FreeBSD Foundation End-of-Year Newsletter (2010)

The FreeBSD Foundation has published its annual End-of-Year Newsletter which contains examples of how they have supported and funded the FreeBSD Project and community in 2010.

Table of contents:

Full newsletter: FreeBSD Foundation end-of year newsletter (2010)

It’s not too late to make a donation to the Foundation for 2010. The Foundation thanks everyone for their support so far and any donations made.

BSD Fund has announced it is contributing $3,600 (twitter @bsdfund)

New FreeBSD Foundation Project: Feed-Forward Clock Synchronization

The FreeBSD Foundation has announced that Julien Ridoux and Darryl Veitch at the University of Melbourne have been awarded a grant to implement support of feed-forward clock synchronization algorithms.

“The Network Time Protocol (NTP) is widely used for synchronization over the network and the ntpd daemon is the current reference synchronization algorithm. The system clock in FreeBSD is currently designed with ntpd in mind, leading to strong feedback coupling between the kernel and the synchronization daemon.

The RADclock is an example of an alternative class of synchronization algorithms based on feed-forward principles. This project will provide the core support for feed-forward algorithms, so that alternatives to ntpd can be developed and tested. The central motivation for this is the strong potential of such approaches for highly robust and accurate synchronization.

Beyond this, virtualization is one of the next major challenges faced by time keeping systems. The current feedback synchronization model is complex and introduces its own dynamics, an approach that is not suited to the requirements of virtualization. Feed-forward based synchronization offers a cleaner and simpler approach, which is capable of providing accurate time keeping over live migration of virtual machines.” (source: FreeBSD Foundation Blog)

If you want to see FreeBSD prosper further in 2011, why not make a donation to the FreeBSD Foundation to help them fund more projects? Currently there are roughly 280 less donors than last year and the Foundation is still $136.000 away from the set $350.000 goal. Any donation, however small will make a difference. (I am not affiliated with the Foundation)

5 new TCP Congestion Control Algorithms Project (FreeBSD Foundation)

The FreeBSD Foundation has announced it is funding the 5 new TCP Congestion Control Algorithms Project:

“The FreeBSD Foundation is pleased to announce that Swinburne University’s Technology’s Centre for Advanced Internet Architectures has been awarded a grant to implement five new TCP congestion control algorithms in FreeBSD.

Correctly functioning congestion control (CC) is crucial to the efficient operation of the Internet and IP networks in general. CC dynamically balances a flow’s throughput against the inferred impact on the network, lowering throughput to protect the network as required.

The FreeBSD operating system’s TCP stack currently utilizes the defacto standard NewReno loss-based CC algorithm, which has known problems coping with many aspects of modern data networks like lossy or large bandwidth/delay paths. There is significant and ongoing work both in the research community and industry to address CC related problems, with a particular focus on TCP because of its ubiquitous deployment and use.

Swinburne University of Technology’s ongoing work with FreeBSD’s TCP stack and congestion control implementation has progressively matured. This project aims to refine their prototypes and integrate them into FreeBSD.

The project will conclude in January 2011.” (source: freebsdfoundation.blogspot.com)

The five protocols are:

If you’d like to see the Foundation fund more of these sort of projects, why not considering making a (small) donation?

This month I will be donating any affiliate commission I receive from Bordeaux Software (run Windows software on FreeBSD / PC-BSD) to the Foundation. If you’d love to use FreeBSD and/or PC-BSD but need to use Windows software as well, incl Microsoft Office, why not buy a copy of Bordeau ($10)?

Colin Percival will be donating his profits from tarsnap.com this month.

FreeBSD Foundation EOY fund-raise drive

The FreeBSD Foundation has kicked off its annual end-of-year fund-raise drive, and is calling happy (Free)BSD users make a small donation to help the FreeBSD Project fund new initiatives, sponsor FreeBSD Conferences, grant travel grants etc.

The Foundation has received some large (corporate) donations already, but the number of last year’s individual donations hasn’t been matched yet. More than half of the £350k goal has been given. If you want and can help, you can donate here (I am not affiliated with the FreeBSD Foundation).

FreeBSD Foundation president Justin Gibbs writes:

As the year is winding down I’m writing this note to remind you of the motivation behind the FreeBSD Foundation’s work, its benefits to you, and to ask for your financial assistance in making our work possible.

Ten years ago, I created the FreeBSD Foundation to repay a debt I owe to the FreeBSD project. While working on FreeBSD I learned the fundamentals of sound software design, how to successfully manage a large code base, and experienced the challenges of release engineering. Beyond the benefits of this education, FreeBSD has provided a robust platform that has allowed me to build several successful commercial products while being well paid to work on an operating system I love.

