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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:

Incumbents are starting to be threatened by these new opened technologies, these new scrappy startups that are coming in and it's really important. One of the things that I think levels of playing field is having an open platform.

Art Fewell: You look at business management strategy. It wasn't that long ago, almost nobody knew what the disruptive innovation was, what it meant to be caught in the innovators dilemma or what did you do that got you in that position? What could you do to get you out?

These are all new things and right as we're learning about this stuff we find a lot of businesses are already caught up in these paradigms. It's really hard to break out of them. It seems one of the other great things about this open movement is it provides a vehicle for that.

Rob Hirschfeld: It's interesting that you talk about disruptive because while open source and all of these technologies are disruptive, a lot of the things I hear is that the pace of change is really hard for people to keep up with. There's this interesting paradox of we're looking for this disruptive, change the game type technologies and open source promises that.

One thing people like about it is transparent so they can see what's coming. In some ways it's less disruptive from their business process because it's transparent. Although the changes that brings in are disruptive.

What we're seeing is the pace of change is increasing, the open source stuff has got people really excited. It makes it super easy for developers to try something new that's way ahead of where their IT operations are. Then you've got this interesting cycle.

What happens is we haven't even talked about docker and containerization yet which I know we want to get too. That potentially is disruptive to OpenStack and how OpenStack is operating.

What we're seeing is, is that in the timeframe that IT and or enterprises are used to making decisions, let alone rolling those decisions out. The technologies changing under them again and they're really finding that it's not just a matter of picking right technologies but picking them fast enough and implementing fast enough and getting experience fast enough.

It's a matter of agility of the decision making process being driven by, "All right, do we pick docker or do we pick OpenStack?" They get paralyzed by having to choose really quickly.

Then we end up with this really tricky cycle. That I see is definitely challenging. We're starting to address that a little bit by helping automate at the physical level so that the risk of setting up an OpenStack cloud and then having to turn it into a cloud foundry infrastructure is getting mitigated. From everything down, cloud downwards is becoming more flexible and faster and people would be able to ... You have to turn the crank faster and faster and faster to keep up.


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