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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:

Particularly in contrast to one of the biggest software development models that has been around for a long time which is some super huge mega corp goes and hires a big consulting firm to come and develop and piece of software. Those two in a private circle work collaboratively until they have something and then maybe later the software consultant goes out and turns it into a packaged software offering.

A lot of our software that exists today comes from that model, but one; you see there's a very small community of input that gets to be put into those things 'cause you're dealing usually with one company and one software consultant. There's also a huge, huge dollar sum that has to be invested so you're really waiting for somebody at mega corp to have the right executive who has the right brain fart to be able to begin an initiative like that. Open source turns the tables on that, right?

Rob Hirschfeld: It definitely let you start small. Frankly, OpenStack probably wouldn't have made it out of beta. Once again, I'm saying heresy. The challenges is that people were able to touch and play with OpenStack and start playing with it. You had some advanced users who could actually make it work way before a broader spectrum of users and that was okay and it allowed the software maturity cycle to go faster.

This was funny. There are some people who will tell you OpenStack is still beta and it's not ready for primetime. I know for a fact there's a lot of people who are running real production workloads on it and depending on it.

What we're doing now is we're shifting the choice of whether it's ready or not to the customer and the user and not to the ... Sadly maybe, not the QA department who says, "Hey, its ready now. I'm done checking it."

We're taking away the gates which is exactly what you're saying. I can get early use, I can get early feedback. I can figure out what's valuable or not. I do a lot of lean software type development, that's what we would call an MVP, minimum viable product. The reason you do that is so you can get this feedback and get users engage, they tell if you're right or wrong. A lot of times they tell you, they're very public about it. You have to put your ego on side and say, "Yeah."

There was a famous incident where we were doing early Crowbar work and we were just starting to partner with SUSE. SUSE has some engineers, they did evaluation of Crowbar in 2012, it was really early. They came back and they gave me a presentation, I call it the Your Baby is Ugly Presentation.


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