Why is the Cinder mascot a horse?!

2 minute read

I have to admit, I have to laugh to myself every time I see the Cinder mascot in a keynote presentation.

Cinder horse mascot

History (or, why the hell is that the Cinder mascot!)

The reason at least a few of us find it so funny is that it’s a bit of an inside joke.

Way back in the early days of Cinder, someone from Solidfire came up with a great looking cinder block logo for the project. It was along the style if the OpenStack logo at the time and was nice and recognizable.

Cinder logo

Then around 2016, they decided it was time to refresh the OpenStack logo and make it look more modern and flat. Our old logo no longer matched the overall project, but we still loved it.

I did make an attempt to update it. I made a stylized version of the Cinder block logo using the new OpenStack logo as a basis for it. I really wish I could find it now, but I may have lost the image when I switched jobs. You may still see it on someone’s laptop - I had a very small batch of stickers made while I was still Cinder PTL.

It was soon after the OpenStack logo change that the Foundation decided to introduce mascots for each project. They were asking for each team to thing of an animal that they could identify with. It was supposed to be a fun exercise for the teams to be able to pick their own kind of logo, with graphic designers coming up with very high quality images.

The Cinder team didn’t really have an obvious animal. At least not as obvious as a Cinder block had been. It was during one of our midcycle meetups in Ft. Collins, Co while we were brainstorming that led to our horse.

Trying to think of something that would actually represent the team, we were talking over what Cinder actually was. We were mostly all from different storage vendors. We refer to the different storage devices that are used with Cinder as backends.

Backends are also what some call butts. Butts… asses. Donkeys are also called asses. Donkey!

One or two people on the team had cultural objects to having a donkey as a mascot. They didn’t think it was a good representation of our project. So we compromised with going with a horse.

So we asked for a horse to be our mascot. The initial design they came up with was a Ferrari looking stallion. Way to sporty and fierce for our team. Even though the OpenStack Foundation has actually published it and even created some stickers, we explained our, erm… thought process… behind coming up with the horse in the first place. The design team was great, and went back to the drawing board. The result is the back-end view of the horse that we have today. They even worked a little ‘C’ into the swish of the horse’s tail.

So that’s the story behind the Cinder logo. It’s just because we’re all a bunch of backends.