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OpenStack Board Member Rob Hirschfeld on the impact of DevOps, SDN, Docker & more

Art Fewell | Feb. 26, 2015
I recently had the great pleasure to sit down with community-elected OpenStack board member and Crowbar co-creator, Rob Hirschfeld. Rob shared awesome nuggets of wisdom on data center and cloud operations, you can view the video and the full transcript below:

Rob Hirschfeld: Yeah, doing repetitive work like that is ... The challenge is you're going to be replaced by a robot if that's what you're doing.

Funny anecdote, I was hearing from the company that does a lot of work with Chinese data centers. In China, labor is super cheap. They're not doing manual installs anymore. It's come to the point where they must automate the installs because even though they have labor that effectively costs nothing, it's not fast enough or accurate enough. It's not repeatable enough. They are investing in automation.

When I was first dealing with Asian companies where they have very inexpensive labor, it was very hard to sell automated solutions because they were, "We just have a team of 10 guys per rack who babysit the rack." Not quite that, but on that scale. We're getting to a point where it's just not an option anymore.

When you look at those problems and helping people survive for that, it really is a question of getting out of your own way. It's worth mentioning this thing called Jevon's paradox. If you haven't heard of it.

Jevon's paradox says that the easier it is to consume and the less expensive something is to consume the more people consume. When cars improve their fuel efficiency people actually drive more and consume more gas. IT is definitely in that. The more an IT organization makes it easier to consume IT the more ... You literally work yourself ... The more you automate the more you make those things, actual more work you're creating for yourself.

Art Fewell: We've talked a lot about OpenStack and how OpenStack governance and things that are changing and you touched on a little bit about OpenStack networking. I'm curious, we've had NOVA Networking and we have Neutron. One of the initial challenges with Neutron versus NOVA Networking is that you couldn't have redundancy in your network nodes, right?

I'm curious, what do you see is the key challenges and the key things that are happening from that networking perspective from your perspective?

Rob Hirschfeld: Networking has been a real challenge and I think that we're not done. I think that we've made a lot of progress, things have been moving really fast for networking. If you look at the major plays in OpenStack networking, I'd be very direct about this. They are almost replacing OpenStack networking.

Open Contrails and MidoNet, two of the big OpenStack Neutron plugins effectively replace most of the plugins. People are not sure if you can use open vSwitch and create a scalable OpenStack architecture. I think it's just going to take time.

 

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