Ubuntu Linux Founder Tells OpenStack to Focus on Things That Matter

VIDEO: Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical and Ubuntu Linux, discusses his views on interoperability and why the "Big Tent" idea isn't a big winner.

In the early days of OpenStack back in 2010 when the project was first getting started, Ubuntu Linux was typically the default reference implementation for all deployments. Canonical and Ubuntu Linux founder Mark Shuttleworth has been a vocal advocate for OpenStack throughout the project's history, though he still has his fair share of criticism as well.

At the OpenStack Summit in Barcelona, Spain, last week, a key highlight of the event was a 16-vendor interoperability challenge in which Ubuntu was a participant. For Shuttleworth, interoperability is an admirable and needed attribute in OpenStack.

There are other attributes of OpenStack that have been added in recent years that Shuttleworth does not support. In particular, Shuttleworth isn't a fan of many of the efforts in the "Big Tent" approach to OpenStack, which include multiple projects designed to help specific needs, such as the Trove database-as-a-service project and the Magnum Container project.

"There is no shortage of truly terrible ideas in OpenStack; it's a truly open forum, with very little leadership and a lot of governance," Shuttleworth said. "OpenStack needs to focus on stuff that matters."

In Shuttleworth's view, the stuff that matters includes virtual machines (VMs), networking and storage on demand. He added that having VMs, networking and storage on demand that are completely vendor-neutral and open is what CIOs really want.

"No one wants some OpenStack proprietary custom API to do big data on demand just for OpenStack," Shuttleworth said.

Shuttleworth commented that CIOs want to be able to operate in a consistent way across public clouds, OpenStack, VMware and bare metal.

"We need to focus on quality," Shuttleworth said. "There is this laughable idea of measuring karma by measuring all the [junk] that people want to add on the sides. None of that is working. You'll get karma all right, but not the kind you're hoping for."

Watch the full video interview with Mark Shuttleworth below:


Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.