[openstack-dev] TC Candidacy

Ed Leafe ed at leafe.com
Wed Sep 28 16:27:05 UTC 2016

Hello! I am announcing my candidacy for a position on the OpenStack Technical

For those who do not know me, I have been involved with OpenStack since the
very beginning, working for Rackspace as a core member of the Nova team. An
internal job change took me away from active development after Essex, but since
being hired by IBM, I've been back working on Nova since Kilo. As a result of
this long involvement, I have always had a strong interest in helping to shape
the direction of OpenStack, and if there is one thing people will agree about
me, is that I'm never shy about voicing my opinion, whether the majority agree
with me or not. Many of the earliest design decisions were very contentious,
and while I didn't always prevail in those discussions, I felt that I helped
move the conversation forward. More recently, I have participated in nearly all
TC meetings for the last two years, and now would like to join the TC as a

There seems to be a lot of concern about the impact of the Big Tent, and how
all these new projects are diluting OpenStack, or somehow leading us astray
from what we should be doing. In my opinion, this is all a distraction.
Determining whether a project is "official" is simply a matter of controlling
the branding of OpenStack, and not changing what OpenStack is. If there is room
for improvement, it is in communicating what this means so that we eliminate
the confusion for those who are coming to OpenStack without this historical

One thing I feel strongly about is that since the Mission Statement for
OpenStack is "to produce the ubiquitous Open Source Cloud Computing
platform...", that what we do should always advance cloud *computing*. So while
I applaud the work being done by many of the telecommunication companies to
push the limits of network virtualization, unless it is useful to making
virtual machines communicate better, it really should be outside of OpenStack.
I do recognize that this is not a clear distinction, since someone can always
come up with a remote edge case where it could possibly be used, but we cannot
be all things to all people (or all companies). Having a clear focus is
important to success.

OpenStack is now over 6 years old, and that is forever in technology terms. And
while it has been continuously updated, these updates are restricted by the
requirement that they remain compatible with previous versions, and,
increasingly, that the updates are made with zero downtime. These are important
goals, and some very amazing work has been done to make them a reality. But one
of the consequences of this focus is that there is little serious discussion
about potential architectural changes that would greatly improve OpenStack, if
it requires downtime or breaking backwards compatibility. Suggestions for
experiments along these lines are usually met with the (very valid, in my
opinion) statement that we already have more development work than we can
handle, so diverting some of our resources to explore other possibilities would
set us further back. Unfortunately, this is the same argument that is used to
justify the build-up of technical debt. I would like to see us begin to think
about this, and have the TC direct this conversation, with input from
operators, the recently-formed Architecture Working Group, developers from the
various OpenStack projects, and any other interested parties. Yes, this is a
"moonshot" idea [0], but I believe that it is essential for the long-term
technical viability of OpenStack that we never stop looking ahead.

I have a great deal of respect for the other candidates who are seeking a
position on the TC, and thus understand that you, as a voter, have a difficult
job in selecting only six. I would indeed be honored if you would support me.

Thank you,

Email: ed at leafe.com
Foundation Profile: http://www.openstack.org/community/members/profile/280
Freenode: edleafe
Website: https://blog.leafe.com
Twitter: @edleafe

[0] https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/moon_shot (definition 3)

-- Ed Leafe

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