In case you’ve missed it on Insights we’ve made some updates to the Juju Charm Championship.

First off we’ve added three new categories, Continuous Deployment, Media, and Telco. That brings the total amount of categories up to six, for a total of USD $60,0000 in prizes, with bonus prizes to charm maintainers whose charms are used in winning bundles.

Here’s all the categories

  • NEW! Continuous deployment – a bundle of charms that allows startups to be immediately productive, continually launch new features, and scale effortlessly
  • NEW! Media – a bundle of charms that brings value to media content providers, distributors, and associated mass medium technologies
  • NEW! Telco – a bundle of charms that brings value to telecommunications service providers and telecommunications infrastructure
  • High Availability – a bundle of charms for HA-enabled services to accomplish a task
  • Data science/mining – a bundle of charms for data mining and “big data” analysis
  • Monitoring – a bundle of charms that enables new monitoring solutions for existing services

And here’s what we’re looking for

In each category, we’re looking for a charm bundle that really innovates, bringing simplicity and speed to an otherwise complex task. A high quality bundle will reflect best practices of services that run in production and solve “infrastructure gunk” and solve real world problems. The great thing about a charm bundle is that it can then be shared with the community and re-used anywhere, by anyone. That means the smallest start-up can benefit from the same easy deployment as the biggest companies. It’s out-of-the-box infrastructure deployment.

Here’s what a simple bundle looks like. In this example of a Rails application we’ve connected Logstash logging and Nagios monitoring to the application and added a PostgreSQL database.

This is an exciting time in the cloud, we’re moving beyond “here’s a box of Legos, Good luck!” to prebuilt “kits” from shared sophisticated devops to the rest of the community. We believe that raising the high water mark for infrastructure is something that is useful for everyone, from startups to well established enterprises.

Over the next few weeks we’ll announce more of our judges in each category, we’re looking forward to seeing how people solve infrastructure problems.

It’s been a few months since I made the call to fight for our watercooler, to be in charge of our own discussion platform on the web.

Since then there’s been a ton of changes, and about a month since Mark asked what’s keeping the site from being official. Well, we’re getting there, tonight we upgraded to the latest version of Discourse, fresh from trunk, and we had a very productive session at UDS about Discourse.

We’ve decided to push for launching what has been known as “” as “”. Now, we’re not there yet, but the charm is coming along, and we’re getting close to being able to hand off the charm off to Canonical IS for deployment. Of course, there will be vigorous peer review and gnashing of teeth, but hey, that’s life in the big city.

In the meantime, the site is getting quite awesome. I encourage you to continue to provide content and give us feedback:

Over the next 2 months we’ll be working to make the site go live, and the WordPress and mailing list features will enable us to integrate with other parts of the project like we’ve never been able to before (YAY FREE SOFTWARE).

I’m also looking for volunteers. I’m looking for people to help out with the charm, and I’m looking for people who know Rails and Ruby to help tighten up our plugins and oneboxes. Please let me know if you want to help out.

You can see the full maintenance report here, tomorrow I will post on how we used Juju to make this window smaller than it’s ever been, and how the maturity of the charm will now allow us to stay closer to upstream with nearly zero downtime.

One of the coolest thing Juju does is deploy instances right on your laptop via LXC containers. This is nice because we reuse the same exact cloud image you’d use in Amazon, HP Cloud, Azure, or any other cloud, but configured on your local laptop so you can mirror what your production environment would look like. This also can save you quite a bit of money.

We had a tutorial charm school on how to use the local provider, hope you enjoy it!

Direct link

I’ve been fortunate to be selected as a speaker for the Ohio LinuxFest 2013!

On Friday I will be participating in the UbuCon. There’s a ton of great talks lined up, mine will be “How to Use Ask Ubuntu Effectively to Get Help”, where I’ll be talking about some techniques on user support.

Then for the main show I’ll be giving “Service Orchestration in the Cloud with Juju in Ubuntu” which takes place at 5pm on Saturday. I’ll be showing off some of the advances we’ve made in getting your apps deployed on the cloud as quickly and easily as possible.

And that’s not all for the Midwest. Make sure you catch Jono Bacon’s “Building a Convergent Future with Ubuntu”, which is also on Saturday at 10am.

Hope to see you all there!

General Info:


  • Charm Contest about 50% through, (ends Oct 1.)
  • Juju in OSX client officially in Homebrew (Thanks Rodrigo)
  • also be able to get development versions landing soon in the brew receipe
  • Also an opportunity to leverage Juju in the Netflix Cloud Prize
  • New charm school schedule posted, charm school this Friday – getting started with the local provider


Charm Tools:

  • charm create gives you a working charm, previous failed charm lint
  • gives example of every hooks available,
  • config.yaml example – types of config options
  • one other update
  • Also working on full Python port

Charm Helpers

  • Merge proposal for a programable API to use helpers with other languages.
  • from wedgwood


  • Just about ready for 1.0
    • Release this week!
  • ReadMe has doc updates

Jenkins Testing

  • Need a review of the current status of charms after Jenkins being down.


