OpenStack claims Project Navigator will lead adopters through development hell

openstack tokyo summitThe OpenStack Foundation’s chief operating office Mark Collier has lifted the lid on Project Navigator, a scheme to help users see their way through the myriad of component projects, different levels of software maturity and documentation involved in taking part in the project.

The involvement of 200 vendors in the open source project is both a strength and a weakness in such a large complex community with diverse projects, according to Collier, speaking at the OpenStack developer conference. Project Navigator aims to help companies chart a course more easily, he said.

“It’s good to have options but it can be overwhelming,” said Collier, “we have over two dozen different services now that you can put into production. There’s a small number of projects that every cloud uses, but there are quite a few projects that give you optional services.”

These days users need help in making sense of the various projects before they can progress, said Collier. The project aims to offer intelligence, drawn from a number of sources, to help them make quicker and faster decisions.

Users know a little about a lot of projects but can rarely have complete information, Collier said. In response, the foundation has gathered metadata about various projects, on everything from their breadth of adoption to the documentation to the age and will publish this on its web site.

Collier admitted this would be a best effort. “We can’t fly everywhere and talk to everyone. It makes more sense to distil it down and make it digestible online,” said Collier.

The objective of the Navigator tool is to educate users about the core set of services that they’ll need in any cloud and provide a clear delineation between those and the services that are optional.

In a related support development, the OpenStack Foundation announced the launch of a certification program for OpenStack cloud admins. Like Project Navigator, the scheme is a formal recognition of the growing complexity of OpenStack. The large number of sub-projects make it hard for businesses to find qualified administrators before they can adopt the technology.

OpenStack COO Mark Collier said similar certifications are planned for OpenStack developers and other roles in the project.