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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:

Art Fewell: Yeah, very ephemoral stuff, right?

Rob Hirschfeld: Right. The container itself is still there, if your workload comes and goes the container is there to take the workload.

There's a different issue with volume that comes up. You can't really over subscribe virtualized servers very much. You can maybe do 1.5, maybe 2 times the amount of RAM on that server. If you start getting beyond that the whole system starts to fall apart.

With containers you can sell that same piece of hardware 10 times or more and really pack in the workloads and so you get better performance and over subscription and so the utilization of the infrastructure goes way up.

It's a very compelling story to run containerized infrastructure. Even on virtualized workloads, although I think ultimately we're going to see people are going to scratch their head about running 100% containerized workloads on top of 100% virtualized workloads. You're not getting real benefit, but I'm a bare metal automation guy. From my perspective everybody is moving down to bare metal.

Art Fewell: One of the things I think I'm curious about is ... You have OAM and a management orchestration stack around my virtual machines as that will start to become able to take in containers as well. What about bare metal? Will the container world maybe start to take things that we thought, "Hey, this belongs in bare metal." and say, "Well, container is close enough to where we could have it." If we have an OAM for containers will that allow us to put applications that might be bare metal applications so we could have a common OAM around virtualized and bare metal environments? Could OpenStack potentially be that vehicle?

Rob Hirschfeld: I really see the DevOps phenomena which to me is about automating workloads and being able to recreate environments with scripts and code. That is really the mega trend for what you're describing. It doesn't matter where I run it. I could run it in VMs or containers or on bare metal. If I've automated the deployment, I've automated the deployment.

The trend I see is that mega trend of automating the deployments and having better control in the software development and deployment life cycle, that is opening up a whole new world of how we operate infrastructure.

What we really want to do and what my goal is is not to have to pick and choose winners but to let people be flexible. You might be able to say, "All right, I'm going to test it in containers on a developer desktop or laptop." they're going to use containers. They're going to go to a test environment, probably on VMs and then you're going to go to a cloud and do a scale or a pilot in the cloud and then you might come back and do whatever you want, bare metal containers, VMs in production.


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