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Month: July, 2015

Charms as Babies, Chapter 1: The Cloud, Juju and Charms

Welcome to the first chapter of the Charms as Babies series. This chapter is dedicated to explain what are the Cloud, Juju and Juju Charms.

Have you heard about the Cloud? No, not the ones in the sky. THE Cloud. Let’s insert an XKCD comic for reference.

Interesting, huh? Yes, the Cloud is a huge group of servers. Anyone can rent part of a server for a period of time. Usually these are hours.

So, let’s put an example. I am Mr. VP from Blogs Company. I host… well, a blog. Instead of renting hosting like I would usually do, I decide to host my blog on the Cloud. So I go ahead, let’s say to Amazon Web Services. I tell Amazon I want an Ubuntu 14.04 server, with this amount of RAM and this amount of disk space. Amazon provides it to me for a price, and bills me per hour. It’s not renting me a username inside the entire server, but instead is launching a virtual machine (or VM) with the specs I requested, and giving the entire VM to me (including root access).

How is this different to common hosting, you ask? Sure, hosting is a practical solution when you just want things done, maybe FTP access to upload your site and that’s it. However, you can use the Cloud for whatever you want (within what’s legally accepted, of course). I may host my blog, but someone else on the other side of the world may host complicated data analysis applications, or maybe a bug tracker. Also, the Cloud gives you the possibility to rent a VM per hours. If I want to launch a server to try how to install MyProgram, then I launch a VM, install MyProgram, have fun with it, and destroy it right ahead. That way someone else can rent it after you’re done with it, and then you’re billed for the number of hours you used it. Everyone ends up being happy! There are several other benefits that come with the Cloud, but we will get to them later.

As I mentioned, you can do a lot of stuff with the Cloud. However, for most things, you need to know how to use a server, install stuff, compile code and more. Why don’t we simplify stuff and make it a lot easier? Why not run a couple commands and have whatever you want in a matter of minutes, without all the hassle? Well, that’s the basic idea behind Juju. With Juju you can execute simple commands such as `juju deploy wordpress` and you will have a WordPress instance set up for you, in the cloud of your choice (some restrictions apply), within minutes. Isn’t that amazing? However, all of this work is contained in what we call a Juju Charm. Charms are a set of scripts that help us automate the orchestration we see in the cloud. When I execute that command above, there are some scripts that are ran in the machine to install and configure. And someone else has written that charm to make your life easier.

I’m not going to dig deeper on how to use Juju, but want to highlight that even though things seem to be automated, there is a hero behind that automation, who helped you out doing the hardest part, so you can execute a command and get what you want.

What? YOU want to become the hero now?! Sure! In the next chapters we’ll see how can you become one the heroes in the Juju ecosystem. That’s all I have for this chapter, but if you have any questions about Juju and Charms, make sure to leave a comment below. Or drop by our IRC channel, #juju on irc.freenode.net. Look, there’s even a link that will take you to the channel on your web browser!

Charms as Babies: Introduction

Hello everyone, and welcome to my new blog post series: Charms as Babies. It’s been a long time since I’ve written something about charms.

My purpose with this series is to introduce you to Juju, Juju Charms, and it’s development and maintenance flow. At the end of the series you should be able to develop your own Juju Charm, and know how to take care of it. You may even become a Juju Charmer!

In the next couple days I’m gonna be posting little pieces on how to develop and take care of your own charm, or maybe even adopt a charm. Later today I will be posting an introduction to Juju and Charms. Make sure to keep an eye on my blog and Planet Ubuntu for the upcoming posts!

Oh! We are also having a “What is Juju?” session at UbuConLA, this time given by my fellow charm contributor Sebastián Ferrari. If you are not coming to the conference make sure to tune in to the livestream, at summit.ubuntu.com

This post is going to be used as an archive. Each chapter will be linked here. You can see all the chapters posted so far below.

How UbuConLA 2015 evolved in the past months

Wow, what can I say. To be honest, I am really impressed on how UbuConLA is shaping. So far there’s been a lot of stuff going through my head since I just finished finals, but now that I have a clear view of the entire panorama I really like how this conference is turning out to be.

In the past I’ve staffed booths and given talks in conferences, as well as organized small-ish events. However, this is my first big conference, and you can’t just imagine the excitement smile I have on my face when I see things are running as expected. It’s been some rough past months trying to balance conference planning with booth planning at TXLF, as well as studies and some other communities I contribute to. However, it’s been such an amazing experience.

Several months ago I was in the middle of a dillema, since the venue we were thinking of changed some requirements. Fortunately, my university, University of Lima, has been extremely helpful. I cannot thank enough all the people I have met on the way and who have given me such a big help whenever things were starting to turn in the wrong direction, and all we have accomplished so far.

In the past couple days I have received the name badges and banners we will be using for the conference, and even though there’s still some stuff in the way I can’t be more excited about how things are starting to look. Last week everything was just in ideas, and we’re starting to see the digital come into a physical object. That, for me, is one of the most exciting parts.

Luckily (and at the same time unfortunately) we had to close the registration form yesterday. The auditorium that was given to us has a capacity of 233 people, and counting volunteers, speakers, staff and more reduces that a bit. How many people have registered so far, you ask? Three. Hundred. That means we’re gonna fill that auditorium! A full room, what more can we ask for. If you haven’t registered for the conference, do not fear. The registration is just a fast track and it’s first-come, first-served. So make sure to keep an eye on all the social media pages for information on how to attend.

The next couple weeks are going to be the most difficult ones. We have a public holiday coming up until Thursday here in Peru, and from then on we need to start the final preparations. This is looking so good, I hope you all are surprised when you come to the conference.

After going through some of the process of organizing a medium-sized conference I can now really appreciate all the effort it takes to organize a big, and even a medium-sized conference. If you go to a conference and see the chairs or organizers, make sure to give them a pat on the back and thank them for all the efforts. They’re the people we need to thank for keeping the human touch and interaction alive!

And I think that’s all. Hope to see you in August, can’t wait for UbuConLA to happen!