Need to explain cloud to your client? “OpenStack for Dummies,” a free ebook from vScaler, sets out to do just that.

All clients are newbies. Or “dummies” to use the term that publisher Wiley made popular. That’s why London-based vScaler wrote a book for potential clients who may be cloud-challenged called “OpenStack for Dummies.”

The book is designed to explain cloud computing, the OpenStack cloud development platform and to illustrate how these technologies are used in various applications as well as how it can be used to build and deploy clouds. Written in collaboration with Wiley, the eBook is offered free with registration on their website and serves as a “gentle starting point” for newcomers.

David Power, CTO at vScaler who you may have seen handing out copies in the marketplace at the recent Sydney Summit, talks to Superuser about what’s on his bookshelf, who the real dummies are and how to get up to speed.

Who will this guide help most?

Dummies 🙂

So despite what the title suggests, we wanted to produce a guide that would be as relevant to commercial and non-technical readers as it would to techies coming from a VMware or non-Linux background looking for a basic understanding of OpenStack. It’s not a guide for the deeply technical as the name suggests, but something that covers a much wider audience and ties it back to a much wider view of the development of the commercial cloud.

How did this book come about?

While OpenStack is really becoming a mainstream product in the technical world, I have come up against a number of customers who had heard of OpenStack but didn’t have much of an appreciation for what it could do or how it all worked together. I would often be asked to ‘send me over material on OpenStack that I can get up to speed on quickly’ but that often meant multiple different sources, and potentially different sources depending on the use case, and we found that there wasn’t really one starters guide to OpenStack out there.

What are some of the most common mistakes newbies (“dummies”) make?

I wouldn’t necessarily say there are common mistakes, but there are certainly a lot of common misconceptions that seem to have surfaced over the years around Openstack. Misconceptions, that suggest OpenStack is not supported, OpenStack isn’t stable, or that it’s not production ready. I often find myself correcting or educating people on these misconceptions. I’m hoping this book helps individuals and business leaders to quickly understand a number of successful use cases of OpenStack in the real world and to identify its capability across a broad user base.

Why is a book helpful now — in addition to IRC, mailing lists, documentation, video tutorials etc.?

I think a beginner’s book is complimentary to all the great material that is out there already. Non-technical folks wouldn’t necessarily hang out on IRC or subscribe to mailing lists. Also I think the volume of information out there on OpenStack, while certainly comprehensive, can be a little daunting to the unfamiliar. I’d like to think our book would be a gentle starting point which would then give them a good base to then go and get further information from the resources you’ve mentioned.

What are some of the most exciting things you’ve seen recently in terms of OpenStack developments?

What I find exciting is probably not that exciting to average reader 🙂 but we are very excited about the uptake of OpenStack in scientific and research and development environments. We have customers using vScaler OpenStack across a range of use cases such as machine learning, data analytics, high performance computing – and currently a pilot project around autonomous vehicles. These areas would not have been traditional cloud use cases but vScaler OpenStack has demonstrated that they can be!

What’s on your OpenStack bookshelf?

I’ve got a couple of books on OpenStack networking and general OpenStack admin books but more recently I’ve gone through “The Crossroads of Cloud and HPC: OpenStack for Scientific Research” which I found really interesting about the great work the scientific community is doing around OpenStack. (There might also be the odd “Far Side Gallery”…)

For more OpenStack books, check out the OpenStack Marketplace — your one-stop shop for training, distros, private-cloud-as-a-service and more — which now offers a selection of technical publications, too. The books listings are not affiliate links, but offered as a way to highlight the efforts of community members.

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