The OpenStack Blog

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OpenStack Taking Its Place in the Software-Defined Economy

We are now living in the software-defined economy.

I blogged about this back in May, after talking about it in a keynote at OpenStack Summit in Atlanta. Since then, the meme has sort of caught on.

Here’s the idea:

No matter what size your organization is, it must move faster. Supply chain and IP advantages are fleeting and costly; organizations are realizing that continuous software innovation is critical in terms of building and preserving competitive advantage.

Companies are trying to figure out how to leverage their developers to make this happen. OpenStack is the infrastructure platform more and more of these companies are choosing to give their developers the tools they need to bring agility to a completely new paradigm of software development.

Keynoting About It

I’m going to talk more about OpenStack’s role in the software-defined economy at OpenStack Silicon Valley, a community event taking place at the Computer History Museum on September 16. Specifically, I’ll look at the role that infrastructure agility plays in the software-defined economy. You can register here, and if you’re attending VMworld, Oracle OpenWorld or the Paris Summit, you can get in free.

Software supported by agile infrastructure makes rapid innovation a reality, and the OpenStack community is making agile infrastructure a reality for a growing number of companies. The stakes are high: Richard Foster conducted an analysis in which he says, among other things:

  • On average, an S&P 500 company is being replaced about once every two weeks, either because of market cap decline or acquisition.
  • The churn rate of companies has been accelerating over time.
  • Corporations in the S&P 500 in 1958 lasted in the index for 61 years, on average.
  • By 1980, the average tenure had shrunk to about 25 years. Today, it stands at just 18 years based on seven year rolling averages.

But here’s the punch line:

At the current churn rate, 75% of the S&P 500 will be replaced by 2027.

This lies at the heart of why every company either is a technology company or is becoming one. Users of OpenStack are putting software at the center of their strategies to do just that.

Join me at OpenStack Silicon Valley to talk about how we position the project for continued success as the infrastructure of choice to drive the software-defined economy.


OpenStack Community Events in September

If you want to hear some great content before the OpenStack Summit in Paris this November, attend one of these OpenStack Community events being held around the world. Join fellow community members, learn from user stories and hear directly from industry leaders. Hurry, registration deadlines are quickly approaching!

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On September 16, attend OpenStack Silicon Valley to hear from industry thought leaders on a wide range of topics, including OpenStack in the Enterprise, OpenStack for NFV, Emerging Trends in OpenStack in addition to a half-day OpenStack training.Review the full agenda and register before prices increase on August 28!When: Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Where: Computer History Museum, Mountain View, California
Tickets: If you are registered to attend the OpenStack Summit in Paris, email to register for free.
Featured Speakers:

  • Alessandro Perilli, Red Hat
  • Marten Mickos, Eucalyptus Systems
  • Jesse Proudman, Blue Box
  • Chris Kemp, Nebula
  • Jonathan Bryce, OpenStack Foundation
  • Boris Renski, Mirantis
  • & more!


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OpenStack Conference Benelux 2014
Register for the first official OpenStack Conference Benelux 2014, a one-day conference for developers, users and administrators of OpenStack Cloud Software. Whether you are just getting started and want to learn more about OpenStack, or are an advanced user, there’s content planned for you, including case studies, technical talks and workshops.

View the agenda and register today!

When: Friday, September 19, 2014
‘t Spant, Bussum
Doctor Abraham Kuyperlaan 3
1402 SB Bussum
Tickets: Free
Featured Speakers:

  • Alan Clark, Board Chairman of the OpenStack Foundation
  • Ruud Harmsen, Fairbanks NV
  • Erik Monninkhof, Dupaco Distribution B.V.
  • Alessandro Vozza, Red Hat
  • Marijn de Vos, SUSE

