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Individual Member Profile


Robert Esker

Date Joined
August 02, 2012

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

development, deployment




Rob's been involved in the OpenStack community dating to its origin in 2010. He founded NetApp’s OpenStack effort and is presently serving in his third term as a member of the foundation's Board of Directors. He's contributed to the community and overall adoption of OpenStack in capacities ranging from having co-founded the Manila project, to architecting the earliest OpenStack on NetApp deployments, to co-chairing the Board's membership committee, as a summit track curator, to frequently speaking at design summits, conferences and user groups globally.   His tenure at NetApp has spanned from co-founder of NetApp’s cloud architecture team, to currently leading product & strategy for Open Ecoystem projects and technologies.

Prior to NetApp, Rob was at Apple from 1998-2006.  He served in a variety of roles including as Technical Attaché to the CEO and the Board of Directors reporting directly to Steve Jobs. He’s a former U.S. Marine, and resides in Austin, Texas with his wife & two daughters.



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

OpenStack Summit Presentations

Speaker Profile:


Robert is a candidate in the 2017 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've been an active proponent and evangelist for OpenStack since its inception.  I believe the evolution and development of open tooling to rationalize and deliver efficient as a service capabilities across the diversity of information technology critical to sustainability.  I'd like to think my largest contributions have been in proposing, co-founding, and building community around the Manila project.  Additionally, I've collaborated within the commuity to help surface and prioritize integration with capabilities that aren't themselves delivered by OpenStack itself, with the intent of achieving something greater than the individual sum of constituent components.  I've also been active on the board as a member of the transparency committee and as co-chair of the Gold and Platinum membership committee.  


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?


As of this writing, I'm now nearing the completion of my second year on the OpenStack Foundation Board.  While I don't take as public a role, I'm also active in my companies work in the Linux Foundation as well.  Beyond that I've  personally contributed in a variety of other non-tech focussed non-profits.


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


The OpenStack Foundation Board is ultimately responsible for the success or failure of the collective community in my opinon.  Certainly this is a shared responsibility with the technical and operator communities, but the Board must act to avert from likely problems, correct for them as encountered, but moreover exercise leadership in seizing upon the immense opportunity that OpenStack still has before it! 


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


In the coming year (2017) I believe the board will need to drive clarity around a variety of existentially strategic questions, namely:

- What are the finite boundaries of OpenStack? And how can we balance the need to facilitate natural evolution (and indeed creative destruction) within the project landscape w/ the need to provide a coherent and quality experience for a broader base of potential deployers?

- How can we provide incentive and recognition across project boundaries (beyond OpenStack) to avoid unnecessary collective NIH (Not Invented Here) and re-invention of the wheel.  I've a particular focus on trying to reconcile this with the evolving containers communities.

- What's the desired state for OpenStack in 3 years?  In 5 years?  And how can we structure appropriately to achieve that desired state?