Swift Hackathon in Austin

Last week many of the major contributors to Swift gathered in Austin, Texas for a few days of design, development, and review. We had a great week (including some fantastic Texas BBQ), and, I think, made some great progress for the project.

At the hackathon, we had people from Rackspace, SwiftStack, HP, Intel, Red Hat, IBM, Box, PDFComplete, and eNovance.

One of the great things about having so many contributors and users in the same place is that we could do very rapid reviews for major code patches that are being developed.

On Tuesday, we covered the refactoring work that Red Hat has been leading. The refactoring cleanly separates the Swift process code from code that is talking to the storage volumes. Initially targeted to allow clean integration for GlusterFS, this work allows new technology like Seagate’s new Kinetic drives, and also offers a place to add focused performance improvements in the future.

Wednesday afternoon we spent some time covering the proposed new “Swift Sync” patch. “Ssync” updates the existing replication mechanisms to use native Swift primitives for transport rather than rsync.

Thursday we covered several topics as a group including feature discoverability and cluster federation. HP has been working on creating a way for clusters to cooperate when one runs out of physical space. Feature discoverability is another nice addition to Swift that will help with test coverage and cross-cluster Swift clients.

In addition to these big topics, there were continual ad-hoc conversations around erasure codes, API polishing, metadata enhancements, performance improvements, and more.

We had a great few days together, and I hope we’ll be able to do it again soon.

John Dickinson

John Dickinson

Director of Technology, SwiftStack
OpenStack Swift Project Technical Lead


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