Notes for Enterprises Investigating OpenStack from eNovance

Tags: openstack

Nick Barcet of eNovance gave two presentations at the OpenStack Summit in Atlanta that resonated with me as we investigate running OpenStack at work.

Are Enterprises Ready for the OpenStack Transformation? slides

Key points:

  • Vanilla OpenStack is a framework, not a product. It will never be ready out of the box.
  • Licensing alone isn’t reason enough to use open source: people, hardware, and power still make up the lion’s share of data center budgets.
  • OpenStack provides agility with infrastructure to enable rapid application deployment and iteration.
  • This agility is worthless if the business doesn’t capitalize on it by shifting mindsets and accelerating cycle times.
  • Start with new apps in a small scale at first to get practice with the shift. No need for everything to move all at once.

Delivering OpenStack Clouds as a Factory

Key points:

  • Remember the agility in the last presentation? Part of that includes the platform itself: OpenStack releases every 6 months.
  • No cloud platform is simple: lots of moving parts.
  • OpenStack runs a sophisticated continuous integration system with Jenkins
  • eNovance runs a duplicate CI infrastructure chained from the OpenStack CI system.
  • eNovance also runs a duplicate CI infrastructure chained from their corporate CI systems in customer cites.
  • They’ve built tooling to allow progressive upgrades and rollbacks of installed clouds: rack by rack, for instance.
  • They often run as little as two weeks behind the stable branch.

As a counterpoint to this, I met with someone who was struggling with an upgrade for over 6 months. They installed OpenStack’s Diablo release years ago, and they’ve given up on the idea of smoothly migrating to Havana (released in November of 2013). Instead, they’re dropping in a new cloud on new hardware. If you don’t stay up to date, you’ll get into a treadmill of invasive installations and migrations.