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Ops Mid-Cycle Meetup – August 25/26

Are you running an OpenStack cloud?

Come down to San Antonio on August 25-26th and hang out with others who do as well.

We’re going to be having people giving lightening talks about their architecture, a discussion about storage wins and fails, and someone even volunteered to educate us on making ML2 work.

For the first time, there will also be working sessions, where we can get around the table in a small group and talk about how we can pool our scripts together to improve the OpenStack CLI tools, or walk through the docs to find out what we need, or perhaps form a team around giving our feedback on blueprints.

In order to ensure you get fed, we need you to register now!

Draft Agenda

The agenda is generally divided into a few session types:

  • Full room discussions, where notes will be taken for feedback
  • Breakout working sessions, which should aim to accomplish a specific task
  • Architecture show/tell – short 5-15 minute lightening talks with discussion, to share best practices

Thanks to Rackspace for hosting this event!

Monday Tuesday
0900-0945 Registration Ironic/Bare Metal/TripleO
0945-1030 Introduction Database
1030-1115 Networking Deploy/Config/Upgrade
1115-1130 Coffee Coffee
1130-1230 Security HA/Distributed/Multi-DC clouds
1230 – 1330 Lunch Lunch
1330 – 1415
Working Sessions (breakouts): Blueprints, Enterprise, Ops Docs, Ops Tools
Puppet/Chef/Salt/Ansible breakout
1415 – 1500 Storage
1500-1530 Coffee Coffee
1530 – 1615 Report from Work Sessions / Meta Discussion Arch Show/Tell
1615 – 1700 Arch Show/Tell Close
Evening Event

OpenStack Summit – now with more Ops

I’m excited about what the upcoming Atlanta OpenStack Summit is going to bring, especially for those of us running clouds.

Once again, we’ve got an Operations track in the main conference. It’s bigger than ever, running Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday — and, the sessions were selected by individuals with some serious ops credentials (as opposed to say, our vendor friends).  “Training your cluster to take care of itself and let you eat dinner in peace“, “because AD != LDAP“, and “Cinder on Ceph War Stories” are some of the sessions I’m looking forward to.

Throughout the week, there’s also specific presentations on Security, Compute, Networking and Storage, but today we’re excited to highlight a brand new section: the Ops Meetup.

People who run clouds need to have a place to congregate at the Summit and swap best practices, architectures, ideas and give feedback – this is the Ops Meetup. Essentially, all of the sessions are designed to be full-room discussions: there will be no presenters and salient notes will be collaboratively recorded on Etherpads, just like in the Design Summit.

So, if you’re running a cloud and you want to actively engage in serious and not-so-serious discussion with like-minded folks, register for the summit, then turn up Monday and Friday to room B308 in Atlanta! You might even make OpenStack better in the process.

You can find the current schedule below. Further details can be found on the planning etherpad, and you are welcome to participation in the discussion on the openstack-operators mailing list.

Until then, may your MTUs match, expired tokens be few, and your message queues be clean. See you at the Summit!

1115 – 1155   Ask the devs: Meet the PTLs and TC, How to get the best out of the design summit
1205 – 1245  Reasonable Defaults

1400 – 1440  Upgrades and Deployment Approaches
1450 – 1530  Architecture Show and Tell, Tales and Fails
1540 – 1620  Architecture Show and Tell, Tales and Fails

1640 – 1720 Networking

1730 – 1810  Security

9:00 – 9:40   Enterprise Gaps
9:50 – 10:30  Database

10:50 – 11:30 Issues at Scale
11:40 – 12:20 Meta Discussion – ops communication and governance

1:20 – 2:00 Ansible
2:10 – 2:50 Chef
3:00 – 3:40 Puppet

4:00 – 4:40 Monitoring and Logging

Our first OpenStack Ambassadors

Following on from our earlier discussions about the OpenStack Ambassador Program, it is with great excitement that I would like to introduce our first OpenStack Ambassadors.

In this initial stage, we were only looking for a small number but were very honoured to have applications from many more excellent candidates and will aim to introduce more ambassadors in the next 6 months.

The ambassadors are currently working to scope out the program and are keen to start making an impact in our community. Follow the discussion on the community mailing list.

Below are brief introductions – but we believe many of you already know and work closely with our newly entitled folk:

Marcelo Dieder is a founding member of the OpenStack Brazil user group and is part of the translation team of OpenStack Brazil. He has helped in the growth of the group, organizing events, lectures and local surveys to attract new users and contributors to the project.

