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10 Mistakes to Avoid in Planning for OpenStack Cloud

Anne Friend - October 01, 2013
If you've spent quality time working on open source and cloud infrastructure, you've likely heard some whoppers. We have. I've often found myself in meetings and on conference calls thinking, "You're going to do what?"

After a little while, it was impossible not to make a list of these well-meant misconceptions I've heard from customers, prospects and other stakeholders, which was published this past week at CitizenTekk. And yes, the names have been deleted to protect the innocent.

More importantly, you may hear some of these yourself. Take a deep breath. This stuff is new, and it changes fast, and not everyone is going to get it right the first time. (Some, of course, will need more than once or twice). Here's the list, ranked by how high I raise my eyebrows when I hear them.
  • Mistake #10: It’s open source. Who needs a budget? Very often we hear, “Why do we need a budget for this? We’ll just implement the code off the repo. There’s no license fee.”
  • Mistake #9: I can do it by myself. If your entire cloud is small enough to fit on your laptop, you might be able to do it yourself. If you’re looking at a medium or large cloud, however, get some help.
  • Mistake #8: Everyone understands the terminology. Consider this sentence: We built a service to support the service, but when we had problems with the service level, we called services.
  • Mistake #7: Assume legacy systems will go away (or be migrated). There’s a reason COBOL programmers still have jobs.
  • Mistake #6: All you need is load balancing. This particular fallacy comes from thinking of the cloud as a giant router that just shifts stateless traffic to where it can run the fastest.
  • Mistake #5: We don’t need to talk to the developers. In OpenStack cloud, applications can exercise far more control over the platform they run on than in a conventional environment, but with great control comes great responsibility.
  • Mistake #4: Our staff has the skills. Everyone can use Linux, but not everyone’s a kernel engineer.
  • Mistake #3: We can monetize later. More than likely, you’re going to need new hardware and it’s not going to be the light and cheap stuff. And smart people don’t work for nothing. You’re going to need to train the people who don’t know everything they need to know. Oh, and do you also have a vacant, water-cooled data center nearby?
  • Mistake #2: The cloud fixes itself. A cloud is not auto-magical, but, with the right monitoring and maintenance, it can, indeed, fix itself — sometimes. But you need to make sure you have the right monitoring and the right redundancy, especially for alerting when capacity thresholds are near.
  • Mistake #1: Failure is not an option. When it comes to cloud, failure isn’t just an option — it’s a core design principle.

You can read the full article here.

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