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How I Contribute To OpenStack: Hastexo’s Florian Haas

OpenStack is the platform upon which Rackspace has built its open cloud. The community-driven cloud operating system, which Rackspace co-founded, has sparked an open source cloud revolution. Enabling the community of hundreds of developers to contribute code and leverage the OpenStack cloud however they want has created a shift in how applications are developed. This blog series collects insight straight from key developers on the front lines about how they became involved in OpenStack and the open cloud, and what contributions they’ve made.

In this installment, hastexo CEO and Co-Founder Florian Haas discusses what drew him to OpenStack and open source and what he’s done to contribute to the open cloud.

Tell us about yourself.
I’m one of the founders of hastexo, a professional services company specializing in high availability; redundant and distributed storage; and open source cloud solutions. Together with my colleagues at hastexo, I do on-site and remote consultancy, teach classes and help them build solutions. Although I do hack up the occasional Python snippet or patch, I’m not really a developer – although I’m one of the strange bunch that enjoys tech writing. I also do a fair bit of public speaking. Off the job, I enjoy organic gardening, good food and I occasionally chuck flying discs around playing Ultimate.

Why did you become involved in OpenStack?
When our company picked an open source cloud stack to focus our services on, OpenStack was the obvious choice. It is a project that dwells on an enormously vibrant, fast-growing and extremely welcoming community. The progress that OpenStack has been making is nothing short of astounding, and we expect that progress to accelerate in the months and years ahead.

Tell us about your specific contributions to an OpenStack project (i.e. what the code was and what it did).
I’m the initial author and current maintainer of the budding OpenStack High Availability Guide. My colleague Martin Loschwitz has done all the hard work in actually developing the concepts and code behind it; I only provided feedback on that and am now documenting his findings, so all the credit for that really belongs to him.

How does OpenStack change your approach to cloud development?
Its openness is probably the most outstanding feature, combined with its rapid pace of development. The OpenStack platform allows us to build extremely flexible, scalable platforms for private and public clouds, and this is not only true for the core components itself.

There are several components that make OpenStack great simply because they interface with it very well, one such example being the Ceph stack for scalable, distributed and highly available storage.

What are some of the benefits of an open collaboration effort among so many companies sharing open source code, like OpenStack?
Linus’ Law comes to mind: “given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.” (Yes, I am aware that quote is from ESR [Eric S. Raymond], but it was he who dubbed it Linus’ Law.) With OpenStack, we can probably extend that to “given enough brains, all features are easy,” simply because the code base is that much more accessible to a wider developer audience. I will add that fundamentally it is not companies that share code, it’s people who do. And they are not only sharing their code, but also their effort, their dedication and their time to contribute to an amazing platform, and that’s what we all love about OpenStack.

Thank you, Florian, for your contributions to OpenStack and the open cloud.

Are you a developer contributing to OpenStack? We’d love to hear more about what you’re doing and why. Leave a comment here or contact me at andrew.hickey@rackspace.com

And check out previous installments in the series “How I Contribute To OpenStack.”

About the Author

This is a post written and contributed by Andrew Hickey.

Andrew Hickey is chief blog editor at Rackspace, a role in which he helps Rackers, customers and partners tell their stories. Andrew comes to Rackspace following many years as a journalist, more than half of which were spent covering high tech and Rackspace. When not writing, Andrew enjoys spending time with his wife and his dog, and spinning punk rock vinyl. If you have an idea for the Rackspace Blog, track down Andrew at andrew.hickey@rackspace.com.


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