Rafael Knuth (@RafaelKnuth with Dell as EMEA Social Media Community Manager) has set an ambitious objective to interview all 24 of the OpenStack Foundation Board members. I have the privilege of being the first interview posted (Japanese version!). Here’s the whole series.
This is not puff interview – We spent an hour together and Rafael did not shy away from asking hard questions like “Why did Dell jump into OpenStack?” and “is VMware a threat to OpenStack?” Rather than posting the whole transcript (it’s posted here), I’m including the questions (as a teaser) below. There is some real meat in these answers about OpenStack, Dell, Crowbar and challenges facing the project.
WARNING: My job is engineering, not marketing. You may find my answers (which are MY OWN ANSWERS) to be more direct that you are expecting. If you find yourself needing additional circumlocution then simply close your browser and move on.
Dell’s interest in OpenStack has been very pragmatic. OpenStack is something we really see a market need for.
Rackspace … runs on OpenStack pretty much off trunk … That’s exactly the type of vibrant community we want to see. At the same time, there is a growing community that wants to use OpenStack distributions with support, certifications and they are fine with being 6 months behind OpenStack off trunk. That’s good, and we want that shadow, we want that combination of pure minded early adopters and less sophisticated OpenStack users both working together.
We are working with different partners to bring OpenStack to different customers in different ways. It is confusing. Your question about Dell Crowbar was right … it is targeted at a certain class of users, and I don’t want enterprise customers who expect a lot of shiny chrome and zero touch. That’s not the target by now for Dell Crowbar. We definitely need that sort of magic decoder page to help customers understand our commercial offering.
Questions from Interview:
- Dell is one of the very early contributors to OpenStack. Why is Dell engaging in this project?
- How does Dell contribute to OpenStack?
- Let’s talk a bit about Dell Crowbar, your team’s deployment mechanism for OpenStack.
- Let’s talk a bit about OpenStack raw vs. OpenStack distributions.
- What are the biggest barriers to OpenStack adoption as of now?
- What does a customer specifically need to do when moving from OpenStack Essex to Folsom for example?
- My next question is around proof of concept versus production, Rob. How are customers using OpenStack and can you give examples for both scenarios?
- I hear very often two different statements: “Open Stack is an alternative to Amazon.” The other is: “OpenStack is an alternative to VMware … maybe, hopefully in two or three years from now.” Which of both statements is true?
- How do you view VMware joining OpenStack. Is it a threat to OpenStack or does VMware add value to the project?
- Let us speak about market adoption. Who are the early adopters of OpenStack? And when do you expect OpenStack to hit the tipping point for mass market adoption?
- Rob, for all those interested in Dell’s commercial offering around OpenStack … can you give a brief overview?
- Dell TechCenter that provides customers an overview over our OpenStack offering: Dell Crowbar as our DevOps tool in its various shapes and forms, OpenStack distros we support … cloud services we build around OpenStack … hardware capabilities optimized for OpenStack.
- What are the challenges for the OpenStack Board of Directors?