The OpenStack Summit is coming to Paris from November 3-7. Are you?    Register Now!

Individual Member Profile


Hernan Alvarez

Date Joined
August 20, 2012

Blue Box Group From 2013-08-29 (Current)
Statement of Interest

To leverage Openstack for development and delivery of the Blue Box Group’s private cloud system, further the adoption of OpenStack and support the community


I have over 19 years of building and leading technology companies and teams.

My career has focused on driving aggressive growth, building cutting edge products, and creating energetic environments that foster success for technology companies, employees, and clients alike through IT technology and product innovation.

Prior to joining Blue Box, I was Senior Director of Architecture and Operations at HP Cloud, where I built and managed technical operations for their public cloud offering and architecture for the private cloud offering, both based on OpenStack.  The experience of running a large public cloud based on OpenStack as well as working with corporate customers for private clouds gave me an unique perspective in how to help OpenStack succeed in the Marketplace.  


Before joining HP, I held key leadership positions for many technology startups such as WhitePages, Snapvine, Farecast, Mobliss and AdRelevance.  At Whitepages, The first year was focused on a complete upgrade of every aspect of Engineering, Product, IT and Operations.  We built a early private cloud, with on demand IT services and complete systems automation, which resulted in increased product releases twenty fold. This effort embodied the most advanced aspects of Agile software development, system automation, private cloud technology and “DevOps”.  This is where I was first able to see the potential of OpenStack in the enterprise.



Hernan is a candidate in the 2014 Board Election.


What is your relationship to OpenStack, and why is its success important to you? What would you say is your biggest contribution to OpenStack's success to date?


As a longtime IT and Operations professional, I have always strived to provide the very best services to my customers.  Before OpenStack, I have had to build my own private cloud solutions from scratch in an effort to provides frictionless IT services to my customers, while still trying to answer cost, performance and security concerns of the business.  


Success for OpenStack is extremely important to me, because it is critical for a open standards to be vibrant, growing and available  for IT providers and consumers, keeping power from accumulating in any one vendors hands.  OpenStack holds the promise for a open cloud standard, that can be delivered and consumed in the mode that works best for the provider and customer, private, public, hosted, etc.  OpenStack is the next generation of how IT services will be delivered and it needs all the support it can get to help it win.

My biggest contribution to OpenStack success is our most recent product launch at BlueBox, where I lead the Engineering, Product and Operations teams.  We have built a 100% community (Havana) based hosted OpenStack solution.  Customers can start at a minimal install of three nodes, scaling to hundreds.  All in a completely hosted solution where we maintain, monitor and mature the environment for the customer.  This allows IT customers of all sizes and technical ability to experience the promise of OpenStack with minimal cost and friction, which serves the overall community by getting real IT workloads on OpenStack, and increasing the size of the community of users and developers.

In addition, here at BlueBox and at HP Cloud, my position has always been one of the importance sticking with community code vs. bespoke code.  Service providers that make changes in OpenStack that create provider unique features or changes that do not get adopted upstream undermine the whole premise of the community.  Driving that mission is key to OpenStack’s success.


Describe your experience with other non profits or serving as a board member. How does your experience prepare you for the role of a board member?



Being involved in many startups, including my own, I have served on several corporate boards as a Director, observers or advisor.  As well as having served on the IT compliance board for a regional bank.  In addition, I have help positions on community orientated boards such as my Home Owners Association, which has all the challenges of any non-profit with a heavily invested community.  

As a corporate or HOA director, the experience is directly applicable.   My role like any director, has been to help guide the leaders in the organization, keeping them aligned with the vision and mission as well as focusing on a culturally healthy and fiscally sound organization so that it can thrive.  This is just as important in OpenStack.  In order for OpenStack to meet its goals, it needs the same governance and guidance.  There are a lot of tough decisions to be made with OpenStack, now and in the future.  Having a wide background in technology leadership and product development as well as board management give me experience to help the community move forward and succeed.


What do you see as the Board's role in OpenStack's success?



Keep the organization focused on the vision and mission, promote its values, while being flexible enough to change and grow with the community  Expanding the community of users and developers through promoting the use of OpenStack in IT environments and continuing to get great corporate sponsors and supporters.


What do you think the top priority of the Board should be in 2014?



Get the organization focused on the core services that create a strong foundation of services and ecosystem to build and integrate additional or ancillary services.  While its no longer sufficient for a IT provider to just virtualization and the scope of IaaS has expanded from a few years ago, too broad of a focus of OpenStack’s services dilutes efforts that could be used to enhance an stabilize the core.  Having a strong, stable core will enhance corporate IT adoption as well as create more confidence and traction in the ecosystem of other services needed for rich IT solutions.  

Hernan has already been nominated by:

  • Jesse Proudman