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Please note that the content planned for OpenStack Day Taiwan will be presented in Chinese. Registration will close on September 18th, so register for free now!When: Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Where: Howard Plaza Hotel, Taipei, Taiwan
Tickets: Attendance is free, but registration is required to attend
Featured Speakers:
  • Tom Fifield, OpenStack Foundation
  • Chris Huang, SUSE
  • Jimmy Kao, In Win Development
  • Sam Chen, In Win Development
  • Robert Feng, Cisco
  • Dr. Sen Ming Chang, Red Hat
  • Terence Tsao, HP
  • Eugene Chang, Brocade
  • Wenyu Chen, InfinitiesSoft
  • Berry Chen, VMware

Call for Proposals: Open Source Ecosystem Design Sessions at the Paris Summit

At the Atlanta OpenStack Summit we launched Open Source Ecosystem Design Sessions, a new track to give design session space to external open source projects related to OpenStack. It’s an opportunity to foster the projects and communities that don’t fall under the umbrella of the OpenStack Foundation, but are actively being used and developed within the greater ecosystem. We were inspired by everyone who came together to plan the next development cycle on their storage, configuration management, orchestration and networking projects.

We’re continuing this program at the OpenStack Summit Paris (Nov 3-7, 2014), and are opening the Call for Proposals. If you have an open source project that’s related to OpenStack and has a significant community of contributors, we invite you to submit a proposal.

The purpose of this space is to get developers in the same room so they can plan for the Kilo release cycle. This is not a speaker or marketing session, rather it’s meant to give a venue for focused collaboration and planning for a distributed development team. To achieve these goals, please follow these guidelines:

  • *The project needs to be directly related to OpenStack in some way.
  • It must be open source, with code freely available and actively developed.
  • The session must be non-commercial and vendor neutral, although a vendor that sponsors a project can organize and moderate the meeting.
  • Sessions must be open to anyone who is interested in contributing to the project. It’s primarily a venue for core developers to meet and plan, but also a place for new developers and those interested in the project to get more information.
  • Group organizers and participants must hold a conference pass and adhere to the OpenStack Summit Code of Conduct (passes will be available to organizers who do not currently have ATC status).
  • Sessions will be 90 minutes long.

The deadline for submissions is September 5, 2014, and we’ll follow up with decisions by September 19. Note that space is limited this year, with 6-9 slots available — similar or related projects may be asked to share space due to venue constraints.

Please apply for a session room with this form. You will be asked to provide the following information:

  • Project name
  • Project description and how it relates to OpenStack
  • Overview of how you’ll use the time and space
  • Names and contact information for up to two organizers committed hosting the session
  • Link to your project site and source code repository

A big thanks to everyone for all of the time and effort they put into supporting OpenStack!

Upcoming Industry Events

The second half of 2014 is underway, and there are some great industry events around the world coming up on the calendar.

The Global Events Calendar is the primary resource to know what events are approaching. It is fully editable, so you can update the following criteria:

  • If your organization is attending, sponsoring or exhibiting (COLUMN G)
  • Provide feedback or ideas on events (COLUMN H)
  • Add vendor-independent industry events to the calendar (complete ALL criteria)

Here are the upcoming industry events planned for the second half of 2014:

DEVIEW: September 29-30, Seoul, South Korea
Gartner Symposium/IT Expo North America: October 5-9, Orlando, FL
CloudOpen Europe: October 13-15, Dusseldorf, Germany
FUTURECOM: October 13-16, Sao Paolo, Brazil
Gartner Symposium/IT Expo Japan: October 28-30, Tokyo, Japan
Open World Forum: October 31- November 1, Paris, France
USENIX LISA: November 9-14, Seattle, WA

  • Stay tuned for the date and time of the half-day OpenStack workshop at LISA 2014!

OpenStack Paris SummitNovember 3-7, Paris, France

  • The deadline to sponsor the Summit is Friday, September 19
  • The agenda for the Summit is now live, featuring 326 speakers and 200+ sessions
  • Take advantage of the discounted hotel rates that we have shared for hotels close to the Summit venue

OW2 Annual Conference: November 4-6, Paris, France
Supercomputing: November 16-21, New Orleans, LA
Gartner Data Center Conference: December 2-5, Las Vegas, NV

If you have any questions, or you would like to plan a regional OpenStack Day, please contact [email protected]

OpenStack Community Celebrates Four Years!

