WHIR Webinar Notes: Prying Open the Cloud with Dell Crowbar & OpenStack

Panelists: Me (@zehicle) & Joseph B. George (@jbgeorge), Director, Cloud and Big Data Solutions, Dell

Moderator: Liam Eagle (@theWHIR) , Editor-in-Chief, Web Host Industry Review

Wow, this Webinar was an hour of OpenStack insights (see the whole thing). If you don’t have the hour then you can use my time line nodes to jump to what you want to hear.

  • 2:50: Presentation Starts (introductions are over)
  • 3:40: Joseph coins the word “dynormous” for dynamic & large scale clouds
  • 4:40: Customers want to know how they are going to maintain a cloud
  • 4:50: Customers don’t want a 9 month cycle for features, want it faster. DevOps gives us the flexibility to meet our customer needs as quickly as they want to.
  • 7:11: Massive scalability… their (Rackspace & NASA) business is about scale
  • 8:00: Rackspace and NASA started from the beginning to build a community
  • 8:50: We have the data that this has staying power
  • 10:10: We see a lot of companies joining in the community
  • 11:56: Shout out to Opscode Chef
  • 12:40: From bare metal to a fully functioning cloud in under 2 hours. Crowbar allows you to introduce new elements into the environment
  • 13:40: Crowbar leverages our experience with cloud deployments
  • 14:33: Dell was the only provider there from day 1. We have the most experience.
  • 17:27: DevOps Poll
  • 18:40: DevOps is a significant trend that you should consider. Hosters have a lot of operational chops.
  • 19:34: There are a lot of right ways to do cloud. You need to pick what’s best for your business model
  • 20:23: We could get hardware and software, but operational expertise was missing.
  • 21:33: We’re more making the complexity of a cloud go away. We are getting our customers a head start. We are chipping away at the learning curve.
  • 22:05: The cloud is always ready, never finished. Cloud is an ongoing operational environment: DevOps!
  • 23:30: Crowbar bakes a lot of operational experience into the deployment.
  • 25:17: Core tenant of DevOps: there is no single OpenStack image. Cloud is too complex. We build it in layers.
  • 26:26: Before you deploy, you can change the configuration.
  • 27:30: Barclamps are modules that execute a function. We are inviting community participation
  • 28:40: Crowbar process view – Crowbar is a “PXE state machine” is a very simplified description.
  • 29:57: You can go through a tuning cycle where you can get it working, make sure it’s right, flush and reset. That ensures you have an automated system.
  • 30:34: Screen shots with descriptions
  • 33:25: Event the core state machine that runs Crowbar is deployed as a barclamp
  • 35:00: You can download OpenStack and install it yourself from our github. We don’t want to talk about OpenStack, we want to DO OpenStack.
  • Poll Results (see to the right)
  • 38:00: Online resources
  • 40:00: Question 1: Timeline for RHEL. Answer: RHEL is part of Hadoop, will make it into OpenStack by end of year (or sooner based on market demand)
  • 42:17: Question 2: What led Dell to get involved in OpenStack? Answer: It’s about experience. We like being able to fix and change if we needed. There is a lot of active community
  • 45:30: Question 3: How does a hardware maker play with open source software? Answer: It’s a solution for us. We wanted to make sure that people cloud deploy the software. Adding DevOps takes it to another level.
  • 48:00 Question 4: What elements of Diablo are most exciting? Answer: Keystone (centralized authentication) is a big deal. Networking changes that “bust the top” of the networking hurdles.
  • 50:25: Question 5: Where is OpenStack going long term? Answer: We’re pleasantly surprised about how much it’s picked up. We’ll see more standards in the community. We have high hopes for OpenStack and have invested heavily. We’ll see more as-a-service capabilities to build on a common infrastructure: both open and commercial.
  • 52:47: Question 6: What’s the biggest barrier to operating at scale? Answer: learning how to operate is the biggest hurdle. We took a learning approach to help customers get started. We are hosting a training with Rackspace.
  • 55:00: Question 7: Where does Dell and Rackspace overlap? Answer: We see Rackspace Cloud Builders that the premier experts. Dell Services is involved with all of it. Dell takes the phone call and deals with our customers directly.

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