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Learn About the RISC-V ISA with Two Free Training Courses from The Linux Foundation and RISC-V International

The online courses are offered on edX.org and will make RISC-V training more accessible

SAN FRANCISCO – EMBEDDED WORLD – March 2, 2021The Linux Foundation, the non-profit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, and RISC-V International, a non-profit corporation controlled by its members to drive the adoption and implementation of the free and open RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA), have announced the release of two new free online training courses to help individuals get started with the RISC-V ISA. The courses are available on edX.org, the online learning platform founded by Harvard and MIT. 

“RISC-V International is committed to providing opportunities for people to gain a deeper understanding of the RISC-V ISA and expand their skills,” shared Calista Redmond, CEO, RISC-V International. “These courses will allow everyone to build deeper technical insight, learn more about the benefits of open collaboration, and engage with RISC-V for design freedom.”

With the recent market momentum of RISC-V cores, systems-on-chips (SoCs), developer boards, and software and tools across computing from embedded to enterprise, there is a strong community need to empower individuals who understand how to implement and utilize  RISC-V. In order to help meet that demand, The Linux Foundation and RISC-V International designed these free online courses to significantly reduce the barrier to entry for those interested in gaining RISC-V skills.

The first course, Introduction to RISC-V (LFD110x), guides participants through the various aspects of understanding the RISC-V ecosystem, RISC-V International, the RISC-V specifications, how to curate and develop RISC-V specifications, and the technical aspects of working with RISC-V both as a developer and end-user. The course provides the foundational knowledge needed to effectively engage in the RISC-V community, contribute to the ISA specifications, and develop a wide range of RISC-V software and hardware projects. Introduction to RISC-V was developed by Jeffrey “Jefro” Osier-Mixon, program manager for RISC-V International, and Stephano Cetola, technical program manager for RISC-V International. 

The second course, Building a RISC-V CPU Core (LFD111x), focuses on digital logic design and basic central processing unit (CPU) microarchitecture. Using the Makerchip online integrated development environment (IDE), participants will implement technologies ranging from logic gates to a simple and complete RISC-V CPU core. The class will allow participants to familiarize themselves with a variety of emerging technologies supporting an open source hardware ecosystem, including RISC-V, transaction-level verilog, and the online Makerchip IDE. Building a RISC-V CPU Core was developed by Steve Hoover, founder of Redwood EDA.

Enrollment is now open for Introduction to RISC-V and Building a RISC-V CPU Core. Auditing each course through edX is free for seven weeks, or you can opt for a paid verified certificate of completion, which provides access to the course for a full year and additional assessments and content to deepen their learning experience. 

About  RISC-V International

RISC-V is a free and open ISA enabling a new era of processor innovation through open collaboration. Founded in 2015, RISC-V International is composed of more than 1,200 members building the first open, collaborative community of software and hardware innovators powering a new era of processor innovation. The RISC-V ISA delivers a new level of free, extensible software and hardware freedom on architecture, paving the way for the next 50 years of computing design and innovation.

RISC-V International, a non-profit organization controlled by its members, directs the future development and drives the adoption of the RISC-V ISA. Members of RISC-V International have access to and participate in the development of the RISC-V ISA specifications and related HW / SW ecosystem. 

About the Linux Foundation

Founded in 2000, the Linux Foundation is supported by more than 1,000 members and is the world’s leading home for collaboration on open source software, open standards, open data, and open hardware. Linux Foundation’s projects are critical to the world’s infrastructure including Linux, Kubernetes, Node.js, and more. The Linux Foundation’s methodology focuses on leveraging best practices and addressing the needs of contributors, users and solution providers to create sustainable models for open collaboration. For more information, please visit us at linuxfoundation.org.

The Linux Foundation has registered trademarks and uses trademarks. For a list of trademarks of The Linux Foundation, please see its trademark usage page: www.linuxfoundation.org/trademark-usage. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds.

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The post Learn About the RISC-V ISA with Two Free Training Courses from The Linux Foundation and RISC-V International appeared first on Linux Foundation – Training.

Top Sysadmin content February 2021

Top Sysadmin content February 2021

Be sure to catch up on all of our best content from the last month.
tcarriga
Mon, 3/1/2021 at 8:46pm

Image

Photo by Pexels

Even though it was a short month, February of 2021 was another great month for the Enable Sysadmin community. We generated 29 articles from 20 different authors; generating over 475k pageviews and bringing in more than 325k unique visitors. It was also a great month for some of our older content.

In this month’s top content, you’ll find topics ranging from Ansible automation and reboot modules to cryptography and career advice. No matter your role or skill level, there is sure to be something of interest to you, so enjoy it.