User maturity, software maturity and a focus on cloud software operations are now established areas of focus for OpenStack and none of it would be possible without the consistent  growth of the OpenStack community. In the four years since the community was established, OpenStack now has 70+ active user groups and thousands of active members spread across 139 different countries!Throughout the month of July, we are celebrating our community milestones and progress over the past four years, as well as Superusers who support the OpenStack mission. This year, we also launched the Superuser publication to chronicle the work of users, and their many accomplishments individually and organizationally amplifying their impact among the community.


We invite you all to join the party and celebrate 4 awesome years of OpenStack:

  • Check out the OpenStack 4th Birthday page featuring the latest stats, infographic and a web badge to download
  • Attend the birthday party in Portland, Oregon during OSCON, Tuesday, July 22
  • Attend your local birthday party, more than 50 are taking place around the world this month!
  • Visit the Superuser publication to learn about the contributors and user groups who make OpenStack successful
  • Join the conversation on Twitter today using the hashtag #OpenStack4Bday
Here are some community leaders’ perspectives reflecting on the past four years with OpenStack and their predictions for the future:


Five Days + Twelve Writers + One Book Sprint = One Excellent Book on OpenStack Architecture

Update: You can now download the OpenStack Architecture Design Guide here.

One thing about OpenStack is that you can find lots of information on how to do specific things, such as start an instance or install a test cloud on VirtualBox, but there isn’t much out there to give you the Big Picture, such as how to design a massively-scalable OpenStack cloud, or a cloud that’s optimized for delivering streaming content. That’s why this past week a dozen OpenStack experts and writers from companies across the OpenStack ecosystem gathered at VMware’s Palo Alto campus for the OpenStack Architecture Design Guide book sprint. The intent was to  deliver a completed book on designing OpenStack clouds — in just five days.

Now, I wrote my first book — a pretty straightforward introduction to Active Server Pages 3.0 — in seven weeks, and then it went through months of editing before arriving at the printer. I never wrote a more significant book that took less than six months.  So when I volunteered for the sprint, I confess that I didn’t expect much.  Oh, I knew that at the end of the week we’d have a book.  I just didn’t expect it to be the really great book that actually emerged.

How a book sprint works

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The process of actually writing the book was pretty regimented, but because we felt like we had control over the direction, we didn’t feel stifled by it.  We started by discussing the audience — architects designing OpenStack systems or evaluating it for use — and brainstorming a likely structure.

After deciding that we’d basically cover groupings of use cases for OpenStack clouds, we brainstormed all the different types we might cover, putting them on Post-its and grouping them on the whiteboard. (Let’s just say that “CI/CD” and “dev/test” were on a lot of our minds.)  Before long it was clear that we had seven major categories, such as “compute focused” or “massively scalable”.

We then broke into two groups, each of which was to take half an hour and brainstorm a structure for these categories.  Interestingly, although we used different terms, the structures the two groups emerged with were virtually identical.  (Which meant there was no fight to the death, which is always nice.)

From there our group of 12 broke into 3 groups of 4, each diving into a section.  At the end of Monday, we had 15,000 words already written (of which we’re still sure 10,000 came from Beth Cohen).

I was stunned.

I wasn’t stunned because we had so much content; I was stunned because it was, well, actually pretty good content.

By Wednesday morning, the book was pretty much written, and it was on to editing.  Groups read through sections written by others to try and fill in any holes, and Beth and I began editing, to try and even out the tone.  After that came two more passes: copyediting (by Alexandra Settle, Scott Lowe, and Sean Winn) and fact checking.

Long before Friday, we had a book that we could be proud of.

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What the OpenStack Architecture Design Guide covers

The OpenStack Architecture Design Guide is for architects and evaluators; deployment is covered in the OpenStack Operations Guide, so we didn’t cover that. The Design Guide covers the following types of OpenStack clouds:

  • General Purpose
  • Compute Focused
  • Storage Focused
  • Network Focused
  • Multi-site
  • Hybrid Cloud
  • Massively Scalable
  • Special cases (clouds that don’t fit into those categories, such as multi-hypervisor)

We talked about the different issues, such as user requirements, technical considerations, and operational considerations for each type of cloud, then talked about the actual architecture and provided some prescriptive examples to make things more concrete and easier to understand.

