Tag Archives: OpenStack

I have been fortunate enough to be a week into a fortnights vacation away with my wife and kids at our holiday home in Spain. So right now as I look out across a beach to the sea with Gibraltar in the distance and the temperature dropping from its afternoon highs, nursing a cold beer, I've been able to fully catch up with every video released from OpenStack Summit in Paris which I wholly deliberately chose not to attend for once. I needed to recharge batteries badly and it was my genuine health or the insanity of Paris and the hubbub and noise of overfilled rooms and mass lunches and rain vs a hot sandy beach, long drinks, my amazing (decade younger) wife in a bikini and Spanish beer and food. The latter won. I make no apologies for wanting to take two weeks off for the first time in twenty five months. Anyone wanting to argue the difference needs to understand I can drown you in a the shallow end of any of the resort swimming pools as soon as look at you, after this week, I have practiced my technique. I am Aquaman of the Marriott set.

So over to OpenStack Paris 2014. The view from my sun lounger.

I've watched from afar like a demon this week. It's been great to catch up online and watch all the sessions. Actually when you're at the Summit there are sessions overlapping so you can't be in all places at once and while not all content was video'd and online the content that is there is superb. Hats off to the foundation for getting it there so fast too. You can watch the content here. Congratulations to the Red Hat team for getting so many talks accepted and the delivery of the content.

One thing is very clear, there is still enormous drive, passion and mass determination to make OpenStack releases qualified successes. Nobody can detract from the earnest efforts of all parties no matter who the contributing employer is.

First shot across the bows - my boats bigger than your boat...

Let me get one thing very straight from the get go. One thing I was very glad to see this Summit from the videos and decks that I've seen as a remote watcher. Paris seems, somewhat thankfully,  to have had a lack of the marketing BS that has become so prevalent with the constant who is the highest ranking contributor to the project as a whole. We're professionals no matter what tshirt or cap or hat you wear and who pays your salary. We're chasing a common goal and waving willies about in public to say who is the biggest or who is the best is just incredibly poor taste and detracts from a lot of the interworking and common core goals that the OpenStack Foundation are attempting to deliver. This is about good code, influencing major adoptable change in how we help people get the infrastructure that fits their cloud business case and frictionless IT. If you are scoring points what else are you missing when it comes to understanding what first world enterprise IT want ?

There are distributions out there, I work for the company who are trying their hardest to make sure it delivers what the market expects building on years of enterprise experience with Linux and putting the best engineering talent behind that gains recognition from the markets wanting to trial and consume it. Those consuming enterprise customers markets don't need or appreciate a poorly conceived marketing slide that is at best oneupmanship, at it's worst just a 140 character land grab, it has no place in thought leadership. Period. Don't tweet me or send me a deck or marketing swag with it on or I'm getting the elephant gun and my steel toe capped boots on and going hunting.

So now I've got my  pet moan out of the way lets talk shop as an external watcher perceiving how the world is consuming OpenStack latest greatest in bite sized chunks.

First up, keeping it simple

OpenStack has aggressive release cycles, has a multitude of sub projects and a host of goodwill and contributed code that deservedly allows it to rank as the leader of the upper echelons of Open Source goodness. A shining beacon of how to do things and achieve both success from a release and maintenance perspective but also of marshalling talent and consumptive code contributions from individuals, companies and projects to come up with a release cycle that is hard work to maintain against. My congratulations - and genuine admiration - of those involved many of whom I know and respect hugely can go on the record here as it has in presentations and podcasts I've released all over the world.

One issue is perception by the watching consuming public and the enterprise architects and that is the need, the fundamental core principle of keeping it simple. Plainly put Icehouse and Juno are still seen as rocket science to many in core consumable released non supported format. I watched one video from the team at Rackspace that called it exactly right and I hope that it gets some airtime and credit as it was right on the money as a call to arms for the Foundation and the maintainers to get to a point where ease of use has to be a mission statement. Fostering ecosystems is critical, bringing functionality into the core is a constant need.

Do we need any more plaudits ?

Not knocking Jim Zemlin in his keynote as anyone else blowing hype and sunshine up our combined asses as to how big "a blockbuster" is simply needs to stay home, the last thing you need to do in a room full of excited OpenStack types is to pat mutual backs and inflate already inflated egos. What's actually needed is more critical leadership around concentration on maybe looking to increase the width of the release window (six months is overly aggressive and actually makes new adopters shrink back in fear) and to educate and mentor maintainers of sub projects as to the needs to increase the fundamental ease of use of their functions and core capabilities.

Also - are we solving the problems that actually are relevant in the marketplace ? Are we moving at such a pace that we're not engaging with required functionality and getting instead the sexy stuff like SDN in there because it's en vogue ?

