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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:

The issue is not with the OpenStack installer, the issue that we saw and the thing that we found really important with Crowbar, was that if you can establish a repeatable baseline, what we now call ready state, if you can get your OS installed and your networking topology installed and your machine is connected together and all the prerequisites setup then you have a very good shot of installing OpenStack however you want with Packstack or Salt or Ansible.

The new version we're incredibly agnostic about how you do it. I've done demos with Salt and Ansible and Puppet and Chef. It doesn't matter to us. The trick is once you've gotten that baseline you can rock on and you can repeat your install all day long. That was what we found was really important.

The thing that in our opinion has been blocking a lot of success with OpenStack is that every single person hires a consultant, does it themselves. They do it differently. It doesn't matter that it's, "Oh, I did my networking this way and you did it that way." or "I installed my operating system with this instead of that."

Those changes actually make material differences in the scripts that you use to set things up. What Crowbar had to do in the new version is that we have to create that baseline. Once that baseline is ready then, yeah, then you just turn the crank and you go.

What's even more important is that it's not just I turn the crank and I go one time. What you do with Crowbar now is you can rebuild your environment back to exactly the way it was over and over and over again because the thing that you want to do with, it's not just OpenStack, with any deployment, you're not going to get it right the first time. You're not going to get it right the second time.

What you have to do is rehearse that deployment until you understand what it's doing and how it is doing it. Your software defined networking layer and your whole environment. You want to be able to rehearse that. The faster you can go through that learning cycle the better your deployment is going to be.

What we do, literally, we did this all the time in deployments, is we're going to build the infrastructure up to that standard and then you're going to finish it. You're going to get so good at doing that that you're going to have a very repeatable deployment. That's the experience that we found with Crowbar 1, you're entirely right.

We would do a pushbutton to play OpenStack, rock on, it's great. What happened is is that we found that there was enough churn at the bottom that we were hiding that that's where the real value was, not in the Chef's scripts that deployed OpenStack. Although that's really valuable.


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