LinuxFailSafe symposium notes

Alan Robertson alanr at
Mon Apr 3 11:12:01 MDT 2000

Hi Folks!

This email is my summary of what happened at the first ever
LinuxFailSafe symposium which took place on 31 March, 2000.

There were around 25 people attending, representing the
following companies:  SuSE, SGI, Mission Critical Linux,
TurboLinux, VA Linux, Red Hat, Compaq,, Caldera,
Eluminant, WireX, Continental Divide Robotics, and
Lucent Technologies.

Oracle was unable to attend due to scheduling conflicts,
and Alpha Processor was unable to make it due to a snow
storm at the Colorado/New-Mexico border :-(.

We had an excellent showing of people with keen interest
in High-Availability technologies for Linux.

Each participant received a bound copy of the newly-released
LinuxFailSafe Functional Specification and Architecture
document, and SGI's IRIS FailSafe programmer's manual.

The event was hosted by Alan Robertson of SuSE (i.e. "me").
Presentations were made by the following people:

Volker Wiegand, SuSE
	Senior Manager, Strategic Alliances

Alan Robertson, SuSE
	High-Availability Architect

Simon Patience, SGI
	Director - Core Linux

Mayank Vasa, SGI
	MTS and LinuxFailSafe Gatekeeper

Rebecca Underwood, SGI
	Manager, Desktop and Systems Administration Software

Lars Marowsky-Bree, SuSE
	Senior Developer, High-Availability

The following topics were covered:

	Welcome and background: Alan Robertson

	Goals of Open Sourcing: Simon Patience

	Failsafe Functionality and Architecture: Mayank Vasa

	Rhino Infrastructure and LinuxFailSafe GUI:
		Rebecca Underwood

	Open Development Issues: Lars Marowsky-Bree

	Relationships to other Linux-HA projects: Alan R.

	LinuxFailSafe and the Community: Volker Wiegand

The presentations were well-received, and SGI and SuSE
provided attendees got a good background on LinuxFailSafe,
its basic functions and future prospects as an open source
product.  I will post links to the slides for the talks on
the LinuxFailSafe area of the Linux-HA web site as soon as
they are available.

The legal aspects of the port were discussed along with
the features of LinuxFailSafe, current status and missing
features and functions.  Although the hardware shipped
for a demonstration was not available due to a problem
with FedEx, Rebecca Underwood did an excellent job of
explaining the GUI system through a series of artistic
renderings on the large white board in the room.

Lars gave a good overview of what other components we need
to make it a complete system, and I led a discussion on
how LinuxFailSafe might relate to the current heartbeat
project, and Stephen Tweedie's future HA project.

Since I will be leading the SuSE effort to help make
LinuxFailSafe a reality, I will be spending less time on
heartbeat than he had anticipated he might.  However
I also stated that LinuxFailSafe would not make heartbeat
go away any time soon, and that perhaps some of it would be
incorporated into the LinuxFailSafe project.  Mike Wangsmo
of Red Hat was largely noncommittal, stating that Red Hat
currently has an HA plan, and it will be unable to change
it for a while.  Mike also suggested that Stephen Tweedie's
future path was unlikely to be significantly affected by
the introduction of LinuxFailSafe into the Linux community.

I received many positive comments from the attendees about
all aspects of the symposium, and a great deal of support 
and enthusiasm was expressed by nearly every participant.

It appears that the community is very interested in
LinuxFailSafe and it will likely become the standard in the
Linux environment when it becomes available, and I would
anticipate nearly unanimous support for this platform
as the future of High-Availability on Linux.

In addition, I was personally very pleased with the
outcome of the symposium, and felt that it went very well
and had a very positive impact.

You can find these notes and other links on the Linux-HA
web site at:

Thanks to SuSE for agreeing to host this Symposium, and thanks to SGI
for supplying both FailSafe itself and excellent presentations in
support of the community on short notice!

Around six of the attendees also contributed to the HA BOF session at
the CLIQ Linux conference on Saturday as well.

	-- Alan Robertson
	   alanr at

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