Earlier this month I walked into Cloudscaling’s offices for the last time as an employee, almost two and a half years after I started. I loved my job. I think Cloudscaling’s future is super bright. While there, I learned a ton, I got to work with fantastic people, and I got to work on cool stuff that I believe will really make a difference in the future of how we do computing. Those of you who have talked to me about Cloudscaling probably already know how much I believe in the company and in its mission. Cloudscaling is democratizing agile infrastructure – taking the patterns and concepts that have fueled the hypersuccess of companies like amazon, google, and facebook and building open systems that will allow everyone in the industry to benefit from them. So why did I leave?
When I got there, Cloudscaling was a professional services company that was building large-scale clouds for their clients. During my time there, we transitioned to a product company, secured a series A investment round that we used to invest in building, selling, and supporting that product, and secured a series B investment round (announced last week). As VP of Engineering, my goal for the Series B timeframe was to build a sustainable and scalable technology team that could develop, maintain, and support the product and have that team be stable enough to continue doing so without my help. We got there – so now it’s time to pass the reins and let someone else take it from here.
As for myself, I started at Walmart Global eCommerce last week where I’m looking forward to taking the new ideas, concepts, and technologies that I’ve been working on and proving them out in the real world at one of the world’s largest ecommerce players.
To all my friends at Cloudscaling – I miss you all and wish you the best of success. Cloudscaling is the gold standard for Openstack-based products and thanks to all your hard work the future of computing will be here sooner than anyone thought. I will be forever grateful for the experience you gave me and I will be forever proud to be a Cloudscaling alumnus. Thank you for everything.
Last week I took a little trip down to LA to attend the #OSLAX meetup. I’m a little ashamed to admit that I was pleasantly surprised to find a big group of knowledgeable, friendly, and fun Openstack enthusiasts. (Us NorCal types are kinda snobby that way). I had the opportunity to present my talk on “Openstack IRL,” which seemed to be very well received. The video of my talk is up on vimeo if you’re interested in hearing the actual presentation, or you can see the slides on Slideshare. The message was the same as when I presented to #lspe earlier this year – you can build a production cloud using Openstack (we’ve done it!). This time around I was able to provide a little more detail about some of the specifics of what Cloudscaling is doing in our Open Cloud System, especially around resiliency for internal Openstack components, networking, and AWS compatibility.
At about 9:44 in the presentation, I’m talking about how excited network engineers get when they can build a CLOS network that provides loads of bisectional bandwidth. I have been assured multiple times that what everyone is actually hearing is “bisexual bandwidth” – I’m not sure exactly what that is but it’s probably more interesting than a network diagram. Check it out for yourself and see what you think I’m saying….
OpenStack LA Meetup Jul 26 – Paul Guth from DreamHost on Vimeo.
On April 19th, I gave a brief presentation at the San Francisco Large Scale Production Engineering (LSPE) meetup group. The night’s topic was “Private Clouds.” I talked about an Openstack-based private cloud deployment that we at Cloudscaling have done for a large enterprise. Despite all the buzz around and interest in Openstack, there’s a relatively small amount of real production deployments that have happened so far, so I wanted to reassure people that yes, petunia, you can deploy a real production cloud using Openstack. The deck (available on slideshare and at the bottom of this post) stands pretty well on its own – I covered the high points of planning, building, and running an Openstack-based cloud. I also gave some specifics about what tools and techniques Cloudscaling is using in our builds. I hope this will be informative and also generate some discussion and feedback so we can improve what we’re doing for the next time!
The most interesting thing in here IMO is organizational, not technological. Cloud is a different kind of IT, and it requires different skillsets and mindsets in an IT group. Because of that, I recommend building a new Ops group to run your cloud. However in any good-size deployment you’re likely to be integrating with an existing IT Ops team at some point or another – and probably right before you launch! In order for this to work, you need to build bridges to that team from day one. Nothing can derail a new cloud like resistance (active or passive) from an entrenched Ops team – so make sure they’re on your side from the start!
At the beginning of my presentation I asked for a show of hands for who had heard of Openstack (it was about 50%) and then who knew what the difference was between Nova and Swift (which is a good marker for people who are familiar with Openstack vs having just heard about it). Only 2-3 people (out of 50+) raised their hands! I was pretty surprised by this – my day-to-day circles are pretty much packed with cloudy folks and it was a good reminder that there’s still tons of people out there who don’t know much about Openstack and are curious to learn more. Keep spreading the word!
As with any 20 minute presentation, there is tons more to say – if you have questions about what’s in here or would like more information on anything, please let me know in the comments!
All in all it was a great evening (including some free Racer 5 beers)! Big thanks to Chris Westin for letting me speak, to Yahoo for hosting, and to the entire LSPE group for being so attentive and welcoming. I definitely hope to spend more time at the LSPE meetups in the future.