2017 OpenStack Board Election Results


The 2017 OpenStack Board Elections were held on Friday, January 13, 2017. This year I wasn’t elected to represent the OpenStack community as a Board member. On the bright side, being the 10th in the world with no support of any IMHO company is still a great result. I needed a few more votes to pass the threshold.

Despite this, I want to thank you for your kind support. I appreciate your help and I am very grateful to each one of you who believed in me.

This outcome only motivates me further. I will take advantage of the time until the next Election and will keep working on the Long Term Support (LTS) releases concept. Nevertheless, I am still on the customer’s side, representing their needs and securing stability. I’m already looking forward to a happy and productive year!

For more information, you can check the results here.

Giuseppe Paternò for OpenStack


OpenStack has already become a leading standard for cloud architecture and continues to provide great opportunities for software manufacturers and system integrators. Partly due to its heritage and also because as a result of dynamic ongoing improvements new features are being introduced on a steady basis. At the same time the security mechanisms are being further enhanced. These constant changes are undoubtedly good for development and testing environments but prove rather challenging for IT-departments, especially in the area of Finance and Telecom. The nature of the Open Stack architecture demands professional maintenance and care as well as a measured approach to release changes and implementations of new features. In this context, I am working to implement a Long Term Support (LTS) releases concept, which secures stability for enterprise customers in order to give them the time and freedom to focus on their core business. Achieving this milestone is my main priority, because enterprise customers value stability to a great extent, in particular for their highly complex IT infrastructure.

This January you have the chance to vote again in the 2017 Board Election and choose your board members. My aim, as a candidate, is to take care of OpenStack from the Customer’s point of view, focusing on banking and telecoms. Because of my long experience with OpenStack, I am capable to appreciate the customers’ needs and support them not only through the first installation but also help them to manage new releases both strategically and on a long-term basis. Making sure that the new updates are successfully implemented and properly used is what I do best. Thus, working with customers and ensuring a secure and stable OpenStack community makes “upgrading” far more painless and provides greater value to you – the customers as well as the whole Open Stack community.

If this is applicable to you, please consider voting for me. Making OpenStack the most used platform among enterprises, service providers and outsources is something we can achieve together. Let’s do it here.

Bimodal IT with Cloud Management Portal and Ansible

I’ve been away from this blog for quite a few weeks … I was extremely busy in several engagements in different European countries, so I really had little time to blog. It seems that Dual-Mode IT or Bimodal IT (as Gartner defines it) is the buzzword of the year. However, I’ve been introducing OpenStack in companies for a couple of years now having a more safer approach: having VMWare side by side with OpenStack. Would Gartner now define it “Bimodal IT”. Fine! But the point is that I’m already making it since a couple of years and I think I can claim some experience out of it.

As I always said to CIO/CEO and conferences, each customer is different and has a different story and needs behind. However, there’s a story of a customer that I ended up helping using OpenStack with VMWare. Moreover, they lately need to integrate Azure as part of the plan. Microsoft is really pushing hard on Azure to most enterprises, including most of my customers as well. This week I had an hangout in London as guest from HighOps, with which I do cooperate on the virtualization and security side.

Before you start watching, I must admit I’m not that great in hangouts as I don’t have anybody in front of me and I cannot understand how am doing…. and it’s live, so no post-production and no changes 🙂 So please forgive me!

Fell free to ask questions on Twitter as @gpaterno. Enjoy!

My Seven Point Guide to Slashing Stress

stress therapy and management helps in relaxation reduce tension

Let me introduce myself, if you came on my blog for the first time. I am Giuseppe Paternò and — although you may not have heard of me — I’m one of the world’s top IT consultants, at least according to HP and Forrester Research. Most of my life is spent working and travelling around Europe. While I own two companies and have my own team, I’m still something of a one-man band. I’m bombarded by phone calls and e-mails (something like 1,500 daily), clients always want things done yesterday, and the demands on me grow greater every day. I was finding it tough to cope with the resulting pressure and really suffering until I came up with these seven simple strategies to make my life easier. I hope they will help you too. Although of course you’ll still have challenges, your life should become more manageable and more enjoyable.