What community really means

Perhaps the most interesting thing about the book sprint is that it was, in many ways, a microcosm of OpenStack itself.  We all work for different companies, some of which don’t particularly get along, but in that room, it didn’t matter. We were just people getting a job done, and doing it in the best way we knew how, working long hours and joking about our evil overlords (sprint facilitators Adam Hyde and Faith Bosworth) and laughing about anything and everything to keep from going stir crazy.

We watched Alex learn that American Mountain Dew is very different from the stuff they have in Australia, and we saw her transform from a nervous newcomer to a confident writer and editor (though I’m still going to use two spaces after a period, sorry).  Anthony Veiga and Sean Collins consistently impressed us with their knowledge of networking.  Sebastian Gutierrez showed how passionate he is about storage, and especially the wonders of Ceph. Vinny Valedez produced more great diagrams in two days than I did all of last year. Maish Saidel-Keesing and Kevin Jackson continuously inspired us to be better with their hard work and good humor. I’m still laughing at Steve Gordon’s deadpan humor.  (And I apologize to anyone who still has the music from Doctor Who stuck in their head.)

Our goal was to provide a resource for the OpenStack community, to help adoption of a tool we’re all passionate about. Did we joke about it?  Of course we did.  But at the end of the day, we wouldn’t have been there if we didn’t believe in the future of OpenStack, and what it can do, when it’s done right.

The OpenStack Architecture Design Guide will be available electronically free of charge as part of the OpenStack documentation, and like the Operations Guide and the Security Guide before it, it will be available for anyone to submit patches to, a living document that will only get better.  It will also be available for purchase in hard copy through Lulu.  Watch this space for a link!

DefCore Update: Input Request for Havana Capabilities

As part of our community’s commitment to interoperability, the OpenStack Board of Directors has been working to make sure that “downstream” OpenStack-branded commercial products offer the same baseline functionality and include the same upstream, community-developed code. The work to define these required core capabilities and code has been led by the DefCore Committee co-chaired by Rob Hirschfeld (his DefCore blog) and Joshua McKenty (his post).  You can read more about the committee history and rationale in Mark Collier’s blog post.

The DefCore Committee has introduced two key concepts that will be used to define the standard requirements across commercial products: Capabilities and Designated Sections. Capabilities represent the functionality that is exposed by an OpenStack-based cloud through APIs, which can be tested and reported on—for instance starting or stopping a virtual server. Designated sections are portions of upstream code from various OpenStack projects that are required in addition to the API-based capabilities. These requirements can change with each OpenStack release, and the DefCore committee has started with the Havana release to create an “advisory” set of requirements.  After community review on Havana, the Board will repeat the process for Icehouse requirements and then enforce those for the commercial trademark license programs.

Get Involved: Next week, the DefCore Committee will host two meetings for community input on the Capabilities they’ve scoped for the Havana release. The meetings will take place Wednesday, July 16, at 8 am PDT (1500 UTC) and 6 pm PDT (0100 UTC on July 17) to accommodate as many time zones as possible. You can reference the DefCore Committee’s current proposal, and join the meetings using the links on the following page:

After getting community input, the DefCore Committee plans to bring the proposed Havana Capabilities to the Board for approval at the next face-to-face meeting, taking place July 22nd in Portland, OR.  If approved, focus will then shift to the Designated Sections for Havana.

If you’d like to catch up on the work the Committee has been doing since the OpenStack Summit Atlanta, the following links contain the notes from their recent meetings:


OpenStack Swift 2.0 Released and Storage Policies Have Arrived

This blog post was first featured on the SwiftStack Blog, and you can find the original post here.

