This post is part of the OpenStack Open Mic series to spotlight the people who have helped make OpenStack successful as we celebrate the third birthday of the project. Each day in July, a new contributor will step up to the mic and answer five questions about OpenStack, cloud, careers and what they do for fun.
Edgar Magana is currently a Sr. Member of the Technical Staff at PLUMgrid. He is in charge of the integration efforts between OpenStack Neutron and PLUMgrid Platform. Edgar worked over five years for the Chief Technology Office (CTO) of Cisco Systems as a Technical Leader and Researcher. He received his Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Computer Science from Universitat Politecnica of Catalunya, Spain.
Currently, Edgar is a core member of the Neutron development team in OpenStack. He has an extensive experience on Cloud and Grid Computing, Policy-based Management Systems, Monitoring and Scheduling of networking and computational resources on distributed networks. His research interest is related to Cloud Computing, Software Defined Networks (SDN), IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. Follow him at Twitter at @emaganap.
1. What’s the most critical feature you think cloud software needs to be widely adopted over the next year?
I have been involved in many OpenStack deployments, since the Diablo release all the way to the current Grizzly one. The most complicated concept to understand and deploy is probably the networking part. Neutron team has done an amazing job in terms of extending the networking functionalities for OpenStack but there is still a need for new technologies to be included that could offer scalable and distributed virtual networking functions for tenants, not just distributed network bridges but also firewalls, load balancers, nat services and all others. We have a very stable and well known set of virtual compute solutions already, so this is the right time for virtual networking platforms!
2. What do you think are the benefits of the open, community-driven approach to development?
The main benefit is the support and testing of the solution itself. There are so many hands using, testing and improving an open, community-driven solution that you will always find an answer for your problem. It could be as simple as a blog explaining how to use that specific feature or as complex as technical documentation with illustrations and examples that will make your life much more easier.
3. Describe an interesting OpenStack deployment that you were part of, and why others ought to know about it. What made that project work? Tick?
In my current position, I help PLUMgrid customers to understand how OpenStack Networking works and how it is possible to create both Public and Private Cloud Systems with OpenStack. It is so great to see how amazed they are when they see the system working, how easy is to instantiate Virtual Machines interconnected within complex technologies that in the past was taking ages for their IT team to do.
During my time at Cisco, I was part of the team helping Service Providers deploying OpenStack with orchestration languages such as puppet. It was very interesting to experience how a very complex deployment model can be simplified with a list of flexible instructions.
4. How do you describe OpenStack to your parents?
This is a great question because I have been in that position before, I like to explain them with simple examples so that they can correlate with their everyday activities, for instance my father loves to fix almost everything and he waste a lot of time looking for the right tool for the job that he is trying to do, so one day I told him that the Cloud was a toolbox always reachable that will give him the right tool at the moment that he needs it, after a couple of minutes later, he smiled to me and said “When can I have it?” I just smiled back to him!
5. What other open source projects do you think work well with OpenStack, and why?
Monitoring tools are essential for a successful deployment in OpenStack. I like to see “Glanglia” integrated, for instance, because a lot of OpenStack users are familiar with the way all metrics are presented there. I am also looking forward to seeing an application-driven open source project. Let’s give the power to the application not just the users, if you are an application developer and you have a platform that will let you deploy and test your application with a simple click, what else can I ask for?