Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, William Schmarzo, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Open Source Cloud

@CloudExpo: Blog Feed Post

An Evening with OpenStack and the DevOps Community

I had the chance to attend the Triangle DevOps meetup

I had the chance to attend the Triangle DevOps meetup, along with my podcast co-host Aaron Delp (@aarondelp), which was being held at the Teradata offices and lead by their DevOps person responsible for their OpenStack environment.



It was an interesting event for a few reasons:
  1. We've had a few guests (here, here, here) on the podcast to talk about OpenStack, but our hands-on exposure had been limited in comparison to years of VMware environments.
  2. Most of the people we had spoken with were deeply involved with the OpenStack development, or worked directly at Rackspace, so their viewpoints were slightly skewed to the positive.
  3. Aaron had just written a blog about his experience with the new Rackspace Private Cloud edition. We had compared it to another write-up from Cody Bunch (@cody_bunch), noting that Aaron's experience seemed much simpler.

The presenter was very transparent about his experience with OpenStack. They had work that needed to be done, but they were short on budget, so they decided to spend their money on new server hardware instead of software licenses. They were a development group, but their output needed to go into a production environment, so the system ultimately needed to work. He was tasked with getting a small "cloud" up and running (3 servers, hosting about 80 VMs of various sizes).

[I'll stop here and clarify that I don't intend this to be a commentary on OpenStack, but rather a set of observations from both the audience ("DevOps crowd") and myself, somewhat in the context of experience with other systems.]

While he made it clear that he had the environment working, and was happy with it's performance, he did highlight a number of challenges. He highlighted these for the audience, who were there to learn about OpenStack (most had never tested it in any way).

  • Getting things to work took quite a bit of trial and error. He had to rebuild the system several times before it worked as expected. [Note: All done using community distro, not any of the new pre-built distros from Rackspace, Redhat, Piston Cloud, Nebula)
  • The documentation is terrible. It makes many assumptions that people know about OpenStack architecture or concepts, and then mixes many scripted and manual configurations together.
  • No built in management or monitoring tools (capacity, performance, etc.)
  • No way to move VMs dynamically from controller to controller (manually copy config files)
  • No native load-balancing function
  • No way to have HA-like functionality of VMs
  • Not clear where KVM or Xen tools go once OpenStack is managing via Nova-Controller
  • Making changes to the system has all sorts of unexpected side-effects, often times causing a crash.
  • Updates only come out every six months, which he believed to be too short, especially when bugs were reported through various channels.
He pointed out that he uses customized Nagios as his primary means of monitoring performance, and was exploring other tools like Zenoss. He also explained that having to go through the setup trial and error allowed him to learn quite a bit about the underlying OpenStack architecture. Having used AWS EC2 before, he made many comparisons between the functionality of the two systems (EBS > Snapshots; Instance Sizes > Flavors, etc.)


I walked away from the event with several thoughts:

  1. It's been two years, but OpenStack still feels like it's very early days. One person in attendance compared it to ESX 2.0, back before vCenter and all the tools became commonplace.
  2. The installation process should get considerably easier, with all the pre-buit distros coming into the market.
  3. There are still plenty of unanswered questions about how to architect the system; when it makes sense to deploy OpenStack vs. using native hypervisor tools; and which types of applications make the most sense in this architecture.
  4. At one point, I thought it was impressive that OpenStack releases had shipped consistently every six months. But the audience seem quite surprised that bug updates weren't made available more often. Either way, it's a much more rapid development cycle than some commercial implementations.
  5. OpenStack already has support for many configuration tools, such as Puppet, Chef, enStratus, RightScale, so some of the "it's not included" comments are covered through external tools.

For me, it's always good to see technology outside of the high-profile events, away from the headlines and with people that are only focused on making things work. This group walked away moderately interested in OpenStack, but not overwhelmed. OpenStack has a ways to go, but it has come a long way in just a few years. Time will tell...

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Brian Gracely

A 20 year technology veteran, Brian Gracely is VP of product management at Virtustream. He holds a CCIE #3077 and an MBA from Wake Forest University.

