The anti-OpenStack

Joyent’s CTO is hoping the new Cloud Native Computing Foundation has learned some lessons from OpenStack

bryan cantrill Joyent

Joyent CTO Bryan Cantrill 

Bryan Cantrill, CTO of cloud provider Joyent, is excited about being on the technical committee that will help steer the Linux Foundation’s newest project: The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). But he doesn’t want it to be like another popular open source project: OpenStack.

Cantrill, who spoke for himself and not for the broader CNCF, says he hopes the new foundation can use OpenStack as an example of what not to do.

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“One of the biggest problems with OpenStack is that there is so little that companies agree on that there end up being so many decisions left up to the end user,” he says.

The whole point of the CNCF, in Cantrill’s view, is to have a specific opinion about what the ideal infrastructure architecture is for hosting applications in the cloud. “We shouldn’t be afraid to be opinionated,” he says. Users expect experts will tell them how technologies should be implemented, he says.

OpenStack is different, he says. It is a series of open source components that can be assembled to build a cloud. But there is not an opinion from the OpenStack Foundation, which runs the project, about how OpenStack clouds should be implemented. Instead, vendors – like Mirantis, Red Hat, Piston Cloud Computing, IBM and many others, sell distributions of OpenStack code. Or end users implement it themselves. That’s lead to concerns that OpenStack is difficult to install and manage, which is something OpenStack backers are working to improve.

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OpenStack and the CNCF are apples and oranges. OpenStack is for building clouds, while the CNCF is attempting to mish-mash several open source projects together (like Docker, Kubernetes and Mesos) to create a reference infrastructure architecture.

But in terms of how the groups operate, Cantrill is hoping OpenStack will be the “anti-pattern” for the CNCF he says.

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