[openstack-dev] [Swift] PTL Candidacy

John Dickinson me at not.mn
Tue Apr 7 21:53:56 UTC 2015

I'm announcing my candidacy for OpenStack Swift PTL for the Liberty cycle.

Swift was originally written to provide large-scale, multi-user, highly-available, durable object storage. Why do we need that? Because the way people produce and consume data is changing, and, therefore, the requirements that applications put on storage infrastructure is also changing.

When Swift was released way back in the Austin release of OpenStack (5 years ago!), it already met these goals. And during the last 5 years, we've seen that base functionality improve and important new functionality added. In the last two years alone, we've added global cluster support, storage policies, and we're just now finishing up erasure code support. These kind of things are crucial for enabling Swift to be the storage system used for all unstructured data.

As I've said many times before, my vision for Swift is that everyone, everywhere will use it every day, even if they don't realize it. We're well on our way there, with Swift being used today from everything from backups, to games, CDNs, financial institutions, websites, mobile apps, and beyond.

During the next six months (the OpenStack Liberty cycle), we've got some important work to do. We'll be finishing up the erasure code work, we're working on on-disk encryption, and we've got a lot of work to do to improve existing areas of the code. For example, I'd like to see improvements in object server and replication performance, and I'd like to see fruit come from the ongoing discussions about large container support. These sorts of things are important to ensure Swift's success for the next five years of it's life.

Longer term (beyond the Liberty cycle), there are some other things I think are pretty important. First, and this is one of the more exciting things going on in Swift right now, many different media vendors are coming to the Swift community asking how they can ensure that Swift natively supports their media. There's a company that has written a tape library connector for Swift and is open-sourcing it. Hard drive vendors are developing new technology (like SMR drives) and new protocols (like Kinetic), and Swift needs to work with these natively. And on the flash side, I want to see Swift directly support the nuances of flash so that we can be well-positioned for any use case that people need.

In addition to native media support, I want to ensure that we are supportive of the application developers who are using Swift. This means encouraging and promoting work on SDKs and ensuring that application developers use Swift as their first choice for cloud storage.

An important part of the PTL role is supporting the developer community. As PTL I want to continue working on making sure the tools we have as a community are the best for the job we need to do--the best ways to track what's going on, coordinate with each other, and get stuff done.

It's been a privilege to work with the incredible Swift contributors, and I'm proud to be a part of Swift. I'd be honored to continue as your OpenStack Swift PTL.

Thank you,


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