A delegate from Camptocamp’s Infrastructure Solutions team attended 2 days of the Debconf13, a conference we contributed to with a bronze sponsorship. Debconf took place this year in Vaumarcus, Switzerland, a beautiful location in the mountains surrounding Neuchâtel.
Marc Fournier followed several talks on « cloud track ». A group of Debian developers from Amazon (in the Amazon Web Services team) and Google (in the Google Compute Engine team) talked about the collaboration efforts with the Debian distribution, as well as the challenges of integrating their fast moving management tools and libraries into a rather slow-paced and stability-aiming distribution.
All the parties had valid points during the debates that followed. It showed how difficult it can be to address everyone’s requirements and it also helped understand why software components aren’t always as well integrated in the distributions as we would like them to be.
Later on, Marc followed a couple of presentations about systems and upstart integration in Debian. The author of system, Lennart Pottering, was there in person to present his tool, and his talk was very interesting. The benefits of a sysvinit replacement such as systemd are obvious from an end-user perspective, but the problem the Debian distribution faces is that it uses features available only in the Linux kernel (Debian supports at least two other kernels) and having all the packages shipping initscripts to support every init variant format will be a tremendous work.
The last talk Marc attended was about a new tool called « reclass ». It’s an external node classifier that looks very much like hiera, but has the advantage of not being tied to a specific configuration management tool. Something very promising, with the advent of all these new solutions we are seeing nowadays!