Thursday, December 22, 2011

OpenStack in the community

or,dissipating the fog in the cloud


Update (Feb 3,2012): read the meetup retrospective here

OpenStack is creating lots of buzz in the IT industry. Its promise is to revolutionize the cloud market in the same way that Linux revolutionized the operating system market. Part of the reason that Linux was successful is the community of devotees that saw the potential and ushered the code base to where it is today.

But communities don't always just happen, they're made with sweat and pizza. My group has taken on the goal of making OpenStack users in the Boston area a vibrant community. The promise of OpenStack and quick pace of activity has spurred a worldwide wave of excitement, with local groups spanning the globe - from Argentina  to Japan, Australia to British Columbia.

I half stumbled into organizing the Boston meetup group. Being an engineer, it gave me a new appreciation to what it takes to make an event happen. From getting relevant technical content down to salad dressing ... The general feedback from the folks who attended the previous meetup (see agenda and such) was positive. And so - on with the next meetups !

To make sure that the feedback stays positive after the next meets, we've held a virtual meetup - a conference call - to workout future plans collaboratively. 13 folks from at least 6 different organizations spent about an hour on that. Below are the conclusions:

  • All organizations involved offered help in sponsoring the continued community activities
  • Alternate locations between the 128 belt and downtown-ish locations (Boston, Cambridge and vicinity). The February meetup will be around Cambridge
  • The format of the previous meetup seems to work
    • Moderated presentation on a topic of interest with lively discussion (see list below)
    • Time to network
    • Hands on demos and playtime with cool stuff
  • Next topics
    • Private vs Public clouds w/ OpenStack
    • Compute (nova) deep dive
    • API evolution
    • Networking in OpenStack
      • With and without Quantum
    • Operations
      • Care and feeding
      • Migration and upgrades
      • Best practices and operational procedures
    • Deployment strategies
    • Security 
    • Real use cases and reactions
  • Tentative dates
    • Next meetup - week of February 1
    • Following meetup - close to the April Essex OpenStack release.


With all that said, it's time to make the fog surrounding cloud dissipate..., one step towards that is to join the next meetup (the pizza is delicious ) and share the ride. (in case the links littering this page have scatter, the meetup group is here: http://www.meetup.com/Openstack-Boston/).