FortNebula is one of five nominees for the Superuser Awards to be presented at the Open Infrastructure Summit Shanghai. Rate them by October 8.


It’s time for the community to help determine the winner of the Open Infrastructure Summit Shanghai Superuser Awards. The Superuser Editorial Advisory Board will review the nominees and determine the finalists and overall winner after the community has had a chance to review and rate nominees.

Now, it’s your turn.

FortNebula Cloud is one of five nominees for the Superuser Awards. Review the nomination criteria below, check out the other nominees and rate the nominees before the deadline October 8 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time.

Rate them here!

Who is the nominee?

FortNebula Cloud – Donny Davis

FortNebula Cloud was nominated by a community member, so we reached out to Davis to provide some extra context. See both the nomination, and Davis’ responses below.

How has open infrastructure transformed the organization’s business?

The FortNebula cloud is Davis’ mad scientist garage cloud. As such I’m not sure we can speak to how it has transformed culture or business, but we can be amazed at how one person is able to do so much with few resources. Davis does this largely on his own time at home, and is able to provide a good chunk of OpenDev’s CI resources.


I don’t have a business or make any money off this cloud. This is completely privately funded. This project’s primary purpose is to give something useful back to the community, and its secondary purpose is to learn how rapid fire workloads can be optimized on OpenStack. I am a one man show that does this purely in my off-time… because building clouds that do real things is fun.

How has the organization participated in or contributed to an open source project?

FortNebula has been contributing OpenDev CI resources since about the end of July 2019. We currently get 100 test VM instances from FortNebula cloud which are used to test OpenStack, Zuul, Airship, StarlingX and much more.

What open source technologies does the organization use in its open infrastructure environment?

FortNebula cloud runs OpenStack deployed with TripleO. Other technologies that are used include gnocchi and grafana.


Fortnebula uses Open Source technologies for every single component if possible. The current inventory of software is ansible, puppet, Openstack, CentOS, Ubuntu, freebsd, and pfSense.

What is the scale of your open infrastructure environment?

There are currently 9 OpenStack compute nodes. Unfortunately, I do no run the cloud so do not have detailed numbers for things like cores/memory. The information I do have can be found at


The current infrastructure sits in a single rack with one controller, two swift, one cinder and 9 compute nodes. Total cores are 512 and total memory is just north of 1TB.

What kind of operational challenges have you overcome during your experience with open infrastructure?

As part of the onboarding with OpenDev the FortNebula cloud has had to be refactored a couple times to better meet the demands of a CI environment. Nodepool may request many instances all at once and that has to be handled. Test node disk IO throughput was too slow in the initial build out which led to replacing storage with faster devices and centralizing instance root disk hosting.


Well the first challenge to meet was IO, as my ceph storage on spinning disks did not perform well for the workload. I moved all the compute nodes to local storage built on NVME. The second was network performance. My network is unique in that I use BGP to each OpenStack tenant, and my edge router advertises a whole subnet for each tenant, which then uses a tunnel broker to provide direct IPv6 connectivity. Through working directly with the infra community we were able to use OpenStack itself to optimize the traffic flows so the infrastructure could keep up with the workloads.

How is this team innovating with open infrastructure?

The FortNebula cloud is showing that you can build an effective OpenStack cloud with a small number of institutional resources as well as human resources. In addition to that, FortNebula is a predominantly IPv6 first cloud. We are able to give every test instance a public IP address by embracing IPv6.


FortNebula is a demonstration of what one person and one rack of old equipment can do. If some guy in his basement can build a CI grade cloud, just imagine what a team of dedicated people and real funding could do for a business. It’s also an example to show that open infra is not that hard, even for someone to do in their off time.

Each community member can rate the nominees once by October 8 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time.