[Openstack] [Openstack-operators] Fostering OpenStack Users

matt matt at nycresistor.com
Tue Dec 30 15:40:42 UTC 2014

There are several fundamental problems in getting your feet wet in

First is that OpenStack is expecting to be installed into a rack of
systems, not one system.  While there are work arounds such as devstack,
they fail to accurately produce a production environment or even a useful
facsimile of one.  One of the larger problems for many adopters of
openstack at least initially is coming to grips with neutron and getting it
plugged into their existing network environment.  Devstack doesn't help you
here much at all.

The other major problem is that there is something of a variety of flavors
in terms of OpenStack, CFM, Networking, etc.  OpenStack is flexible and
supported by all the things.  And as a result, there is no simple obvious
path for deploying it.  Some use puppet, some use chef, some ansible.  Some
use redhat, some ubuntu, some suse.  Some use cisco, some arista, some
bigswitch.  The options go on and on.

I think there was a view early on that distributions of openstack would
emerge.  This has not been the case.  The market has spoken and it has
rebuked this idea.   Others thought the future would be in appliances.
Again the market spoke and rebuked this idea.  There is an almost
pathological hatred of appliances in the enterprise world after all.

So here we are.  Facing a chicken and egg problem.  For the established
openstack user, you can use one of your greenfield environments to train up
new employees, and many major deployers offer this training even to outside
customers.  The problem of course being you are being trained on their
flavor of openstack, which may not be your own.

But, for the folks who are deploying for the very first time, they are
entering into a sea of ideas, complex design patterns, and general
distributed computing theory that is quite literally the subject of many
masters and phd thesis today.  It's not easy.  And training up to a level
of certitude in these murky waters is not easy.

I don't have an answer for you, in part because as I've been trying to
spell out in detail, the scope is enormous.  OpenStack sits upon a cross
roads.  And if you've not found it by following one of those pathes you may
need to go back and begin the journey again at the beginning.


On Tue, Dec 30, 2014 at 7:36 AM, Ritesh Raj Sarraf <rrs at researchut.com>

> Hello James,
> On 12/30/2014 02:27 AM, James Dempsey wrote:
> > So, back to my original question:
> >
> > What information do you give new users to help them be effective in the
> > cloud?  What is your go-to demo for people who don't quite understand
> > what OpenStack is offering?  How do you reach out to people in your
> > organizations who aren't OpenStack users yet, but probably should be?
> Like you, I'm fairly new to OpenStack, or even to the whole concept of
> Cloud in general.
> For what I have concluded so far, OpenStack (or Cloud computing in
> general), is a management interface for all your IT needs.
> Needs that comprise of Compute, Network and Storage.
> Cloud computing takes hundreds on physical nodes (comprising of compute,
> network and storage), makes a database of their abstracted interfaces
> (virtualization mostly) and provides a unified view.
> It allows you to spawn of virtual entities anywhere in that farm, thus
> making it a cloud.
> Management of this entire infrastructure, is the key component here.
> That's what OpenStack is.
> So far, the best start-up guide, for playing around is DevStack.
> https://github.com/openstack-dev/devstack
> I don't find it very useful. One for because it is tightly tied to
> specific releases. And secondly because the entire process is very
> monolithic.
> Given the strong management stack that's been designed, for abstracted
> components, I'd have wished to see support for Linux Containers. That'd
> have allowed to prototype a 50 node setup on a single dev box.
> The only thing not covered, would have been the compute component, i.e.
> afaik Openstack Nova.
> --
> Given the large number of mailing lists I follow, I request you to CC me
> in replies for quicker response
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