Attendees gathered at the Bloomberg office in New York City to discuss Ceph, deployment/upgrades, upgrades/long-term support, monitoring, testing and billing.

Bloomberg recently hosted an OpenStack Ops Meetup in one of its New York engineering offices on September 3 and 4. The event was well attended with between 40 and 50 attendees, primarily from North America, with a few people even traveling from Japan!

The OpenStack Ops Meetups team was represented by Chris Morgan (Bloomberg), Erik McCormick (Cirrus Seven) and Shintaro Mizuno (NTT). In addition to this core group, other volunteer moderators that lead sessions included Matthew Leonard (Bloomberg), Martin Gehrke (Two Sigma), David Medberry (Red Hat), Elaine Wong-Perry (Verizon), Assaf Muller (Red Hat), David Desrosiers (Canonical), and Conrad Bennett (Verizon) with many others contributing. The official meetups team is rather small, so volunteer moderators make such events come alive and we couldn’t make them happen without all of you, thanks to everyone that helped.

An interesting topic that Bloomberg brought up at this meetup was the concept of expanding the Ceph content. Ceph is a very popular storage choice in production-quality OpenStack deployments, which is shown by the OpenStack user survey and by the fact that Ceph sessions at previous meetups have always been very popular. Bloomberg’s Matthew Leonard suggested to those attending the first Ceph session that we build upon this with more Ceph sessions, and perhaps even launch a separate Ceph operators meetup series in the future. Some of this discussion was captured here. Matthew also lead a group discussion around a deeper technical dive into challenging use cases for Ceph, such as gigantic (multi-petabyte) object stores using Ceph’s RadosGW interface. It’s a relief that we are not the only ones hitting certain technical issues at this scale.

Response from the Ceph users at the meetup was positive and we will seek to expand Ceph content at the next event.

Other evergreen topics for OpenStack operators include deployment/upgrades, upgrades/long-term support, monitoring, testing and billing. These all saw some spirited debate and exchanging of experience. The meetups team also shared some things that the ops community can point to as positive changes we have achieved, such as the policy changes allowing longer retention of older OpenStack documentation and maintenance branches.

To make the event a bit more fun, the meetups team always includes lightning talks at the end of each day. Day 1 saw an “arch show and tell” where those who were willing grabbed a microphone and talked about the specific architecture of their cloud. The variety of OpenStack architectures, use cases, market segments is astonishing.

On day 2, many of the most noteworthy sessions were again moderated by volunteers. Assaf Muller from Red Hat lead an OpenStack networking state of the union discussion, with a certain amount of RDO focus, although not exclusively. Later on Martin Gehrke from Two Sigma ran a double session covering choosing appropriate workloads for your cloud, and then one on reducing OpenStack toil.

As a slight change of pace, David Desrosiers demonstrated a lightning fast developer build of OpenStack using Canonical’s nifty “microstack” snap install of an all-in-one OpenStack instance, although our guest wifi picked this exact moment to pitch a fit – sorry David!

The final technical session of the event was another lightning talk, this time asking the guests to recount their best “ops war stories”. The organizers strongly encouraged everyone to participate, and later on revealed why – we arranged for a lighthearted scoring system and eventually awarded a winner (chosen by the attendees). There were even some nominal prizes! David Medberry moderated this session and it was a fun way to finish off the event.

The overall winner was Julia Kreger from Red Hat, who shared with us a story about “it must be a volume knob?” – it seems letting visitors near the power controls in the data center isn’t a great idea? Well, let’s just say it’s probably best if you try and hear Julia tell it in person!

The above gives just a brief flavor of the event and sorry for those sessions and moderators I didn’t mention. The next OpenStack Ops Meetup is expected to be somewhere in Europe in the first quarter of 2020.

Cover Photo courtesy of David Medberry