Don’t fork it up. OpenStack needs community collaboration

Cant we just be friends?

We’re standing on the eve of the OpenStack 4th Design summit (aka Essex) and I’m watching a frenzy of IT Goliaths (Dell, Citrix, Cisco, HP, Rackspace) and some Cloud Davids (Nebula, Stackops) try to tangle revenue streams from an open source cloud project.

I was pleased to read GigaOM‘s Derrick Harris validation of Dell’s strategy which featured my team’s contributions (Crowbar, OpenStack & Hadoop).  We are working hard to bring these technologies to our customers in an open and collaborative way.

Dell has substantial IT assets to bring to bear on cloud solutions.  All of them are ultimately tied to products that generate revenue for Dell; however, that does not prevent our being able to collaborate and share.  On the contrary, we benefiting from input from our partners, customers and community to determine which features are needed to accelerate adoption.  Our recent decision to accelerate Crowbar modularization is a clear example of that process.

It is essential to understand that this is not just about cloud technologies!  It is about the collaborative way we are promoting them and the processes we are using to deliver them.

With Dell’s cloud moving at hurricane speed, it has been interesting to watch how other companies are setting their own OpenStack initiatives.  It seems to me that many of these efforts involve forks from OpenStack that cannot/will not be contributed back the community.  One (but not the only) example is from HP’s Emil Sayegh who says that “HP developers … ideas will be shared…”  He does not commit to sharing HP’s code in his post.  I hope that is an oversight and not their plan.

In time, forking may be needed.  Right now, we need to focus on building a strong foundation.  Open contributions of code are the engine of that success.

6 thoughts on “Don’t fork it up. OpenStack needs community collaboration

  1. Thank you for calling us ‘Openstack Davids’. Our contribution to the community has been very limited recently, but this is going to change soon. Your project is fabulous and we have been discussing a lot internally how to get the best of both worlds (Stackops Distro and Crowbar).
    Sadly, we are not sure if Dell’s strategy leave us enough room to grow. For example, we have tried to contact Dell to certify our Reference Architecture on top of its hardware, but they did not even returned to us. I don’t know if this is a strategy or simply a busy agenda, but when you offer a company to prescript its hardware (for free) and they never come back to you… well… you consider different options.
    About HP strategy… well… time will tell.

    Cheers
    Diego Parrilla

    Stackops CEO and IaaS perpetrator

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