  1. I’ve scrapped all the social apps on my phone. I noticed that social media like Facebook and Twitter were adding to my anxiety. Since I use them for business, as well as for keeping in touch with friends, more people were messaging me about professional matters on Facebook and wanting me to constantly keep checking-in whenever I arrived somewhere for a business appointment. I found that my first chore every morning was checking social media over breakfast. I’d had enough of it. Now if I have to post something for a particular deadline I use a social media manager like Hootsuite. Uninstalling social media apps from my mobiles really eased the pressure on me.
  2. I took off my watch. I didn’t plan this, but one day the battery on my favourite timepiece ran out. I didn’t have a chance to replace it, so I just went out without a watch. That’s when I realized that I had been clock-watching all the time and stressing-out if I was just a little late or didn’t feel I had enough margin between meetings. Now if I need to know the time I just check on my mobile. I accept that there’s nothing I can do if I’m caught in a traffic-jam or my plane is held up. As a result I’ve become the master of time, not its slave.
  3. I banned instant messaging. One of the first things I realized was that I wasn’t able to get any real work done when people were showering me with instant messages. As soon as I launched Skype, for instance, half a dozen people would be messaging me. So I abandoned Skype, along with WhatsApp, Telegram, IRC and the rest. Now I can finish my work in peace.
  4. I forwarded my calls. People feel entitled to call me 24/7 and are quick to take offence if I’m unreachable. But why? In most cases it is something routine which could easily be handled by email. One day a colleague happened to mention a “virtual secretary” service he uses to take calls to his landline when he’s out. So I began using it for my mobile. Callers are happy to get an answer even when I can’t pick up or am out of contact, and the secretary emails me with their messages.
  5. I email at set times. When the internet first took off I recall logging onto my emails once a day and answering every message, out of respect for the sender. But these days people are using emails for chat and, with a daily influx of 1,500 or so, I clearly can’t respond to them all. So I’ve gone back to my original practice of dealing with emails at set times, once or twice a day. If it’s urgent, I ask people to text my mobile instead. So I now enjoy more uninterrupted time every day.
  6. I watch some bedtime television. These days there’s a lot more pressure on me than back when I was 19 and working for IBM. But even though I’m now a consultant, I still like to express my “inner geek” by playing around on my laptop in the evening. The downside is that there’s still code whizzing around in my mind at bedtime. The solution I’ve found is to switch off at the end of the day by watching 30-60 minutes of TV shows (movies are too long), either broadcast or via a streaming service like Netflix or Sky Go (for those in EU). So now I go to sleep more easily. See if it works for you too!
  7. I spend time with my partner/family. A big benefit has come from making sure to spend quality time with my wife. I’m abroad a lot of the time and weekends just fly by with necessary chores like housework, shopping and so on taking forever… It’s a problem we all face. But my wife is sometimes able to take a day off in the week, due to the shift system she works, and wherever possible I also take the day off to share time with her. Business pressures fade away and I can feel my batteries being recharged when we take a simple walk together or stroll around the shops. Okay, I admit it may be easier for me as a consultant to book a day off during the working week, but I think it is something most of us can arrange now and then if we just give a little thought to it.

From 0 to Docker, the training

[ English ] My colleague have organized a training “From 0 to docker” in Italy. If you’re interested having the training in your country, please contact info@garl.ch.

[ Italiano ]

In occasione dell’incontro DevOps Italia, il mio collega Ettore Simone ha preparato un corso intensivo di Docker per chi vuole avvicinarsi al mondo dei Container Docker in modo pratico, basandosi su esempi ed esercizi, per creare una solida base immediatamente utilizzabile.

L’obiettivo e’ rendere autonomi gli studenti nella creazione ed integrazione dei container attraverso metodi pratici di gestione del ciclo di vita dei Container (senza l’ausilio di Swarm, Kubernetes, fleet/etcd…). Il corso partira’ con una introduzione a Docker e coprira’ i seguenti temi:

  • Il Layering, la gestione delle risorse ed altri concetti alla base del successo di Docker.
  • Differenza tra Machine Container e Application Container e suggerimenti su quando usarli
  • Creazione dei Container? Build, versioning, tagging e debug
  • Organizzazione dei Container: utilizzo di Registry pubblici e locali
  • Gestione dei dati e servizi nei Container
  • Esposizione di servizi e utilizzo dei volumi
  • Creazione e gestione di Registry con autenticazione.

Durante il workshop verranno create varie applicazioni, stateless, stateful e multi-tier come esempio.

