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Friday October 6, 2006

Technical Advisory Board Conference Call Minutes


James Bottomley
Randy Dunlap
Tim Golden
Tom Hanrahan
Gerrit Huizenga
Matt Mackall
Leann Ogasawara
Ted Ts'o
Arjan van de Ven
Chris Wright

Action Items:

    1. OSDL to add Fellowship Fund fequest for TCP Testing to pending
    2. OSDL to post Job Req for Technical Writer
    3. OSDL to provide Tim Golden with information about the Fellowship
    4. James to get back to Tom about Adaptec Boards


    1. Gerrit to address the TAB about OSDL workgroups forming a
       virtualization task force
    2. Tim Golden - LUAC Presentation that was given to the OSDL Board
    3. Review Fellowship Fund Request - TCP Testing
    4. Hardware Lending Library - Adaptec boards
    5. Technical Writer Status
    6. TAB and community support goals for 2007 - 2009

1. Gerrit to address the TAB about OSDL workgroups forming a
virtualization task force

Beginning with some background information. . . . This was originally
presented to the Technical and Marketing Sub-Committee of the OSDL
Board. The initial response from the Sub-Committee was that they felt
this sort of thing would work against what the community wants to
achieve. OSDL doesn't feel that this is the case and has asked Gerrit
to come speak to the TAB to describe the 2 purposes of the task force
and then have James/TAB explain if they feel there still are issues
revolving around this idea or if it would be okay to proceed with
bringing this topic back to the Technical and Marketing Sub-Committee.

The whole notion of creating this task force initially started as an
OSDL DCL activity. There has been some confusion around the broader
member companies and customer space regarding what's going on with
virtualization in general. This is partly due to numerous press
releases and misunderstandings. A request came in for DCL to do
something. A number of proposals had been floated around and this one
has had the most traction. The goal of the task force is 2 fold. Stage
1 - education for the OSDL membership on what is actually happening in
the community in terms of virtualization. This will also be accompanied
by the statement that the task force supports exactly what the community
is doing and has no intention of going around the community. They want
to work with the community. Stage 2 - A White Paper describing how
virtualization gets used further up the stack. This will come as use
cases from vendors and end users. How are they using it today and what
capabilities exist. This will hopefully help prevent mis-set
expectations. To get the widest buy in from the membership, creating a
cross initiative task force with these two objectives needs to be

It was the impression from the Technical and Marketing Sub-Committee
that Stage 1 was already satisfied with 2 article sources being sited
from LWN.net and that these articles would be forwarded to the
appropriate parties needing education. Questions regarding the
thoroughness of the content of these articles were raised. Also, not
everyone knows which sources of information are legitimate. This task
force would then help not only the US members align themselves in the
right direction, but also the Japanese members.

The TAB felt one of the biggest dangers is if OSDL were to give too much
information that is too aggressive. It would look like OSDL is trying
to steer the community, which from past experience, is something they
should not do. The issue of virtualization is volatile and hostile
right now and OSDL should probably not get in the middle of it.
However, it was stated that there is agreement from all the members
involved to help co author this paper as a statement of what they are
doing. This being said, the TAB questioned why their involvement would
be needed. Those members can go ahead and publish this on their own.
The rebuttal was that members felt they'd want this coming from a
neutral body, OSDL. They also want to avoid the paper having any sort
of biased connotation and OSDL provides a neutral venue.

The TAB felt that acting as a neutral venue is something that OSDL can
do but is orthogonal to the task force/initiative being brought forth
today. Again raising the question of why the TAB needs to be involved.
The reason given was that a status report on this very issue was
originally brought to the Technical and Marketing Sub-Committee which
were met with initial objections. In order for this issue to be
re-addressed in front of the Technical and Marketing Sub-Committee, they
need to bring back the revised proposal but also have the support of the
TAB (or at least no objections).

Another question of why all the other initiatives want to be involved
was raised. The answer was that mostly all the initiatives have members
who are dependent on the outcome. Everyone's putting their business
interest in virtualization. The TAB felt it seemed like the right thing
to do there is to leave the initiative stuff out of the main document
and site it elsewhere. There doesn't need to be any reference to any of
the initiatives there, but is a common grounds to work together on.
It's balanced and not strictly authored by just
one member which the broader OSDL membership could then endorse.

The TAB felt it made sense for them to review the document the task
force comes up with to ensure it doesn't misrepresent the community
needs and directions. However, the TAB does not want to endorse the
document. The TAB also felt that OSDL should just act as the
facilitator and conduit for these member companies to come together. It
was also mentioned that possibly putting a draft label on the document
first and sending it to LKML before it's "quote un-quote"
released might be a bridge between community egos so they can put their
input in before an official version is released.

The TAB also felt that those parties involved in Stage 1 should not be
involved in Stage 2, otherwise it's just plain marketing and some
members of the TAB would strongly oppose this sort of action. Stage 2
needs to come from customer usage model feedback; the LUAC type of
perspective. If it's just VMware and Xensource saying here's the cool
ways to use our product, they can do that themselves. Target the areas
that might be recommended to customers, what can be used and where. As
far as the kernel and community, how you use virtualization doesn't
really affect them. The TAB will remain neutral on this idea of a task
force. They will neither support nor object to it. It was then
restated that OSDL membership wants to go through this exercise. At
some level OSDL provides them an opportunity to mutually interact and
benefit. OSDL doesn't need the TAB's full support or endorsement, but
they can't have their objection either.