Topics:  
Linux  
Read More at Enable Sysadmin

Here Is How To Create A Clean, Resilient Electrical Grid (Forbes)

Erik Kobayashi-Solomon writes at Forbes:

One leading thinker in the Grid Evolution space, Dr. Shuli Goodman, believes that the success of Linux to transform the tech world can and should be applied to next-generation electrical grids.

Dr. Goodman is the executive director of LF Energy, a young offshoot of the Linux Foundation (“LF”) that partners with prominent organizations to develop open-source software for utilities and grid operators to instantaneously understand and manage various new pools of energy supply (e.g. renewables, batteries, etc.). This software offers a single, common reference code base that all organizations can use as a base to build its own customized solutions. The advantage of the LF Energy approach is standardization and, more crucially, speed of implementation.

At this point, you may be asking the same question I asked Dr. Goodman: “Why do utilities and grid operators need software to run things anyway?”

The fact is that they never did. Back in the “good ole days” utilities were “communicating” with their customers in the same way someone with a megaphone communicates with an audience – shouting unidirectionally all the time. In this model, there is no room for complex multidirectional signals or need for software to manage the communication process.

Contrast that with the model that LF Energy is pioneering which, in our communication analogy, would be more similar to an Internet chat room than the old megaphone model. In an evolved, modern system, all parties are able to communicate bidirectionally in real-time with every other party.

Read more at Forbes

State of FinOps 2021 Report Shows Massive Growth in Cloud Financial Management

Teams working with FinOps, the field of cloud financial management, are expected to grow 40% in 2021 according to a new report from the FinOps Foundation, a Linux Foundation non-profit trade association focused on codifying and promoting cloud financial management best practices and standards. The survey of over 800 FinOps practitioners – with a collective $30+ billion in annual cloud spend – underscores the need for more education around how to manage cloud finances.

Key survey findings include:

  • Nearly half of survey respondents (49%) had little or no automation of managing cloud spend—one of the core disciplines of a FinOps practice. 
  • Of those with some automation, almost one-third rely only on automated notifications (31%) and tagging hygiene (29%); only 13% automated rightsizing and 9% spot use, which indicates that companies are likely missing opportunities to optimize cloud spend.  
  • Half of compute spend on public cloud was for on-demand, the highest-price service, and 49% for reserved, savings or committed use coverage, the next costliest option. Only 13% was for spot use, the least expensive service, even though respondents identified 28% as being an “excellent” target for that option.
  • Getting engineers to act on cost optimization was cited by 40% of respondents as the biggest challenge, followed by dealing with shared costs (33%) and accurate forecasting spend (26%).
  • Just 15% of respondents said their FinOps practice was in the “run” phase of maturity, meaning they can continually improve a built out practice. Four in 10 firms are in the “walk” phase, with core processes running but with much maturing remaining, and 44% are in the  “crawl” phase and just getting to basics.

There are resources to help. Those who are directly involved with or responsible for cloud spend should also consider advanced training and certification. The FinOps Certification Practitioner exam allows individuals in a large variety of cloud, finance and technology roles to validate their FinOps knowledge and enhance their professional credibility by testing them on FinOps fundamentals and an overview of key concepts in each of the three sections of the FinOps lifecycle: Inform, Optimize and Operate. Instructor-led and online training options are available to help gain the skills necessary to succeed in a role managing cloud finances, and to be prepared to pass the exam.

For total newbies – whether they be technical professionals (IT, DevOps, engineers, architects), finance, procurement, and accounting professionals, business unit or product managers, or executives – the FinOps Foundation partnered with Linux Foundation Training & Certification to offer a free Introduction to FinOps self-paced, online training course. This is a great resource for your whole organization to learn the benefits of implementing FinOps best practices, and the dangers of ignoring cloud spend.

As cloud usage continues to accelerate and costs increase, skills managing these costs are paramount. Gaining the necessary education to do so can help your organization manage cloud spend more efficiently, and also give you an in demand skill set that will benefit your career into the future.

The post State of FinOps 2021 Report Shows Massive Growth in Cloud Financial Management appeared first on Linux Foundation – Training.

KubeEdge: Reliable Connectivity Between The Cloud & Edge

KubeEdge is an open source project that originated at Huawei and contributed to CNCF. The project is created for extending containerized application orchestration capabilities to hosts at the edge. It is built on top of Kubernetes and provides infrastructure support for network, application deployment, and metadata synchronization between the cloud and the edge. We sat down with Zefeng Wang (Kevin), Lead of Cloud Native Open Source Team at Huawei, to learn more about the project.