Erwan Gallen is the founder of the OpenStack French user group. He has organized lots of events to promote OpenStack and federate users. He has contributed to the certification process, documentation and help spreading technical knowledge in the OpenStack community. Erwan believes strongly in open cloud interoperability.

Tristan Goode, OpenStack board member, and organiser and supporter of dozens of events across Australia, India and on-line. His vision aims to bring user groups closer together and increase the penetration of OpenStack into new and emerging markets.

Akihiro Hasegawa, one of the board members of  the Japan OpenStack User Group , is the organizer of OpenStack Days Tokyo 2013 and 2014 – the biggest OpenStack Business event in Japan.

Kenneth Hui, lives in New York City, USA and is a frequent speaker at conferences and meetups. He is also co-organizer of the Connecticut, New York City, and Philadelphia user groups.

Márton Kiss, founded the Hungarian user group, and hosted Openstack CEE Day. He a have a vision about promoting Openstack in the Central European region and tries to convert sysadmins to devops and change their mind about operating modern IT infrastructure. With cross promoting in Budapest meet ups he have the vision of teaching python and agile development for students, and give more ATCs to Openstack projects.

Ye Lu, runs probably the most popular OpenStack social media channel- Weibo @OpenStack, in addition to arranging meetings in China – attracting more ATCs, and assisting with promotion by interfacing with local media.

Colin McNamara, member of the SFbay OpenStack user group, Core Reviewer on OpenStack Docs and Co-Founder of OpenStack-Training is focused on increasing contribution to OpenStack by lowering barriers to adoption as well as identifying and supporting intellectually gifted individuals in economically disadvantaged areas and situations and connecting them with the tools to improve their situation and OpenStack as a whole.

Kavit Munshi, one of the founders of the India user group, who has developed an innovative plan to introduce OpenStack into universities, and creation of targeted events for the market there aiming to increase adoption.

Michael Still has been hacking on OpenStack since Diablo, and comes from an operations background. He is now a Nova and Oslo core reviewer, but loves to help operators make Nova more reliable. He also runs and speaks at OpenStack events in and around Australia.

Sean Roberts an OpenStack Board Member who runs the San Francisco, USA user group, is also the author of the OpenStack User Groups HowTo. He is now spearheading the community training effort aiming to make OpenStack accessible to more people  worldwide and encouraging community members to participate in outreach, teaching and learning.

Akira Yoshiyama, is an active member of Japan OpenStack User Group. He has driven more than ten OpenStack study meetups/hackathons and lectured in Japan since 2011. He is also one of the Japanese translators of OpenStack Operations Guide and maintainers of

Please welcome our new volunteers!

OpenStack User Survey Statistics November 2013

Prepared by Tim Bell, Ryan Lane and JC Martin, your User Committee. See also: Infographic.


In preparation for the OpenStack summit in Hong Kong in November 2013, members of the OpenStack foundation were asked to provide their feedback via a user survey. The goals were

  • Profile the user community across geographies and industries
  • Understand the current deployments of OpenStack
  • Receive input on priorities for the technical and management boards

The format was

  • Information about the person concerned
  • Feedback on priorities and improvements
  • For those with OpenStack deployments, questions on deployment sizes, technologies used in multiple choice format


The survey is open for any one to input their ideas and deployments at but a specific campaign was run during September/October to get the latest details.

The previous survey was performed in April 2013 and presented at the summit (see

As with all surveys, there are risks of errors in that those who report to an anonymous survey do not necessarily reflect the installed user base. For an open source project, this is especially difficult as there is no tracking of deployments.

This report covers the statistics gathered from the survey based on the presentation prepared by J.C. Martin from the user committee with input from Ryan Lane, Tim Bell and Tom Fifield. Further analysis is ongoing for the comments and feedback which will be published later.

Changes since the last survey

The September survey added several new questions and modified some of the originals, with the aim of clarifying some of the responses from the previous survey and gaining deeper insights into the community’s methodologies for OpenStack deployment. To gather the best possible data after the changes, a communications campaign was enacted to encourage previous contributors to update their responses.

