What’s happening — A Dell / OpenStack Update

September 15, 2010

A couple of days ago Bret Piatt, who handles Technical Alliances for OpenStack, came up to Austin to have further discussion with our team’s software engineers around OpenStack.  If you’re not familiar with OpenStack, it is an open source cloud platform founded on contributed code from Rackspace and NASA’s Nebula cloud.

The project was kicked off a couple of months ago at an inaugural design summit held here in Austin.  The summit drew over 25 companies from around the world, including Dell, to give input on the project and collectively map out the design for the project’s two main efforts, Cloud Compute and Object Storage.

Since the summit, and the project’s subsequent announcement the following week at the OSCON Cloud Summit, the community has been digging in.  The first object storage code release will be available this month and the initial compute release, dubbed the “Austin” release, is slated for October  21.  Additionally, the second OpenStack Design Summit has been set for November 9-12 in San Antonio, Texas, and is open to the public.

OpenStack visits Dell

During Bret’s visit to Dell he met with a bunch of folks including two of our software architects, Greg Althaus and Rob Hirschfeld.  The three talked about how things were going with the project since the summit as well as specific ways in which Dell can contribute to the OpenStack project.

Below you can see where I crashed the three’s whiteboard session and made them tell me what they were doing.  I then followed them, camera in hand, down to the lab where Greg and Rob showed Bret the system that we have targeted for running OpenStack.

Some of the topics (L -> R) Bret, Greg and Rob touch on:

  • Bret:  Getting ready for the object storage release in September and compute in October.  Looking to get the right hardware spec’d out so that people can start using the solution once its released.
  • Rob: Learning about how the project is coming together since the design summit.  Interested in how the 3 code lines, storage, NASA compute and Rackspace compute, along with the input that was gathered at the Design summit and community input, are coming together.
  • Greg and Rob take Brett to the lab to show him the C6100 which could be a good candidate for open stack.
  • Next step, getting OpenStack in the lab and start playing with it.

Extra-credit reading:

Pau for now…


OpenStack insights and code

August 11, 2010

I’m now at the mid-point of the videos I shot at OSCON Cloud Summit a few weeks ago.  Today’s feature is Brett Piatt from the OpenStack ecosystem development team who has been working on the project since it kicked off nine months ago.  Brett’s particular area of focus is the partners who have joined and are participating in the effort.  I got some of Brett’s time after the cloud summit ended and this is what he had to say:

Some of the topics Brett tackles:

  • Over 20 companies participating from hardware makers to software vendors who help you manage or operate OpenStack, e.g. Cloud kick and Rightscale as well as other service providers (who are actually Rackspace competitors.)
  • The Rackspace API and coupling it with feature releases.
  • The projects near term goal which is to get it in production beyond Rackspace and NASA.
  • What code is available now — OpenStack object storage (aka Swift) which powers Rackspace’s cloud files.
  • The Nova code = Rackspace cloud sw + NASA’s Nebula cloud = Cloud and VM orchestration system management package.  It’s mostly written in Python, some C & C++ as well as a dash of Erlang.  It also has built-in ipad, iphone apps, android apps and web control panel — something for the whole family!

Still to come in my OSCON video series:

  • J.P. Rangaswami, Chief Scientist at BT — Nature doesn’t require SLAs
  • Simon Phipps about his new company ForgeRock

Pau for now…


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