  • Restructuring in progress.
  • Incoming contributions.
  • Merge landing later on today
    • Improved instructions on how to add pages, and set up local docs.
  • image id types to come back to the docs once it is added back to juju-core (1.13 >)
  • Suggestion for charm author docs to be added to in addition to
  • New core features that need docs:
    • Local provider
    • Debug Hooks
    • deploy –to
    • –constraints
  • Need to evaluate old docs “drafts” and see what needs to come forward.
  • Marco explained what cpu-power constraint does, not documented, Jorge to talk to core about documenting providers.
  • jamespage says we should do /docs and “/next/docs”, overall agreement that this is a good idea

Bundles and Deployer

Charm Updates


  • OhioLinuxFest Juju talk!
  • vUDS - Aug 27-29

Charm Championship!!! \o/


  • [marco] upgrades video (I missed another week): INPROGRESS
  • [pavel] email list on continuous deployment story using Rails charm: INPROGRESS
    • [arosales, m_3] To get feedback to pavel: INPROGRESS
  • [evilnick] Charm Author docs structure: INPROGRESS
  • [marco] amulet sentry integration: DONE
  • [nick] Add local provider getting started docs: TODO
  • [pavel] Work on amulet integration testing: TODO
  • [pavel] Start investigating how to do backup in Rails: DEFERRED
    • in github branch atm.
  • [jorge] Confirm HP install instructions: DONE, updated AU, filed bug for docs.
  • [evilnick] Confirm header situration. Specifically, duplicaton of the navigatoin in each page: DONE
  • [marco] Mail list on Amulet instructions, and general information: TODO
  • [jorge] To identify draft pages in docs: INPROGRESS
  • [m_3] Final review for the Rack charm to go into the Store: INPROGRESS
  • [m_3] Confirm ruby conf submission: INPROGRESS
  • [jorge] Update Charm School list on DONE
  • [marco] Charm Tools port to full python: INPROGRESS
  • [jorge] Openstack bundle deployment thing from jamespage.

Thanks to Rodrigo Chacon OSX users can now install Juju via Homebrew:

brew install juju

And then deploy to your heart’s content. Figuring out Juju? Well, as you learn you should think about submitting to the Juju Charm Championship, where we’re giving away over $30k in prizes to people/organizations who want to share their infrastructure expertise with the community.

What is Juju? Juju is an orchestration tool to get your services and code from your laptop to your cloud as fast and easy as possible. We’ve got over 130 services ready for you to deploy either via the CLI tool or the Juju GUI, which you can deploy on your own cloud too. We have common infrastructure charms, or just deploy right from github via our Rack and node.js charms.

Juju also deploys what we call “micro clouds” on your laptop via LXC containers – this allows you to test your application on your laptop just as if it was deployed on AWS/HP Cloud/OpenStack.

Here’s a small deployment of Wordpress on a single node, or you can check out how to deploy OpenStack graphically via the Juju GUI.

Prentice Hall has just released the 3rd Ed. of “The Official Ubuntu Server Book” authored by my friends Kyle Rankin and Benjamin Mako Hill. As background, the 2nd Ed. published in 2010 and the book has since been updated to remain as the definitive, authoritative guide to getting up and running quickly with the newest, most powerful versions of Ubuntu Server. You can skim the complete Table of Contents and read a free sample chapter, #3, “Package Management”, here on the publisher site:

Prentice Hall will be pleased to ship approved LoCo teams each (1) free copy of this new edition. This will be a great addition to each team’s library of Ubuntu books! To keep this as simple as possible, you can request your book by following these steps. The team contact shown on our LoCo Team List (and only the team contact) should send an email to and include the following details:

  • Your full name.
  • Which team you are from
  • If your team resides within North America, please provide:
    • Your complete street address (the book will ship by UPS)
  • If your team resides outside North America, you will first be emailed a voucher code to download the complete eBook bundle from the publisher site, InformIT, which includes the ePub/mobi/pdf files.

If you wish to be considered for a print copy, please provide:

  • Your complete street address, region, country AND IMPORTANT: Your phone number, including country and area code. (Pearson will make its best effort to arrange shipment through its nearest corporate office.)

A few notes:

  • Only approved teams are eligible for a free copy of the book.
  • Only the team contact for each team (shown on this page) can make the request for the book.
  • There is a limit of (1) copy of each book per approved team.
  • Prentice Hall will cover postage, but not any import tax or other shipping fees.
  • When you have the books, it is up to you what you do with them. We recommend you share them between members of the team. LoCo Leaders: please don’t hog them for yourselves!

  • The deadline for getting your requests in SEPTEMBER 15, 2013.

If you have any questions or concerns, please directly contact Prentice Hall’s Heather Fox at heather DOT fox @ pearson DOT com. Also, for those teams who are not approved or yet to be approved, you can still score a rather nice 35% discount on the books by registering your LoCo with the Pearson User Group Program.