Today I’m happy to announce the release of OpenStack Swift 2.0.0. This release includes storage policies – the culmination of a year of work from many members of the Swift contributor community. Storage policies are the biggest thing to happen in Swift since it was open-sourced four years ago. Storage policies allow you to tailor your storage infrastructure to exactly match your use case. This release marks a significant milestone in the life of the project that will lead to further adoption and community growth.

You can get Swift 2.0 from As always, you can upgrade to this version without any client downtime.

Storage Policies

What are storage policies, and why are they so important? Storage policies allow deployers to specifically configure their Swift cluster to support the different needs of data stored in the cluster.

Use case examples

Once the storage policies are configured, users can create a container with a particular policy, and all objects stored in that container will be stored according to that container’s storage policy.

Let’s explore two use cases enabled by storage policies: a reduced redundancy storage policy and a geographically-specific storage policy.


We normally recommend 3x replication in Swift clusters. It provides a good balance between durability and overhead for most data. However, some data is trivially re-creatable and doesn’t require the same durability. A very good example of this is image thumbnails. If the original resolution image is stored with 3x replication, then a resampled image can be stored with 2x replication. This saves 33% on storage costs, and any data loss is mitigated by the ability to recreate the resized image from the original.

When used at scale to store and serve on-demand user-generated content, as Swift is used today, a “reduced redundancy” storage policy can save significant hard drive space, thus lowering costs. Storage policies can be created to enable different replication factors to be used in the same cluster, depending on the type of data that needs to be stored.

Another example is using different storage policies to geographically distinguish data sets. Suppose your company has a central office in Dallas, a branch office in New York, and a branch office in San Francisco. The data stored and used in one branch office doesn’t need to be shared with the other branch office, but the central office should have a copy of everything. With Swift 2.0, you can create a policy that references the storage capacity in Dallas and New York and another policy that references the storage capacity in San Francisco and Dallas. Now, anything stored in the “New York” policy will be stored in New York and locally available for fast lookup. It is the same with the “San Francisco” policy. But also the central Dallas office has a copy of everything that is being stored in the branch offices.

The central office can easily manage offsite archives and has very good visibility into each branch’s data consumption. Storage policies in Swift 2.0 augment Swift’s existing global cluster capabilities and allows finer-grained control over where the data resides.

Deployer Impact of Storage Policies

Conceptually, storage policies are pretty simple: where a Swift cluster used to support only one object ring, now it can take advantage of many object rings. Each ring in Swift describes a set of storage volumes (i.e. drives), and it includes information necessary for data placement and failure handling. With storage policies, deployers can configure their Swift cluster to support the different needs of data stored in the cluster.

It is safe for deployers to upgrade their existing clusters to use storage policies. And clusters can still be downgraded, at least until you define a second storage policy. If you have multiple policies configured and you revert to pre-storage policy code, any data in the new storage policies will be inaccessible, since older Swift versions do not know how to access it.

Storage policies are defined in the swift.conf configuration file. Existing clusters are treated as having a default “policy zero”. This means existing clusters can take advantage of the new code without needing to immediately begin supporting additional policies. New policies can be configured in that same config file and are then made available for clients. Each storage policy has a new ring.


The developer docs for storage policies include quite a bit more information, including details about the on-disk data layout, deprecating policies, and changes to background consistency processes.

Client Impact of Storage Policies

Storage policies expand the Swift API in just one small way. When creating a container, a client can now send the X-Storage-Policy header to set the policy for that container. The value of the header is the name of the storage policy. And the name of the available storage policies is available from the result of a call to the cluster’s /info endpoint.

Existing Swift clients will still completely work with this new version of Swift. If a client sends a container create request and doesn’t also explicitly send the X-Storage-Policy value, the new container will be created with the cluster’s default policy. This means that existing Swift client applications will not stop working, and aside from setting a policy on a container, will be able to still take advantage of all Swift has to offer.

Storage polices can only be set on a container at the time of container creation. If you need to change a policy, you first must delete all data in the container, delete the container, then recreate the container with the new storage policy. However, since Swift places no limits on how many containers you can have, it’s normally easier to simply create a new container.