A summary of changes is as follows:

  • Industry list updated based on “Other” responses from previous survey
  • Information sources – removed forums, added ask, planet, ‘other’
  • Added “Community Cloud” to cloud types to be in line with NIST definition
  • Replaced references to Quantum, and added Orchestration and Metering projects
  • Attempted to clarify “User Group” participation, based on poor previous responses
  • Better recognition of Continuous Deployments
  • Fixed lists of Hypervisors, Block Storage and Network drivers based on current support
  • Changed “Number of Users” question from free-form to a pick-list
  • Changed “Workloads” question to a select list, based on collating options from previous free-text response
  • Added a new question “What do you like most about OpenStack?”
  • Added a new question “If you are using nova-network and not OpenStack Networking (Neutron), what would allow you to migrate?”
  • Added a new question “What is the main Operating System you are using to run your OpenStack cloud?”
  • Added a new question “What tools are you using to deploy/configure your cluster?”
  • Added a new question “What are your business drivers for using OpenStack? ”


User Profiles

822 people from 539 different companies responded to the survey, 216 of these were already members of OpenStack user groups which is an encouraging sign of involvement in the community.

Geographically, the community is widely spread with the US responses now being the minority. Given have that this summit is based for the first time outside of America, it demonstrates the global reach of the OpenStack community and the importance to continue with a global approach.

The survey received nearly twice as many answers as the previous round (822 compared to 414) and 387 deployments compared to 187. The national distributions have adjusted a little with the US response share dropping to 38% from 42% with corresponding increases elsewhere.

The industries are clearly dominated by IT companies along with Academic and Telecoms with 80% of deployments. Government, Film/Media and Manufacturing are more limited but there is a trend towards diversification as the previous survey had 85% of deployments in IT/Academic/Telecoms.

Organisation sizes are similar to the previous survey with well spread mixture of small companies to large.

Business drivers were similar across deployments with the emphasis on agility. Nearly half the organisations felt that implementing OpenStack was an effective way to attract talent.

For information sources about OpenStack, there is now a rise in the formal documentation usage such as and the operations guide. This reflects well on the efforts that have been placed in this area as it was one of the items highlighted in the previous survey as an area to improve. was also started recently and is now rising up the information sources reflecting the benefits of developing standard Q&A high quality answers.

With Grizzly coming out, there has been a clear migration from Folsom and Essex to Grizzly. Installations on Havana have now started and the sites on trunk have continued to follow that approach.

Private cloud deployments are the majority as in the past survey.

For features, with ceilometer and heat becoming standard components and maturing rapidly, their adoption is accelerating. Bare metal and database-as-a-service deployments are starting to appear.

Over 165 deployments are now in production. This is around double the number in the previous survey (84). Equally, the Dev/QA and Proof of Concept deployments have doubled in the past six months.

Most features follow similar ratios to the previous survey (but deployments are around twice). OCCI was asked for the first time but the usage currently is not widespread compared to EC2 which is enabled over 30% of the OpenStack installations.

For the implementation choices, OpenStack provides many alternatives.

In the storage area, LVM is the largest single deployment technology which probably reflects on the ease of installation. Ceph, however, is available in nearly 20% of deployments. The huge list of storage options illustrates the different configuration choices that sites are making while deploying cinder, especially if there is a deployment for other purposes at the site. Since multiple options could be selected, this could also indicate that sites are trying several different backend storage solutions.

For deployment tools, Puppet comes out on top. However, it is encouraging to see that all but one site considered a deployment tool to simplify the installation and configuration of OpenStack.

Within the different deployments, there is a variety of scale. Many of the proof of concept instances have a small number of virtual machine instances but there are now over 30 clouds with over 1,000 instances, 15 with over 5,000 cores and 11 with more than 1,000 hypervisors. Storage, networking and objects follow similar curves with the smaller instances providing many small configurations and several at large scale.

OpenStack is used for both public and private cloud deployments. The number of responses on these points is significantly less than the total deployments, illustrating that these questions may also be considered sensitive by the deployers.

The following statistics were all gathered by dropping the proof-of-concept reports and focus on the production and dev/qa instances.

The deployment tool space has a number of common solutions. devstack is used on many of the smaller instances, presumably as part of the deployment of test clusters. However, as the number of nodes increases, tools such as Puppet and Chef takeover.

KVM continues to be the most popular hypervisor for production deployments but the variety continues to expand, even including container technologies such as lxc and OpenVZ.

Ubuntu remains the most popular O/S for OpenStack deployments, especially for the smaller configurations.

For network drivers, there are a variety of drivers with the open source vSwitch leading the pack.


