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Individual Member Profile


Randy Bias

Date Joined
July 24, 2012

EMC Corporation From 2014-10-14 (Current)
Statement of Interest

Make OpenStack More Awesome




His prescient views on the profound disruption caused by cloud computing have made Randy Bias one of the industry’s most influential voices. He is an evangelist who was among the first to articulate the generational transition of IT from mainframe to enterprise computing and then to cloud in addition to popularizing the cloud server "pets vs. cattle" meme. 

Randy was an early and vocal supporter of the OpenStack project and Cloudscaling was part the initial OpenStack launch in summer of 2010.  He led the teams that deployed the first public OpenStack storage cloud (Swift) outside of Rackspace, and the first public OpenStack compute cloud (Nova). He is a founding Board Member of the OpenStack Foundation. He continues to be a vocal advocate of OpenStack, through his company, his writing and his speaking engagements. 

His voice is frequently heard in media outlets such as GigaOm, InformationWeek, The Economist, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, ReadWriteWeb, O’Reilly Radar, Light Reading, and others, in addition to the Cloudscaling blog. He is a regular keynote speaker and panelist at events from the OpenStack Summit to VMworld, Structure, eComm, CloudConnect, Interop, CloudBeat, CloudExpo, The Web Summit, and Gluecon.



I'm involved in the following OpenStack projects: Nova,Swift,Glance,Keystone,Quantum,Cinder,Ceilometer,Heat,Ironic,Oslo,Openstack-ci,Openstack-manuals,QA,Deployment


Randy is a candidate in the 2015 Board Election .


What is your relationship to OpenStack, and why is its success important to you? What would you say is your biggest contribution to OpenStack's success to date?


My company, EMC, is delivering a number of OpenStack-powered solutions, both within core EMC and including EMC Federation members such as VMware.

As Cloudscaling, prior to the acquisition by EMC, was one of the original launch members for OpenStack (http://www.cloudscaling.com/blog/cloud-computing/does-openstack-change-the-cloud-game/) in summer of 2010. We were the first to do a number of major production deployments including the first OpenStack storage cloud and first OpenStack compute cloud. Cloudscaling also brought OpenStack to Korea and perhaps most importantly, helped deliver OpenStack into 2 of the Fortune 15 companies, who run it in production with full support from us today. In other words, our biggest contributions to date as a company have primarily been in driving larger scale production OpenStack deployments for large enterprise companies, which goes a long way towards delivering on OpenStack's vision and mission.

In addition to our company's leadership in this area, I have personally been a key advocate of change in perspective within the OpenStack community. Famously, I posted a call for OpenStack to embrace Amazon (http://www.cloudscaling.com/blog/cloud-computing/openstack-aws/ and http://www.cloudscaling.com/blog/company/looking-in-the-mirror-a-response-to-my-open-letter/). At the time, roughly 33.5% of OpenStack deployments used the EC2 APIs. As of the latest user survey that number has increased to 44% of production OpenStack deployments (http://superuser.openstack.org/articles/openstack-user-survey-insights-november-2014).

More recently, I was the agitator who called on re-examining how product management happens in the OpenStack community during the OpenStackSV event where I gave a compelling keynote on the challenges we face (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOAb6wfBYxU). This resulted in the OpenStack Product Working Group (http://robhirschfeld.com/2014/11/21/product-managers/).

This also highlighted one of the key challenges to OpenStack that I have been surfacing over the past two years: that disallowing competitive projects/programs goes against the inherentiy inclusive and democratic nature of the OpenStack project and community. This long term lobbying within the board and TC contributed to the TC's recent stated intention to investigate allowing for competitive projects within each program, which I believe is critical to OpenStack's long term success.


Describe your experience with other non profits or serving as a board member. How does your experience prepare you for the role of a board member?


I have served on the OpenStack Foundation Board of Director's since it's inception in 2012.


What do you see as the Board's role in OpenStack's success?


The OpenStack Foundation and it's Board have had good success as the arbiter of all things related to business strategy (marketing, copyright, branding, etc.), but I believe that over the long term the Board's success will be tied tightly to how well it works with the Technical Committee (TC). In both of the two joint TC/Board meetings significant progress was made in breaking through key challenges. I believe that over the long term we need to work on ever more coordination and communication between what area effectively two sides of the same coin: business leadership (Board) and technical leadership (TC).


What do you think the top priority of the Board should be in 2014?


In 2015, the Board needs to reinvigorate the OpenStack Foundation mission by working with the TC to explicitly allow for competing projects within OpenStack programs, while also helping to re-educate customers and vendors that OpenStack is not a single monolithic project. Instead, we can see that with OpenStack growing as quickly as it is, it's imperative that OpenStack be seen as a set of loosely coupled projects which MAY be put together in a number of ways.

This can only succeed if simultaneously we continue the work around DefCore and RefStack such that we have a testing framework for interoperability of OpenStack solutions.

Hopefully both of these combine such that we have different flavors of OpenStack that customers can pick and choose from such as OpenStack AWS for AWS interoperability, OpenStack IaaS for OpenStack compute+storage+networking, OpenStack PaaS for the pieces of OpenStack that ride above the IaaS layer, and so on.

Right now OpenStack is in danger of collapsing under it's own weight and we need to rejigger the mission and core tenets of OpenStack to help it reconfigure itself organically.

Randy has already been nominated by:

  • Jay Cuthrell
  • Tamara Johnston
  • Sebastian Stadil
  • Rafael Rivero
  • John Dewey
  • Shamail Tahir
  • Andrey Pavlov
  • Imran Hayder
  • Feodor Tersin
  • Tushar Kalra