Our engineers have gotten annoyed by vendors and platforms that don't allow them to modify the product to their needs. To overcome this at ungleich, we launched the Open Infrastructure project to allow our customers to modify the Data Center Light and ungleich infrastructure.
A feature you want
Have you ever wanted a feature in the software, product or infrastructure and been angry that the vendor would just not support it?
We certainly have been there: we use a lot of software and product and infrastructure, and we also create a lot of them. And that's where we are inspired for this decision: we open up our infrastructure.
At our company we believe in making differences and changing things to the way we think is good. When we experience frustration, we work our way to eliminate the frustration for our users. Our objective is to let you choose your own workflow and grant you freedom as you like. That's why we open up how our infrastructure looks like and how you can access it.
Of course, this approach of aiming full transparency has pros and cons. Pro, will be that we will be living the full openness and transparency. And anybody who has will and interest will be enabled to contribute and help other users. Con, when we screw things up, we'll be screwed. Another drawback would be that we are risking being copied by our competitors by opening up everything. But then again, we encourage everybody to build their own datacenter and do better than us, so that's not really a con. So for us pros make a lot of sense and con gives a good motivation for doing better. So there we go: we open it up.
Our objective is to open up 100% of our infrastructure definition. This includes processes, architecture, technologies, and more. The only missing parts are our secrets, passwords, and hashes.
How does a user profit from it?
So it looks like a cool thing, but you might wonder, what difference does it make for me as a user?
Let's say something does not work as you wish while you're using a virtual machine at Data Center Light, or IPv6onlyhosting - then you can debug the issue with the existing information. Even better: if you would like to see a feature which does not exist yet, you are free to make it yourself. If you create a clean solution, we will even merge it into our official infrastructure. All our users are encouraged to create their own version of the ideal world where they are fully enabled while using our infrastructure.
How to extend
So as a regular user who wants to take full advantage of our open infrastructure, how can you extend the ungleich infrastructure? It is actually pretty simple: first, we need to be aware of it. For this we invite you to discuss the feature/request in the datacenterlight channel of chat.ungleich.ch. If it is a reasonable idea/hack/feature, our team likely gives the ok to modify the infrastructure. If that is the case, there are some smaller hurdles to jump:
- If the information for your feature is missing, we will document it publicly
- If you need (elevated) access to test the feature our team will provide you with a test environment
- Then it will be your turn to implement the feature
- When it is ready to be tested, our engineers will verify your code/implementation and integrate it into the infrastructure
So is it a bit of work? Yes, but we (and you) want to ensure that the infrastructure is running stable. But is it open? It certainly is!
You can find more information on the main page, join our chat, ask us on Twitter or drop us an email to info at ungleich.ch. The full open infrastructure page you can find it at our Data Center Light page as well.