Throughout his career Brian has led Cisco, NetApp, EMC and Virtustream into emerging markets and through technology transitions. An active participant in the virtualization and cloud computing communities, his industry viewpoints and writing can also be found on Twitter @bgracely, on his blog Clouds of Change and his podcast The Cloudcast (.net). He is a VMware vExpert and was named a "Top 100" Cloud Computing blogger by Cloud Computing Journal.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Mike Johnston, an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io, discussed how to use Kubernetes to set up a SaaS infrastructure for your business. Mike Johnston is an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io with over 12 years of experience designing, deploying, and maintaining server and workstation infrastructure at all scales. He has experience with brick and mortar data centers as well as cloud providers like Digital Ocean, Amazon Web Services, and Rackspace. H...
The question before companies today is not whether to become intelligent, it’s a question of how and how fast. The key is to adopt and deploy an intelligent application strategy while simultaneously preparing to scale that intelligence. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sangeeta Chakraborty, Chief Customer Officer at Ayasdi, will provide a tactical framework to become a truly intelligent enterprise, including how to identify the right applications for AI, how to build a Center of Excellence to ...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Massive Networks mission is simple. To help your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions. Improve your customer's experience with outstanding connections to your cloud.
DevOps is under attack because developers don’t want to mess with infrastructure. They will happily own their code into production, but want to use platforms instead of raw automation. That’s changing the landscape that we understand as DevOps with both architecture concepts (CloudNative) and process redefinition (SRE). Rob Hirschfeld’s recent work in Kubernetes operations has led to the conclusion that containers and related platforms have changed the way we should be thinking about DevOps and...
As businesses adopt functionalities in cloud computing, it’s imperative that IT operations consistently ensure cloud systems work correctly – all of the time, and to their best capabilities. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Bernd Harzog, CEO and founder of OpsDataStore, presented an industry answer to the common question, “Are you running IT operations as efficiently and as cost effectively as you need to?” He then expounded on the industry issues he frequently came up against as an analyst, and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big...
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution and join Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader, Sergey Grebnov, in his session at @ThingsExpo, for an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
Because IoT devices are deployed in mission-critical environments more than ever before, it’s increasingly imperative they be truly smart. IoT sensors simply stockpiling data isn’t useful. IoT must be artificially and naturally intelligent in order to provide more value In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Crupi, Vice President and Engineering System Architect at Greenwave Systems, will discuss how IoT artificial intelligence (AI) can be carried out via edge analytics and machine learning techn...
FinTechs use the cloud to operate at the speed and scale of digital financial activity, but are often hindered by the complexity of managing security and compliance in the cloud. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Sesh Murthy, co-founder and CTO of Cloud Raxak, showed how proactive and automated cloud security enables FinTechs to leverage the cloud to achieve their business goals. Through business-driven cloud security, FinTechs can speed time-to-market, diminish risk and costs, maintain continu...
Existing Big Data solutions are mainly focused on the discovery and analysis of data. The solutions are scalable and highly available but tedious when swapping in and swapping out occurs in disarray and thrashing takes place. The resolution for thrashing through machine learning algorithms and support nomenclature is through simple techniques. Organizations that have been collecting large customer data are increasingly seeing the need to use the data for swapping in and out and thrashing occurs ...
As many know, the first generation of Cloud Management Platform (CMP) solutions were designed for managing virtual infrastructure (IaaS) and traditional applications. But that’s no longer enough to satisfy evolving and complex business requirements. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, Embotics CTO, will explore how next-generation CMPs ensure organizations can manage cloud-native and microservice-based application architectures, while also facilitating agile DevOps methodology. He wi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business - from apparel to energy - is being rewritten by software. From planning to development to management to security, CA creates software that fuels transformation for companies in the applic...
From 2013, NTT Communications has been providing cPaaS service, SkyWay. Its customer’s expectations for leveraging WebRTC technology are not only typical real-time communication use cases such as Web conference, remote education, but also IoT use cases such as remote camera monitoring, smart-glass, and robotic. Because of this, NTT Communications has numerous IoT business use-cases that its customers are developing on top of PaaS. WebRTC will lead IoT businesses to be more innovative and address...
Blockchain is a shared, secure record of exchange that establishes trust, accountability and transparency across business networks. Supported by the Linux Foundation's open source, open-standards based Hyperledger Project, Blockchain has the potential to improve regulatory compliance, reduce cost as well as advance trade. Are you curious about how Blockchain is built for business? In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, will discuss th...
While some vendors scramble to create and sell you a fancy solution for monitoring your spanking new Amazon Lambdas, hear how you can do it on the cheap using just built-in Java APIs yourself. By exploiting a little-known fact that Lambdas aren’t exactly single-threaded, you can effectively identify hot spots in your serverless code. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Dave Martin, Product owner at CA Technologies, will give a live demonstration and code walkthrough, showing how ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From planning to development to management to security, CA creates software that fuels transformation for companies in the applic...
Cloud adoption is often driven by a desire to increase efficiency, boost agility and save money. All too often, however, the reality involves unpredictable cost spikes and lack of oversight due to resource limitations. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Joe Kinsella, CTO and Founder of CloudHealth Technologies, tackled the question: “How do you build a fully optimized cloud?” He will examine: Why TCO is critical to achieving cloud success – and why attendees should be thinking holistically ab...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
As more and more companies are making the shift from on-premises to public cloud, the standard approach to DevOps is evolving. From encryption, compliance and regulations like GDPR, security in the cloud has become a hot topic. Many DevOps-focused companies have hired dedicated staff to fulfill these requirements, often creating further siloes, complexity and cost. This session aims to highlight existing DevOps cultural approaches, tooling and how security can be wrapped in every facet of the bu...