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Individual Member Profile


Forrest Carpenter

Date Joined
August 26, 2013

Cisco From 2015-06-13 (Current)
Piston Cloud Computing, Inc. From 2013-08-26 To 2015-06-12
Statement of Interest

To make OpenStack the best it can be.


I was born after the Big Bang, but before the heat death of the universe. Formerly with Piston, now with Cisco, and acutely aware of what it means to run large-scale OpenStack clouds in production environments with enterprise expectations. My background is in the Quality organizations of VMware and Citrix, and before that as a sysadmin managing all kinds of services, hosts, and networks in a number of arenas, including some Distributed Systems labs way back in the 1990s (remember them?) at BBN.



Forrest is a candidate in the 2016 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?


OpenStack and I are somewhere between acquaintances and friends. I have not been a direct technical contributor (I did many of the early RefStack code reviews and gave a talk at the Paris summit), but I'd say I'm more well-acquainted than a "power user." Beginning with Piston's 2.5 release I've been learning (often the hard way) how people (including me) use OpenStack, what their goals for the technology are, and how they struggle with its idiosyncracies.


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 no previous experience with non-profit boards, which I see as an advantage. What I do have experience with is in seeing projects from a big-picture perspective, and in corraling differing viewpoints toward a mutually beneficial consensus. As a recovering engineer, I speak technical but can translate into practical. The board's focus should be on long-term vision and making good decisions for the community, and leaving the implementation details to the PTLs and their teams.


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


The Board should offer more concrete, concise opinions and set forth better, clearer requirements. In the absence of a benevolent dictator, we need a strong Board. Not one mired in technical details regarding implementation, and not one attempting to appease the many-headed corporate hydra of its backers, but one that clearly sees the potential for an enormously successful OpenStack that defines itself.


What do you think the top priority of the Board should be in 2016?


The board needs to find its personality and purpose. Serving too many masters has not been as successful as one might have hoped. (See all previous answers.) If we can't succeed at that, maybe we could organize a kickball tournament?

Forrest has already been nominated by:

  • Christopher MacGown
  • Forrest Carpenter
  • Andrew Kuhlmann
  • Ben Rosenberg
  • Nick Bartos
  • Cimarron Taylor
  • Srinivas Sakhamuri
  • Daniel Corral
  • Matthew Dietz