Review of Three Hyperledger Tools – Caliper, Cello and Avalon

By Matt Zand

Recap

In our previous article (Review of Five popular Hyperledger DLTs- Fabric, Besu, Sawtooth, Iroha and Indy), we discussed the following Hyperledger Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLTs).

  1. Hyperledger Indy
  2. Hyperledger Fabric
  3. Hyperledger Iroha
  4. Hyperledger Sawtooth
  5. Hyperledger Besu

To continue our journey, in this article we discuss three Hyperledger tools (Hyperledger Caliper, Cello and Avalon) that act as great accessories for any of Hyperledger DLTs. It is worth mentioning that, as of this writing, all of three tools discussed in this article are at the incubation stage.

Hyperledger Caliper

Caliper is a benchmarking tool for measuring blockchain performance and is written in JavaScript. It utilizes the following four performance indicators: success rate, Transactions Per Second (or transaction throughput), transaction latency, and resource utilization. Specifically, it is designed to perform benchmarks on a deployed smart contract, enabling the analysis of said four indicators on a blockchain network while smart contract is being used.

Caliper is a unique general tool and has become a useful reference for enterprises to measure the performance of their distributed ledgers. The Caliper project will be one of the most important tools to use along with other Hyperledger projects (even in Quorum or Ethereum projects since it also supports those types of blockchains). It offers different connectors to various blockchains, which gives it greater power and usability. Likewise, based on its documentation, Caliper is ideal for:

  • Application developers interested in running performance tests for their smart contracts
  • System architects interested in investigating resource constraints during test loads

To better understand how Caliper works, one should start with its architecture. Specifically, to use it, a user should start with defining the following configuration files:

  • benchmark file defining the arguments of a benchmark workload
  • blockchain file specifying the necessary information, which helps to interact with the system being tested
  • Smart contracts defining what contracts are going to be deployed

The above configuration files act as inputs for the Caliper CLI, which creates an admin client (acts as a superuser) and factory (being responsible for running test loads). Based on a chosen benchmark file, a client could be transacting with the system by adding or querying assets.

While testing is in progress, all transactions are saved. The statistics of these transactions are logged and stored. Further, a resource monitor logs the consumption of resources. All of this data is eventually aggregated into a single report. For more detailed discussion on its implementation, visit the link provided in the References section.

Hyperledger Cello

As blockchain applications eventually deployed at the enterprise level, developers had to do a lot of manual work when deploying/managing a blockchain. This job does not get any easier if multiple tenants need to access separate chains simultaneously. For instance, interacting with Hyperledger Fabric requires manual installation of each peer node on different servers, as well as setting up scripts (e.g., Docker-Composer) to start a Fabric network. Thus, to address said challenges while automating the process for developers, Hyperledger Cello got incubated. Cello brings the on-demand deployment model to blockchains and is written in the Go language. Cello is an automated application for deploying and managing blockchains in the form of plug-and-play, particularly for enterprises looking to integrate distributed ledger technologies.

Cello also provides a real-time dashboard for blockchain statuses, system utilization, chain code performance, and the configuration of blockchains. It currently supports Hyperledger Fabric. According to its documentation, Cello allows for:

  • Provisioning customized blockchains instantly
  • Maintaining a pool of running blockchains healthy without any need for manual operation
  • Checking the system’s status, scaling the chain numbers, changing resources, etc. through a dashboard

Likewise, according to its documentation, the major Cello’s features are:

  • Management of multiple blockchains (e.g., create, delete, and maintain health automatically)
  • Almost instant response, even with hundreds of chains or nodes
  • Support for customized blockchains request (e.g., size, consensus) — currently, there is support for Hyperledger Fabric
  • Support for a native Docker host or a Swarm host as the compute nodes
  • Support for heterogeneous architecture (e.g., z Systems, Power Systems, and x86) from bare-metal servers to virtual machines
  • Extensible with monitoring, logging, and health features through employing additional components

According to its developers, Cello’s architecture follows the principles of the microservices, fault resilience, and scalability. In particular, Cello has three functional layers:

  • The access layer, which also includes web UI dashboards operated by users
  • The orchestration layer, which on receiving the request from the access layer, makes a call to the agents to operate the blockchain resources
  • The agent layer, which embodies real workers that interact with underlying infrastructures like Docker, Swarm, or Kubernetes

According to its documentation, each layer should maintain stable APIs for upper layers to achieve pluggability without changing the upper-layer code. For more detailed discussion on its implementation, visit the link provided in the References section.

