Utility Operating System

Problem Statement:

azad client needed a utility operating system to provision storage resources for virtual machine hypervisors in a high-density managed server environment.  Requirements expanded through the course of the project, eventually including several capabilities not originally anticipated.

azad Approach & Solution:

The azad consultant created following high-level requirements for the project

  • In order to minimize project development time and the size of the finished ISO image, the project must leverage the client’s existing “Linux From Scratch” infrastructure used in a different part of the program.
  • To essentially eliminate any risk that this project would adversely impact the pre-existing build infrastructure, this project must add to that infrastructure without disturbing it in any way other than renaming a few key files to make the names clearly identify whether they are for the pre-existing infrastructure or the new project.
  • Project must be integrated with and deployable in cooperation with the existing infrastructure.  Software component packages are compiled only once, though the resulting binaries are used in both RAM disk images.
  • Project must be capable of not only the present provisioning task, but it must be able to be enhanced to perform future tasks.
  • Project must remain consistent with the pre-existing infrastructure in case a need arises to migrate functionality from the project back into the pre-existing infrastructure.

azad Consultant worked with internal and external team members and contributors distributed in different locations and countries to meet the above high-level requirements and to define the types and extents of the low-level capabilities needed for the project, including disk partitioning, file system creation, a Linux clustering stack and clustered LVM.  Also, the azad consultant brought the necessary software components into the project’s build environment and integrated them together, adapting the project as low-level requirements evolved.

Tangible Outcome:

The azad client now has a Linux-based utility operating system in an ISO image smaller than 30MB that successfully accomplishes the task at hand and can be enhanced to perform additional tasks that may be defined in the future. Also, because the new project is coherent with the pre-existing “Linux From Scratch” infrastructure, components of this project could be ported back to the original infrastructure if that is needed.

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