We sit down with Tom Fifield, Community Manager for the OpenStack Foundation, to talk about what the Paris Summit has to offer for operators


We sat down with Tom Fifield, Community Manager for the OpenStack Foundation, to talk about the Ops Meetup that will be held during the Paris Summit in less than two weeks.

The Ops Meetup is organized by the User Committee to bring people who are operating OpenStack clouds together in a collaborative setting. The goal is to give operators a space to share knowledge and best practices as well as to provide feedback based on their experience running OpenStack. The Ops Meetup is generally geared towards those who have a working knowledge of running OpenStack clouds. For those just getting started on OpenStack, check out the Operations Track.

Here’s our interview:

1. Give readers a brief history of OpenStack Ops Meetups.

Well, we’ve been working on making the users of OpenStack a critical
piece of our development cycle for quite some time now – the fact that
you are reading this in the Superuser magazine is one part of that, and
the Ops Meetups are another.

The first event we held in San Jose in March 2014 was really an
experiment. I believe I used the term "rant fest" in some planning
emails. What would happen if we got a bunch of people who ran clouds
into the room together and asked them to talk about OpenStack? Would
they even speak?

Luckily, it was a great success – those who came found it really
valuable. It was also this Meetup that was part of the impetus for the
new ‘specs’ process.

So, we felt a lot better carving off a chunk of valuable summit time in
Atlanta and got more great feedback – including identifying a pretty
important database configuration issue, amongst hundreds of other
useful ideas.

In August, we met in San Antonio and we tried something a little different –
introducing the idea of ‘working group’-style sessions (as opposed to
full-room discussion sessions) for the first time. The hope is to get
people together around a common issue and make concrete progress to
solve it.

In Paris, we’ve taken that concept to the next level and are expecting
to kick off many new working groups.

2. What can an attendee expect to get out of the Meetup?

If you’ve been using OpenStack for a while, this is your place – and you
can meet and chat with others that have all the same issues.

On Monday, we have some fantastic topics – pick a topic and attend! Whether it’s working together to finally make logging sane and consistent, or sharing best practices about how you do storage and listening to what others have to say, we want to hear from you.

There will be some lightening talks on people’s architectures, and this
time an "upgrade special edition" where some folks who have actually
performed OpenStack upgrades will talk about how they did it. One
session I hope you all attend is the "How to get involved in Kilo" near
the end of the day on Monday – we’ll have all the key developers in the
room so we can find out how to best to work together.

The Thursday sessions are much smaller groups, aimed at making some real
progress in particular areas. For example, how ops folks should fit into
the blueprint process, or seeing whether we have some handy tools we
could pool together to make running a cloud easier.

Finally – across both days, I also want to give a shout-out to the
Application Ecosystem working group. It’s the first time we’re really
trying to aim some discussion sessions about what happens on top of the
infrastructure – and working to get to that stage where there is a large
catalogue of applications to choose from that run on top of OpenStack.

3. What do you hope to accomplish with the Ops Meetup in Paris?

We’ve listened to the feedback from previous events and we’re trying to
make sure every single session either delivers some practical impact
into the Kilo release, or spreads best practice knowledge to many. If we
can achieve that I would say it was a success.

4. How can an operator get involved in Paris and stay in touch with the group after the Summit is over?

One of the best ways is to subscribe to the OpenStack-Operators mailing
. It’s
much lower traffic than the general OpenStack list, and we share ops
events there.

We’d also really appreciate you putting any random tips that you have on running
things or how they work into a bug report for the
documentation team.

Of course, we also hope that you’ll continue to participate in the
working groups, which will each have their own way to continue the

5. What Ops sessions are you particularly looking forward to in Paris?

The Operations Track has a ton of great content! I’m excited to see
Long Periods of Boredom Punctuated by Moments of Terror- Upgrading
Live Openstack Clusters
by Caius Howcroft from Bloomberg, and it’s also
amazing to see how many users there are in the User Stories Track. BBVA
should be a good one, and of course there’s always my former
colleagues at NeCTAR who run a rather large cloud.

6. Where can people go to learn more?

The Ops Summit schedule can be found at:

Alternately – just show up! We’re in the Manet and Degas rooms in Le
Meridien on the Monday for the big discussion sessions; and the Vendome,
Palais Royal, Batignolles rooms in the Hyatt Hotel on the Thursday for
the working sessions.

7. Anything else to add?

I’d like to thank the OpenStack User Committee – Tim Bell, Jonathan Proulx and Subbu Allamaraju. These guys do so much work behind the scenes making OpenStack great, and we really owe them a debt of gratitude.

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Photo by ukCWCS // CC BY NC

Brittany Solano
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