Hyperledger Avalon

To boost the performance of blockchain networks, developers decided to store non-essential data into off-the-chain databases. While this approach improved blockchain scalability, it led to some confidentiality issues. So, the community was in search of an approach that can achieve scalability and confidentiality goals at once; thus, it led to the incubation of Avalon. Hyperledger Avalon (formerly Trusted Compute Framework) enables privacy in blockchain transactions, shifting heavy processing from a main blockchain to trusted off-chain computational resources in order to improve scalability and latency, and to support attested Oracles.

The Trusted Compute Specification was designed to assist developers gain the benefits of computational trust and to overcome its drawbacks. In the case of the Avalon, a blockchain is used to enforce execution policies and ensure transaction auditability, while associated off-chain trusted computational resources execute transactions. By utilizing trusted off-chain computational resources, a developer can accelerate throughput and improve data privacy. By using Hyperledger Avalon in a distributed ledger, we can:

  • Maintain a registry of the trusted workers (including their attestation info)
  • Provide a mechanism for submitting work orders from a client(s) to a worker
  • Preserve a log of work order receipts and acknowledgments

To put it simply, the off-chain parts related to the main-network are  executing the transactions with the help of trusted compute resources. What guarantees the enforcement of confidentiality along with the integrity of execution is the Trusted Compute option with the following features:

  • Trusted Execution Environment (TEE)
  • MultiParty Commute (MPC)
  • Zero-Knowledge Proofs (ZKP)

By means of Trusted Execution Environments, a developer can enhance the integrity of the link in the off-chain and on-chain execution. Intel’s SGX play is a known example of TEEs, which have capabilities such as code verification, attestation verification, and execution isolation which allows the creation of a trustworthy link between main-chain and off-chain compute resources. For more detailed discussion on its implementation, visit the link provided in the References section.

Note- Hyperledger Explorer Tool (deprecated)

Hyperledger Explorer, in a nutshell, provides a dashboard for peering into block details which are primarily written in JavaScript. Hyperledger Explorer is known to all developers and system admins that have done work in Hyperledger in past few years. In spite of its great features and popularity, Hyperledger announced last year that they no longer maintain it. So this tool is deprecated.

Next Article

In our upcoming article, we move on covering the below four Hyperledger libraries:

  1. Hyperledger Aries
  2. Hyperledger Quilt
  3. Hyperledger Ursa
  4. Hyperledger Transact

Summary

To recap, we covered three Hyperledger tools (Caliper, Cello and Avalon) in this article. We started off by explaining that Hyperledger Caliper is designed to perform benchmarks on a deployed smart contract, enabling the analysis of four indicators (like success rate or transaction throughout) on a blockchain network while smart contract is being used. Next, we learned that Hyperledger Cello is an automated application for deploying and managing blockchains in the form of plug-and-play, particularly for enterprises looking to integrate distributed ledger technologies. At last, Hyperledger Avalon enables privacy in blockchain transactions, shifting heavy processing from a main blockchain to trusted off-chain computational resources in order to improve scalability and latency, and to support attested Oracles.

 References

For more references on all Hyperledger projects, libraries and tools, visit the below documentation links:

  1. Hyperledger Indy Project
  2. Hyperledger Fabric Project
  3. Hyperledger Aries Library
  4. Hyperledger Iroha Project
  5. Hyperledger Sawtooth Project
  6. Hyperledger Besu Project
  7. Hyperledger Quilt Library
  8. Hyperledger Ursa Library
  9. Hyperledger Transact Library
  10. Hyperledger Cactus Project
  11. Hyperledger Caliper Tool
  12. Hyperledger Cello Tool
  13. Hyperledger Explorer Tool
  14. Hyperledger Grid (Domain Specific)
  15. Hyperledger Burrow Project
  16. Hyperledger Avalon Tool

Resources

About the Author

Matt Zand is a serial entrepreneur and the founder of 3 tech startups: DC Web Makers, Coding Bootcamps and High School Technology Services. He is a leading author of Hands-on Smart Contract Development with Hyperledger Fabric book by O’Reilly Media. He has written more than 100 technical articles and tutorials on blockchain development for Hyperledger, Ethereum and Corda R3 platforms at sites such as IBM, SAP, Alibaba Cloud, Hyperledger, The Linux Foundation, and more. As a public speaker, he has presented webinars at many Hyperledger communities across USA and Europe.. At DC Web Makers, he leads a team of blockchain experts for consulting and deploying enterprise decentralized applications. As chief architect, he has designed and developed blockchain courses and training programs for Coding Bootcamps. He has a master’s degree in business management from the University of Maryland. Prior to blockchain development and consulting, he worked as senior web and mobile App developer and consultant, angel investor, business advisor for a few startup companies. You can connect with him on LI: https://www.linkedin.com/in/matt-zand-64047871

The post Review of Three Hyperledger Tools – Caliper, Cello and Avalon appeared first on Linux Foundation – Training.

