Openstack in Action by V.K Cody Bumgardner
My first exposure to OpenStack came in the summer of 2011 while I was working at the University of Kentucky. My coworker and friend, Brent Salisbury, and I were invited to meet with a Fortune 50 technology company to discuss a product development project. During our meeting, the project’s executive sponsor gave us the option to work with existing commercial tools or investigate the use of a community project called OpenStack. Naturally, we chose to work with the framework we knew nothing about, and so began our OpenStack journey. Nothing came of the product development project, but the OpenStack encounter, as it turned out, became a turning point in our professional, and in my case academic, careers. Brent left the university and cofounded a startup that was acquired by Docker, where he currently works. I, on the other hand, transferred from a master’s to a doctoral program and wrote this book. By early 2013, the Grizzly release of OpenStack somewhat resembled current versions, but instabilities due to rapid feature inclusion prevented us from considering OpenStack production-ready for our enterprise environment. But although I was not ready to put my neck on the line with OpenStack for the enterprise, research computing was another story. As part of a graduate independent study class, I documented the use cases, architecture, and strategy around using OpenStack in research computing. In addition, I described the process and eventual adoption of the platform as a private cloud for our enterprise. I used figure 1 in my original academic report to represent the component-level distribution of OpenStack. I suspect cooking an elephant, much like eating one, must be done a piece at a time. Far too often in technology, we accept technological isolation as an organizationally sound practice—“I am a storage guy,” or “I am a network girl”—but this is paramount to someone only eating one part of the elephant.