Additional References

Ambassador Program – Specifics

Following from the previous post, we’ve had a range of people express their support for the program and quite a number already looking for the application form! So, some more details about the Ambassador Program…

Ambassadors will be recognised on the OpenStack website for their efforts, and provided with support from foundation staff to conduct their duties. They will also get access to a funding program – allowing them to request funds for activities of impact in their region. We’d also expect ambassadors to attend the summits, and the Foundation would likely assist if it wasn’t possible for them to be there using their own methods.

Should I Apply?

Great leaders know when to be modest, but if you feel like you’re already doing the kind of things listed in the previous post, we’d like to recognise your efforts – so do consider applying. Initially we’re being a little more cautious and smaller scale, iterating our way toward a larger more active program – but putting your application in at the beginning will ensure you’re considered later too in the event you’re not selected initially.

How can I Apply?

This is an exciting new program, and we want to get right from the outset.
To that end, we want to get some more feedback before starting it. So, to begin with, start thinking about whether you or someone you know is ambassador material – and then let us know whether you think there’s something that should be changed! So, please continue to discuss on the mailing list/comment section, or, if you would feel more comfortable raising your issues in private – email [email protected]
Following this period of consultation, we’ll open for selections, aiming to have the first OpenStack Ambassadors bestowed their title in September.
While the discussion continues, if you feel ready, you can put in an application at the form here.

Frequently asked questions

When is all this going to happen?

We hope to have our first tranche of ambassadors entitled by September, so we can get the program running before the summit. We want to get this done as soon as manageable, since we expect it to go a long way to solving some problems that exist right now.

How much do ambassadors get paid?

They are paid in love – this is a volunteer position.

How big will the regions be?

Initially: big. We’re starting with a small number of ambassadors so we can learn before scaling up. We also want to avoid situations where there are many ambassadors in one region – hence the selection criteria related to geography.

How does “Ambassador” relate to “User Group Leader”?

OpenStack Ambassador and OpenStack User Group leader are two distinct roles, which can of course be fulfilled by one person, but they have distinct responsibilities. The Ambassador may be involved in running their local meetup group, but they’ll be chatting to the User Group Leaders in their region about how to best help – not taking over!

What will the term length be for ambassadors?

It’s a ‘job for life’. We believe that the kinds of people who would be eligible to be ambassadors will know when to step down gracefully.

How will we manage misuse of the ambassador title?

This question comes up frequently, but we have faith in our community. We’ll be applying selection criteria to weed out any undesirables at the beginning, but then keeping in constant contact with the ambassadors to look for early signs things aren’t going the right way. Community members are also welcome to help us looking out for misuse of the title.

Introducing the OpenStack Ambassador Program

I’m excited to start the discussion on the formation of an OpenStack Ambassador Program, which aims to create a framework of community leaders to sustainably expand the reach of OpenStack around the world.

Why we’re doing this

OpenStack is one of the fastest-growing open source projects and communities in history. We are fortunate to have more than fifty user groups globally and many passionate community members who are already making a big impact. We would like to recognize and further empower these community members to achieve the OpenStack mission, as well as provide more structure and resources to the growing community and user groups.
In addition, the Foundation has become aware that there’s a need to improve the relationship between user groups and itself – allowing everyone to feel like they’re part of a globally connected community. For example, many of you who’ve been to user group meetups have probably heard feedback from people trying to deploy OpenStack – it would be excellent to aggregate this feedback from every group to help make our software and community better.

How will this work? 

We aim to select – initially – a small number of OpenStack Ambassadors, asking volunteers who are already respected members of our communities to be the primary point of contact in a particular region.
What will the ambassadors do?
  • Act as a liason between user groups, the Foundation, and the general community, for example:
  • helping to solicit feedback on OpenStack and aggregate it to the global level
  • promoting key messages into the user communities (eg “ask questions on!”)
  • finding people to help localise content
  • helping onboard new users and contributors
  • Assist in user group best practice – from nurturing new groups to cementing the quality of existing ones
  • Help people find the ‘right people’ to talk to
  • Represent the community via speaking and visibility opportunities with the official title
  • Report on the activities in their region
  • Be a good leader, wranging activity from others and mobilising the global OpenStack community!

Who will the Ambassadors be?

