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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:

RackN's focus is not deploying OpenStack. RackN's focus is helping people who want to deploy OpenStack do it really well and that can be a partner, that can be ... We have a Packstack demo that we do where you can click a button and install Packstack. That's really valuable for us.

It doesn't matter if you want to run Dell, HP, Supermicro, open compute gear under that. That abstraction layer means that people can work together and actually share scripts, say, "Hey, my Packstack install is busted." Okay. Well, if you use Crowbar to install it, your baseline, then I know what you did. I can repeat that environment."

Art Fewell: It's just like what we were saying before from a different lens about how ... Before we had open source in the mix. Each vendor was doing the same thing wasting all those cycles of human energy and innovation by staying in isolation.

I think it's another challenge for how we do our networks 'cause we're so private about our IT and our information.

I think tools like Chef and Crowbar really are going to make a revolutionary change there so to help us share. You can't develop a good process in isolation, this is not going to happen.

Rob Hirschfeld: That is wisdom. I was there in the very early days in VMware. VMware went through the same cycle. We struggled to figure out how to VMware. Eventually that market converged on, "Oh, you buy a SAN, you buy a blade and you set it up."

You can do up to 40 nodes like that and you spent a lot of money on SANs and Fibre Channel and stuff like that, but you know what? Everybody knew how to do it. Literally, you went ... We're figuring it out, figuring it out, we're figuring it out ... and then VMware was everywhere and it became this datacenter standard. Once people agreed on the best practice on how to do it.

Unfortunately datacenter's scale are still complex and hard and things like that. If we can have some agreed process standards and we can get some baseline stuff going, that's where the human cost of doing operations stops being on monkey patching, fixing things one at a time and going back, go to one machine and turning it off and another machine turning it off. That's not going to work. We've got to get a standard. We got to get a base.

That's where people get ahead and that's where they start really creating value. Today people are chasing around a lot of, what some people would call yak shaving. Everything. You have to do everything else first and you finally get to the thing you have to do.

 

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