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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:

We don't yet have the operational expertise on what it takes to go to a Docker environment and containerized workloads. OpenStack is still working through its operational challenges. With the 6-month development cycle, with all these new stuff surfacing, we're only now really putting operational workloads on some of the OpenStack components.

I have a very operator-focus from my career. You have to be careful about how you build an operational framework. Developers can't just toss things down and walk away from it. The whole DevOps movement has been about changing that and tightening that cycle. It's just like lean manufacturing from the 90s, you can't have somebody design something that can't be built. We're finally aware of that, we're having the dialogues and it's actually, from my perspective, very exciting to see us treating IT and software creation like a pipeline.

Art Fewell: We talked about networking, a lot in OpenStack and I think the audience is really going to appreciate your perspective on that.

Now, is there anything else in 2015 that ... I know there's too much. This is not an easy question. If you have to pick another quick topic that you think is really cool happening in 2015, OpenStack or not, what gets your attention?

Rob Hirschfeld: The thing that I'm really excited about is the service architecture. We're in the middle of doing on the RackN and Crowbar side, we're in the middle of doing an architecture that's basically turning data center operations into services.

It's funny 'cause we've been doing it for a while. A lot of the stuff is not new. What's happening is that we're finally really describing it better. We're getting some interesting tools to do service discovery. We're using console, a lot of people are excited about etcd which are really about ... They're part of this docker container ecosystem, but they're not docker container specific. They're really about service discovery and being able to handle scale datacenters and really move things.

I think that that's going to be a very exciting dialogue in 2015 because it's really operationally a significant improvement and it's accelerated by DevOps and script automation and it's a necessary part of the docker container story. I feel like that's really exciting.

Art Fewell: It has some really interesting applications on ... I'm not worthy when I say the networking space or space that the networking people have thought that we've laid claim to for a long time. That's in terms of finding things, registration and that ... One of the other implications of docker that I'm not sure that most people quite understand yet. There's a lot of awareness about VM sprawl, this idea of VM sprawl is something we need to get contained in a virtual machine world.


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