OpenStack Atlanta Summit, Day One: Observations, Gripes And A Personal Note

May 13, 2014

by Evan Powell

Yesterday, the first day of the OpenStack Summit in Atlanta, was a great day for StackStorm and for the community. It was a pretty special day for me personally too.

First – the community. I appeared on theCube in which John Furrier and Stuart Miniman asked me to share some thoughts on the OpenStack community. I admit – I’ve run the tape back. On the whole I hope I hit the right balance.

Here’s my gripes:

  • For all the talk about openness, too many of us run on proprietary clouds.  If, and that’s a big IF, there is a tax for running on OpenStack based open clouds like Rackspace and our friends at BlueBox and so forth – PLEASE PAY THE TAX. The Tragedy of the Commons takes many forms.
  • Speaking of the Tragedy of the Commons – I chatted with a friend who is at VMware and contributing to OpenStack, only his check-ins are not being reviewed he thinks for political reasons by the PTL (program leader) who works for a competitor. Look in the mirror PTL! Is that who you want to be?

Well, that felt pretty good. Here is what I love about OpenStack (the quick version):

  • Automate all the Things. We embrace that saying at StackStorm and extend it to Automate the Automators.  Without the API centric approach of OpenStack – and similar projects – you would have a very hard time achieving the agility of a DevOps environment and hence the 10-100x productivity gain that this is all really about.
  • T-Shirts and neck beards. I just wish my marriage was compatible with neck beards. I used to have a beard and apparently it looked horrible. Now it would be gray. But I digress. I guess the serious point is OpenStack is led by a collection of individuals from different companies doing things that they think are right.  When the vast majority of people leading OpenStack look in the mirror, they ought to be be proud of their rectitude – as well as their neck beards.

There is much more to love about OpenStack. Keep in mind that it is more of a community and a movement – part of the even broader DevOps community – than it is a product or a project. I riffed on that theme when offering advice to fellow entrepreneurs in theCube interview as well.

Final point regarding day one: It was excellent and slightly bittersweet to see many Nexentians (Nexenta employees) at the Summit. Anybody who has helped lead anything that achieves something knows – we owe every bit of success to those that worked hard and smart often despite all sorts of challenges including, in our case, massive competitors and some self inflicted wounds. I’m looking forward to seeing more current and past Nexentians today – I’m really proud to see them thriving.

StackStorm is exhibiting in Booth E26 (behind Ubuntu) at OpenStack the rest of today and tomorrow. Please stop by and say hi!