Ben Silverman, author of “OpenStack for Architects,” gets newbies started with OpenStack.


SYDNEY — For the uninitiated, OpenStack’s role in cloud infrastructure can be a little hard to understand unless you know its capabilities and how it operates. And if you’re new to infrastructure-as-a-service, OpenStack can look a lot like virtualization or simply like public cloud offerings.

Ben Silverman offered this hour-long intro at the recent Sydney Summit that starts at the very beginning — what cloud is, the origin story of Amazon Web Services, OpenStack and why open source matters — straight through to architecture and managed OpenStack.

Along the way, he takes you on a walk-through of early services. This tour of the Project Navigator includes Nova and Swift which provided VMs and storage and were the building blocks for every OpenStack project today. He’ll also take you a journey through some of the latest services that have extended OpenStack into a stable and fully functional cloud operating system for the enterprise. His birds-eye view also goes into what drives OpenStack adoption for the enterprise (spoiler alert: cost, operational efficiency and accelerated innovation.)

He also takes a 20,000-foot view of why all of this matters.

“The value of cloud computing is in the outcomes it enables,” he said. “It’s like the value of an elliptical trainer — the value is in building heart health or losing weight.”

In a Q&A, he gives advice from a small cloud provider about how to work with a small team. “It’s a myth that you need a huge team of Python developers to run OpenStack,” he says. “You just need someone willing to learn the architecture and the tools to manage it like anything else.” It can be as few as a two people dedicated to it managing up to 10,000 instances, he adds.

Silverman is a principal cloud architect for OnX. An international cloud activist, he’s also co-author of “OpenStack for Architects.”  He started his OpenStack career in 2013 by designing and delivering American Express’ first OpenStack environment, worked for Mirantis as a senior architect and has been a contributing member of the OpenStack Documentation team since 2014. He also recently wrote for Superuser on how to get a job with OpenStack.

You can check out the entire 1:11-minute video below.


Cover Photo // CC BY NC