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Individual Member Profile


Johan Christenson

Date Joined
December 02, 2014

Statement of Interest

Public- and Private cloud. Giving choice of open infrastructure to the masses.


Johan Christenson is a serial entrepreneur whom has successfully exited multiple companies he founded. After receiving a graduate degree in Engineering, from Florida Institute of Technology, his focus turned to the digital space. He has raised money both in the US and Europe from venture capical firms such as Benchmark Capital and Balderton Capital.

Johan is the founder and CEO of City Network, which offers a global public cloud as well as private clouds for enterprises - all based on OpenStack. City Networks mission is to enable innovation and focuses on enterprises with regulatory challenges such as banks and insurance companies.

Johan sees OpenStack as critical for all enterprises in order to provide options and create competition in an ever more centralized infrastructure world. He, and the team at City, empower new types of industries and markets to use the power of OpenStack, to enable and increase innovation in their organizations.

Johan is based in Sweden.

  • City Network International AB - From 2020-03-24 (Current)
  • City Network Hosting AB - From 2009-01-01 (Current)

OpenStack Summit Presentations
  • Public cloud: The opportunity and challenges - and why open is key!


Johan is a candidate in the January 2020 Board Election .


What is your relationship to OpenStack Foundation (OSF), and why is its success important to you? What would you say is your biggest contribution to the OSF and the success of its projects to date?


Infrastructure and thus innovation is being focused in and around very few companies today. OpenStack (and other OSF projects) is one of the only platforms left that allows for true choice in an open fashion. I believe all nations will need that choice for its forward innovation - and for governments it will be partictularly important to control certain data. OSF projects allow to manage large scale infrastructure in a way that lends both enterprises and governements that choice.

Personally I have been working with or around OpenStack since 2012 and the last couple of years on the board. I also have an interest as a public cloud provider. By offering OpenStack as a base in our public cloud - we can offer core values such as open, interoperability and transparency. Something I believe will be more important in an ever more complex geo-political world.

As a group I think we have helped growth in Europe and in particular in the financial markets. Our focus is highly regulated verticals and over the last few years OpenStack has seen an uptick in usage in those types of verticals. We work heavily with the marketing side - including arranging Open Infrastructure Days.


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?


Having sat on a multitude of enterprise boards - this perspective has given me a a good sense what the market needs and how to achieve goals around such needs. I have served on both public- and private companies boards.

I am also the chairman of the Nordix Foundation where we work tirelessly to try to forward open source usage, understanding, contribution and collaboration in the Nordic countries. Particularly we are working to try to get large enterprise not just to use open source but to engage and contribute as well. Something I think is critical for continued OSF success.


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


In addition to the traditional steering mechanisms such as governing and guiding with the right decisions and support I think there are a few aspects we should make sure happens.

On the one side I think we need to work more on the practical aspects of oiling the machine that makes up the projects. OpenStack as an example is moving towards a very mature state. It works but there are also hotter technologies out there for those that want to move on. We need to make sure we continue to have the right amount of engagement and contributors and therefore outreach to enterprises and guiding the same towards OSF projects is key. Without success in this area we will simply not move forward.

On the other side the next ten years will be the "big" years of OSF. All these nations and enterprises need choice. We need to make sure all projects are top of mind as both governments as well as large enterprises are looking for choice in how they can innovate - yet stay within the laws of that nation or area. Continued work in how we market and make people aware is a key factor as well. Furthering our four opens is equally key in that process.


What do you think the top priority of the Board should be over the next year?


I truly believe that OSF has a higher calling. Open infrastructure has always been important - but today it is becoming absolutely critical in so many ways we could have before not imagined. Nations talk about data sovereignty. Enterprises talk about lack of choice. There is truly a lot to fight for that are highly important values.

With increased maturity and competition in the open source space - we need to look at how we keep OSF projects well oiled. It means:

1. Make sure enterprises as well as government agencies not just use OSF projects but contribute.

2. Make sure we guide OSF projects by the four opens and create open infra which is truly interoperable.

3. Make sure the market grows by understanding the importance of these values and equally the value of the code being produced.