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Mark Shuttleworth Challenges OpenStack to Think about Leadership

Mark Shuttleworth is among the earliest backers of the open source OpenStack cloud effort, with Ubuntu Linux being the original reference platform. Now after 13 releases and broad adoption, Canonical and Ubuntu are still firmly behind OpenStack, though Shuttleworth has a few ideas on how it can be even better.

In a video interview, Shuttleworth details his perception of the areas that OpenStack can improve to further accelerate cloud adoption. While Shuttleworth is optimistic that OpenStack will win as the dominant private cloud platform, he does see some ‘cruft’ around the edges of the project.

"In OpenStack we have doubled down on governance, but we have hamstrung leadership," Shuttleworth said. "The result is user confusion and user frustration."

Shuttleworth wants to see more leadership in OpenStack and a clearer understanding and positioning of what OpenStack technologies are all really about. In the Linux kernel space, there is a clear and well understood definition of what belongs in kernelspace and what resides outside the kernel in userspace. No such clear definition exists for OpenStack in Shuttleworth’s view.

"It’s a symptom of the paralysis the board of 24 vendors that it’s even vaguely controversial," Shuttleworth said about defining what should and what shouldn’t be in OpenStack. "It’s a simple test, if something can be architected to run as a set of services that are deployed on top of a sub-set of OpenStack, then those things belong in userspace."

Watch the full video interview with Mark Shuttleworth below:

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