Community Participation

Storage policies in Swift would not be possible without the participation of the entire contributing community. In particular, Paul Luse (Intel), Clay Gerrard (SwiftStack), and Sam Merritt (SwiftStack) have been instrumental by providing tremendous focus, dedication, awesome ideas, and leadership to getting this feature designed, written, and merged.

Together with Paul Luse, I gave a talk on storage policies at the OpenStack Juno summit in Atlanta. You can watch it here.

Looking Forward to Erasure Codes

We began working on storage policies in Swift almost exactly one year ago. Last July, we wrote about adding erasure code support to Swift. Erasure codes are great because for some data sets they can offer tremendous savings in storage media while still providing very high durability. But to add erasure code support into Swift, we first needed to add storage policies.

Now that storage policies are available in Swift 2.0, the developer community is refocusing on building the necessary pieces to support an erasure code storage policy in Swift. Policies are the foundation upon which we are building erasure code support into Swift, and this will be a major focus of the Swift contributor community for the remainder of this year.


Deploying Swift with SwiftStack

SwiftStack offers the easiest and fastest way to get up and running with a production Swift cluster. For more information on SwifStack, email [email protected], check out our online demo or signup for a personalized demo.

OpenStack – A Global Perspective: Five Things we Learned at OpenStack Events Across Europe and Israel

We say the words “global community” and “collaboration” so often they can start to lose their meaning. It’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture, and the scale of our community far beyond name-brand users from the US or the number of Summit attendees. A few weeks ago, members of the OpenStack community organized a series of events across Europe and Israel, including Budapest, Paris, Milan, Tel-Aviv and London.I was fortunate enough to attend several events, and my goals were two-fold: to do some learning as we prepare for the November Summit in Paris, including getting a pulse on the issues and topics resonating most in the region and identifying new users we could feature; and second, of course, to start promoting the Paris Summit (shameless plug, happening November 3-7) by getting sponsors, press and potential attendees on board.


But what I really took away from the trip was a reminder that our greatest strength truly is the diversity and size of our global community. They aren’t just words that we throw around, but the hundreds of people we met and stories we heard in just a few short days. Reflecting on my conversations and a few interviews with the user group leaders, I wanted to pass along my five takeaways from the trip:

Businesses everywhere just want to move faster. Full disclosure, my original plan for this blog post was to interview the user group leader at each event and ask about the unique drivers in their region for OpenStack (or cloud and general). I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised when they gave me essentially the same answers. The themes we discussed at the Atlanta Summit, including the Software-Defined Economy and needing to move faster than emerging competitors, resonated with everyone (unprompted!). Sure, there may be different regulatory environments or more financial services organizations in the UK and startups in Budapest, but at the end of the day they still want the same thing: the speed and agility to compete. The beauty of OpenStack is that there are many different ways to consume it, whether you’re a small business in Italy using Enter’s public cloud services, or building scale-out infrastructure for researchers to store and analyze data at CERN in Switzerland.

One of those user group leaders was Mariano Cunetti of Enter IT, based in Milan. According to Mariano, “the idea of team and company is changing. It has not been a painless process, but moving to the cloud is not only a matter of infrastructure. It’s not just a matter of how you develop your tools, it’s changing your processes. It’s being more agile and quick. In the next few years, the difference between companies adopting cloud compared to the ones who are not adopting cloud will be the difference of surviving and not.  Time to market will be so fast, that you need to keep the pace. You choose the pace you want to run to.”


Data sovereignty and national services create a different landscape in Europe, especially in industries like telco. I am familiar with the concept of data sovereignty and implications for our users, but one interesting thing we learned on the trip is that likely this year an update is coming to the EU-wide Data Protection Act Directive established in 1995. The new regulation, called the General Data Protection Regulation, is expected to take into account globalization and technological developments like cloud computing. As I mentioned, we’ve been talking about data sovereignty for some time — and it’s been a pretty significant driver of adoption among mid-size service providers across Europe and Australia — but debate and discussion around the new EU regulations, as well as court cases like Microsoft’s Dublin datacenter will be very timely for the OpenStack Summit in Paris, where we expect to discuss such issues with leading telcos, enterprises and technology vendors.