Today, through my volunteer work with the FreeBSD Foundation, I’m still paying down this debt.

This year, despite the slow pace of the economic recovery, the FreeBSD Foundation has an impressive list of accomplishments:

Provided $100,000 in grants for projects that improve FreeBSD in the areas of:

  • DTrace support
  • High availability storage
  • Enhanced SNMP reporting
  • Virtualization and resource partitioning
  • Embedded device support
  • Networking stack improvements

Allocated $50,000 for equipment to enhance FreeBSD project infrastructure.

Sponsored 8 FreeBSD related conferences.

Funded 16 travel grants giving increased community and developer access to conferences.

Provided legal support to the FreeBSD project.

How do our activities benefit you? If you are a company using FreeBSD, our work to strengthen the FreeBSD community ensures the continued viability of FreeBSD and a large pool of developers to tap into. If you are an end user, our work brings you new features and access to conferences. And if you are a FreeBSD developer, the FreeBSD Foundation is providing the resources needed to make your next innovation possible.

The FreeBSD project thrives through the hard work of our community, but it also requires financial backing. This year we set a fund-raising goal of $350,000. We are pleased to report that we are half way there, but we need your help to reach our goal. Every donation, no matter its size, helps to make our work possible. As a non-profit with very low overhead, your donation is the best way to invest in FreeBSD. Please make that investment today.

Source: FreeBSD Foundation blog

Update on FreeBSD Jail Based Virtualization Project

Bjoern Zeeb has provided a summary regarding the completion of the funded portion of the FreeBSD Jail Based Virtualization Project:

“I am happy to report that the funded parts of the FreeBSD Jail Based Virtualization project are completed. Some of the results have been shipping with 8.1-RELEASE while others are ready to be merged to HEAD.

Jails have been the well known operating system level virtualization technique in FreeBSD for over a decade. The import of Marko Zec’s network stack virtualization has introduced a new way for abstracting subsystems. As part of this project, the abstraction framework has been generalized. Together with Jamie Gritton’s flexible jail configuration syscalls, this will provide the infrastructure for, and will ease the virtualization of, further subsystems without much code duplication. The next subsystems to be virtualized will likely be SYSV/Posix IPC to help, for example, PostgreSQL users. This will probably be followed by the process namespace.”

The full post can be read on the FreeBSD Foundation’s blog: Update on FreeBSD Jail Based Virtualization Project

FreeBSD Foundation turns to NYI.net for East Coast US Mirror

The following is a press release issued by the FreeBSD Foundation and New York Internet; Bill Lessard from nyi.net forwarded this to me.
If you have any FreeBSD related products or services you want to generate interest in, why not contact me
too?

FreeBSD Foundation turns to NYI.net for East Coast US Mirror

Deployment Adds Enterprise-Grade Redundancy for Improved Reliability, Reduced Latency, High-Speed Backups and Other Efficiencies

The FreeBSD Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the FreeBSD Project and community, today announced that NYI, a New York City-based, mission-critical data services provider, will be mirroring key West coast infrastructure at NYI’s 999 Frontier Road data center in Bridgewater, New Jersey, a recently opened 40,000 square foot facility.

In addition to providing enterprise-grade redundancy and reliability for the Project’s infrastructure, the East coast mirror will reduce latency during heavy download times, distribute load between the two coasts, and allow for up-to-date backups of all Project data that can be synchronized via high-speed Internet connections.

“Having a well-connected, secondary site with NYI’s amenities to host FreeBSD project infrastructure means that we can move services between sites when doing scheduled maintenance to improve reliability for FreeBSD developers and users,”

said Simon L. Nielsen, FreeBSD.org administrative team. He added,

“The new site also enables us to expand significantly the available hardware for FreeBSD package building, allowing the FreeBSD ports team to perform QA test builds and quickly produce binary FreeBSD packages for end-users.”

“We are long-time open-source advocates. The FreeBSD Foundation in particular represents everything that got us into technology in the first place. With this deployment, we take our commitment to a new level in the hope that what we are doing lays the foundation for next-generation data centers built around FreeBSD. As many people in the community know, NYI’s 999 Frontier Road facility features many of the Project’s efforts, as everything from PDUs to the servers run FreeBSD.”

said Phillip Koblence, VP Operations, NYI.

