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Project Opportunity: OpenShift Origin 4 AMI



Hey all--
A few months ago we announced OpenShift Origin 4 and I said it is "The Best Community PaaS, Period"[^1]. Now, with some help from the folks behind CentOS, we'd like to make it trivially easy to fire up your own Origin instance in the AWS cloud.

If you are familiar with the OpenShift architecture, then you know that the biggest challenge we have in creating a turn-key PaaS on any platform is how to deal with DNS for the dynamically-created hosted apps. We've solved that problem in our downloadable VM with Avahi "zero-conf" DNS, but that solution won't fly in the cloud.

An enticing possibility that was proposed by Karanbir Singh is that perhaps there is a way to set up a DNS hosting service expressly for these AWS-based OpenShift deployments. In this model, a new OpenShift instance would register itself with this known DNS service on startup, and from that point forward this service would handle the nsupdate calls made by the OpenShift instance as apps were created or deleted. This service would need to handle the dynamic zones for multiple distinct OpenShift instances, so that anyone who used the OpenShift AMI could be automatically up and running.

Another possibility is that users of the OpenShift AMI may need to have / use Route53 as part of their deployment. This option would put most of the responsibility of setting things up in the hands of the AMI user, but OpenShift already supports Route53 so this shouldn't require much additional configuration. However, it raises the bar for entry and we'd ideally like to automate as much of this as possible.

We're open to other suggestions as well; feel free to chime in with your own ideas!

Regardless of -how- we solve the problem, we're going to need help with one or two related engineering efforts:

1. We will definitely need help to build a "first-boot" utility that both secures the AMI (by changing usernames and passwords) and registers the AMI with whatever DNS solution we pick.

2. If there is enough interest around building a DNS hosting service like the one that Karanbir proposed, we'll also need folks who are interested in getting their hands dirty with that.

So, this is an open invitation to anyone who wants to help us put together a really slick prebuilt OpenShift Origin AMI. We'd love to be able to offer an AMI that is as simple to use as our VM, and I'm hoping there are people in our community who can help us build it. If you are interested, feel free to follow up on this discussion, or drop me a line directly.

Cheers,
Harrison

[^1]: https://www.openshift.com/blogs/announcing-the-release-of-openshift-origin-v4


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