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Operator’s Guide Book Sprint Proposal

This proposal requests funding for a guided book sprint in Austin Texas February 24-March 1, 2013 with the outcome of a book available for consumption in a week’s time.


This proposal asks for funding in the amount of $11804 from the OpenStack Foundation for a one-week book sprint with Adam Hyde facilitating with the goal of completing an operator’s guide. The outcome at the end of the week will be an online book available for purchase or free download from the openstack.org site or the docs.openstack.org site. If the ebook is available for purchase, all proceeds can go back to the OpenStack Foundation to pay back this grant.


OpenStack has been growing as a community and adding projects at an amazing rate, but documentation about how to run OpenStack has lagged behind the release rate of every six months. With an operators manual for cloud operators and deployers working to stand up OpenStack clouds, we hope to grow adoption of OpenStack by making the massively scalable open source cloud easy to understand and run day-to-day in a strategic and planned manner. This volunteer team we've assembled have had an outline for about six months, but as operators have little time to document while they support users day-to-day. This project would give the volunteer team the opportunity to work both collaboratively and without interruption to create this manual.

Proposed Book Outline

The OpenStack project gets together in person for planning purposes every six months, and in April 2012 we put together an outline for an operator's manual. The outline can be found here:

https://etherpad.openstack.org/EssexOperationsGuide. The release focus will be Folsom, not Essex. While we put some scaffolding in place, the book itself has not been completely filled in. We want to cover best practices, planning, day-to-day operations, and diagnostics for troubleshooting.


February 24-29, 2013


Rackspace office, Austin, Texas, provided at no cost.

Requested Costs: $11804

Itemization shown below.

Facilitator fee: $3000

Pay for Adam Hyde to guide the writing, maintain the toolset, review direction, ensure book outcome.

Air travel: $2900

Tom Fifield: Melbourne to Austin $2000

Adam Hyde: NYC to Austin $300

Jonathan Proulx: Boston to Austin: 0 (covered by his organization)

Joe Topjian: Alberta to Austin $600

Lodging: $4200

Four participants, six nights, $175/night

Per Diem: $1704

Four participants, six days, Meals and Incidentals, $71/day

Writing Team

Tom Fifield

Tom has been working on OpenStack clouds in production at the University of Melbourne and actively triages doc bugs as well as submitting many doc patches. He has provided a lot of his spare time to the doc team's efforts and has given great results. Tom and others have reviewed our outline for an Operators manual. Tom would be traveling from Melbourne, Australia.

Anne Gentle

Anne is the documentation coordinator for OpenStack and also served as an individual contributor to the Google Doc Summit in 2011, working with the Open Street Maps team. Anne has worked on doc sprints in the past with FLOSS Manuals’ Adam Hyde facilitating. Anne lives in Austin, Texas, so travel costs are not required.

Lorin Hochstein

Lorin started running OpenStack at University of Southern California's Information Sciences Institute (USC-ISI) and now works a Lead Architect at Nimbis Services.

Adam Hyde

Adam is a respected expert in online book publishing techniques. He has been exploring online technologies and methods for communities to collaboratively produce content for over 10 years. He founded FLOSS Manuals—a community of some 3000 individuals developing Free Manuals about Free Software. He’s currently project manager for Booktype, an open source project for writing, editing, and publishing books online and in print.

Jonathan Proulx

Jon has been piloting an OpenStack cloud as a senior system administrator at MIT for his researchers to have as much computing power as they need. He started contributing to OpenStack documentation and reviewing the documentation so that he could accelerate his learning. Jon would be traveling from the Boston area with manager support for travel costs.

Everett Toews

Everett worked with Joe at Cybera prior to coming to Rackspace to be a developer advocate for those using the OpenStack APIs, and an important aspect of this advocacy is written code examples and code for the jclouds Software Development Kit. He also wrote internal documentation for deploying the OpenStack cloud at Cybera, and worked side-by-side with University of Melbourne admins like Tom to get their deployment up and running. Everett resides in Austin, Texas, so he has no travel costs.

Joe Topjian

Joe has a lot of experience putting OpenStack into production and blogs about his experiences in planning for a deployment as well as working on internal documentation at Cybera, where they are building e-infrastructure as a non-profit supporting entrepreneurs and local researchers. He brings hands-on experience and a lot of written material. Joe would be traveling from Alberta, Canada.