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Virtualize the OpenStack Administrator with real world lessons on Operationalizing OpenStack



  • Mahesh Kumar Director of Products - Management Business Unit
  • Jacob Cherkas Principal Solutions Architect
  • Jon Herlocker Chief Technology Officer - VMware LogInsight
  • Somik Behera Product Line Manager - NSX Security


VMware's Networking & Security BU runs its WW Field, Systems Engineering and R&D DevTest, Build & QA automation infrastructure on an internal OpenStack Private Cloud with more than 600+ users and 1000's of Virtual Machines and Virtualized Networks. In addition to the above users, this Cloud support a mix of KVM, XenServer and VMware vSphere Hypervisors. All this with fewer than 2 part time Cloud Administrators.


Such a large and dynamic OpenStack Deployment presents various operational challenges, let alone servicing such a large cloud with a surprisingly low Admin to VM ratio. We can do so using massive automation, proactive fault isolation and predictive fault analytics using mechanisms such as:


1) Puppet and Cobbler for new hardware bootstrapping and zero-touch provisioning.

2) Open Source Monitoring tool Ganglia to keep the health of the servers in check by identifying and monitoring leading indicator metrics.

3) Automated analysis of OpenStack python stack-traces and other OpenStack log using unstructured big data log analysis tool VMware LogInsight for OpenStack.

4) Proactive fault identification using learning algorithms, predictive alerting and dynamic thresholding based on learned behavior of the monitored metrics using VMware Operations Management platform. 


We will deep dive on all of the above operational tools that will enable you to operationalize your OpenStack Cloud with massive low Admin to VM ratio, We hope we will eventually be able to virtualize the OpenStack Admin one day using the automation and DevOps approach to running OpenStack Clouds.

Mahesh Kumar Director of Products - Management Business Unit

Mahesh Kumar is director for enterprise management marketing at VMware. In this capacity Kumar sets broader product and go to market strategy for the cloud management products in the VMware portfolio. He brings rich and diverse experience including R&D, product management, and product marketing that are anchored in virtualization and cloud management. Kumar holds an MBA from Duke University, a master's in computer science from the University of Wisconsin, and a master's in materials science from the Colorado School of Mines.

Jacob Cherkas Principal Solutions Architect

Jacob is a Principal Solutions Architect and the primary Cloud Architect @ VMware NSBU/Nicira responsible for build out the internal OpenStack Cloud deployment serving 600+ users and the Business Unit's worldwide field and partner teams.

Prior to Nicira, Jacob was a Staff Customer Engineer at VMware for 6 years, where he helped on-board a variety of Business Critical Applications to virtualized environment enabled by VMware. He worked with top tier Fortune 500 and Global 2000 customers in moving their Critical applications to virtualized environments and helping customers adopt a Virtualization first policy.

Jacob has extensive Infrastructure IT Architecture experience at companies like VISA, Cadence Design Systems, Peets Coffee, US Web and NextCard.

Jon Herlocker Chief Technology Officer - VMware LogInsight

Jon Herlocker works on technology strategy and leads an advanced development team for the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at VMware. In prior roles he was CTO and VP of Engineering of Mozy and CTO of the EMC Cloud Services Division. He was co-founder of two high-tech startups - MusicStrands (now Strands), and Smart Desktop. He holds a PhD in computer science from the University of Minnesota and was tenured Associate Professor of Computer Science at Oregon State University (Corvallis) where he published a number of highly cited scientific papers and led DARPA-funded research. He was heavily involved in the pioneering work in the area of recommendation systems, and in 2010 he was awarded the Association for Computing Machinery's Software System Award in recognition of developing a software system that has had a lasting influence in the field of computer science. Jon’s research & product experience has spanned distributed systems, machine learning, and human computer interaction.

Somik Behera Product Line Manager - NSX Security

Somik Behera is one of the founding members of the OpenStack Quantum (now Neutron) project and was a Founding Core Developer on the Quantum project. Somik currently works for VMware/Nicira, helping accelerate adoption of Network Virtualization in Cloud environments and enable large scale Public and Private Cloud deployments using Open Cloud Technologies and VMware NSX Network Virtualization platform.

Prior to Nicira, Somik spent 6 years at VMware, where he was a founding member of VMware CapacityIQ 1.0 product line and vCenter Operations "1.0" product lines. 

Somik was also a key contributor to VMware ESX Server/vSphere, VMware Server and vCenter WebAccess products. Somik graduated in Computer Sciences from The University of Texas at Austin and completed graduate work in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University.

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