[openstack-dev] [tc][appcat] The future of the App Catalog

Fox, Kevin M Kevin.Fox at pnnl.gov
Wed Mar 8 17:42:02 UTC 2017

For the OpenStack Applications Catalog to be successful in its mission, it required other parts of OpenStack to consider the use case a priority. Over the years it became quite clear to me that a significant part of the OpenStack community does not want OpenStack to become a place where cloud native applications would be built/packaged/provided to users using OpenStacks apis but instead just a place to run virtual machines on which you might deploy a cloud native platform to handle that use case. As time goes on, and COE's gain multitenancy, I see a big contraction in the number of OpenStack deployments or deployed node count and a shifting of OpenStack based workloads more towards managing pet vm's, as the cloud native stuff moves more and more towards containers/COE's which don't actually need vm's.

This I think will bring the issue to a head in the OpenStack community soon. What is OpenStack? Is it purely an IaaS implementation? Its pretty good at that now. But something that will be very niche soon I think. Is it an Cloud Operating system? The community seems to have made that a resounding no. Is it an OpenSource competitor to AWS? Today, its getting further and further behind in that. If nothing changes, that will be impossible.

My 2 cents? I think the world does need an OpenSource implementation of what AWS provides. That can't happen on the path we're all going down now. We're struggling with division of vision between the two ideologies and lack of decision around a COE, causing us to spend a huge amount of effort on things like Trove/Sahara/etc to reproduce functionality in AWS, but not being as agile as AWS so we can't ever make headway. If we want to be an OpenSource AWS competitor, that requires us to make some hard calls, pick a COE (Kubernetes has won that space I believe), start integrating it quickly, and retool advanced services like Trove/Sahara/etc to target the COE rather then VM's for deployment. This should greatly enhance our ability to produce functional solutions quickly.

But, its ultimately the Community who decide what OpenStack will become. If we're ok with the path its headed down, to basically just be an IaaS, that's fine with me. I'd just like it to be a conscious decision rather then one that just happens. If thats the way it goes, lets just decide on it now, and let the folks that are spinning their wheels move on to a system that will help them make headway in their goals. It will be better for everyone.


From: David Moreau Simard [dms at redhat.com]
Sent: Wednesday, March 08, 2017 8:23 AM
To: OpenStack Development Mailing List (not for usage questions)
Subject: Re: [openstack-dev] [tc][appcat] The future of the App Catalog

The App Catalog, to me, sounds sort of like a weird message that
OpenStack somehow requires applications to be
packaged/installed/deployed differently.
If anything, perhaps we should spend more effort on advertising that
OpenStack provides bare metal or virtual compute resources and that
apps will work just like any other places.

David Moreau Simard
Senior Software Engineer | Openstack RDO

dmsimard = [irc, github, twitter]

On Wed, Mar 8, 2017 at 9:41 AM, Jay Pipes <jaypipes at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 03/06/2017 06:26 AM, Thierry Carrez wrote:
>> Hello everyone,
>> The App Catalog was created early 2015 as a marketplace of pre-packaged
>> applications that you can deploy using Murano. Initially a demo by
>> Mirantis, it was converted into an open upstream project team, and
>> deployed as a "beta" as apps.openstack.org.
>> Since then it grew additional categories (Glance images, Heat & Tosca
>> templates), but otherwise did not pick up a lot of steam. The website
>> (still labeled "beta") features 45 glance images, 6 Tosca templates, 13
>> heat templates and 94 murano packages (~30% of which are just thin
>> wrappers around Docker containers). Traffic stats show around 100 visits
>> per week, 75% of which only read the index page.
>> In parallel, Docker developed a pretty successful containerized
>> application marketplace (the Docker Hub), with hundreds of thousands of
>> regularly-updated apps. Keeping the App Catalog around (including its
>> thinly-wrapped Docker container Murano packages) make us look like we
>> are unsuccessfully trying to compete with that ecosystem, while
>> OpenStack is in fact completely complementary.
>> In the past we have retired projects that were dead upstream. The App
>> Catalog is not in this case: it has an active maintenance team, which
>> has been successfully maintaining the framework and accepting
>> applications. If we end up retiring the App Catalog, it would clearly
>> not be a reflection on that team performance, which has been stellar
>> despite limited resources. It would be because the beta was arguably not
>> successful in building an active marketplace of applications, and
>> because its continuous existence is not a great fit from a strategy
>> perspective. Such removal would be a first for our community, but I
>> think it's now time to consider it.
>> Before we discuss or decide anything at the TC level, I'd like to
>> collect everyone thoughts (and questions) on this. Please feel free to
>> reply to this thread (or reach out to me privately if you prefer). Thanks
>> !
> Mirantis' position is that the App Catalog was a good idea, but we agree
> with you that other application repositories like DockerHub and Quay.io are
> both more useful and more actively used.
> The OpenStack App Catalog does indeed seem to unnecessarily compete with
> those application repositories, and we would support its retirement if that
> is what the community would like to do. We'll provide resources and help in
> winding anything down if needed.
> Best,
> -jay
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