Videos provided by OpenStack Summit via OpenStack Foundation YouTube Channel
One great benefit of implementing OpenStack is the ability – at least in principle – to influence the project’s pace, priorities and roadmap. Having a seat at the table helps insure that OpenStack evolves in response to the real operational needs and economics of your business. At least, that’s the theory. In practice, this works best for a relatively small fraction of potential customers: mostly those with deep resources, and/or those whose commitment to OpenStack is clear-cut and strategically imperative, or who work for a technology supplier. But what about customers that just want to operate the cloud? What about, in other words, real customers?
Today, the mass of such organizations is not directly involved in OpenStack development. Their IT and software development leads are not being welcomed. Their opinions and needs are not being solicited. Their valuable feedback is not being heard. What’s worst is this: they know it. Without concrete, visible steps to change how we build it, they will not come.
As a major OpenStack vendor, Mirantis has developed a set of best practices for welcoming and working with end-user customers, extending to them more of the benefits of OpenStack community participation and conversely, obtaining from them guidance and actionable market intelligence. By discussing these best-practices, we hope to:
• Help the OpenStack community reach out more consistently, and with better results, to real end-user customers.
• Develop beneficial (but also non-burdensome) roles in the community, enabling and shaping participation by a range of parties whose main motive is to use, rather than build the product.
• Explore structural tweaks that will enable better exchange of information between ‘style: end-user’ participants and members of the community who participate in more fundamental ways.
With a better, common understanding of the needs of primary end-user customers for OpenStack and related products, we can broaden adoption and improve OpenStack’s technology base, from increased participation for all and access to more and better ideas from the ‘real world’.