Berthold Gunreben is a Build Service Engineer at SUSE in Germany. He has 14 years of professional experience in Linux and is responsible for the administration of the Mainframe system at SUSE. Besides his expertise with Linux on System z, he is also a Mainframe System Specialist certified by the European Mainframe Academy. Berthold recently joined the ITSO in Poughkeepsie, NY where he worked on updating the soon to be released IBM Redbooks publication, The Virtualization Cookbook for z/VM 6.3, RHEL 6.4 and SLES 11 SP3, SG24-8147.
In June 2013, I was part of the Virtualization Cookbook residency. Now that the residency is over, I can almost not believe four weeks could go by that fast. A lot of things happened since. When we started with the residency, besides the IBM folks there were three people new to writing on redbooks: Filipe Miranda from Red Hat, Daniel Ruutz as a customer from Australia and myself from SUSE. Of course it was interesting to see if we would be working together or if this would be
more like a competition.
I really have to say, I enjoyed the residency. And I believe the same holds true for the other members of the residency. In other words, we really worked well togehter. The common goal that we found for us was to make this the best virtualization cookbook ever.
Now you might think, why on earth would some company like SUSE sponsor IBM in sending people there to write on a documentation? And the answer
is quite easy: it is about our customers. We want to give our customers a better experience of the product and allow for a quick start on the system.
Obviously the leads of the residency also had their own opinion what we should do, and therefore I ended up in reviewing, updating, and adding
to all kinds of SLES related things. For example, although I personally never liked cloning, I was also given that chapter for SLES along with
a new chapter for AutoYaST2 and KIWI. I however also got the freedom to do major changes whereever I thought I needed to. For example, I
remodeled the cloning procedure in a way, that an image would take some needed information from a CMS file instead of editing the target system
during the cloning. The very same method is also now used to modify a KIWI image during the first startup.
This almost immediately paid off. Yesterday, I had a call with a customer, who wanted exactly this kind of problem being solved. So,
although I did not like cloning so much, it was good to listen to the project leads, and to listen to the customers to make both, the project
and the customers succeed.
I want to say a big thank you to some IBM folks. For one the residency team with Lydia Parziale, Michael MacIsaac, and Marian Gasparovic. Then
there is a number of IBM technicians, editors, and a graphic designer, that really have been helpful or even still have to go through our
things right now. Unfortunately, I do not know the full names of these (Ed. note: Roy Costa, Ella Buslovic, Al Schwaab) but support from the IBM team has been phenomenal.
One special thanks goes to Gary Fisher who showed us the testlab. He is one of the people who really sparkles with enthusiasm. The lab was very
impressive, and we probably could have spent some more time in there.
I hope that SUSE will send some people to these residencies more often. It was kind of hard to catch up all the work, that had been added by
Red Hat in recent years. It will me take some time to go through the z/VM part on my own now, to really take all the possible advantage.
Still, this was really a huge thing to me, and I also believe our efforts resulted in the best virtualization cookbook ever.