Author: Brian Rosmaita

Rackspace sponsors Kids’ Tech University

By Annelise Rosmaita

kids-tech-2016-02-27On Saturday February 27, I went to Kids Tech University. It is an event at Virgina Tech that features interactive hands on activities and even some college type lectures for kids to get us interested in Science, Technlology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Rackspace is a corporate sponsor for the event.

The lecture was on cell life and cancer presented by Dr. Carla Finkielstein from the Virginia Tech Department of Biological Sciences. It was very interesting. She showed videos of how cells duplicate and how cancer happens by cells duplicating uncontrollably. After the lecture, we got a Scientific Method and Kids’ Tech University packet on cell life, and an Aha-Album. Whenever you have a scientific, mathematics, engineering or technology aha! moment, you can jot it down in the album. Continue reading

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Racksburg Hosts Glance Mid-cycle Meeting

This week Racksburg is hosting the Glance Liberty mid-cycle meetup.

Rackspace_Cloud_Images_vert_clrThat sentence probably doesn’t make any sense without some background. “Glance” is the name of the OpenStack Image Service. “OpenStack” is the open-source cloud software project founded by Rackspace and NASA, and is the software used to run the Rackspace Next Generation public cloud. “Liberty” is the name of the twelfth OpenStack release. OpenStack works on a six month release cycle. Planning for the Liberty release began in May at the OpenStack Vancouver Summit, and the Liberty release will happen in October. So right now we’re in the middle of the Liberty release cycle. The teams working on the various OpenStack components are distributed throughout the world and hold weekly meetings on IRC, and while you can get a lot of work done on IRC, it’s helpful to have a face-to-face meeting in the middle of a release cycle to touch base about how well development is occurring and to discuss what needs to happen during the time remaining before the release date.

That’s what’s happening at Racksburg this week.

Attendees for the meeting are coming from as far away from Ireland. Companies represented include Rackspace, HP, IBM, Redhat, VMWare, and Johns Hopkins University.

The Glance project handles all virtual machine image cataloging, storage, and data transfer in an OpenStack cloud. It’s also the basis of the Rackspace Cloud Images product.

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Turning It Up to Eleven

The very last song on last week’s Radio Ethiopia was a “power song”: it was the 2048th song played since the debut of Radio Ethiopia on K-RACK on October 3, 2012. So at this point I’ve broadcast exactly 2^11 songs over the internet from Racksburg. (Of course I keep track of this stuff, I’m a computer scientist!)

I know that you’re just dying to know what the other power songs were, so here we go. (The first show was a special Peter Tosh edition, so in one sense his songs are over-represented in the list, but on the other hand, they are very powerful songs, so what the heck.)

power artist title date
0 The Wailers “No Sympathy” 10-3-2012
1 The Wailers “Stop That Train” 10-3-2012
2 The Wailers “400 Years” 10-3-2012
3 Peter Tosh “Sinner Man” 10-3-2012
4 Peter Tosh “Arise Blackman” 10-3-2012
5 Augustus Pablo “Point Blank” 10-17-2012
6 Impact All Stars “Ordinary Version, Chapter 2” 10-24-2012
7 Burning Spear “Farther East of Jack” 11-28-2012
8 The Soul Syndicate “Great Stone” 2-6-2013
9 The Mighty Diamonds “Them Never Love Poor Marcus” 6-5-2013
10 Augustus Pablo “Kid Ralph” 2-16-2014
11 The Mighty Two “War” 7-15-2015

Rackers can listen to Radio Ethiopia (and other great shows) from the comfort and safety of their workstations, Tuesday through Friday. Wednesday is Racksburg Day.

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Goodbye XML!

Goodbye-XML

If you’re a software developer working in the cloud, you’re probably aware that OpenStack (and the cloud industry in general) have moved away from supporting XML APIs. In fact, OpenStack has just eliminated XML support for the Compute v2 API in its latest “Kilo” release. In our quest at Rackspace to be as consistent as possible with upstream OpenStack, we are planning to follow suit. The last day of XML support in the Rackspace public cloud will be July 20, 2015.

But what about all the people who use XML?

There actually aren’t very many. In the Rackspace public cloud, only 0.2% of current Next Generation Cloud Servers API requests either pass XML in the request body or request XML responses.

Remember, we’re only talking about XML usage with the Next Generation Cloud Servers (Compute v2) API. You’re perfectly free to use XML in any other context you like, for example, as a data interchange format for messages sent among your fleet of cloud servers. We’re not making a moral judgement about XML usage, we’re just saying that you’ll no longer be able to pass it in a request body or ask for it as a response format when you communicate with the Rackspace Next Generation Cloud Servers API.

Dang! I’m using XML … what can I do?

If you’re using an SDK …

If you are using a cloud software development kit (SDK), please update it. The latest version should be able to communicate with all OpenStack clouds using the supported JSON serialization format.

If you’re using a custom script …

If you are using a custom script without an SDK, you’ll have to change your script to process JSON instead of XML. We strongly recommend, however, that you change your script to use one of the many available SDKs for various programming languages. The advantage to using an SDK is that it will expose a well-defined interface to your script, thereby making your script easier to maintain. You can find a list of SDKs that you can use to connect to the Rackspace cloud our developers’ website:

https://developer.rackspace.com/sdks/

If you like to do it by hand …

If you prefer to do things by hand, you’ll need to modify your scripts so that instead of sending XML, they’ll send JSON request bodies. The correct format for JSON requests can be found in the Compute API documentation. Be sure that your scripts specify “Content-type: application/json” in the request header.

You’ll also need to change your scripts to parse JSON responses. Again, the response format you can expect can be found in the Compute API documentation. Make sure that your request either contains no “Accept” header, or that it explicitly specifies “Accept: application/json” in the request header.

How easy a transition this will be depends upon what scripting language you are using. Some languages (Python, for example) handle JSON serialization/deserialization much more easily than others. If you need to do a major rewrite of your scripts, we strongly recommend considering using an SDK instead of a “raw” language … it will make upgrades much easier on you.

Could I be using XML without knowing it?

I’ve spoken with a few customers who were making XML requests without knowing it. In some cases, this is because they were using an older version of an SDK that still used XML. The most recent versions of currently maintained OpenStack SDKs don’t use XML, so an upgrade will fix this problem.

Goodbye XML!

In conclusion, mark July 20, 2015 on your calendar as the last day of XML support for the Rackspace Cloud Servers API. If you have questions or comments about this transition, feel free to post a comment in the Compute Feedback Forum.

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