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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:

A lot of people think they're just going to take OpenStack and replace VMware. The reality is they really need to spend some time doing their DevOps automation and cleaning their house before they just move their workloads. It's not going to solve those problems. What I would suggest from there is that's step number one. Get your house in order.

The second one is the broader context in the docker conversation is not containers, it's actually service architectures — what people are calling phantom micro services or micro services. What we're really seeing from an application architecture is that people are starting to decompose their applications. It's just service oriented architecture but they're decomposing their applications and then they are treating them as individual components and capabilities and then automating against that.

When you take that approach, it allows you to scale better, it allows you to be much more resilient and decouple the components in your application. Those two things, that's the starting point.

People get very focused on, "Should I use docker? Should I use OpenStack? Should I use ..." Those are important infrastructure decisions, but they're secondary to automating your workloads. That's really where you create the portability. That's where you mitigate against the risk.

The challenge of delaying those decisions, this is one of the things that, to me, gets implied by your question is, "Oh, I can't make my decision right now. I'm going to not decide." With public cloud available, not deciding and not making some forward motion translates into people driving you. That was two years ago, the big story was really IT department is getting end-run by public cloud, which still happens.

To some extent OpenStack would help with that. OpenStack cluster would let you give somebody access to public-cloud like infrastructure. As long as they're automating it as they go to public cloud, you're okay. If somebody is doing manual setups in Amazon and not doing the automation, that's where I'd get scared.

Art Fewell: If you are a consumer of cloud services it enables you start seeing your job differently which I think is important to a DevOps mentality. 'My job is not to take this server and install some software on it. My job is to make sure that the service that I'm creating here delivers a good experience. The best experience possible and the best economic way.' Maybe that is for me to build myself or maybe I look into it and find out hosted works better.

That's the responsibility I as an employee have to my business. You realize, In that view point, I can become a lot more important to my company than I could have thinking my job was to go and install an operating system on this machine, right? A change in paradigm.


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