Recently I’ve embarked down a course to get OpenStack up and running on the Raspberry Pi. Before we get too deep into the particulars, let’s talk about why such a thing should be done. What could one gain by running OpenStack on the Pi? Who would use it? and more.
For me, there are a few reasons:
- Because Awesome!
- Cost, Power, Portability
- Education, etc
First and foremost, this is a project I undertook because well… it seemed just that, awesome. No other reason. What do I mean by awesome? Well, they’re Raspberry Pi’s which, while slick, can be quite boring unless you give them something to do. It also met some of my other requirements for ‘awesome’:
- Use a new tool
- Learn a new thing
- Put something together in an unexpected way
In this case, I got to learn a bit about LXC, Docker, recompiling the kernel, and a bit about ARM, Raspian (the Debian derivative for the Pi).
Cost, Power, Portability
The Pi’s are cheap and relatively low power. They’re also tiny. As in, one can fit a small cluster into a laptop bag and travel places with it. This makes things like running a training class or operating Hack Days at a local school much easier.
Education here, comes in a few flavors. As mentioned before, I get a bit of education in all sorts of new tools and things. However, what I’m referring to specifically, is an LXC / Docker setup on the Pi, in conjunction with OpenStack (or another cloud flavor) would make facilitating a temporary hackday / classroom setup extremely easy.
I am sure there are plenty of reasons (more than plenty) of reasons to go down this road. There are indeed lots of new options in the low cost / power market that would also be a bit easier to peruse as well (NUC, and the Intel / Arduino board). But then, none of those things are a Pi.