The OpenStack Summit Kilo Summit - Recap

I have been home for just over a week from my trip to Vancouver for the OpenStack Kilo Summit (or Liberty Design Summit – take your pick).

It was a whirlwind of week, jam packed with sessions, conversations, meetings, presentations and community events.

There were a number of insights that I took with me and I would like to share with you in this post, and also in some upcoming posts in the future.

1. OPs is a real thing

There was a dedicated OPs track at the summit. Before we go into what actually happened there – I would like to clarify what I mean as OPs and if this is any different to the perception of how it is defined by the OpenStack community.

For me an operator is primarily the person that has to actually maintain the cloud infrastructure. This could be a number of things:

  • Create packages for installing OpenStack
  • Actually installing OpenStack
  • Making sure that OpenStack keeps up and running
  • Monitors the infrastructure
  • Upgrades the infrastructure

There are also end-users, and these are the people that actually use OpenStack:

  • Provision instances
  • Deploy applications on top of those instances
  • Create tenants/users/projects

For the OpenStack Community – sometimes these two groups are one and the same, and in my honest opinion they definitely are not – and should not be treated as such. It is taking time, but I think that the community is starting to understand that there are two distinct groups here, which have very different sets of needs, and should be catered to quite differently

There was a significant amount of discussion of how Operators can get more involved, and honestly I must say that the situation has improved – drastically – in comparison to the situation 12 months ago.

There are a number of working groups, the Win The Enterprise WG, the Product WG, the Monitoring and Logging WG, all of these have been meeting over the last year to try and hash out ways of getting more involved.

One of the interesting discussions that came out as a result (well perhaps not directly but I assume that I had something to do with it) of me running for the OpenStack TC was how does the OpenStack Community want to acknowledge those people that are not committing code but are contributing back into the community. To get some more background – I refer you to these threads on the mailing list.

Something that kept on coming up again and again in sessions was that the Project groups are looking for more and more feedback from the people operating and deploying OpenStack, but the process of getting that feedback is broken/not working/problematic.

I do understand that the TC (and OpenStack) would like to protect the most valued resource that OpenStack has – and that of course is the people writing the code.

But there has to be an easier way of allowing people to submit the feedback – and perhaps there is…
A way for Operators/Users to submit feature requests.

2. Vendors are involved in OpenStack – and they are here to stay

They are not there for the good of their hearts. They are there because they want to make money, and a lot of it. That is one (but not the only) reason why they contribute to open source projects.

OpenStack is no different. Each and every one of the vendors involved (and I will not name companies – because the sheer size of the list is just too long) are there to increase their market share, their revenue, their influence.

And that is a difficult dance to master. They are the ones providing resources to commit code and there are times where the agenda behind that is not purely community driven. This post – sums it up pretty well.

As OpenStack has grown he says its turned into a corporate open source project, not a community-driven one. He spent a day walking around the show-floor at the recent OpenStack Summit in Vancouver and said he didn’t find anyone talking about the original mission of the project. “Everyone’s talking about who’s making money, who’s career is advancing, how much people get paid, how many workloads are in production,” McKenty says. “The mission was to do things differently.”

OpenStack is not a small community project any more – where everyone knows each other by name/face/IRC handle. It has grown up, come of age.

For better or for worse. Stay tuned for more.

As always please feel free to add your thoughts and comments below.