I Don’t Think This Means What You Think It Means: Red Herrings in OpenStack

Posted on Wed 08 May 2019 in talk-submissions • 3 min read

This is a talk I proposed1 for OpenInfra Days Nordics, via a non-anonymized CfP process using PaperCall.


I Don’t Think This Means What You Think It Means: Red Herrings in OpenStack

Elevator Pitch

You have 300 characters to sell your talk. This is known as the “elevator pitch”. Make it as exciting and enticing as possible.

OpenStack’s complexity comes with operational challenges. And in situations where OpenStack misbehaves, it is frequently non-trivial to find the actual cause of an issue. This talk includes several examples of red herrings in OpenStack, and suggestions for spotting and avoiding them.

Talk Format

Talk (>30-45 minutes)

Audience Level



This field supports Markdown. The description will be seen by reviewers during the CFP process and may eventually be seen by the attendees of the event.

You should make the description of your talk as compelling and exciting as possible. Remember, you’re selling both the organizers of the events to select your talk, as well as trying to convince attendees your talk is the one they should see.

When working with OpenStack, you deal with an environment that is inherently complex. As with all complex environments, things sometimes go wrong or behave unexpectedly. And when that happens, your immediate goal is to locate, pinpoint, and then troubleshoot the issue.

And then, sometimes, you go down the dead-wrong path, and end up chasing a red herring for some time, before you find the real problem. This talk contains examples of such red herrings, enabling you to recognize and avoid them.

This talk is both for those who run an OpenStack cloud, and those who consume its functionality as a service. It talks about both red herrings in OpenStack operations, and red herrings in operating applications on OpenStack.


This field supports Markdown. Notes will only be seen by reviewers during the CFP process. This is where you should explain things such as technical requirements, why you’re the best person to speak on this subject, etc…

I’ve been working on OpenStack since 2012, have consulted on lots of private and public cloud deployments using OpenStack, and I work for the operator of a multi-region global OpenStack Cloud. “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion…”

In addition to what I have seen, others have seen other things, which is why I am crowdsourcing the content of this talk. That being so, the talk proposal is public, and I am asking people on Twitter to send me their stories, which I will add to and mix with my own, with due attribution.

Just to give one example of what I would like to cover, see this article on my web site, which talks about how you can run into what looks like a quota issue in Neutron, but whose cause is in fact buried deep in RFC 5798.


Tag your talk to make it easier for event organizers to be able to find. Examples are “ruby, javascript, rails”.

OpenStack, Operations

  1. If you’re curious why this is here, please read this