Rey - cloud operator

Rey ensures that the cloud is up and running and must fix any issues as soon as possible. Collaborating with unskilled IT personnel is very challenging for Rey. Rey spends some time every day searching for information on the OpenStack website, and has attended the OpenStack Summit once. Rey uses any useful tool in operating the cloud. Rey’s previous role as a Linux system administrator influenced their decision to use OpenStack.

Key tasks

Rey performs the following tasks very frequently:

  • Installation: Installs and configures OpenStack clouds often with the help of the Infrastructure Architect.

  • Operation: Tracks day-to-day operation and administration of the cloud including backup, disaster recovery, and platform services.

  • Usage tracking: Tracks the use that App Developers, Project Owners, and Domain Operators make of the cloud and optimizes the services accordingly.

  • Update: Performs updates and verification of the OpenStack cloud.

Your development

When your development affects the behavior of the cloud instances, you should consider Rey as your target audience. Will your development change how the cloud is accessed, configured, monitored, or setup? Is your development changing the GUI, for example, the horizon dashboard? Rey is unlikely to use CLI to administer and track the cloud instances but is likely to use CLI to install and update them.

Before submitting your code, think of the use cases that Rey would follow. For example: Is it easy to use? Will Ray get feedback when the task is complete? Are the changes in configuration reversible? How is the tracked information displayed? How long will the operation take?

Finally, consider that Rey is a highly skilled system administrator with a deep knowledge of OpenStack but with little time for long, complex research. Therefore, your solutions for Rey must be quick to implement but do not need to shy away from complex OpenStack components, as long as they provide all the information needed within the solution itself.

Pain points

Rey faces several challenges that can impede and slow progress on managing and updating the OpenStack cloud. The following pain point examples highlight the cases where progress can be impeded. This enables you to anticipate and compensate when preparing a project:

  • Rey has trouble finding information to help triage issues that can prevent the cloud from running:

    “New users do not have the flexibility to spend weeks delving into source code to figure out how to do common tasks, especially in the areas of orchestration. Were it not for and the hard work of many bloggers in the community, I would have a significantly more difficult time trying to understand practical uses of OpenStack functionality.”

  • Inconsistency between projects slows down progress:

    “All projects should strive to use the same standards—in code, libraries used, file formats, and documentation. [We need] consistency between different OpenStack projects and releases.”

    “It really boils down to having OpenStack act more like a single initiative, versus a collection of projects.”

  • Building a community that listens and takes on feedback is also a goal:

    “There’s still a bit of a gap between developers and operators. Although that is narrowing, understanding operators’ pains in certain areas is key in developing a better product as a whole.”

The scale of quotas presents significant obstacles for operators. Consider that Rey may need to manage over one thousand projects in a deployment.

The organizational models

The tasks that the persona performs within a certain organizational model are important for the usability of your OpenStack development. Within a small company, Rey might be required to assume some of the responsibilities of both the Infrastructure Architect and the Domain Operator. Within a larger company, multiple individuals could perform subsets of Rey’s tasks. For example, one person could be in charge of installing and updating the cloud instances, while another could be in charge of monitoring operations and usage, and yet another person could be in charge of solving issues. In Rey’s organization, Rey is responsible for all of these tasks. For more information on how Rey fits into different user ecosystems, see The model companies.