Openstack: Instigating Change

October 6, 2015 § Leave a comment

Last week, I, along with twenty other Cloud Advisors from across the globe were fortunate enough to take part in the IBM Openstack Dojo. Openstack is a collection of open source projects that collectively create a cloud management infrastructure. Overview During this boot camp, IBM provided intense, focused training on understanding, installing and maintaining an open source datacenter installation. The class was challenging and informative and most importantly, it helped me remember what drew me into IT in the first place. More than anything, I wanted to be an instigator of change.

Throughout the training, we explored all aspects of Openstack, which is currently the largest open source community in the world with well over 24,000 contributors. What began as a project between NASA and Rackspace with one project (compute), has quickly grown to over 30 plus projects in just five years. From Cinder and Swift (Block and Object Storage) to Neutron (Networking) all aspects of cloud datacenter are being developed continuously with constant improvements being added every hour. As I sat through each day, I reminisced on my early days as a Linux release committer in the mid-nineties. I remembered feeling that I was part of something greater than myself. However small my contribution was, I knew I was instigating change. The more I thought about this, the more I also realized that this is what brought me to IBM. Since the beginning IBM has employed hundreds of people to work solely within the Openstack community. They work daily with contributors from many different companies and countries to insure open standards are maintained and matured. The benefit of open standards are numerous, but here I would focus on the freedom and flexibility it provides. Freedom of vendor lock-in, freedom to develop infrastructure and solutions on your terms, not another company’s point of view. From these freedoms, you obtain a flexibility that is missing from most industry solutions.

While I seemed to be romanticizing this a bit, it is important to remember, that like other open source projects out there, Openstack requires a solid engineer with high scripting and coding ability to install and maintain. In a world of point and click wizards and countless out of the box feature sets, we often forget the level of detail that goes into creating the configuration files and services that make applications and virtualization work. No pointing, no clicking, just command line and code, where even a single misspelling can cause a log tracing headache for the books. In order to alleviate those headaches, IBM has invested millions into understanding and developing the best methods for Openstack deployment and maintenance. We believe all companies should strive to enhance the way they manage their infrastructure, to embrace open standards and most importantly be free and flexible in your operations. Be instigators for change, we will be right there with you.