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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:

I think that we can use these technologies in bits and pieces. We can do automation. We can do service discovery. We can take advantage of that and containerize some of these with true elastic automatic scale up, scale down which we saw coming with Cloud Foundry and OpenShift and Heroku and other PaaS type stuff. Yeah, that's still there and it's still going to happen. I think we're going even a level beyond that and it's pretty exciting.

We're definitely completely blurring the lines between IaaS and PaaS and things like that.

I'll go back to a little bit of history, but it's useful when we talk about PaaS and what PaaS really means. Dave McRory and I ... Dave worked at Dell. Dave and I founded a company together 99', so we've known each other for a long time. At the same that we were banging around ideas about what platform as a service meant and what that looked like. It's when he was defining what data gravity was, he's the data gravity guru if you will. He's made a good name for himself on that.

Those ideas came out of the fact that platform as a service is about stateless compute. Where does all the state go? What do you store that with?

The thing we understood when we looked at Amazon and Azure and Google, Google I've mentioned was new at that time. Was that the thing that they were selling was not the compute, but the services around it.

This is where data gravity comes in. Amazon wants you to store your data 'cause once the data is in Amazon's cloud or Google cloud or Microsoft you're stuck in that cloud, right? They're going to charge you for that.

What platform as a service really is about, it's about how you store the information. What services do you offer around the elastic part? Elastic is time based, it's where you're manipulating in the data. The data and the services that provide that, they're really interesting. The same is true, database services or big data analytics, all those. That's what cloud is about and people really lose sight of this.

Art Fewell: It's been a fascinating conversation with talking about all this stuff. Before we go, I wanted to make sure that we gave a chance to talk about your new project. Am I fair to describe to describe, this is a new startup?

Rob Hirschfeld: It's a new startup for an old project. I'm CEO and founder of a company called RackN, which was cofounded by basically people who started the Crowbar project.

We inside of Dell, Dell open sourced this project. Dell made the decision to stop investing in it in April. We really thought that this was something special that we were doing a unique operational model that we bring in special value into the market. We made the decision to start it and some people who left Dell a while ago came back and wanted to do this. It's me and some other people.


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