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Why I think Kyle Mestery is right for Neutron – OpenStack PTL Elections

April 7th, 2014 · 4 Comments · OpenStack

I think the biggest challenge with OpenStack right now is finding a healthy balance between all user archetypes that contribute code.

These include (but are not exclusive to)

  1. Manufacturer

  2. Integrator

  3. Operator

  4. Educational Contributor

  5. Individual Contributor

Right now, there is a risk of the sometimes conflicting interests between each of those Archetypes creating situations that stall forward progress of this great project. We need the Neutron PTL to hit this issue straight in the face before it gets toxic.

Why Kyle is the right person for Neutron PTL


First, let me say that Mark is an amazing PTL. His leadership has been great, and I’m sure will be great in the future. As an employee of an Operator (Yahoo) he is a close to neutral ground as we can get.

That does mean however that he may not always be fully aware of all the ways that manufacturer politics and angling can manifest themselves in a project.

This is where Kyle comes in. Kyle works for Cisco (specifically an OpenSource spin in called Noiro).. but still Cisco. I have known Kyle since 2012, and in that time I have seen Kyle at ever turn do what is best for the community, even when that may not have been “completely the best thing” for his employer.

Day in and day out, I see Kyle act like I feel (and hopefully how I do). Exemplifying the “Badges Away” philosophy, and using OpenSource to build a bridge of collaboration between parties that at many times compete with each other. This leadership style is demonstrated in OpenStack, Open vSwitch, and OpenDaylight.

Kyle will be under scrutiny

The fact is, that with a manufacturer employee taking a leadership role in a project there is always a risk that a manufactures agenda will be pushed.

That however is a great thing, Kyle will be under the highest levels of scrutiny. Him taking this role will require a new level of transparency around manufacture dev reviews and approvals, and will result in increased health as the project as a whole.

Kyle’s biggest task as PTL

OpenStack is maturing from a project full of beards and tattoos, to a place where suits are as common as birkenstocks. What is happening is that the same market manipulation tactics that are rampant in IETF, T11 an IEEE are making their way into OpenStack (They were a heavy undercurrent in the Hong Kong summit).

Kyle’s biggest task that I see is setting up transparent policies that discourage standards body manipulation techniques, and ensure that the contributors outside of the manufactures have an equal chance to both share the burden of contribution, but also enjoy it’s benefits.

At the end of the day, in the few years that I have known Kyie, he has stood out as an individual who loves this community. Who is connected to us as a whole, and who also strives to find “balance in the force”

This is why I am eager to see Kyle elected as the Neutron PTL. If you feel the same way as I do, I encourage you to make your opinion known too.

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4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Salvatore Orlando // Apr 7, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    I think you’ve nailed down the delicate balance of characteristics that an Openstack PTL should have.

    This is particularly true for Neutron, which is a unique case where vendor agendas, difficulties in integrating a widespread range of technologies and solutions, and a continuously evolving set of features will surely cause insomnia and headaches to anyone who even thinks of being a PTL.

    I think you’re also offering an interesting perspective on how being a manufacturer ‘insider’ might actually spearhead cooperation among manufacturers.

    On the other hand, I think it’s also important to remark that mediating and comprosing across vendor agendas might not necessarily be the right path. For instance, it is my opinion that some areas of the Neutron API have been negatively affected by the will of compromising among vendors, as actual user needs were a bit neglected.

    However, I am confident that whoever will have the burden and honour of being PTL for the Juno cycle already has a recipe ready to address these issues.
    On this note, please allow me to be a bit pedant and note that it’s not common practivlce to campaign for a particular candidate while an election is in process!

  • 2 Colin McNamara // Apr 8, 2014 at 5:09 am

    Thanks for your input Salvatore.

    I don’t think that mediating and comprimising between vendors may be the solution I am hoping to see. Fundementally I am looking for a PTL that is aware of teh market manipulation tactics used to influence IETF and others, and is willing to publicaly call those out.

    On the note of campaigning. This is a blog, I share my opinion to those who read it. I did not send this out on the users list, I am not calling people and asking for them to vote. I am sharing my view.

    And frankly, there are many in the OpenStack community who are not even aware of the undercurrents between manufacturers. If anything it warrants aa larger public discussion.

    I would hope that your view of a healthy OpenStack community includes the ability for us to share our opinions publically.

    My 2 cents

  • 3 Salvatore Orlando // Apr 8, 2014 at 9:34 am

    Hi Colin,

    I meant to be joke-ish when pointing out the campaigning thing. Obviously there is no harm in expressing an opinion, especially when you have non-moderated comments which allow everybody to express their agreement or disagreement!

    Regarding your point on market manipulation tactics, I have to confess my ignorance. However, I’ve not seen anything like this in Neutron, probably exactly because of my ignorance.

    I’d tend to think that, by providing a high level abstraction and generic network primitives might ‘shield’ consumers of Openstack APIs from this; however this could be as well just me being naive again!

  • 4 colinmcnamara // Apr 8, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    Sorry about inferring tone, (I didn’t pick up the joke). And yes, all opinions are welcome for discussion – Especially dissenting ones. Unless you are posting comments about Viagra, those ones are hard to keep up.

    Honest and open discussion and inspection is one of the pillars that keeps this community healthy.

    The triad of Cisco, Brocade and VMware (and to a smaller extent the LBaaS vendors) all were positioning and driving discussion in ways that supported their competitive advantage.

    That is the norm in IETF. Sadly this also includes stifling innovation. I would prefer to see the PTL call individuals out demonstrating this behavior, and enforce collaboration where all vendors have equal opportunity to thrive.

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