Sunday, September 30, 2012

What prevents you from becoming a contributor to OpenStack.

Recently i was brainstorming how to convert participants of OpenStack meet ups to OpenStack Contributors. Then came a suggestion on twitter from Stefano Maffulli (OpenStack Community Manager). He said "why don't we start by asking people what prevents them to become contributors? Maybe they have suggestions for us, too ". I liked the idea and i started asking people a simple question on social networks  "What prevents you from becoming a contributor to OpenStack  ?"

Most of the people said that they want to contribute but don't know where to start. Majority of people feels that not enough How-Tos are available for reference. Some feels that they don't have sufficient time while some feels they are alone. If you want to contribute to OpenStack, first thing you should do is to read this wiki thoroughly.  Now let us talk about these three points one by one.

(1) How-TO documents: OpenStack wiki  is full of resources to guide a new bee within the OpenStack ecosystem. If you are looking to try OpenStack on Linux based operating systems then a very good set of how to documents are available for Ubuntu , Fedora and Debian. If you want to deploy rather than just install OpenStack then there are several DevOps options for automating your installation of OpenStack like you can use Chef. Matt Ray (@mattray) maintains chef cookbooks for OpenStack. Rackspace Cloud Builders also maintain a set of repositories with openstack-related chef cookbooks on github. You can also use Puppet or Juju for this purpose. Puppet Labs maintains a set of puppet modules for OpenStack while Canonical maintains a collection of Juju charms for OpenStack.


If you are a developer and you want to contribute code to any of the OpenStack project. You may want to have a look at devstack which creates a developer environment or Anvil its python equivalent. There are certain steps you have to follow before your code enters any of the OpenStack repo. To better understand the process let us start by fixing a very very minor bug.

Openstack contribution process from Syed Armani

To further understand the process you should visit OpenStack wiki. Its the best place to start. You can also enjoy Demo Videos on various OpenStack projects . Latest buzz work in the industry is software defined networking. Quantum project in OpenStack which provides sdn facility is in vogue. You can find a very good talk given by Salvatore Orlando (@taturiello) on Quantum here.


(2) Lack of Time: Hey, cumon this one is a perception. You see if we love something we always find time for it. Its just about scheduling our priorities to make some room for the stuff we love. Look we always find time in our busy schedule for tweeting, taking a dip in ocean/swimming pool, a game of poker, beer (yeah). If you love something, you are passionate about it then you will always find time for it. 


(3) I am alone: No, you are not. You have a family of 5600 people from around the world. How can you say you are alone. You have a problem, there are people on irc (#openstack) to help you. There are mailing lists where you can send your doubts, your problems and you will get replies from the people contributing on all sort of hierarchies devops, developers and even project technical leads.

#vishfact 16: Vish replies to 60 questions on mailing list in one second.


PS: Documentation is treated like code. If you want to contribute. Start Here

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Welcome To OpenStack Nation (Delhi NCR)

On 19th September, Stackers from Delhi NCR gathered at Faculty of Engineering, Jamia Millia University to celebrate the launch of OpenStack foundation. Perhaps the start of a new era which could possibly redefine the open standards and open cloud technologies. OpenStack foundation started with  5600 members and 10 million dollars in funding. Early morning we received some very nice slides from Lauren Sell describing everything in detail about the foundation. We started the show with the introduction on OpenStack foundation and then later we moved on to describe openstack software in detail.

The star of this meet up was Mr. Ritesh Nanda ( Cloud Architect at Ericsson ). He gave very detailed insight to all the components of OpenStack during the presentation. He went on to give a live demo of Quantum and then he described every piece of it in quiet detail. He started with introductory details on Network as a Service and then asked a very important question "Why OpenStack needed Quantum". A live demo of Quantum given by him added flavor to the party.
Apart from the folks at different organizations , we were also joined by Cloud Researchers at the meet up, we gave plenty of introductory details on OpenStack, What makes OpenStack ecosystem, Different projects within the ecosystem, their functionality and whats more to be added to the current ecosystem. We discussed every project (Nova, Swift, Ceilometer, Cinder, Keystone, Quantum, Glance, Horizon). Demo of OpenStack dashboard was also given during the meet up. In fact during the Q&A session , we went on to show how in practical we can use the OpenStack Dashboard (Horizon) to solve some problems. We took the questions and we showed them the solution right there on the screen. Very detailed discussion took place over interoperability, features which should be there within the OpenStack, then there were questions on security groups , placement control and multi tenancy isolation.
Apart from Quantum we also discussed Ceilometer in great detail, Why the community felt the need of this project, who are folks behind this project. We described its architecture and its working in detail using a very nice picture available on while answering a question on security features  provided by OpenStack. We went on to give them a live demo of some available security features. After the meet up we talked with the folks what they expect in the next meet up and what things we should cover in future. Slides from meet up are available at:

Openstack Global Meetup from openstackindia

PS: We lost our camera and all the pictures from the meet up along with it. Here are some photos taken by people who attended the meet up.