[openstack-dev] [Swift] PTL candidacy

John Dickinson me at not.mn
Thu Sep 15 21:25:01 UTC 2016

I'd be honored to continue to serve as your PTL for OpenStack Swift.

## Looking back at the Newton cycle

During the Newton cycle, the Swift community has delivered at-rest
encryption. This feature is the culmination of a more than year of
work, and it enables Swift to be deployed in places where it was
previously not possible to be used.

The other big thing that's been going on during the Newton cycle is
our work on a Golang implementation of the object server and
replication engine. This change not only solved critical issues for
existing deployments, but it also enables a lot of the future work
that needs to happen in the years to come (more on that later!).

Golang in Swift is a great OpenStack community success story. An
existing Swift deployer (Rackspace) was seeing issues in their
environment. One developer there started playing with Golang and
reimplemented a small part of Swift. The results were good--very good
--and the rest of the development team there started focusing on this
Golang implementation. The developers shared these results with the
rest of the community, and the Golang code started being developed in
a feature branch of Swift, where others started playing with this code
as well. Rackspace has been running this in production with great
success, and as a community we're bringing into "mainline" Swift so
that everyone can benefit. It's great to see community members play
with new ideas, bring those to the rest of the community, and see them
adopted to solve problems for everyone.

As most people in the Swift community know, and many in the wider
OpenStack community have seen, there has been a very large debate on
the use of Golang in OpenStack projects. Much of my time in this cycle
has been spent working with the TC on this conversation, and I expect
it to continue into the Ocata cycle as well. I'm not satisfied with
the current decision by the TC, and I'll keep pushing for including
Golang inside of OpenStack.

## Looking forward to Ocata and Beyond

Beyond grand debates about programming languages, there's a ton of
stuff going on in Swift right now. Here's a partial list of things
people are working on:

- Golang object server and replication
- Transparent container sharding
- Increase ring partition power
- Global erasure codes
- Policy migrations
- Symlinks
- Improvements to encryption functionality
- Automatic tiering
- Composite rings

Many of these have been in progress for a while, and I fully expect
several to be finished within the Ocata cycle. Many of these features
are related to bigger and bigger clusters. It's tremendously exciting
to see where Swift is being used today, but we're in no way "done".
There is a lot more for us to do to continue to solve storage problems
for users.

Looking much further into the future, there's several things I'd like
us to work towards.

- Small file optimization
- Dealing with larger drives and more dense storage servers
- Using NV memory

The reason I know we'll get this stuff done and continue to make Swift
the best open source object storage system is because of our
community. As the Swift PTL, I feel it's my duty to enable the
community to solve these problems by making every community member
more productive. This is my focus.


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