The first Ruler of the Stack from OpenStack Summit

For the Atlanta 2014 OpenStack Summit, an idea was born: let’s take the tough problems that we all face with OpenStack and put on a fun but challenging competition.  This was a last-minute idea, which meant last-minute rules, but it all came together quite well and we are now sure we have cemented the idea of holding a “Ruler of the Stack” competition at every Summit.  This time, Intel brought in the gear, used our booth, provided the main prize, and Mirantis was gracious enough to throw in training credits for all participants and the prize for the slowest competitor our “Back to School” prize.  Next time we want this to be a community event… this is in reality for all of us in the OpenStack community, so let’s make sure we join together and make this massive in Paris.  OK… now for what happened in Atlanta.


As I noted, the rules were somewhat last-minute, and I left out a few things that would have made this harder…  First of all, while we provided 8 nodes to each competitor, most realized that in the rules we didn’t actually require you to build more than one node – oops #1.  This did lead to some amazing record time, and the method can be used to scale out across more nodes, but we are definitely going to clarify the usage of an entire cluster in the future.  If you want to read the original rules, take a look at the blog I posted on Ruler of the Stack  the evening before the event started:

The competition started out a little slow, partially due to it being hard to find (again, next time we need to put this in the main walking area with flashing lights and cameras to make it more of an event).  However once it kicked into gear, we had the booth busy through most of the open floor time.

Our Ruler of the Stack for the Atlanta 2014 is Dirk of SUSE. He was awesome enough to post all of the details and share his OpenStack deployment method exactly so you can try it at home:.  Over the duration of the summit he continued to optimize his method, and ended with an astonishing 3:14 mins to get OpenStack online and launching VMs. Impressive.  The next runner up also did quite impressively: Ryan Moe of Mirantis used three of the nodes in the cluster to get Heat online and VMs live-migrating.  In the rules we deducted time for both of those, which led to a total adjusted time of 7:49 mins.

As promised, we are giving out Mirantis training to all of the contestants that finished. And for the lowest score (still a great score), we are giving our “Back to School” prize to Navdeep, which is a full OpenStack class from Mirantis.

All of the contenders that finished with functioning stacks are listed in the table at the end.

Dirk walked away with a jaw dropping 15" MacBook Pro with Retina display to continue his development of OpenStack, and to prepare for Ruler of the Stack Paris 2014.


For Paris 2014, we want this to be a community event by and for all of us involved in OpenStack.  This is not a vendor competition; this is for the people of OpenStack.  Therefore I am doing a call out: want to be involved in this for Paris 2014?  What tough problem do you want to showcase through the competition?  Want to provide prizes for the participants?  Get involved, as this is going to continue to just grow and become an even bigger blast!

We will post the instructions for the next competition at 9am local time the first day of the event – so get ready to compete in Paris in November!

- Das


Time Name Comments
3:14 Dirk Dirk used SUSE    Linux Enterprise Server 11 partnered with the upcoming SUSE Cloud 4 (based on    OpenStack Icehouse). He then used Kiwi to create a compressed, hybrid install    image on a USB stick
7:49 Ryan Used fuel server running on his laptop; 3 nodes w/ Heat    and live migrated VMs; completed setup in 22:48, deducted 5 mins for VMs    deployed by heat and also deducted 10 mins for live migration.
22:29 James Installed Folsom, single node
30:39 Andrew Used fuel running on his laptop; 3 nodes.
31:36 Leandro Installed Ubuntu 14.04 from USB flash (took ~10    mins), single node OpenStack setup, used devstack with repo cached locally    for install.
39:27 Allessandro
44:40 Navdeep

Honorable mention to those who couldn’t complete the  exercise for various reasons: Lukasz, Nicholas, Prashant, Cameron, Jeffery, and  Anthony.