We’ve moved from “what” to “how.” Attending many of these same events a year ago, what really struck me is how the conversation has changed in tone. We’ve moved beyond the question of “what is OpenStack?” or “why OpenStack” to how it’s being used and more advanced topics. Attendees seemed eager for more technical deep dives and workshops. At the Paris event, Andrew Mitry from Comcast presented their user story, and had the most engagement and questions from audience members who were planning or operating their own deployments. In a short video interview, Nati Shalom, CTO of GigaSpaces and organizer of the OpenStack Israel Day, said: “When they were getting started, there was a lot of questions about whether OpenStack was the right thing. Is it going to happen? Is it going to be successful? Is it something that I should bet on? Even until last year that was the main discussion, but this year it’s more about how do I get started, how do I actually implement things, and how do I move fast with OpenStack.”

Budapest Check-in_2

Márton Kiss, who co-organized OpenStack CEE Day in Budapest, told me, “the major driving force behind this interest is that people started to trust the open source technology. The startups are definitive end-users of cloud technology, they know and use agile development, continuous integration / deployment, the entire devops culture, and OpenStack fits here as an alternative platform to Amazon. Larger enterprises here still have a conservative attitude, but telecom and financial sector are doing pilot projects. The structure of enterprises is a bit different in this Eastern European region, because most companies don’t have HQs here, but there are a lot of software development / technology center located here.”


Contribution pays off. One of the most exciting things to see is the companies who have been contributing — both code and community activities like organizing these events — have been making a name for themselves, and building their brand as OpenStack experts in the global community. They’ve gained knowledge and relationships that are translating into real business opportunities. We met some very large users who are choosing to work with smaller, focused companies in the OpenStack ecosystem because they know contributions equate to knowledge and influence. Companies who are consistently contributing are also openly attracting talent, because many of the OpenStack experts want to work in an environment where they know their efforts are going to have a broader impact. As one example, I was going to report on how impressive it has been to see eNovance grow and expand globally, because we had the chance to tour their new — OpenStack themed! — offices in Paris, but they’ve since been acquired!


Need more focus on operations and end users. This isn’t so much a lesson learned on this trip, as it was reinforced by these events. The makeup of attendees has evolved from primarily vendors looking to productize OpenStack and contributing developers to infrastructure teams within larger enterprises and research organizations who are using the software. The content has also evolved, but there’s more we can do to focus on cloud operators and app developers. One thought is for the Foundation to help recruit and sponsor more users like Andrew Mitry to travel and speak at these events, because hearing case studies and having the chance to ask/answer questions first hand is incredibly valuable.Please feel free to weigh in, whether or not you attended the events, I’d love to get your perspective.

Thank you to all of the organizers who put significant time into these events: Márton Kiss and Gergely Szalay in Budapest; Annie Potvin and the eNovance (now Red Hat) team in Paris; Martina Casani, Mariano Cunietti and the Enter team in Milan; Avner Algom, Nati Shalom, Sharone Zitzman and the GigaSpaces team in Tel-Aviv; and Mark Baker, Cezzaine Zaher and the Canonical team in London.

I’m energized as we head to Paris in November, and hope to see you there.

OpenStack Global Community: Interviews from OpenStack Days in Italy & Israel

Mariano Cunietti & Martina Casani, Enter IT

We recently had a chance to catch up with OpenStack community members Mariano Cunietti, CTO, and Martina Casani, Marketing Manager, at Enter IT.  Mariano got involved in OpenStack around the Folsom release and first attended the San Diego Summit in October 2012. He helped establish the Italy OpenStack User Group upon return from San Diego, which has since grown to more than 300 participants. They hosted the first OpenStack Day Italy at their offices in Milan, Italy, May 30th.Enter’s office space in Milan is truly unique. As part of the company’s process and culture transformation, and after touring several co-working spaces in the San Francisco / Bay Area, they decided last year to turn their own offices into a co-working space. Mariano explains in the video how co-working spaces are a great representation of cloud infrastructure physically, a true multi-tenant environment with shared infrastructure for the different teams and people they host. What you aren’t able to see in the video is that the office is entirely configurable and made of low-cost materials where possible. All of the desks are on wheels, and even the hanging outlets can be swung along tracks to different locations. They were easily able to clear out a large meeting space where they hosted more than 125 attendees for the OpenStack Day. And more important than the physical setup, the biggest benefit to them has been the exchange of ideas, meeting new and interesting people with which they are now collaborating, for example companies working in security, communications, drones and 3D printers.

