[Openstack-operators] Fostering OpenStack Users

Anne Gentle anne at openstack.org
Fri Jan 2 16:07:21 UTC 2015

More below, using Sean's post since he said some of what I was thinking.

On Fri, Jan 2, 2015 at 7:15 AM, Sean Hamilton <sean at seanhamilton.co.uk>

> It seems to me that there is a certain lack of understanding here. As far
> as I can tell, the initial post was asking for help in engaging end-users,
> not discussing deployment options for different Openstack installations.
> I'm extremely interested in reference architectures that I can pass onto
> my end users - developers, testers and application architects. I want them
> to see Openstack as a platform that they can run automated testing, CI
> workloads and eventually run cloud native applications on my cloud. Just my
> thoughts, but it would seem that if there was a way of showing these
> end-users (not operators) some pre-canned ways of working it would help
> them ease into using Openstack from their current methodology. I'm not
> asking for an installation, but simply a blueprint of ways of working.

Yep, so is James. I'll give a lot of background from my history and

As the docs ptl, I feel like the install guide is necessary but will never
be a complete need-filler for those just getting started with cloud. To try
to fill in the imagination for more OpenStack architectures, we had a team
write the Architecture Design Guide. We're actively seeking in-depth
reviewers for this guide, contact me or Alexandra Settle if you're
interested. (I know we've tagged at least one of you in this thread. :) )

But we're still missing the complete end-user imagination-filler. That's
the content Tom's facilitating with his request.

If you don't want to wait for the content sprint to fill in
developer.openstack.org, here's where I'd start.

Web Applications

Mobile Applications

Content Delivery

Content Management

Highly Available systems

Continuous Integration Builds


Now, what you also get into is the business purpose and culture
transformations you're going to have to do. There's lots of discussion
about it (http://www.mikethearchitect.com/reference-architecture/) but it's
the harder work based on lots of boots-on-the-ground cloudy people I've
talked to. I'm pretty sure we won't focus effort there for content

I have several questions for anyone looking to foster user adoption:

- Are they already savvy in a particular language? If so, would they use an
SDK in the language they're familiar with, like jclouds for java or prefer
to copy heat templates?
- Are they already neck-deep in puppet or chef and they'd just use existing
recipes they already have, use OpenStack to create a chef server, and feed
it recipes?
- Is the culture the harder work ahead of you, or the nuts-n-bolts of an
architecture? Or is it a need for use-cases that'll inspire?

More about the previous work done below.

> Just some background, in larger enterprises, those of us who have already
> drank from the punchbowl are desperately trying to get users onboard from
> their traditional application build cycles. This would be a big boost for
> enterprises. Perhaps something that the 'Win The Enterprise' initiative
> could take and run with?

In Atlanta I spoke with members on that team and requested reference
architectures for cloudy apps. They weren't sure they had anything on hand,
so we continue to seek those out.

Last year our focus was getting http://developer.openstack.org going with
links to API reference information, SDKs, and CLIs. This year we are
converting the End User Guide and Admin User Guide to a simpler source
markup language and redesigning the layout.

The content/code sprint effort comes from the Application Ecosystem Working
Group and the Foundation has agreed to prioritize Tom's time on it. The
nutshell is "We need a pet store app for OpenStack." If you learned Java in
the 90s you know what that means, if you didn't, it means we need a clever
but simple example _application_ anyone can get running on an OpenStack

I've been a teaching assistant at workshops for cloud SDKs, and I used
libcloud to make this silly application based on Brian Curtin's original
Flask app:
It uses these deployment scripts:
It's silly, but feels like I got something real done using libcloud.

Hope this helps fill in more background, history, context, and maybe even
gives you some content starting points.

Here are the Guides I mentioned:
Install Guide for Ubuntu 14.04
Architecture Design Guide http://docs.openstack.org/arch-design/content/
End User Guide http://docs.openstack.org/user-guide/content/
Admin User Guide http://docs.openstack.org/user-guide-admin/content/

We keep chipping away at the mountain of content we need to create, would
love more contributors of content and code.