The TAB reiterated that providing a neutral environment is something
OSDL should be doing. How you use virtualization is out of the TAB's

Tom is going to expedite this back to the Technical and Marketing

2. Tim Golden - LUAC Presentation that was given to the OSDL Board

(Quickly had to run through the slide deck because of time.) The LUAC
is struggling with the changing Linux landscape. They are wanting to
transition to a more interactive advisory council rather than just a
user group which gives presentations from meeting to meeting. They are
the voice of the customer on where to go next. The presentation had to
create a lexicon for some terms (slide 6) and an illustration of those
terms can be found on slide 7. The issue of the end user and ISV's has
changed. The kernel functioning is no longer what's inhibiting adoption
at this point. The pain points are in up-the-stack functionality. It's
the critical pieces linking back to the kernel and other OS components
that enables business applications which are holding back adoption. The
end users need help with the end to end computing stack. The bottom
line is the LUAC wants the OSDL to address more than just the kernel.
They don't expect OSDL to solve the issues themselves but rather be a
guiding force and facilitator to bring the right resources together.
Some of the interviews they made yielded that deployment and integration
issues are slowing the pace of Linux and OSS adoption. Leading and
Mid-Market are already adopting Linux, but the concern is going towards
more integration. Previously, a lot of things the LUAC were focusing on
technically were very binary - in other words either it works or it
doesn't. Now the focus has shifted towards "this needs improvement".
Its important to OSDL because they were focusing on the binary issue
but need to transition. The LUAC also perceived the OSDL goals and
LUAC goals as not being aligned. Slide 11 outlines these subjective
perceptions starting from kernel going all the way up to the IT
community. Slide 12 was that OSDL member companies might impede
effective alignment for their own purposes.

(skipping over EMEA, Japan LUAC slides) Japan is fine with being self
sufficient. EMEA is content with sharing ideas and the North American
LUAC is wanting to get more involved.

(Jump to slide 20) - Conclusions. Helping end users solve use and
deployment issues will revitalize the rate and pace of Linux adoption.
People are more interested in Linux in its ability to host. No one
questions Linux anymore; it's based on the platforms readiness to host a
business solution. The LUAC believes OSDL is uniquely positioned in
helping users solve deployment issues. They realize OSDL can't solve
everything. What success will the OSDL achieve? What are the
ramifications? Also, how should they incorporate feedback from the
LUAC? A key part is the revitalization plan - explains how to continue
to deliver on areas. It tackles issues related to Linux as an end to
end hosting platform, not just focusing on the kernel. Broker resources
that solves the problem - basically put some light on the issue and what
would be a successful outcome. The LUAC wants a to be in a position to
function as an advisory council rather than a user group. A precaution
is that in order for both sides to benefit they all need to come
together at the solution. The LUAC believes OSDL can play a key role in
collaboration for consensus to action. Slide 24 aligns OSDL activities
with end user needs. It took about 3 meetings for the LUAC to come to a
conclusion regarding their dissatisfaction. Some assumptions were being
made that were incorrect about OSDL. They started analysis from the
bottom up - how does OSDL operate, funding model, etc. They need to
create a linkage and have the ability to drive outcome back to value as
it's currently become rather vague. There is a desire to maintain a
close linkage between the LUAC and OSDL work groups as the LUAC wants to
see a more real time collaboration effort. The revitalization plan was
put out there and some challenges that were outlined on slide 26. The
last slide is a specific request of the OSDL board.

The TAB noted that they would be happy to get user feedback from the
LUAC. There is overlapping membership from the TAB and Kernel Summit
Program Committee who would also be interested in getting user feedback.
The trouble is also getting users who are technically inclined enough to
separate out distro issues and actual core kernel issues. There are
multiple forms in which this can be channeled to the community either
via KS or channeled to proper mailing lists. Marrying the right level
of output and the communication vehicle would be a first step. Note
that the input needs to be much more detailed and useful than just "you
should work on virtualization". It was however felt that this would
also tie into the need for more funding and finding developers to
contribute the code. Talk of the Fellowship Fund was brought up. OSDL
to provide Tim with more information on the Fellowship Fund.

If the TAB has any further questions for Tim feel free to send him email
(contact Leann for his address).

3. Review Fellowship Fund Request - TCP Testing

TAB felt this was a reasonable request to add to the pending queue.
Motion was passed to add the TCP Testing Fellowship Fund Request to the
pending queue. Will still need to acquire more donations to go forward
with funding.

4. Hardware Lending Library - Adaptec boards

We have officially started this program. Let Tom know if there is
hardware out there you want him to work on getting. Google is offering
to set us up a hardware environment for the Adaptec boards but James
hasn't secured their complete agreement. Whomever the board goes
to needs to have an appropriate rig. Tom will wait to hear from James
before dispersing the boards.

5. Technical Writer Status

Diane's changes look fine. OSDL will take care of the official posting
externally. Was also asked if this should be sent over LKML as well?
Job postings are typically frowned upon on LKML however this one sort of
falls into the grey area. OSDL will post it first and if any TAB member
thinks it's appropriate to push to LKML they can do so. Leann will send
text file to James once we get the go ahead of posting. The TAB might
want to forward to LWN as well. At some point, OSDL will
make a press release, most likely once the hire is made.

6. TAB and community support goals for 2007 - 2009

OSDL has been working on strategic planning for the next few years.
They want to be sure to keep the TAB involved. They want to open up the
communication with what sorts of programs the TAB wants OSDL to
incorporate into their strategic planning. The TAB felt the charter has
a good initial list of topics. If the tab wants to refine or expand
anything please send email to Tom or use the mailing list.eek October 1, 2006 - October 7, 2006