Right now, today, I see more, bigger, mainstay companies who have deployed Apache CloudStack over OpenStack and these aren't small organisations they're big companies, because it does what they need to and it doesn't terrify the life out of them. If OpenStack is going to be in that same vein, remembering that the Apache CloudStack ecosystem combined with the clueless parent company has 0.1% of the mindshare and the groundswell push behind it then it has to do basic stuff better. Some of that is packaging, fairy dust, documentation and means that Foundation and contributors need to engage better with their future consumptive masses.

For us, we take what is out there, polish it, build it into a supported product with a pedigree and core function behind it and deliver it to people who want to feel safe. If I was a CIO today looking at OpenStack I'd want to match core fears of "being able to keep up" with a comfort factor of having something supported. At the core the functionality and the best practices need to tighten up to allow OpenStack the success it deserves. Theres a very real chance it will miss a high percentage of its goals if it doesn't listen.

My genuine admiration and worthy applause goes out to all speakers, panellists, those on booth duty and who took time out to attend. Me, I was on a beach with a beer. Genuinely, right now as yet another cold beverage disappears and the light fades over the white stucco plaster of the houses here in Estepona on the Costa Del Sol I need to be convinced that catching up via YouTube, Twitter and the polished editorial of Steven J Vaughn Nicholls et al isn't a better way to do Summit than fighting for a seat in a crowded room and queuing for a mass meal with 4600 other attendees.

Kudos to all of you who did make the effort to go.

What a weird title for a podcast episode you think. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. Ian and I have worked together in two lives. In 2007 I took a sabbatical to go do hush hush secret stuff in the government space for a major vendor and met Ian and gelled immediately. We've worked together ever since and when I joined Red Hat I brought him in soon after. This is a coup because after a life spent in the shadows talking common sense doctrine to governments and people in positions of authority Ian is actually on the record and talking Open Source. To say he was outside his comfort zone is an understatement but it was lovely to have the chance to open a door sensibly and only talk about stuff which doesn't see us carted off to jail for breaching each of our obligations as signataries of Her Majesty's Official Secrets Act.

Ian had always worked in the proprietary rather sheltered world of data intelligence and manipulation. He definitely wasn't a Linux user - at all, in fact I gave him his first Linux laptop. He didn't get Open Source as nobody had ever explained or shown him, didn't know Open Shift or how to even install Red Hat. A hugely talented versatile developer with a brain the size of a family car and the ability to hold a room in his hand he has become one of the most important hires Red Hat UK has ever made.

Ian, now immersed in Open Source was reborn, reborn with a new verve or vigour and is now truly Mr Red Hat when you put him in front of customers and with his almost unrivalled abilities with the understanding of data storage and data manipulation in the European space is always in demand to help bring projects to conception.

He was nervous as hell recording this, don't know why - he's the mac daddy when it comes to big data even if he does hate the term. We talk OpenShift, OpenStack, we pour scorn on some and heap praise on others. A very enjoyable recording session.

I urge you to listen on two fronts:

1) If you've ever wondered what Big Data meant come here Ian blow that concept wide apart
2) If you're considering a change in career and want to understand the passion that drives Red Hatters to go to work - then this is for you.

 Download the podcast in MP3 format here - or alternatively browse the RSS.

I was at the Gluster London Community event in London yesterday and listened to speakers there talk about Gluster and demystifying what it is and also how it has made an impact in the storage world.

One of the speakers there was Udo Seidel from Amadeus in Munich who is well known in Open Source circles and a great guy to talk tech to. We meant to record this in Edinburgh as he was also at Linuxcon but time ran out. So we reconvened and yesterday we put this ten minute podcast together for you.

Come back next week for some more great content. Remember you can subscribe to the show via iTunes on your iOS or MacOS device of choice or any platform via the RSS or my syndicated feeds.

 Download the podcast in MP3 format here - or alternatively browse the RSS.

So heres the thing about working with the Linux Foundation, and the reason why every year I stump up my membership fees to be part of their rollcall. They get it, they genuinely get it. Jim Zemlin, Mr Enthusiastic himself who is one of the most articulate geeks you would ever have the pleasure to meet bounds on stage or into a room like an excitable child and on Monday when he jumped on to the stage in Edinburgh this was no different.

One of the reasons for his beaming smile and positive attitude though was the fact that under his stewardship and with boundless energy and pride several projects including OVA have been added to the roster of collaborative projects under the auspices of the Linux Foundation.

Today Chris Wright who is the Director of Software-Defined Networking joined me to talk SDN goodness and how the Cloud piece interacts with the integration of OpenStack. Chris was recently promoted to Director level in Red Hat, well earnt and judging by the size of the audience here for his keynote there were obviously a lot more people out there who wanted to hear him speak than could get in the room.

To find out more about Open Daylight watch the video below and then listen to the show we recorded for you today.



 Download the podcast in MP3 format here - or alternatively browse the RSS.