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Explaining OpenStack With Wacky Analogies

I'm not sure about that metaphor. On the one hand, it's clear and direct -- to me. I'm old enough to remember inter-office mail. But does that mean anything to people who've been in the office workplace less than 20 years?

Also, the metaphor doesn't touch on the main benefits of SDN -- flexibility, reduced operations, and cost savings.

And then I started thinking about the TV show Angel, which ran 1999-2004, about a vampire with a soul who fights evil, and which had a storyline featuring an inter-office mail delivery person who wore a luchador mask.

And now the analogy is completely broken. I'm thinking more about the analogy (inter-office mail) than I am about the thing I'm supposed to be thinking about (networking).

Why do for-profit companies support OpenStack?
When the Australians started building railroads 150 years ago, they initially only had to build from the interior of the continent to the ocean, Tretheway said. They used different sizes of rail lines -- wide, regular, and narrow gauge. That became a huge problem when Australians wanted to link together different points on the continent.

At one point, there were 13 different breaks between rail networks, with 1,600 people moving 1.8 million tons of freight off of cars compatible with one rail line and onto cars compatible with others.

It became to every rail company's advantage to standardize on rail line gauges, Tretheway said,

"OpenStack is a lot like making a rail network system," Tretheway said. The underlying standardized infrastructure benefits all the companies involved.

This is a great analogy. As technologies mature over centuries -- literally centuries -- you start seeing the same issues cropping up over and over.

Public, private, and community clouds are like bars
The public cloud is like a public bar. It's great if you want one drink, Tahir said.

The private cloud is like having a bar in your home. It's a greater investment, but you have control over what's served.

A community cloud is like a private social club with a bar. These private organizations usually are formed by people with something in common -- for example, all the members might be military veterans. Similarly, in a community cloud, you get research institutions or educational institutions getting together to form a cloud.

One audience member asked what kind of bar compares with a hybrid cloud? Panelists seemed to struggle with that one. Tahir said a hybrid cloud is like going to the Las Vegas strip, buying a bottle, and taking it to your private room to hang out with friends.

Britten said he has a neighbor with a basement bar who goes to a public bar pretty regularly anyway.

I came up with the idea that a hybrid cloud is like when you have a bar at your house, and you throw a party, and your friends bring their friends and it gets too big and out of hand so you go to a public bar. That's like bursting to the cloud. And then maybe some bad people crash the party; they're going to write on the walls and break up the furniture. That's like a denial-of-service attack, and a public bar (or cloud) is better able to deal with that kind of thing than a private home.

Great analogy. And now I think I'll have a drink.

Just hope Bart doesn't call.
Just hope Bart doesn't call.

Related posts:

— Mitch Wagner, Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor, Light Reading Enterprise Cloud

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Mitch Wagner 10/28/2016 | 9:26:28 AM
Re: Block storage & storage object Advantage of a 13-year-old car: You don't worry about where you're going to park it. 
R Clark 10/27/2016 | 8:52:18 PM
Avoid questions That person who asked about applying the bar analogy to hybrid clouds: cautionary tale that you want your analogies to work well, but not so well that they encourage questions.
Michelle 10/27/2016 | 2:59:34 PM
You know, it's like something you know mixed with the unknown These are all great!

 

What is OpenStack? :)
arikyakir 10/27/2016 | 2:35:46 PM
Block storage & storage object Well, i did liked the Block storage/storage object methapore, maybe because i don't have a Porsche to distract my mind... ?  ;-)

 
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