Add these 4 tools to your Linux container toolbox

New options for building container images, find tags in Podman, and using the Skopeo container image are some new features for you to use in your container adventures.
Read More at Enable Sysadmin

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Here are five sure-fire ways to ruin your favorite sysadmin’s day.
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New Open Source Projects to Confront Racial Justice

Today the Linux Foundation announced that it would be hosting seven projects that originated at Call for Code for Racial Justice, an initiative driven by IBM to urge the global developer ecosystem and open source community to contribute to solutions that confront racial inequalities.

Launched by IBM in October 2020, Call for Code for Racial Justice facilitates the adoption and innovation of open source projects by developers, ecosystem partners, and communities across the world to promote racial justice across three distinct focus areas: Police & Judicial Reform and Accountability; Diverse Representation; and Policy & Legislation Reform.

The initiative builds upon Call for Code, created by IBM in 2018 and has grown to over 400,000 developers and problem solvers in 179 countries.

As part of today’s announcement, the Linux Foundation and IBM unveiled two new solution starters, Fair Change and TakeTwo:

Fair Change is a platform to help record, catalog, and access evidence of potentially racially charged incidents to enable transparency, reeducation, and reform as a matter of public interest and safety. For example, real-world video footage related to routine traffic stops, stop and search, or other scenarios may be recorded and accessed by the involved parties and authorities to determine whether the incidents were handled in a biased manner. Fair Change consists of a mobile application for iOS and Android built using React Native, an API for capturing data from various sources built using Node JS. It also includes a website with a geospatial map view of incidents built using Google Maps and React. Data can be stored in a cloud-hosted database and object-store. Visit the tutorial or project page to learn more.

TakeTwo aims to help mitigate digital content bias, whether overt or subtle, focusing on text across news articles, headlines, web pages, blogs, and even code. The solution is designed to leverage directories of inclusive terms compiled by trusted sources like the Inclusive Naming Initiative, which the Linux Foundation and CNCF co-founded. The terminology is categorized to train an AI model to enhance its accuracy over time. TakeTwo is built using open source technologies, including Python, FastAPI, and Docker. The API can be run locally with a CouchDB backend database or IBM Cloudant database. IBM has already deployed TakeTwo within its existing IBM Developer tools that are used to publish new content produced by hundreds of IBMers each week. IBM is trialing TakeTwo for IBM Developer website content. Visit the tutorial or project page to learn more.

In addition to the two new solution starters, The Linux Foundation will now host five existing and evolving open source projects from Call for Code for Racial Justice:

  • Five-Fifths Voter: This web app empowers minorities to exercise their right to vote and ensures their voice is heard by determining optimal voting strategies and limiting suppression issues.
  • Legit-Info: Local legislation can significantly impact areas as far-reaching as jobs, the environment, and safety. Legit-Info helps individuals understand the legislation that shapes their lives.
  • Incident Accuracy Reporting System: This platform allows witnesses and victims to corroborate evidence or provide additional information from multiple sources against an official police report.
  • Open Sentencing: To help public defenders better serve their clients and make a stronger case, Open Sentencing shows racial bias in data such as demographics.
  • Truth Loop: This app helps communities simply understand the policies, regulations, and legislation that will impact them the most.

These projects were built using open source technologies that include Red Hat OpenShift, IBM Cloud, IBM Watson, Blockchain ledger, Node.js, Vu.js, Docker, Kubernetes, and Tekton. The Linux Foundation and IBM ask developers and ecosystem partners to contribute to these solutions by testing, extending, implementing them, and adding their own diverse perspectives and expertise to make them even stronger.

For more information and to begin contributing, please visit:

https://developer.ibm.com/callforcode/racial-justice/get-started/

https://developer.ibm.com/callforcode/racial-justice/projects/

https://www.linuxfoundation.org/projects/call-for-code/

https://github.com/Call-for-Code-for-Racial-Justice/

The post New Open Source Projects to Confront Racial Justice appeared first on Linux Foundation.

Interview with KubeCF project leaders Dieu Cao and Paul Warren

KubeCF is a distribution of Cloud Foundry Application Runtime (CFAR) for Kubernetes. Originated at SUSE, the project is a bridge between Cloud Foundry and Kubernetes. KubeCF provides developers the productivity they love from Cloud Foundry and allows platform operators to manage the infrastructure abstraction with Kubernetes tools and APIs. To learn more about the project we hosted a discussion with Dieu Cao, CF Open Source Product Lead at VMware, and Paul Warren, Product Manager cf-for-k8s at VMWare.