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Governance/ElectionsSpring2012/Christopher MacGown

Christopher MacGown <_0x44>

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I'm most well known in the OpenStack community as _0x44, and have been involved in OpenStack since before the July 2010 summit in Austin where the partnership between Rackspace and NASA was first announced. My main focus has been contributions to nova and glance, with a side-foray into an agent sub-project that was never incubated and died on the vine in 2010. Lately, I have focused on usability and stability.

I am running for a seat on the PPB.


1. Since the last elections, what areas have you focused on and what contributions have you made in order to improve OpenStack as a whole?

In addition to bug fixes to both glance and nova, small feature contributions including the cloudaudit API framework to openstack-common, and on-going reviews for nova-core, I have organized and hosted the first regular OpenStack meetups in the Bay Area dedicated to bringing OpenStack developers and users together, thereby enabling users to learn how to use and deploy OpenStack from the people developing it. As these meetups have evolved since the last elections, other community members have begun their own regular events which has allowed the Piston Cloud hosted meetups to focus on letting OpenStack contributors code together in a single room. This, for example, was where the filtering replacement for the SimpleScheduler was written.

Most recently, I have given high-level introductions to OpenStack to organizations like PARC and worked with a new large member to the community to help develop blueprints to enable each of them to use OpenStack internally as part of my long-term goal of driving OpenStack adoption. I also worked with Intel to define and execute benchmarks for Swift that will be provided back to the community. Finally, we are pushing further development on Tempest to expand the coverage of nova to cover things like Volumes, and to add test coverage to both glance and swift. These additional gating smoketests are being cleaned up for contribution back to the upstream project in the next week or so.

2. What are the most pressing/important issues facing OpenStack as a whole?

User adoption is the most important and pressing issue for the project as a whole. While there has been a lot of great work done to evangelize OpenStack, there is still a large contingent of potential users and evaluators who do not even know what it does, and another who using the existing documentation cannot get OpenStack running on anything more than a single node. If we limit consideration to only those users and operators able to get it installed and running, the features under active development have tended toward those needed by service providers, or those that are more fun and interesting to developers. While there is always a tendency to scratch one's own itch in any open-source project, the community as a whole would be better served with a stronger focus on the needs of users.

3. What is your relationship to OpenStack & why is its success important to you and/or your company?

Last year, when Joshua McKenty, Gretchen Curtis, and I founded Piston Cloud, we decided to base the foundation of our technology on OpenStack. Part of that decision, implicitly ties the success of my company to the success of the project as a whole. My company can only succeed if OpenStack is itself successful and the project as a whole can only become successful as an open alternative to Amazon Web Services and VMWare if distribution vendors, service providers, systems integrators, and end-users are using and evolving it.

In a past life, I led development of a distributed seismic risk analysis engine as part of a larger project to support international development. This software currently runs on semi-specialized proprietary hardware, but was developed with the explicit goal of running in "the cloud". It's my hope to help OpenStack grow and develop meeting the needs of scientific and aid organizations like Nectar, AIFDR, and the World Bank by enabling better tools to support scientific, humanitarian, and international economic development projects.