  • Per partecipare, lo studente deve:
  • avere un portatile con almeno 2GB di ram e 2GB di spazio disco libero
  • esperienza  sistemi GNU/Linux, file system e principi di virtualizzazione in generale
  • basi di shell scripting e networking

Il corso si terra’ il 31 Marzo a Bologna presso l’hotel Novotel Bologna Fiera, per partecipare registratevi su Eventbrite

[fruitful_btn link=”https://www.eventbrite.it/e/biglietti-from-0-to-docker-in-practice-21251230001″%5DIscriviti al corso![/fruitful_btn]

Backing up GitLab on OpenStack

When I walk in a new customer, is not just about OpenStack, but also help them automating their internal processes, usually with Ansible. As soon as I have OpenStack up&running, the first thing I do is deploy an internal Gitlab.

I use git to keep track of the changes and the stable releases of the Ansible scripts I use to customize OpenStack images after provisioning.

Backing up Gitlab is very critical, as it holds many hours of my job. As I’m an OpenStack maniac, I find very handy to use Swift as a backup area. It is technically possibile to backup Gitlab on Swift, but in my opinion poorly documented. Here’s a quick howto I decided to share.

In Gitlab configuration file /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb add OpenStack as follows:

gitlab_rails['backup_keep_time'] = 604800

gitlab_rails['backup_upload_connection'] = {
'provider' => 'OpenStack',
'openstack_auth_url' => 'http://keystone.openstack:5000/v2.0/tokens',
'openstack_username' => 'admin',
'openstack_api_key' => 'admin',
'openstack_tenant' => 'admin'
gitlab_rails['backup_upload_remote_directory'] = 'gitlab'

Note that the keystone endpoint (auth uri) MUST include the version 2.0 and MUST end with “tokens”, otherwise the fog component will fail (the ruby library used by Gitlab). As openstack_api_key specify your keystone password. If your OpenStack installation has  multiple regions, you need to add the following to the previous:

'openstack_region' => 'region-two'

Now that the file editing is done, you have to refresh the Gitlab configuration with:

sudo gitlab-ctl reconfigure

You can test if the backup is working by using the Gitlab backup command with the following command:

gitlab-rake gitlab:backup:create

In my setups, ansible files aren’t changed that much once done. I usually create a script in /etc/cron.weekly/ to backup the files every week.

Et voila’, bon appetit 🙂

The “Worse Passwords Chart” of 2015

Here are the worse passwords of 2015, with the positions as in a real music chart. Looks like I’m a DJ …. 🙂

1. 123456 (Unchanged)
2. password (Unchanged)
3. 12345678 (Up 1)
4. qwerty (Up 1)
5. 12345 (Down 2)
6. 123456789 (Unchanged)
7. football (Up 3)
8. 1234 (Down 1)
9. 1234567 (Up 2)
10. baseball (Down 2)
11. welcome (New)
12. 1234567890 (New)
13. abc123 (Up 1)
14. 111111 (Up 1)
15. 1qaz2wsx (New)
16. dragon (Down 7)
17. master (Up 2)
18. monkey (Down 6)
19. letmein (Down 6)
20. login (New)
21. princess (New)
22. qwertyuiop (New)
23. solo (New)
24. passw0rd (New)
25. starwars (New)

Please note the introduction of starwars, Seems that the movie did its job 🙂

If you’re a sysadmin and sick of being a potential target due to your users, please consider my free project login.farm or the commercial project SecurePass.

Candidate at the OpenStack Board 2016

Being pushed by some customers and friends, I decided to run as a candidate for the Board of Directors of the OpenStack foundation.  My aim is to fill the gap between who takes decisions and  the real world of enterprises, service providers and outsourcers.

I’ve been around for 22+ years in the IT industry and I know that usually vendors and engineering are a bit far away from the needs of the field. Even if the Board is more focused on the financials, they also take strategic decisions. Most of the board is elected by gold and platinum members, usually vendors, but I’d love to bring the voice of the customers at the table.

To make it crystal clear, I’m not against vendors at all. During all these years, I had the privilege of working with the best people in the industry. This is the reason why I’ve got great relationships with HP, RedHat, SUSE, Ubuntu, Dell, Intel, Fortinet and many many others.

As things are progressing too fast in OpenStack, I just felt it was the right timing to help consolidating and making clear statements on what is key for customers to have a secure and stable OpenStack in production, with less “stable” cycles to make upgrade painless.

It was great to pass the nominations in less than 24 hours, but the real challenge will be the elections from January 11  to January 15. Mind that to be able to vote, you must have joined the OpenStack Foundation as an Individual Member by July 19, 2015.

Wish me good luck 🙂

Check the candidate lists here: https://www.openstack.org/election/2016-individual-director-election/

My profile on the OpenStack Board list: https://www.openstack.org/community/members/profile/21953