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Individual Member Profile

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Robert Esker


Date Joined
August 02, 2012

Affiliations
NetApp From 2013-09-30 (Current)
Statement of Interest

development, deployment


Twitter
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IRC
esker

 

Bio

Rob has been involved with the OpenStack community dating to its origins in 2010. He founded NetApp’s OpenStack effort and serves as its representative to the Foundation, architected the earliest OpenStack on NetApp deployments, is a frequent speaker at OpenStack Design Summits, conferences and user groups, and is an occasional ATC.   His eight year tenure at NetApp has spanned from co-founder of NetApp’s field cloud architecture team, to currently leading product management for OpenStack. His charter focuses on strategy, integration and development of NetApp portfolio technologies in and around OpenStack as well as business development, organizational and process alignment for bringing the value of NetApp’s OpenStack capabilities to market. 

Prior to NetApp, Rob served in a variety of roles at Apple, Inc. ranging from building and directing a team of expert consultants, to serving as Technical Attaché to the CEO and the Board of Directors reporting directly to Steve Jobs. He’s also a former U.S. Marine, and resides in Austin, Texas with his wife and two daughters.

 


Projects

I'm involved in the following OpenStack projects: Nova,Swift,Glance,Horizon,Cinder,Ceilometer,Trove,Ironic,Openstack-ci,Openstack-manuals,Deployment

 

Robert is a candidate in the 2015 Board Election .


Q

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?

A
I founded NetApp’s OpenStack effort and serve as its representative to the OpenStack Foundation, architected the earliest OpenStack on NetApp deployments, frequently speak at OpenStack Design Summits, conferences and user groups, and am an occasional ATC.  My charter at NetApp focuses on strategy, integration and development of NetApp portfolio technologies in and around OpenStack as well as business development, organizational and process alignment for bringing the value of NetApp’s OpenStack capabilities to market.
 
My largest community facing contribution to date would likely have to be my role in founding the now officially incubated Manila project.
Q

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?

A

I've been a volunteer and donor to several primarily international humanitarian and US veteran centric non-profits.  However, most of my experience relevant to the role of board member draws from elsewhere in my background.

Q

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

A

I see the board, beyond oversight and fiduciary duties defined in the Foundation's bylaws, as charting strategic direction, and providing sustaining measures for the whole of the effort.

Q

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

A

At year 4 the set of expecations for OpenStack are rightfully higher than during its earlier, nascent stages.  It's critical that the board move to harmonize more closely with the Technical Committee to ensure a consistent and leading quality experience for both the deployer of OpenStack as well the ultimate end user.  There are a number of existing efforts underway (among them DefCore & "Win the Enterprise") that can have a strong influence on this outcome.  Additionally, the board ought explore and agree upon a way to introduce a product management like discipline to the major programs (perhaps through a multi-year fellowship) to drive and provide accountability transcending releases that focus on end-to-end experience.

The board, again in concert with the TC, needs to consider carefully how to sustain the momentum the community currently enjoys.  There have been a number of very well reasoned proposals circulated in recent months that seek to address the resource pressures associated with the burgeoning project count.  Incentive (eg convenying ATC status) to community participants could, for example, help address the burgeoning review backlog present within several of the projects.  Additionally, the proliferation of meetings and associated travel is placing an increasingly large burden on both individuals and organizations that may not prove to be sustainable. The board ought make these its business.

I am also in favor of amending portions of the Foundation bylaws to provide the board with greater flexibility to affect change when necessary.  The Foundation presently has ~17000 registered members, but my experience is that number is not representative of those who are actively engaged in or with the community.  Presently, bylaws changes (such as those potentially associated with the DefCore recommendations) require a majority of a quorum of the Foundation membership (defined as 25% of membership).   My proposal would be to refine Foundation membership to include both voting and not-voting distinctions.  The former could require some evidence of ongoing participation to retain the privilege.