Building a Raspberry Pi Cloud

First post! I suppose I had better explain where we’re up to.

We’re now four months into the Raspberry Pi Cloud project here at Glasgow, and I have to say it’s going pretty well. In addition to our original team (myself, Posco Tso, Jeremy Singer and Dimirios Pezaros), we have added summer intern Robbie Simpson, volunteer Rene Weber, and three project students: Richard Cziva, Alan Reid, and Colin Boyd.

Robbie was one of our final year students and is now working on a PhD here at Glasgow. Rene recently spent a few months working here on a related project on Cloud Networking and, despite returning to Germany, missed it so much here that he’s now contributing remotely to the project. Rene is currently working on software management and deployment, as well as the development of an AWS-style API for the cloud. Robbie took care of the initial overall design, construction and hacking necessary to get everything working.

We worked our way through several prototypes, and have now constructed four “racks”, composed of four colour Lego towers. Each stack contains two towers of seven Pi’s. Each Pi runs Debian Wheezy (a modified version of the excellent and life-saving Raspbian distribution), with a single USB hub and network switch providing power and connectivity respectively. For ‘virtualisation’ we’re using LXC containers, with some script hacking in Bash and Python to hold everything together. It really is quite primitive at the moment, but it’s a pleasure to see everything slowly taking shape.


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