The East coast mirror at 999 Frontier is also notable because it replaces aging and inadequate hardware; provides dual-configuration so that experimental vs. production runs can be separated out, allowing changes to the ports system to be evaluated continuously rather the interrupting production flow; deploys to multiple sites, providing resiliency in the event of a failure; provides build capacity required to support the ports ABI changes required to improve the foundations for binary package support while maintaining ports-stable regression testing.

The FreeBSD Foundation is pleased to have been able to fund the purchase of the hardware. Brad Davis, Mark Linimon, and Simon Nielsen from the FreeBSD Project worked on the configuration, along with key members of the NYI team.

About The FreeBSD Foundation
The FreeBSD Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the FreeBSD Project and community. The Foundation gratefully accepts donations from individuals and businesses, using them to fund and manage projects, sponsor FreeBSD events, Developer Summits and provide travel grants to FreeBSD developers. In addition, the Foundation represents the FreeBSD Project in executing contracts, license agreements, and other legal arrangements that require a recognized legal entity. The FreeBSD Foundation is entirely supported by donations. More information about The FreeBSD Foundation is available on the web.

About NYI

Established in 1996, NYI is headquartered in the heart of the Wall Street area and owns and maintains its own data centers, including 999 Frontier, a newly opened 40,000 square foot facility in Bridgewater, New Jersey. The company’s core services include colocation, dedicated servers, web and email hosting, and managed services, as well as turnkey disaster recovery and business continuity solutions from its Bridgewater location. With high-bandwidth connectivity partners AboveNet, Verizon Business, Optimum Lightpath, and AT&T, NYI specializes in mission-critical data services for the financial services industry, in addition to customers from a broad range of industries, including media, law, fashion, architecture, life sciences and real estate. NYI is SAS 70 Type II-compliant, in additon to being both PCI and HIPAA compliant.

FreeBSD events and conferences (KyivBSD, MeetBSD, EuroBSD)

Here is some info and details of upcoming FreeBSD related conferences and events.

KyivBSD 2010 Conference

On 25 Septempter the annual KyivBSD Conference will be held in Kiev, Ukraine. It’s mainly aimed at FreeBSD and PC-BSD users and developers.

More info: http://ru.kyivbsd.org.ua (RU) (EN translation) (via)

BSD-Day 2010

BSD-Day@2010 will be held at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary on 20 November 2010.

The purpose of this one-day event is to gather Central European developers of today’s open-source BSD systems, popularize their work, and provide a real-life communication interface between developers and users. There are no formalities, no papers, and no registration or participation fee, however the invited developers are encouraged to give a talk on their favorite BSD-related topic. The goal is to motivate potential future developers and users, especially undergraduate university students to work with BSD systems.

EuroBSDCon 2010 Travel Grants

The FreeBSD Foundation is now accepting travel grant applications for EuroBSDCon 2010 (Karlsruhe, Germany from October 8-10′. More details: EuroBSDCon 2010 Travel Grants.

For those interested in open source firewalls, there will be a pfSense tuturial at EuroBSDCon 2010.

pfSense is a free, open source customized distribution of FreeBSD tailored for use as a firewall and router. In addition to being a powerful, flexible firewalling and routing platform, it includes a long list of related features and a package system allowing further expandability without adding bloat and potential security vulnerabilities to the base distribution.

MeetBSD 2010 (California)

Registration is now open for MeetBSD 2010 (Mountain View, California, 5-6 November): www.meetbsd.com

NYCBUG presentation

Ivan Ivanov presented “Examples in Cryptography with OpenSSL”. Download/listen the MP3.

Usenix Security Symposium 2010 (Capsicum)

Robert Watson will present Capsicum (coming in FreeBSD 9.0) at Usenix Security Symposium.

Capsicum is a lightweight operating system capability and sandbox framework planned for inclusion in FreeBSD 9. Capsicum extends, rather than replaces, UNIX APIs, providing new kernel primitives (sandboxed capability mode and capabilities) and a userspace sandbox API. These tools support compartmentalisation of monolithic UNIX applications into logical applications, an increasingly common goal supported poorly by discretionary and mandatory access control. We demonstrate our approach by adapting core FreeBSD utilities and Google’s Chromium web browser to use Capsicum primitives, and compare the complexity and robustness of Capsicum with other sandboxing techniques.

These and other conferences can be found on my FreeBSD Events and Conferences Calandar.

FreeBSD foundation newsletter – July 2010

The FreeBSD Foundation has published their semi-anual newsletter with updates on projects receiving support and funding, their donation goal for 2010 and how FreeBSD and commercial vendors can co-operate.