The OpenStack Blog

Ripple Effect

I enjoying hiking, and one trek I enjoy is a climb to over 10,000 feet within the Great Basin National Park to a small lake called Stella Lake.  Stella is very small and insignificant, if measured by size and depth. It sits at the foot of a small ancient glacier cirque sheltered by 13,000-foot Wheeler Peak.

Stella is cold and clear, fed by pure forested winter snows. Its remote location preserves its pristine environment. Its sheltered location creates an atmosphere of calm serenity. On many of my visits, the air has been so calm the surface of Stella was as a mirror, reflecting the beauty of the granite cliffs, evergreen trees, clean blue skies, and cottony white clouds off its clear glassy surface. The toss of a small stone into such still waters ripples across the entire lake reaching the farthest shores, catching the silver sparkles of the sun in its wake.

The ripple effect.  Where a seemingly localized action transfers to great distances.

With all that is being accomplished within the OpenStack project, we should not forget about the ripple effect.  This effect occurs daily through the associated commercial and community open source projects tied into the project. An OpenStack release, such as Grizzly, is like a toss of a stone into the waters of the cloud ecosystem.

Many community projects and commercial ventures closely follow the OpenStack project through the life of each release.  Tracking changes on a daily basis they see the code, learn from it, adapt it, and enhance it.  Processes that not only ripple out to the Cloud ecosystem but ripple back into the OpenStack project as well creating a mutually beneficial relationship.

Community open source projects check out the changes, build OpenStack within their own projects, run functional and unit tests for each component, and put the code through its paces.  Their  development processes included additional code reviews, component integration and testing tailored to their community or organization projects.  Through their processes additional bugs are quickly found and fixed.  Through their efforts OpenStack is distributed as a part of their projects. Through their efforts OpenStack receives the ripple effect of return contributions through reported bugs, patches, and feature enhancements.

Commercial programs conduct similar testing and review steps while typically adding service and support for a variety of platforms, middleware, and applications. Their contributions back to the OpenStack project provide increased quality and more easily integrated software.  Attributes that keep getting better with each OpenStack release.

As you can see the ripple effect not only extends OpenStack into a worldwide distribution but into a worldwide community.  A community of vastly growing knowledge and ideas.  Quite simply, the ripple effect helps make open source software better, faster.

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