Rocky OpenStack


The promise of OpenStack was a best–of–breed, open source, full stack cloud solution for easily provisioning virtual machines, networking and storage.

It may very well realise this dream at some point, but for the time being we have increasingly typical messages like this, from Morgan Ross Egging on Ask OpenStack:

The quick install guide is 150 pages and doesn’t work. What other software requires the person installing it to do so much work? Is there any other software in the whole world that requires so much work to install?

I have 15 years of full time admin experience, 9 years of VM experience, 5 years linux experience, and 4 years of AWS experience. I have over 100 fully documented attempts at installing Openstack. Devstack, Packstack, Mirantis Fuel, Ubuntu Cloud, …..

Most fail on first or second command due to extremely poor documentation without comments or discussion sections.

When I ask “why does packstack fail” Don’t ask for the log. Its not me. Its Openstack. If you can find the solution in the log I’ll bet a computer could have as well.

Packstack requires multiple docs to install, the official doc linking to a youtube video with no posted commands. It requires CLI and GUI and ANOTHER doc to get it working on your network, cuse who would want that?

This echos my experience. It’s the responses that get me though. First, we have “everything is complex”:

OpenStack is very complex to install. It has improved over time, but there is still a lot to do. However, we are talking about an product with a very large number of moving parts here, it won’t ever be as simple to install as Linux, for instance.

Or the don’t do it yourself, followed by a non–sequitur:

If you want Openstack in production you need a vendor to do it for you. Plain and simple. There are many vendors that can help.

If you want to do it yourself then you will need to spend the time to learn it, fail, and do it again.

And the bandaid:

It would be nice. I agree. Many operators who have learned their way around the complexities have automates the installs using puppet, chef or Ansible. Those automations are available on the net if you want to try those.

All of these arguably have technical merit, but sidestep the core issue (as commenters are wont to do).

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Ruben Schade is a technical writer and infrastructure architect in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person. Hi!

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