The OpenStack Technical Committee (TC) added their own questions to the annual OpenStack User Survey in 2019. The TC’s six questions looked to gain insight that can directly be applied to improving the software and its roadmap.
Jay Bryant, Technical Committee member, emphasized “It is important that OpenStack Operators participate in the user survey as this is a major source of feedback from users to the developers. The Technical Committee and OpenStack project teams take time each year to review the feedback and ensure that future development plans align with operator feedback. Such direct feedback is important for a community driven project like OpenStack.”
The TC’s main takeaways include:
- Insight into why there are still so many users operating on older releases (35% of respondents don’t upgrade). Future questions like “why are you not upgrading?” may be added to shed light on whether the lack of upgrades is due to difficulty or there being no need for an upgrade.
- There is an emphasis on the importance of continuing to do stable releases, as the majority of responses revealed that users upgraded “using only official point releases”.
- When asked which projects organizations contribute maintenance resources such as patches for bugs and reviews on master or stable branches, core projects had the majority of participation. Nova, Neutron, and Cinder projects had the next most participants.
- It was found that of users that were actively participating, they participated in multiple-ways. Primarily, users expressed participation by reporting bug fixes, however many of the users are also taking advantage of the Forum Sessions and Ops Meetups. The TC noted that, “This would seem to support one of the things that we highlight as being unique about our community. We are users and developers collaborating together.”
- A lack or time or human resources held to be the most prevalent reason for an absence of contributing maintenance resources.
- When asking for users to indicate what other ways they could participate, the TC realized they may not directly see the ways that people are participating with the community.
The TC has decided to keep these same questions in the next survey to test for consistency. However, they plan to refine questions and provide follow ups to unanswered questions later. Furthermore, the TC did not find the results to be surprising, but rather to reveal that the collaborative nature of OpenStack Users was very prominent.