OpenCrowbar Packstack install demonstrates that abstracting hardware to ready state smooths install process. It’s a working balance: Crowbar gets the hardware, O/S & networking right while Packstack takes care of OpenStack.
The Crowbar team produced the first open OpenStack installer back in 2011 and it’s been frustrating to watch the community fragment around building a consistent operational model. This is not an OpenStack specific problem, but I think it’s exaggerated in a crowded ecosystem.
When I step back from that experience, I see an industry wide pattern of struggle to create scale deployments patterns that can be reused. Trying to make hardware uniform is unicorn hunting, so we need to create software abstractions. That’s exactly why IaaS is powerful and the critical realization behind the OpenCrowbar approach to physical ready state.
So what has our team created? It’s not another OpenStack installer – we just made the existing one easier to use.
We build up a ready state infrastructure that makes it fast and repeatable to use Packstack, one of the leading open OpenStack installers. OpenCrowbar can do the same for the OpenStack Chef cookbooks or Salt Formula. It can even use Saltstack, Chef and Puppet together (which we do for the Packstack work)! Plus we can do it on multiple vendors hardware and with different operating systems. Plus we build the correct networks!
For now, the integration is available as a private beta (inquiries welcome!) because our team is not in the OpenStack support business – we are in the “get scale systems to ready state and integrate” business. We are very excited to work with people who want to take this type of functionality to the next level and build truly repeatable, robust and upgradable application deployments.