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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:

It was literally a Power Point of everything that was wrong with the work we had done. I looked at it and it was all true. I'm, "Yes, that's true. Here's how we're doing that." "Yes, that's true. This is really big." "Yes, that's true. You want to help?"

The fact that I was upfront about it and didn't keep things to myself, I was very open, changed the dialogue and they ultimately came in and did a lot of collaborative work with us.

That's I think the story with OpenSource. That's how it should work. But, and here's the big but. Corporations are very nervous about that, right? I don't want my employer's reputation tarnished because somebody had a bad experience with it.

That fear can drive you to get into these big release cycles and polish things and not expose yourself to feedback and criticism. That is something the ends up being really hard.

Art Fewell: I had a conversation earlier that threw me sideways and I'm curious about your take on it. We're in the lines of ... What are the implications of docker to OpenStack? On one hand docker will work with OpenStack and accommodate each other. OpenStack was conceived before containerization got really big. If we had built up a ground up system ...

Rob Hirschfeld: There are people aiming missiles at your house right now for saying that by the way. That's okay. Containers are old as dirt, frankly.

Art Fewell: Yes. Yeah, the primitives have been there in the Linux Kernel since ... For what? Over a decade or something, right?

Rob Hirschfeld: Since before virtualization, yes. Why docker, why now? Frankly, OpenStack was doing containers as an alternate for virtualization in the first stage. That was a really early plugin, but Docker is different and actually there are two elements, there's docker itself and then there's Docker as a proxy for this broader new fleet of container management infrastructure.

The thing that's amazing to me is that's really been coming along for quite a while. The platform as a service, Cloud Foundries and OpenShifts and Herokus. They've been using containers for a long time. The hosting providers have been using virtual private servers which were really containers forever.

They'd offer a tremendous and very real advantage over virtualization for a couple of reasons. One is higher IO performance. Just better performance overall, it gets you closer to bare metal performance 'cause you're not adding a second OS and a whole another set of drivers and all that.

The real reason why I think containerization is a very big threat to virtualized clouds is because of over subscription. When you have a workload that's not doing anything in a containerized workload it just disappears, it just is gone. The RAM can page you out of memory.


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