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Individual Member Profile



Rob Hirschfeld

Date Joined
July 19, 2012

Dell From 2009-12-15 (Current)
Statement of Interest

Leading the "What is Core" Definition Process




Currently on the Board, I've been driving the Core Definition Process.

I have been involved in Cloud for over 14 years and launched some of the earliest Cloud companies.  My educational background (Duke and LSU) is in computer science and systems engineering with a focus on distributed systems.  I have always found deployment to be vitally important in developments - that lead me to found a SaaS start-up in 1999 and had made me a DevOps advocate.  In addition to core cloud technologies, I am an Agile/Lean/TDD process evangelist who strongly believes that how you build and deliver is just as important as what you deliver.

Professionally, I am a Sr Distinguished Engineer at Dell leading our OpenStack Cloud project ( and also a founder of the Crowbar project (  In that role, I am in constant contact with OpenStack users, ecosystem developers and vendors world-wide; consequently, I have a very broad perspective on use and technical needs for OpenStack and related Cloud technologies.

You can get a much better perspective on me and my position on OpenStack by visiting



I'm involved in the following OpenStack projects: Nova,Horizon,Cinder,Openstack-ci,Deployment


Rob is a candidate in the 2014 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?


I have been with the OpenStack project from the very start and served as a elected Community Board Member since the Foundation launched.  I have been very active on the board and taken the leadership position in helping define Core including bringing in a lot of communty feedback to the process.  In addition, I have been active in helping screen gold members, update election process.  I also founded the Austin OpenStack Meetup group and am active in other community groups.

My biggest historical contribution has been taking a leadership position on making OpenStack Ops through my work on the open Crowbar project.  Our focus on open operations set the tone for how the communtiy approaches and shares around OpenStack operations.

In the last year, my work on core definition has become more critical to the OpenStack community as we focus on interoperability and ensuring a stable foundation for our growing user base.


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 community boards and commissions governed by the Texas Open Meetings Act for many years including a position as Rollingwood City Alderman (6 months) and Secretary of the Rollingwood Community Development Corporation (5 years).  These bodies operate with strict transparency and concensus rules.  Both are critical to the OpenStack Foundation Board.

These experiences have been critical in my role so far.  I have been a strong voice for Board governance including concensus decision making and transparency.


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


The Board must balance between three key criteria: innovation (dev), stability (users), and commercial success (ecosystem).  We must be more activing in helping the project find a balance between these different factors.  

A larger part of my efforts for DefCore and Gold Member screening have revolved around understanding how these choices influence the culture of OpenStack and create balance in the community.


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


Defining Core in a balanced and community focused way.  We have to deliver a sustainable process for defining core that the community can support and understand.

I want to continue to lead that effort and hope to be re-elected so that I can help implement the priciples that we defined in the last year.

I believe that my history, background and approach are the fast way to achieve a workable Core definition.

Rob has already been nominated by:

  • Randy Perryman
  • Colin McNamara
  • Mark Collier
  • Mike Veitch
  • Joseph George
  • Tristan Goode
  • Adriel Cabrera
  • Joshua McKenty
  • Troy Toman
  • Jack mac