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Individual Member Profile


Tim Bell

Date Joined
July 19, 2012

CERN From 2005-06-01 (Current)
Statement of Interest

Large scale deployment of clouds to support scientific research


Tim is responsible for the group at CERN, the European Laboratory for particle physics, which manages the compute infrastructure for 13,000 physicists around the world to support fundamental research. He previously worked as a Unix kernel developer at IBM along with managing large scale Unix production deployments and services for Deutsche Bank in Europe.

His team is running the CERN OpenStack cloud which has been in production since July 2013 and is currently around 190,000 cores. This cloud provides processing power to analyse the data from the Large Hadron Collider and other experiments which produce around 35PB a year. Our experiences are shared on the blog at




I'm involved in the following OpenStack projects: Nova,Glance,Keystone,Horizon,Quantum,Cinder,Ceilometer,Heat,Ironic,Openstack-manuals


Tim is a candidate in the 2016 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?


During the past 3 years, I have been serving as a community elected member of the OpenStack management board and as a member of the user committee until September 2015.

CERN has been a regular contributor to OpenStack in many different forms, from code to operations meetups providing details of our deployment experiences and feedback to the community on improvements.

I have been a regular speaker at OpenStack events, keynote talks in Boston and Paris summits but also at many of the user group events in Europe such as London, Budapest and Zurich.



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?


As a serving member of the board since it's foundation, I have been involved in many of the details establishing the OpenStack project. As a production cloud operator, I have brought this view to the discussions to ensured a balanced debate and representing the needs of this vital part of the community.

My 10 years experience at CERN has been invaluable given the shared principles of multi-cultural and meritocracy. As a publically funded organisation, CERN benefits openness and transparency as one of its core principles with open source software being one of the ways we contribute back to society.



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


The board provides the vital oversight of the foundation and business strategy with the individual directors providing the voice of the community in setting direction. Given a large board of 24, it is key that there continues to be representation of those who are running OpenStack in production, understands the challenges of the user community and approprriate focus is placed on areas such as the product working group and interoperability to drive further adoption.


What do you think the top priority of the Board should be in 2016?


The growth of the community and the contributions are impressive. However, we need to drive adoption of OpenStack, both from those providing OpenStack services and those who consume them through the applications and ecosystem.

The progress in the initiatives such as marketplace and application catalog are a good start but the investment in defCore activities and business development is needed to encourage a competitive ecosystem which will drive the value to the user communities.


Tim has already been nominated by:

  • Jonathan Proulx
  • Tom Fifield
  • Jack Mac
  • Kevin Jackson
  • Mark McLoughlin
  • Kavit Munshi
  • Egle Sigler
  • Syed Armani
  • Cody Bunch
  • Giuseppe Paterno'