Gluster Community Profile: Louis ‘Semiosis’ Zuckerman

Our 3rd and final community profile features Louis ‘Semiosis’ Zuckerman. Semiosis maintains a repository of GlusterFS binaries for Ubuntu on Launchpad.net. While he came in 2nd in the contest based on his contributions on our Community Q&A forums, many of you may know him from his participation on #gluster on Freenode.

Louis 'Semiosis' Zuckerman

The following is an exchange I had with him a few weeks ago.

Q&A with Louis Zuckerman

How long have you used GlusterFS?

Since November 2010, glusterfs version 3.1.1.

What was it that led you to try it?

I wanted to move my production network from dedicated hosting to EC2.  The biggest hurdle was figuring out how to replace a hardware RAID array NFS server with EBS storage in the AWS cloud.  I needed more capacity than a single EBS volume, and more performance & reliability than any single-server solution could provide.  I was also constrained by my application’s requirement for a POSIX-compliant mounted filesystem.  After reviewing every distributed filesystem I could find, GlusterFS turned out to be a perfect match for my needs across the board, from its technical capabilities and open source license, to the availability of both community and commercial support.

What should everyone know about your participation in the GlusterFS community (if they don’t know already)

I’m co-maintainer, with Patrick Matthaei, of the Debian project’s GlusterFS packages.  I also independently maintain Ubuntu packages of the latest 3.1, 3.2 & 3.3 series versions of GlusterFS.  I publish these packages to Launchpad PPAs, making both client/server and pure-client binary packages publicly available for Ubuntu i386 and amd64 architectures.

I discovered & solved a bug which prevented mounting local glusterfs volumes at boot on Ubuntu, and contributed the solution (an upstart job) to Gluster for inclusion in future versions.  I also provide Ubuntu packages that include the new upstart job (instead of an initscript) for glusterd in separate PPAs.

https://launchpad.net/~semiosis

I participated in the first Ubuntu Cloud Days event, giving a presentation called “Scaling shared-storage web apps in the cloud with Ubuntu & GlusterFS.”  In this tutorial I introduced glusterfs and outlined the concepts and techniques involved in managing a glusterfs storage cluster, paying special attention to the opportunities & issues which arise specifically from running glusterfs in EC2.

I’m one of the few regulars in the gluster IRC channel with experience running glusterfs in production on either EC2 or Ubuntu, and maybe the only one using them all together.

I’m semiosis on Freenode IRC #gluster, community.gluster.orglaunchpad.net@pragmaticism on twitter

Why do you participate in the Gluster community?

When I started using glusterfs there was minimal support for Debian & Ubuntu from Gluster or from the community.  The Debian project’s glusterfs packages were broken and the Ubuntu project’s packages were very outdated.  The official packages for Debian & Ubuntu provided by Gluster were only for amd64 and included the full client/server installation; no i386 or pure-client packages were available.  As a result of this situation, and my need for such packages, I set out to build my own to solve the problem.  Contributing my work back to the community seemed like the right thing to do because if I needed these packages, then others surely did as well.

I participate in the gluster IRC channel because when I was starting out with glusterfs I learned a ton by asking questions there, and also from reading the chat logs, and like to give back in kind.  Last but not least, I enjoy sharing my knowledge & experience, and learn a lot by helping & observing others troubleshoot their glusterfs installations.

What was a Gluster Community Moment ™ that you’ll never forget?

The earliest was when Debian & Ubuntu developer Al Stone (ahs3) appeared in the gluster IRC channel to thank me for my packaging work bringing current versions of glusterfs to the Ubuntu i386 architecture.

Bonus: Other than yourself, who’s your favorite Gluster community member, and why?

I appreciate all of the community members I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with on IRC and would have a hard time choosing a favorite.  Each of us has a unique background & skill set we bring to the community and I enjoy that diversity.  However having said that, if I had to pick one, I would say glusterbot because he’s never wrong.

[editor: glusterbot!]

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