As he was teaching himself, Geoff Rich built a site called Learn OpenStack. Here’s how it can help you…


One of the great things about open source is the large community of people sharing their knowledge. Take Geoff Rich, who created a site called Learn OpenStack.  Right now you can use it to get started for free with OpenStack to deploy a single VM based on the Ocata release. He’s made all of the code available over at GitHub and set up a Trello board so you can see what he’s working on next.

Superuser spoke to Rich over email about the challenges he faced and what’s next for the site.

It’s an impressive amount of work: what inspired you to do it?

I was initially learning how to deploy OpenStack in my home lab environment as I work in a large organization that owns a lot of our own servers and I wanted to see how OpenStack works. Our levels of automation for provisioning network infrastructure still need work and OpenStack seems to solve these problems well.  (My day job is managing teams of software engineers.)

As I was learning, I found a lot of the online material somewhat lacking in places. More as a hobby I decided to make a tutorial website out of my learnings and to also create a set of easily repeatable steps that anyone with a few technical skills could follow. I also wanted a set of steps that anyone can run, regardless of if they run Mac, Windows or Linux.

I think the biggest challenge at the moment is the learning curve and getting an OpenStack environment up and running. From a capability perspective, OpenStack is great. But I could imagine a lot of people find aspects of it very daunting. I personally have found the networking to have a very steep learning curve as a lot of my previous experience is in building software systems.

What’s next for the site? What are you looking for from the community?

I’m currently working on finishing the steps to perform a multi-node deployment. Once I have that done, I will probably do a section on exploring OpenStack and showing people how to use it for real-world tasks.

In terms of feedback, I’m interesting in what people are finding hard to learn when they start with OpenStack. I’m keen to incorporate other tutorials for areas people are having difficulties with.

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