Getting to the Heart of OpenStack: Part 1


Former NASA Nebula Chief Technical Architect Joshua McKenty, and Rackspace alumni Christopher MacGown are two of Piston Cloud‘s original founders. They are also two individuals who helped start OpenStack.

Yes, they’re among the smartest you will find in the open cloud world.

And they’re also jugglers. So it just seemed appropriate to post this interview on International Juggler’s Day. Especially considering they juggled a bit during the interview. McKenty, by the way, is the inventor of a juggling trick called  McKenty Madness. He also managed a circus before going to NASA.

I did this interview with the two of them in January during the week that Rackspace opened its new office in San Francisco. It’s important to note that former NASA Communications Director Gretchen Curtis is also one of the Piston Cloud founders. She is not part of this interview.

The Piston team work out of a house in Haight-Ashbury. I went to talk with them about this new world that is attracting people who want to work on issues that are all about scale – massive compute power, unprecedented storage requirements and new fangled networking that has implications that stretch the imagination. It’s through this scale that we see the building of a new movement that centers on automation and the need for breakthrough ways to understand both the hardware and the software – the cloud and the client. As McKenty points out, the lines are blurring. much like they did when in the early days of the computer revolution when the two of them hacked Apple II computers.

I post this interview today as the noise is reaching a frenzy about during this week’s OpenStack  Design Summit and Conference in San Francisco. The Twitter barbs about OpenStack are fun and all but most of it is empty calories. Sugar to feed the next tweet. I am guilty of it myself. It is fun to get in the flow of it. But I know I need something more.

I am going to post the interview in parts and add bits from other people I have spoken with over the past few months. It’s worth it if nothing else than to get a perspective from some of the original people behind OpenStack and why the movement has surfaced in the first place.

I always appreciate a different perspective. Leave a comment or ping me.