General Info:


  • Halfway through Charm Charmpionship
  • We now have debug-hooks!
  • Improvements to the local provider
  • 1.12 stable in ppa:juju/stable ppa
  • 1.13.1 development release in ppa:/juju/devel



  • In progress, and when Marco returns there will be more info and details on how to run and purpose of project.


  • No updates


  • No updates


  • Nick is off today
  • Feedback from -core to improve docs
    • Improve “the first 30 minute” experience
    • Includes improvements to front page
    • Draft pages from old-docs need review to see if they are appropriate to new docs.
  • Figure out the header situation. Specifically, duplicaton of the navigatoin in each page.
  • Update/Confirm instructions
  • General meeting on the docs experience including UX tsting

Charm updates

  • Recently Changed
  • New Rack Charm, more details on this charming coming (list and blog post).
  • Review queue down to 5 items – thanks m_3 and marcoceppi
  • New MapR charm, in review atm.
  • New charm: charybdis IRC server
  • bittornado had some fixes
  • minor Wordpress updates
  • sidnei experimenting with using “evahi” subordiante charm
  • Good fixes


  • Planning has begun for the OpenStack Summit Hong Kong
  • AWS re:Invent
  • Lisa
  • CFP due for Ruby conf at the end of August (m_3)
  • MongoSV this fall/winter

Charm Championship!!! \o/


  • [jorge] Blog about –to: DONE
  • [jorge] Ask Forum moderators to put Juju/Cloud section on the front page: DONE
  • [marco] upgrades video (I missed another week): INPROGRESS
  • [pavel] email list on continuous deployment story using Rails charm: INPROGRESS,
    • [arosales, m_3] To get feedback to pavel: INPROGRESS
  • [evilnick] Charm Author docs structure: INPROGRESS
  • [marco] amulet sentry integration: INPROGRESS
  • [nick] Add local provider getting started docs: TODO
  • [pavel] Work on amulet integration testing: TODO
  • [pavel] Start investigating how to do backup in Rails: TODO
    • in github branch atm.
  • [jorge] Confirm HP install instructoins: TODO
  • [evilnick] Confirm header situration. Specifically, duplicaton of the navigatoin in each page: TODO
  • [marco] Mail list on Amulet instructions, and general information
  • [jorge] To identify draft pages in docs: TODO
  • [m_3] Final review for the Rack charm to go into the Store
  • [m_3] Confirm ruby conf submission
  • [jorge] Update Charm School

I’ve talked in the past about The Way to Run Wordpress in the Cloud. It looked like this:

juju deploy wordpress
juju deploy mysql
juju add-relation wordpress mysql
juju expose wordpress

But the problem with building tools that scale up is that we sometimes forget that people like to scale down too. Counting the bootstrap node that comes out to 3 instances. We default to m1.smalls so that comes out to about about $133 a month for an on-demand WordPress blog. Not very cost effective.

As of Juju 1.11.3 and newer, we can now deploy services to the same instance. How we express this is via the juju deploy --to command. Let’s look at our WordPress example again, this time, let’s save some money and run the entire thing on one node.

juju bootstrap
juju deploy --to 0 wordpress
juju deploy --to 0 mysql
juju add-relation wordpress mysql
juju expose wordpress

Then run a quick juju status to get the public IP of your WordPress installation, and you’re done. On reserved instances that comes down to $61 a year, or $5.08 a month! Commit to three years on AWS and it’s closer to $2.65 a month. Now we’re talking, just don’t forget to add the cost of bandwidth in there.

So what’s the big deal? Running these things on one instance isn’t exactly rocket science. Well ok. Your twitter moment has arrived and now you need to scale your blog. You need on-demand scalability:

 juju add-unit wordpress

Without the --to juju fires up a new instance of wordpress to help you scale. How famous is your new blog post? juju add-unit -n4 wordpress will fire up another 4. Now let’s scale back down, let’s remove units 3 and 4:

juju remove-unit wordpress/4
juju remove-unit wordpress/3

This brings us down back to nodes 0, 1, and 2 running. Keep on going until you’re back to just node 0 running everything. Start on one instance and be able to scale up and down based on traffic. Not bad indeed!

You’re not just getting some out of the box vanilla WordPress and MySQL either. You’re getting a battle-hardened scalable WordPress deployment that’s tuned to scale with nginx. If you want to turn the crank to 11 you can also deploy memcached with it for a really fast blog.

Some caveats; while this works with WordPress right now the individual charms are running on the raw instance, they are NOT in containers yet! That is, if you deploy multiple charms to one box they might collide and stomp on each other. So play with it, but I recommend waiting until the next release of Juju (next month) for containers to land so we have a nice clean seperation of the units on the instance. Work on that continues, along with adding this ability to the GUI. However WordPress works today!

In the meantime here’s how to Get Started with Juju. Happy Orchestrating!