Last week I was at OpenStack Analyst Day held on the sidelines of OpenStack Design Summit and Conference at San Francisco. I had a chance to talk with OpenStack people, partners, developers and, even, some users. If I can sense something out of the conference, it is the excitement shared by the community and their belief in the very idea of OpenStack (previous CloudAve coverage). No, I am not talking about the excitement surrounding the lavish parties thrown by HP, Nebula, Dell, Dreamhost, etc. but the genuine excitement towards the project itself and its potential in the future. It is easy to dismiss the hype as PR driven marketing hype by the companies in the OpenStack ecosystem but I am talking about the real feelings of OpenStack developers and practitioners, the actual people who sweat out for the common good.
If you ask me whether I see too much marketing grind behind OpenStack buzz, my response will be “Yes”. If you ask me whether the OpenStack compute is (was?) Production ready, my answer will be “Probably not”. If you ask me whether I am seeing paying customers in large numbers, my response will be “Not yet”. If you ask me if OpenStack Foundation is set up to protect the independent developers at the lowest part of the food chain, my answer will be “Nah”. In spite of all my pessimistic responses, I am optimistic because the people doing the hard work in the project are optimistic and they are confident that OpenStack is going to drive the cloud infrastructure market in the coming years. In front of their optimism, the analyst pessimism in me doesn’t hold ground. If anything, I came out of the conference optimistic about the project with hopes that I can expect much better results in the Fall event. Anyhow, let me offer my brief thoughts on some of the issues I have been focussing on this blog, Twitter and elsewhere.
Reliability and Scalability: One of the biggest criticism about OpenStack is how their compute code is not ready for production environment. In fact, this criticism was not coming just from the punditry but also from the practitioners. However, I spoke with some of OpenStack ecosystem partners and customers and they all agreed about the issues in Diablo but are confident that most of these issues are addressed in Essex release. I even heard about one service provider scaling up to 2000 nodes. The HP executives who talked to analysts briefly talked about the reliability and scaling challenges they faced and how they have managed to fix it. Essex is definitely more reliable than the previous releases and two of the biggest public cloud providers, Rackspace and HP, are openly betting on it. I hope to see more examples on the production side by the Fall event.
OpenStack Foundation: The tiered system in the board, about which some criticism came up in the past, still exists. But the response from the community is muted than before. OpenStack has set up the foundation in such a way that Board is mainly for administrative and marketing purposes while the technical committee has full control over the technical direction. This is definitely not an Apache Foundation kind of a solution but something that has a potential to work while keeping independence from the 1% and protecting the interests of the 99% (in most cases). Since CloudStack is sitting in the Apache Foundation waiting for defections to happen, the competition might keep OpenStack board honest for the time being.
I addressed two of the most crucial issues in the minds of observers (especially myself) in this post. We are hosting a Live Google+ Hangout on Thursday 26th April 2012 at 2:15 PM PST to talk more about what happened during the event and its implications. We have some practitioners, media pundits like Alex Williams and others, etc. joining us in this hangout which will be broadcast live on Youtube. I encourage you to join the hangout. If you want to participate in the discussion, please add your Google+ profile below in the comments or @krishnan me on Twitter. I will try to include you in the hangout if you are online on Google+ at that time. Others can watch it live on Rishidot Research Youtube Channel. For more info, click here.
- Analysis: CloudStack Goes To Apache Foundation And Embraces AWS APIs (cloudave.com)
- OpenStack Foundation: Dear OpenStack, I Want You To Succeed (cloudave.com)
- Six Months Laterâ¦ OpenStack is Driving Open Cloud Computing Standards (rackspace.com)
- OpenStack Open Source Cloud Needs To Pick Up The Pace (servicesangle.com)
- Breaking News: IBM Joins OpenStack (cloudave.com)
- OpenStack Vibes Around CloudConnect (cloudave.com)