should know how to structure applications, but it’s nice to be reminded those best practices every now and then. Especially, when it’s your first try with Angular 2 and TypeScript.

There were few moments when we called „It‘s (put year here), so use (put library/pattern/language here).“ Like „It’s 2005, use asynchronous calls,“ or „It‘s 2015, use promises, callbacks are baaaad“. Now we have another one: „It’s 2016, use observables!“ On this topic, Ben Lesh had a good talk about the RxJS library, which implements the Observer pattern for composing asynchronous and event-base programs.
We’ve tried RxJS, and it works pretty well. We replaced promises in our AJAX calls and events in components. It needs some time to get used to, but it gets pretty straightforward then.

There were more good talks at the Ng Poland conference, so it’s awesome that we all can watch the recordings on YouTube.

 

I would like to conclude this article with some advice: in the case you are about to start a new project and are deciding between Angular 1, which you’ve used before, and have knowledge of, together with skills and code snippets, and Angular 2, use the second one. Angular 2 is simply better.

PS: If you choose to accept my advice, be prepared for lack of documentation. But it’s getting better every day, trust me.

 

Daniel Malachovský

Technical Leader in Pantheon Technologies