Highlights from OpenStack Liberty Summit, Vancouver

My tally of favorite talks during the OpenStack Liberty Summit.


By Thursday, you can start to feel the Summit winding down.  For the most part all the operators stuff is done, and many of the remaining time slots are project work sessions.  However, there are still some highlights from the general conference tracks.

A Few Bat@#$% Crazy Things We Did to Scale OpenStack

Matt Van Winkle

I enjoy any talk that Matt gives.  He brings a wealth of experience from running large scale OpenStack.  He goes into Rackspace’s use of nova cells, custom Neutron plugin (Quark), and some automatic fault resolution tools they’ve developed.

Real World Experiences with Upgrading OpenStack at Time Warner Cable

Matt Fischer and Clayton O’Neill

Some great insights around upgrading OpenStack at Time Warner Cable.  This has a lot of practical tips and advice for planning and deploying an upgrade.

I know there were several other talks around upgrades at this Summit.  I heard a lot of good things about Jesse Keating‘s upgrade talk as well, which describes how he upgraded from Icehouse to Juno all at once.

Developing the next generation of Containerised applications with libcontainer

James Bottomley

While not directly related to OpenStack, this is a great talk that describes the state of Linux container technology, and where that world is going.  James is an extremely bright speaker (he’s also the maintainer of the SCSI subsystem and PA-RISC architecture in the Linux kernel.)  I had the pleasure of seeing his containers talk at the Atlanta summit last year, so that memory attracted me back to his talk today.


Wednesday was 100% operators sessions for me.  I think a lot of great progress was made.  It’s been really great to see the operators community get more involved in the process and feedback loop.

Ops Tags Working Group

Etherpad:  https://etherpad.openstack.org/p/YVR-ops-tags

The tags system as an alternative to the integrated releases should help streamline the process for getting more projects into the “big tent”, while at the same time allowing operators to clearly understand the maturity level of each project.  These tags will indicate things like “this project has an install guide”, “distro packages exist for this project”, or “this project has wide deployment.”

We were able to settle on a basic framework for defining the tags, as well as some initial work on selecting some of the first tags.

Large Deployments Team Working Group

Etherpad:  https://etherpad.openstack.org/p/YVR-ops-large-deployments

This is a great group representing all the larger operators of OpenStack.  Not only is this a good way to share experience and gain a lot of useful insights, but it’s also an essential feedback channel back to the project dev teams on what’s important to people running these things at large scale.

We focused on a couple tactical issues around the definitions and usages of cells, host aggregates, and availability zones in Nova.  This has implications for Nova implementation of cells v2, which is being discussed  a lot at this summit as well.

Networking is a big challenge for larger deployments as well, and we discussed this quite a bit, too.  It was encouraging to me to learn that several other operators struggle with some of the same network topology issues we do.  This will result in some good feedback to the Neutron team, hopefully to help enable more topology constructs in that project.


I was mainly in design and operators sessions today, so I’ll have more recommendations here later as I catch up on Tuesday via YouTube.

Dare Mighty Things (Keynote from NASA JPL)

Jonathan Chiang

Tuesday’s top keynote, about how OpenStack is enabling research and missions at JPL (including the Mars rovers.)

RabbitMQ Operators Session

I had the pleasure of moderating this session again.  There were considerably fewer people at this one as in prior Summits and Operators meetups.  I think that is an indication that things with RabbitMQ are generally working better!

The etherpad link is here:  https://etherpad.openstack.org/p/YVR-ops-rabbitmq  And a more detailed summary of the session is on the openstack-operators mailing list.

Operators Architecture Show and Tell

Several operators shared about their architectures and experience with OpenStack (including myself, for Go Daddy.)

The etherpad is located at https://etherpad.openstack.org/p/YVR-ops-arch-show-tell.  Some talks’ slides are available online, some are not.  I’ll post mine here for reference.


Cybera Spotlight (Keynote)

Robin Winsor

By far the best keynote talk at this summit.  Well delivered and appropriate use of Powerpoint!

Tips, Tricks and Tactics with Cells and Scaling OpenStack

Sam Morrison, Matt Van Winkle, Belmiro Moreira

I’m a big fan of these guys’ regular updates on their experiences running large deployments using nova cells.

Service Oriented Deploys at Scale in OpenStack Public Cloud

Rainya Mosher

Rainya manages (or, used to manage) the OpenStack deployment group at Rackspace.  They’re responsible for the build and deployment system for the Rackspace public cloud.  Always a lot of great insights from this team.

More than Read, Write and Delete: Looking at Cool Features in Swift

John Dickinson

John is a great speaker and clearly very passionate about Swift.  Here he outlines and demonstrates some cool ancillary features of Swift.

The life of an OpenStack contributor in animated GIFs

Flavio Percoco

A hilarious and entertaining satire about the process of contributing to OpenStack.

Moving to Nova Cells without Destroying the World

Mike Dorman

My talk based on this post from a couple months ago.

Building Clouds with OpenStack Puppet Modules

Emilien Macchi, Mike Dorman, Matt Fischer

My talk with Matt Fischer and Emilien Macchi about deploying OpenStack using the OpenStack Puppet modules.