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Individual Member Profile

Shamail Tahir COA Certified

Date Joined
August 30, 2013

athenaHealth From 2017-03-06 (Current)
IBM From 2015-09-30 To 2017-03-03
EMC From 2004-10-01 To 2015-09-25
Statement of Interest

Increasing collaboration across contributing companies, ensuring that user needs are communicated upstream, creating a strong ecosystem for OpenStack, removing barriers to adoption and expansion of OpenStack clouds






I have been in the OpenStack community since 2013 and I am currently participating in the Product WG, Enterprise WG and I also helped to define the newly created Active User Contributor (AUC) designation in the OpenStack community. At Athenahealth, I am focused on our infrastructure/cloud services strategy, operations, and participate extensively in OpenStack user committee initiatives.  My background includes server/network operations, pre and post-sales engineering, as well as being a technologist focused on cloud and cloud-related eco-systems (Containers, CloudFoundry, Mesos, K8s, FaaS, etc.)

I am passionate about OpenStack and our community, emerging technologies, implications of technology shifts on datacenter architectures, and driving use-case based technology adoption.


OpenStack Summit Presentations
Boston Barcelona, Spain Austin Tokyo Vancouver

Speaker Profile:


Shamail is a candidate in the 2017 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?


I’ve been an upstream community leader across multiple companies.  OpenStack clouds are being used across the world in a variety of industries to provide new applications or host existing applications that take advantage of the agility, scale, and cloud services provided by our platform to enhance overall value and user experience for end users.  I think its success is important since it shows the innovation and robustness that can be achieved through the benefits of open-source collaboration and diverse user and contributor base.


Helping to establish the OpenStack Product working group is my biggest contribution to the OpenStack community.  It helps ensure the voice and needs of our large user base (directly or indirectly) is brought back into our upstream community so that we can foster collaboration between OpenStack projects (or even within a single project) with the relevant segment of the user community.  The work that has been done so far by the OpenStack Product working group can also serve to facilitate collaboration between OpenStack and other open source communities and I am excited to see us head in that direction in the future.


I am passionate about creating new value that can be harnessed when a community’s user and contributor base collaborate to make meaningful changes to a platform that are both an important necessity to the user community and an exciting challenge for the open-source development teams.   I was also able to help with expanding the definition of our recognized contributors from being those that help OpenStack projects directly (e.g. Active Technical Contributors) to those that also help user communities understand or participate within the broader upstream OpenStack community with the creation of the newly formed Active User Contribution program.


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?


I have not previously held any board positions or have been as actively involved with other non-profits. I have spent the last three+ years primarily within our OpenStack community and, therefore, have participated in numerous OpenStack Foundation board meetings.  I believe this has helped me understand the responsibilities of serving a non-profit along with duties that must be balanced to help ensure the end result maximizes advancements of its mission and member interests.


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


I believe the Board’s role in the success of OpenStack is to ensure that the brand stays true to the vision, to foster collaboration across open source communities, ensure that the four opens are always observed across the community and its initiatives, and adequately use its budget to benefit both the upstream community and expanding awareness of the project across the world.


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


I believe the top priorities in 2017 are two-fold: collaborate externally and foster an ecosystem.  The first priority is that we must increase collaboration with other open source communities (both from a strategic and technical level) to help create non-zero sum outcomes where the communities benefit from each other’s inclusion and support (sharing community/user needs, identifying common gaps, technical collaboration, etc.).  The second priority isto help create an OpenStack ecosystem where people wanting to collaborate with OpenStack can do so either by participating directly or adding value indirectly, this partially ties into understanding the drivers behind projects wanting to participate in the big-tent and whether we can balance the wealth of services available in OpenStack clouds with the complexity/resource requirements of having all services inside the OpenStack project namespace.

Shamail has already been nominated by:

  • Kenneth Hui
  • Tyler Britten
  • John Griffith
  • Rob Hirschfeld
  • Mark Collier
  • Maish Saidel-Keesing
  • Melvin Hillsman
  • Arkady Kanevsky
  • Shane Wang
  • Edgar Magana