GlusterFS Community Profile: Jeff Darcy

(This is the 2nd in a series highlighting our community contest winners)

When you contribute code to an open source project, it’s common practice to find yourself with a hefty job offer from the company sponsoring the project.  Jeff Darcy, author of HekaFS and long-time GlusterFS contributor, turned that on its head: his employer acquired *us*. We’ve had great fun with jdarcy over the years, so it was a natural evolution from external contributor to co-worker. After the acquisition, nothing really changed – jdarcy was still hanging out on #gluster, just as he always was. Below is a nice picture of Jeff with his daughter, and an email Q&A with him. Many Many thanks to Jeff – and check out HekaFS (fka CloudFS), his extensions to GlusterFS for the cloud, including multi-tenancy and SSL encryption.

Jeff Darcy
jdarcy in the wild

Jeff Darcy Q&A

How long have you used GlusterFS?

First tried it approximately three years ago, have used it constantly for the last two.

What was it that led you to try it?

I’m a distributed filesystem developer/researcher, so it had been on my radar for a long time.  Having worked with alternatives that had a single metadata server, and seen in all too painful detail the problems with that approach, I heartily approved of GlusterFS’s more fully distributed approach.  When I started working on CloudFS/HekaFS, the extremely modular architecture was what really set it apart. That’s what made it possible for me to do what I wanted to do, without having to understand and interfere with the *entire* code base.

What should everyone know about your participation in the GlusterFS community (if they don’t know already)

Perhaps that I’m not only a developer working with GlusterFS by day, but also a user by night.  I keep copies of my own personal data on a
server at Rackspace, which I access from many machines using GlusterFS and some parts of HekaFS.

Why do you participate in the Gluster community?

I can’t deny that it’s part of my job to do so, but it’s also just a good community to be part of.  The people who hang out in the IRC channel are not only helpful but funny as well, so it’s my “home channel” where I’m most likely to share my own jokes and random observations.  It’s like sitting in a coffee shop with a bunch of my friends while I work.

What was a Gluster Community Moment ™ that you’ll never forget?

How about the time I’d arranged to meet AB, and he sent me directions to the wrong hotel, and I – despite this occurring in my own town – just blindly followed them?  We had a good laugh about that.

Other than yourself, who’s your favorite Gluster community member, and why?

It just has to be Joe [Julian].  He’s the soul of the community, setting an example and a tone that makes the community what it is.  Also, to be
quite honest, he’s better at answering users’ questions than I am. He’s actually in the same boat with the other users; I’m like some weird fish on the bottom of the pond looking up at them through a whole lot of code.

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