Archive for the 'cloud' Category

Rackspace/Openstack Addendum

Since this seems to have spun out of control a bit, I’d like to add a little clarification to my views:


I am a fan of Rackspace. They are a good company full of good people trying to do what they think is right for their business.  Rackspace has a set of core values that most companies would do well to emulate.


Openstack is a large healthy project, any one person or even group of people leaving would not hurt it too much.  Rackspace is integral to the success of Openstack.  Rackspace gives the project credibility, that it wouldn’t otherwise have


I don’t have any major problems with the governance. It is an incremental improvement over what we had.  I have a problem with the process that was used make the governance change.   I feel that changes like this should be open and transparent.


I don’t think there was any ill intent on Rackspace’s part in making these changes. They just thought they could.  That is the crux of my issue.  I want Rackspace to realize that there are expectations of transparency in open source projects and that it is a technical undertaking and involving the technical community in decisions is critical to long term success.

Rackspace is run by reasonable people.  If this were not the case, I would not have wasted my time writing a blog post.  I want to lobby Rackspace to do what I think is the right thing, because I know Rackspace wants to do the right thing! My purpose was not to forecast the doom of Openstack or brand Rackspace as a bad player.


Next Steps for Openstack; Goodbye Austin, Hello Bexar

So, we’ve kicked Austin,  the first official release of OpenStack, out the door. What now?  If you were hoping for a little rest and relaxation, you joined the wrong project.

In two short weeks we have the OpenStack Design Summit (ODS).  ODS is not a conference, where people lull you to sleep with presentations.  ODS is a working summit.  We have to plan, discuss, and write specifications for the next two releases of OpenStack.

So how does this work, you ask? The entire process is documented on

  • Submit blueprints. It all starts with blueprints.  Blueprints are short descriptions of features, or parts of features.  Landscape has a good description of blueprints, if you want to learn more.
  • The team of Openstack architects then reviews the blueprints and , if needed, asks for more information from the filer.
  • We then choose the blueprints we think are the highest priority and schedule discussions about them at ODS.
  • After the Summit, the full specifications are written, I will approve and prioritize them.
  • As you you start developing, please update the status of your blueprints
  • Don’t forget to link your development branch to the blueprint using the ”Link a related branch” link on the right hand side of the blueprint page.

What People Are Saying About OpenStack and What They Should Be Saying

I am a bit irritated at some of the criticism and, to be honest, some of the praise the OpenStack project has received.

Lets deal with the criticism first:

Vaporware: I have seen the project called vaporware in several forums.  This doesn’t seem to be an appropriate use of the term, and smacks of FUD, but may just be ignorance or unfamiliarity with Launchpad, where we host our code.  Some links to help you get to things.

Nothing is usable: I’ve seen this too, usually followed by a statement implying that it might take years, for it to be production ready.  The OpenStack Objectstore is already in production at Rackspace holding many dozens of petabytes across multiple data centers.  Please try to install it and give us feedback.  Now, the compute side is a slightly different story.  I believe that NASA has a version of this runnig in production, but development is moving so quickly, unless you want to help us develop or test it, I recommend that you wait until our first release in October.  Some examples of the quick development of OpenStack Compute’s first two weeks:

This is just a marketing/PR move: I can say that this is not true for Rackspace.  I can’t know the motivations of everyone involved, but I was a part of the team that convinced Rackspace to do it and none of the technical or business people involved mentioned PR or marketing as a reason to do this. This was not an easy decision and needed to be explained to the organization from top to bottom.  We told them the same thing we are telling everyone else.  “It is the right thing to do”.  Then we made the following guarantee: Rackspace will sell just as much software next year as it sold last year: None.

OpenStack will not kill open core: OpenStack is a project, not an idea or a philosophy.  We have no plans to take on any way of thinking.  We only got involved in this debate because I feel very strongly about it and wanted to make sure that OpenStack’s position was understood.  We are strong supporters of open source and the ideals it stands for. We feel like open core, as it is most commonly implemented, is a bastardization of those ideals, however, OpenStack is not Don Quixote and we don’t feel like charging at windmills.  Our real goal is to level the playing field in the IaaS ecosystem and no longer allow people to act like creating a IaaS fabric is some kind of super secret magic.  Let’s do it once, give it to everyone, and move on to more interesting things.

Now the Praise:

OpenStack will kill open core: Please see above.  Killing or not killing open core is not one of our goals, however, not being open core is one of our goals.

OpenStack takes on Vmware/MS/Amazon: We are not doing this as a tactical move against any specific company, but because it should be done and there is no reason not to do it.  Our mission statement from the wiki:

The OpenStack Open Source Cloud Mission: to produce the ubiquitous Open Source Cloud Computing platform that will meet the needs of public and private clouds regardless of size, by being simple to implement and massively scalable.

This is as big as the beginning of Linux or Apache: We are all excited, but please don’t set us up to disappoint.  I really hope we do something great, and both of these projects inspire me, but let’s remember how long it took for these projects to become the giants that they are.  I don’t want to down play what we are trying to do, but let’s do it first and let the results speak for themselves.

What would I like for people to say?

Well the truth, good and bad and with out hype or malice. Here are some examples:

The bad (well not so bad, but do you blame me?):

OpenStack needs to organize quickly: We are getting a huge response and we need to make sure we can handle the influx of developers and code.  The most important things to me is that we maintain quality and that we deliver when we promise.  If we can do those things we will be successful.

OpenStack needs to  publish it’s governance: We do.  This is valid criticism.  We are working on it based on feedback from the community. Once it is done, it needs to be approved by quite a few parties.

OpenStack sucks because it should have feature a,b, and c: Should we?  Well write it if you can or pop into #openstack on freenode and ask us to write it.

The good (or what we would like to hear):

Wow this is great code: Thanks.  We do the best we can.

We really like the open way you are running OpenStack: Thanks, we feel that to be successful we need to have an open collaborative process.

I want to help: We would love your help.  Can’t code?  Come help with community or write documentation.