> ~Sean
> On 2 January 2015 at 01:31, matt <matt at nycresistor.com> wrote:
>> I can't speak for anyone else, but I'm from brooklynite, so as I see it,
>> you couldn't have been more polite if you tried =P
>> I think at the end of it all, OpenStack as a community does not want to
>> own this part of the stack.  They've been pretty vocal about that in times
>> past.  That being said, with the rise of projects such as heat and ironic,
>> it does seem the community is involved in a relentless march of progress
>> towards full ownership of the deployment and management of the stack.
>> It's hard to say right now what the future may hold.  But, this year will
>> undoubtedly see some big changes on this front.  Hopefully they are driving
>> towards the ease of deployment for new users.  That would be a wonderful
>> thing.  Be that as it may, there are some considerable hurdles to that.
>> -Matt
>> On Thu, Jan 1, 2015 at 8:23 PM, Adam Lawson <alawson at aqorn.com> wrote:
>>> That sounded a bit harsh in retrospect, so my apologies if it's
>>> perceived as an uninvited slap on the hand.
>>> The topic keeps coming up and it's hard to tell potential consumers over
>>> and over the magnitude of engineering  investment is improving. Would be
>>> great to be able to say that with a straight face one day.
>>> On Jan 1, 2015 5:14 PM, "Adam Lawson" <alawson at aqorn.com> wrote:
>>>> I apologize for my candor but sounds an awful like political candidates
>>>> stating they understand what their constituents really want. We gotta avoid
>>>> making claims of fact that are pure personal opinion, especially if our
>>>> goal is market adoption of OpenStack and especially if we're deeply
>>>> entrenched in the OpenStack development process. New users can't tell the
>>>> difference, these dialogs get picked by search engines and perceived truth
>>>> is truth. Otherwise the risk is that the community competes against the
>>>> Foundation with a conflicting message.
>>>> Once a potential consumer hears/communicates there is no path forward,
>>>> decision makers will choose a product that DOES have a path forward. Plain
>>>> and simple.
>>>> But this again highlights OpenStack's desperate need for a working
>>>> cloud model that users can deploy with minimal headache. Even if it's just
>>>> one of many possible deployment options. Looking long term, the need for an
>>>> easily deployable cloud will only present itself for so long. Then the need
>>>> disappears .. and none of us wants to be in that position.
>>>> Mahalo,
>>>> Adam
>>>> On Dec 30, 2014 1:26 PM, "matt" <matt at nycresistor.com> wrote:
>>>>> It might be good to setup some sort of collaborative set of reference
>>>>> architectures for some basic examples of OpenStack in different areas.
>>>>> On Tue, Dec 30, 2014 at 4:18 PM, James Dempsey <jamesd at catalyst.net.nz
>>>>> > wrote:
>>>>>> On 31/12/14 05:09, Stuart Fox wrote:
>>>>>> > Hi James
>>>>>> >
>>>>>> > Great question and some good answers so far although I think they
>>>>>> done
>>>>>> > go far enough.
>>>>>> > They have (mostly) focused on other operators who, while a very
>>>>>> > important part of any cloud, are not the primary audience.
>>>>>> > Think more about the end users: devs, qa, marketing, data dudes etc
>>>>>> etc.
>>>>>> Yes, these are exactly the people I'm interested in making excited.
>>>>>> I'm
>>>>>> interested in all the ways that OpenStack can be effectively presented
>>>>>> to these people.
>>>>>> > Focus less on running a cloud and more about how to use the cloud.
>>>>>> > As a simple example with huge ramifications, a fully automated and
>>>>>> > dynamic build and release pipeline driven by (something like)
>>>>>> Jenkins.
>>>>>> Exactly.  Jenkins / Gerrit is the first thing that devs tend to build
>>>>>> /
>>>>>> ask for.  It makes their lives a lot easier.
>>>>>> > All this took place using common tools and the Openstack API's. Once
>>>>>> > the pipeline is defined, there is little need for human interaction.
>>>>>> > Think about ideas like Canary testing, Continuos Deployment, Rapid
>>>>>> Prototyping.
>>>>>> I think Rapid Prototyping is a great way to engage users of OpenStack
>>>>>> because it cuts to the core of what devs are interested in: building
>>>>>> new
>>>>>> stuff.  As opposed to CI infrastructure, which I see as more of an
>>>>>> enabling technology.  I'd be keen to hear about any rapid prototyping
>>>>>> demos that people use to sell their cloud.
>>>>>> > Hope thats helpful.
>>>>>> Very much, thanks!
>>>>>> Cheers,
>>>>>> James
>>>>>> --
>>>>>> James Dempsey
>>>>>> Senior Cloud Engineer
>>>>>> Catalyst IT Limited
>>>>>> https://catalyst.net.nz/cloud
>>>>>> +64 4 803 2264
>>>>>> --
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