OpenStack Summit April 2013: a First Experience

In April 2013, I have visited OpenStack summit in Portland, Oregon. It was my first OpenStack summit and my first trip to USA, so it was more that just impressive.

The summit was devoted to Havana being the next OpenStack release. As you can see, it would have been well-grounded to locate the summit somewhere in Florida, but Oregon has been ok, too, – just look at that forest in the vicinity of Pacific Ocean.

Somebody may find Portland a grey and distressing city, but I liked it. Portland is a green and tidy city very different from my native Kharkov.

A poster reminded how many companies take part in OpenStack.

You can imagine how exciting it was to see people that have reviewed my code all these years I take part in OpenStack; people that have written tons of commits themselves and whose everyday job is taking care of OpenStack and making global architecture decisions: Devin Carlen, Joe HeckDoug Hellmann, Thierry CarrezBrian Waldon, Mark Washenberger, Dean Troyer, and many others – that’s difficult to mention them all.

OpenStack reports could be roughly divided in two parts. Reports of the first kind were full of prominent slides – you could occasionally notice a unicorn.

But I preferred other reports -

…and I was not alone -

One of the main OpenStack-oriented directions in Grid Dynamics (my company) is Altai – a private cloud for developers. It consists of several parts:

  • OpenStack services (nova, glance, keystone);
  • Focus – the Altai Dashboard;
  • Nova DNS – a service giving DNS names to instances;
  • Nova Billing – a lightweight service for billing instances and images;
  • notifier daemons sending mail about instance state changes and hardware nodes state.

Altai services use a dedicated client library to make OpenStack API calls. This library contains the common parts of  novaclient and keystoneclient with several enhancements. I have written it in June 2012, but I had no support for this library in the community for a long time. Thanks to the summit, I took part in openstackclient discussion and got to know that such library is desirable, so, recently I have rewritten my old code thus releasing openstack.common.apiclient – a common client library – and making novaclient and keystoneclient use it. I would like to thank Dean Troyer who kindly reviewed my code and inspired my further work.

New Altai Dashboard version, Focus2, is a very smooth and modern-looking solution (take a look at its mockups) and it has a reference implementation, and Grid Dynamics delegation proposed it as a possible direction of Horizon evolution.

After visiting Doug Hellmann‘s introduction to Ceilometer, it became clearer that this project is a robust and powerful metering solution. It can give the second wind to Nova Billing that concentrates on billing only being a small (63 KiB vs 1.5 MiB of Ceilometer code) server with good test coverage.

Nova DNS is an event-based server that manages DNS records when instances are created, destroyed, started, or stopped. It can be used out of the box until moniker will be more feature-rich solution.

Looking at the summit, I see how interesting and significant it was for me and I am proud to be a member of OpenStack community together with intelligent and experienced people I have met.

Finally, I would like to thank my colleagues Dmitry Maslennikov and Nikita Savin who made my journey possible and so pleasant.

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