A look back at my first OpenStack Design Summit & Conference

I've just returned from the OpenStack Folsom Design Summit and Spring 2012 Conference, and am finally getting rid of my jet lag. Here's a summary of what's been a mind-blowing conference experience for me.

This was my first OpenStack Design Summit and Conference. And as anyone who's in open source is acutely aware, some communities can be reluctant to accept newcomers. Some may even seem outright hostile to the timid. Not the OpenStack community.

The minute I sat down in the opening session of the Design Summit on Monday, I felt instantly welcome and at home. Even as a relative OpenStack newbie (who was invited to the Design Summit to provide some insights and guidance on high availability), I immediately got the impression that I was in the right place at the right time. I've rarely seen a developer community on such a positive vibe. Sure, we'll blast each other on technical disagreements, but all in a good-natured, fun way.

My own Design Summit session clearly wasn't without such disagreements, and expectedly so. But I think we came to some excellent conclusions:

  • Infrastructure high availability will be an overarching design goal in the upcoming OpenStack Folsom release.
  • We will shoot for providing HA solutions for all OpenStack infrastructure services. This includes MySQL, RabbitMQ, Glance, Keystone, Nova and Horizon (Swift already has HA built in). hastexo will play a very active role in this.
  • We will not reinvent the wheel, and instead rely on the Pacemaker stack wherever possible.
  • Most of the challenge is really in the documentation and in the development of reference solutions that deployment solutions (Juju, Chef, Puppet) can then build on. We will take a lot of responsibility in that effort, as well.
  • Some services still require some work to become fully HA capable. Cinder (the volume service that's being factored out of Nova for Folsom) is one example, Quantum is another. This work will be tackled.
  • We're currently planning to stop short of providing monitoring and HA for Nova instances (a.k.a. guest HA). This is on the list for the next release past Folsom.

With those issues discussed, voted on and on the record, I had the honor of presenting them to a larger audience at the main conference. It seems to have hit home pretty well, based on feedback from attendees given in-person and on Twitter. I'm hoping the conference organizers will make a video recording available shortly. Meanwhile, my presentation is already available here. It's now available here in the Presentations section.

Overall, this has been a wonderful and very well organized conference, and I'm very much looking forward to coming back next time around.

We're also continuing to spread the OpenStack message. Just this week, Martin is headed for the Open Source Data Center Conference in Nuremberg, Germany. His talk, Die eigene Cloud mit OpenStack Essex (in German) is about deploying private clouds based on the OpenStack Essex release. If you're there, grab him! He'll be happy to answer your OpenStack questions.