The title is designed to recognise those who are already good leaders with a proven track record in the community. With the title, new users, contributors and community members should easily be able to recognize their Ambassador as a go-to resource. While the role provides inherent credibility, it also comes with accountability, meaning decisions and actions made by the Ambassador should benefit the whole community, not just one person or company.
We believe that the Ambassadors will already be active participants in our community. Think about those people who are already working across multiple user groups, submitting OpenStack mini-events to related conferences, helping onboard new users and contributors, arranging hackfests or just generally going above and beyond in the name of making Openstack great.
To that end, we intend to ask that potential ambassadors provide some information about themselves, namely:
  • Why are you applying to become an OpenStack Ambassador?
  • How have you participated in the OpenStack Community to date?
  • What ideas do you have for your community, that you wish you had time or resources to implement?
A small number of ambassadors will then be selected based on a set of criteria:
  • Community participation track record
  • Geographical location
  • Potential impact of selection on community


Your feedback would be excellent! Please leave a reply below. Also: for more specifics on the program, and information about becoming an ambassador, see the next post.

Introducing the OpenStack Operations Guide

Planning to run, or design an OpenStack Cloud?  There’s a new book you should take a look at – the OpenStack Operations Guide.  Get your free download now at!
OpenStack Operations Guide
You may have already seen the blog post, We Did It: Zero to Book in Five Days, from Anne Gentle, the OpenStack documentation coordinator who came up with the idea to write the book sprint-style and gathered the team – including myself.
Screen Shot 2013-03-13 at 10.29.48 AM
Our overarching guidance (and why you should read this book) when writing was to share our experiences. The authors have all lost sleep and worked through holidays to nurse OpenStack clouds into a production-ready state. To that end, the book covers two main sections: Architecture and Operations.The aim of the Architecture section is to, once you’ve understood enough about OpenStack to realise that you are actually going to build a cloud using it as a basis, step you through many of the common and non-so-common concerns to deliberate while in design. Some of it might be principles you consider standard already, but others look to specifically address the hard questions specific to this platform. Questions like “How do you scale your OpenStack cloud?”, “How many servers should you buy for control infrastructure?”, “Should your storage be external or in the compute node?” are covered in an opinionated manner, with realistic perspective on what works.This book does not include installation instructions. This is already covered in the installations guides at, so the book segues into Operations assuming that you now have a working cloud – though a pre-install skim is a good idea too.In the Operations section, we really tried to consider running OpenStack from the perspective of a time-poor systems administrator. It starts with a to-the-point tour of your cloud via the commandline as a way of familiarising yourself with what will be your working environment. Following this is a compendium detailing ways in which you’ll be working with the cloud. “User Facing Operations” attempts to give you enough of a perspective on what users are trying to do at the IaaS level that you can can help them, while “Maintenance, Failures and Debugging” works on the dual principle of fixing broken services, or preventing them from breaking in the first place.Two important chapters end the section – “Customise” and “Upstream OpenStack”. Openstack is as much of a community as it is a software project, and the latter gives some insights on how to interact with the community – including how to get help when you’ve tried everything else. The former, probably the most advanced chapter in the book, assists in taking advantage of the framework to extend it without touching the core code. Hopefully you’ll use the two in conjunction and share your work with the community!For excellent bed time reading – perhaps to help understand that others are in the same boat, and reduce those stress levels – there’s an appendix called “Tales from the Cryp^H^H^H^H Cloud”. Here, a few of us share our OpenStack operations stories to help you understand the processes we go through when the stakes are high.

It’s been a privilege working on this book for you – learning as much as contributing – and I hope you find it useful.

History behind the book:

The creation of this book happened in just five days, but the story that goes with it is a little longer. More or less since people started using OpenStack for their production clouds (let’s call that Cactus timeframe – those before that were fairly ‘brave’) there’s been a request for information on the best practices for designing and running our favourite cloud software. As it were, the small number of people working on documentation were struggling just to keep track of the hundreds of configuration options that make this framework so flexible. Then, in May last year, Anne Gentle created a seemingly innocent blueprint “Create and OpenStack Operators Manual”, and started gathering a team – people who’d spent months sacrificing their sleep to tune their OpenStack deployments, and able to share their knowledge.

Originally, the proposal for a book sprint was submitted to Google Summer of Code’s documentation track – it didn’t make it in. The OpenStack foundation came to the rescue, providing the funding needed to get the writers to the one place and keep them fed. Thanks to the Book Sprint methodology, from February 25th to March 1st, 2013, the authors worked out of Austin, Texas producing more than 10,000 words  a day, allowing a launch of the book the following week.

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