Why build an all-Open Source community cloud? How does it help learn stuff and make things better?
Open Source software is widely available, but it faces an operations-barrier when bringing it to a production environment.
Proprietary services have attempted to address this barrier, but they undermine the Open Source development model because lessons learned from operating the code are invisible to the Open Source developers.
To overcome this operations barrier in an Open Source way, we must switch to an Open Source-like approach to operations, or Open Operations (Open Ops).
Open Operations means developers and operators collaborating Openly to apply a product's operational considerations right back into the code itself. The result is an Open Source service.
Think of it like this: After CI + CD is community cloud.
Better code + better performance = better final product.
How are we doing this work?
Operate First is a community of developers, operators, and others — site reliability engineers (SRE), data scientists, Open Source practitioners, and so forth — who believe in promoting this Open Source approach to operations.
We invite Open Source developers to bring their projects during development to a production cloud, which is hosted and maintained by Operate First contributors. There in the community cloud, developers interact directly with their cloud provider's operations (people and tools) and gain valuable feedback on operational considerations for their code and other artifacts.
In this same community cloud the SRE community of practice (CoP) creates, learns, teaches, and documents what it takes to build and run an all-Open Source cloud as a learning-while-in-production environment.
Rather than holding a pager to a customer SLA, our community cloud is self-supported between overall operators and app teams (Open Source developers) who maintain the cloud to a mutually agreed expectation level.
This service level expectation (SLE) is tuned to the community itself, so an app team wanting a higher uptime service level objective (SLO) might respond by supporting their app to a higher expectation level.
Thus developers and operators work together to create a community cloud that matches the needs and expectations of our community. Then scaling the community cloud is a technical effort that intersects with the community expectations as a substitute for the common product-customer relationship.
Where to start:
Continue learning more about Operate First: Introduction to Operate First
Start using Operate First cloud resources as an app developer (link coming soon)
Start contributing to Operate First as an operator or SRE (link coming soon)
See how data scientists are using Operate First (link coming soon)