Enter is an ISP funded in 1996 with expertise is datacenter services and connectivity. When it came to OpenStack, they were searching for a technology to bring their virtual private server product to market. Mariano says VPS is popular in the Italian market because 95% of companies are small businesses who don’t need large, scale-out architectures. Now with OpenStack, they have a real public cloud, Enter Cloud Suite, and are also actively pursuing hybrid cloud services so users can run OpenStack in house and then scale on the public service as they need. OpenStack is core to Enter’s infrastructure, and they are continuing to build a suite of services around it, such as hadoop, CDN and email.

Mariano says that engaging with the global OpenStack community dramatically changed the way Enter approaches work.  Where they used to wear suits, they are now more casual, and they’ve traded in tools like Microsoft Exchange for new ones. They have changed their internal processes, and are much smarter and more efficient than they were.  According to Mariano, “the idea of team and company is changing. It has not been a painless process, but moving to the cloud is not only a matter of infrastructure. It’s not just how you develop your tools, it’s changing your processes. It’s being more agile and quick. In the next year, the difference between companies adopting cloud compared to the ones who are not adopting cloud will be the difference of surviving and not.  Ttime to market will be so fast, that you need to keep the pace. You choose the pace you want to run to.”

Nati Shalom, CTO & Founder of GigaSpaces

Nati Shalom, CTO & Founder at GigaSpaces, got involved with OpenStack when the community was just being formed. He has since been instrumental in building the OpenStack user group in Israel, and we caught up with him at the 5th OpenStack Day Israel, June 2nd.  It was the biggest and most successful event the group has hosted yet with more than 500 attendees. The crowd is a mix of major users like LivePerson, technologists from global IT companies with R&D offices in Tel-Aviv and startups who are building web scale applications or products around OpenStack.

Over the past few years, Nati has seen a significant shift in the conversation at these events. Even last year, there were still questions about about whether OpenStack was the right thing. “Is it going to happen? Is it going to be successful? Is it something that I should bet on?” This year he’s seen it tip over to questions like “How do I get started? How do I actually implement things? How do I move faster with OpenStack?” That shift was also evident to him at the latest Summit in Atlanta. People are no longer standing at the fence and looking at how OpenStack is shaping up. They are moving to execution and sharing their user stories and best practices. It reminds Nati of the Java community 10 years ago, where a big, revolutionary shift in technology brings together business people, users and developers in a very collaborative fashion.

In this quick interview, Nati discusses the unique business landscape in Israel with an atmosphere of entrepreneurship. He calls Israel a startup nation. One reason being that Israel is small and there are not many natural resources, so the ability to export ideas and innovation is very important. There is a strong tech startup and R&D community that is always working on the next big thing, so emerging technologies are very well received. OpenStack plays well into the scene, and we met many Israeli companies like GigaSpaces, Mellanox, LivePerson and Cloudyn that are actively involved in the community.

One thing that Nati values highly is the transparency and availability of information from the community. We did not discuss it in this video, but during his presentation at the event, Nati talked about the differences between working in an open source community and with a proprietary software platform in terms of transparency and ability to influence the roadmap. He gave an example of the user survey conducted by the user committee every six months, the results of which are shared broadly with our technical community and ecosystem. The ability to have real data and insight into user adoption and tools being used has a huge impact on his product strategy. Proprietary vendors might push their partners in one direction based on their roadmap and plans, but they rarely expose the raw data required to make your own analysis.

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