G’day. Let me introduce myself. I am Daniel Pittman, the project lead for Razor here at Puppet Labs. This is a step sideways from my work with the platform team, to working on another amazing open source project, Razor.
Now, a bit of history. Back on May 23rd, EMC and Puppet Labs announced Razor, our next-generation discovery and provisioning solution for bare metal and virtual machines. One of the core goals of Razor was to deliver the agility and efficiency of cloud solutions on top of bare metal hardware.
Since then we have seen a number of exciting things happen with the project, including thousands of people testing Razor, a fully functional proof of concept Windows installation driven through Razor, improvements to the discovery functionality, and over 200 bugs and features resolved.
One of the best parts of this is that Razor has a vibrant, creative, and interested community of people around it. When Nick Weaver and Tom McSweeney at EMC designed Razor they had a target in mind: to be the absolutely best choice in provisioning, suited to a modern data center at small and large (million-VM large) scale.
The activity we see today is proof that this is a real need, and that having a better solution for managing machine life-cycle policy and implementation resonates with the DevOps community at large.
It also shows a demand for a genuinely technology-neutral solution in this space, where you can solve provisioning problems without being committed to one vendor tool for managing change after deployment. There is a real hunger for a provisioning solution in line with the Unix philosophy of multiple small tools, chained together to solve big problems.
A Place for Community to Meet
As part of meeting those needs, we have taken the next steps in shaping the community around the Razor project. One of the first is that Razor now has a dedicated mailing list and IRC channel:
- The discussion list is available by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and through the web, using Google Groups. The first email from new members is moderated, since that avoids a great deal of spam reaching the subscribers.
- We also have an IRC channel dedicated to Razor, #puppet-razor on the FreeNode IRC network. We also try to respond to questions about Razor on the regular Puppet user groups and channels.
How the Community Manages Itself
An important part of building a community around an open source project is defining what makes up the community and how people can get involved. To that end we have a detailed CONTRIBUTING.md document that lays out the gory details of that in the repository, as part of the project.
That is heavily inspired by the Apache Software Foundation, who have invested a lot of time and effort in figuring out approaches to community-managed projects that work pragmatically and at scale.
There are a few key tenets to this, but the one key thing to take away is that the Razor mailing list, and the GitHub project are the places where the final decisions are made about code and project direction.
As the community grows we expect to add more committers, especially people outside of EMC and Puppet Labs, to the project. We are actively looking for more people in the community to get involved, and to make the project more awesome!
Get Involved with the Razor Project
- Razor IRC channel #puppet-razor
- Razor mailing list
- Get the Razor code or read the documentation
- Download the Razor module from Puppet Forge