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Individual Member Profile


Mark Voelker

Date Joined
July 19, 2012

VMware From 2014-12-01 (Current)
Cisco From 2013-06-17 To 2014-11-30
Statement of Interest

I serve as OpenStack Architect for one of VMware's product lines as my day job. I also cofounded the Triangle OpenStack Meetup in Research Triangle Park, NC and am generally interested in building a strong community around the project.




Mark Voelker is currently the OpenStack Architect with VMware, but generally prefers to think of himself as a breadth-first technologist. In past lives he has worked as a software engineer, engineering manager, and architect designing web applications, automation systems, mobile apps, traffic generators, and more weasely hacks than he can shake a stick at. He also helped design and support the infrastructure supporting his software, including LANs, award-winning SANs, load balancing, and servers. Mark currently works on enterprise cloud architecture, software defined networking, and distributed systems. He's been enamoured of Open Source approximately since his first exposure to the Internet, helped found Cisco's Open Source Conference and was part of the [email protected] team before joining VMware in 2014 where he leads architecture for the VMware Integrated OpenStack R&D team. Mark has been active in the OpenStack community since 2011 when he attended the Diablo Design Summit and has been an attendee and/or speaker at every Summit since.  He is OpenStack Foundation member #54 and owns enough OpenStack t-shirts that he can go long stretches without doing laundry.  Mark co-founded the Triangle OpenStack Meetup in Research Triangle Park, NC in 2013 and currently leads the group's 830+ members.  As an application developer and infrastructure afficionado, Mark is concerned with interoperability of cloud platforms and is the co-chair of the DefCore Committee.  He is also a former core reviewer on the Puppet OpenStack project.  He has a habit of including vacation photos and Douglas Adams quotes in his presentations and his time can generally be bought with a sufficient quantity of doughnuts. When not holed up within the trail-photo covered walls of his workspace at home near Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, Mark can be found hiking, camping, backpacking, or making sawdust with extreme prejudice. Mark is a proud alumni of the Park Scholarships at NC State University and currently serves as a Regional Selection Leader for the scholarship. You can also find him on Twitter, LinkedIn, SlideShare, or at his occasional blog.



I'm involved in the following OpenStack projects: Nova,Swift,Glance,Keystone,Horizon,Quantum,Cinder,Ceilometer,Heat,Openstack-ci,QA,Deployment

OpenStack Summit Presentations

Speaker Profile:


Mark 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 working in the OpenStack community since 2011 and have taken on a number of different roles during that time.  I have been a core developer, an elected committee chair, a commercial product developer and architect, a user, an operator, a speaker at OpenStack and other industry events, a meetup founder and organizer, and a code contributor to several projects.  In recent years, my biggest impact has been in chairing the DefCore Committee (which is in the process of being renamed the Interop Working Group).  Interoperability has long been a tricky issue for OpenStack and one that interests me greatly.  I beleive strongly that OpenStack is an amazingly rich, flexible set of software that can be applied to a dizzying number of real-world use cases, and that developing an open infrastructure system is important for the world we live in going forward.  


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 currently serve as the founder and lead organizer of the Triangle OpenStack meetup, I sit on the steering committee for the Gerald H. Elkan Distinguished Lectureship at NC State University, and as a regional selection leader for the Park Scholarships at NC State University.  I have also in the past served on the voting board of the Park Alumni Society, on the steering committee for OpenStack East, as a committee chair for Service Raleigh, and have volunteered with various nonprofit organizations in my community.


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


OpenStack is now a mature project, and much has changed since the project was created--including the ecosystem around us.  The Board's role now more than ever is to help prepare the community and the project for the inevitable changes which come with working in the technology field.  The Board will help our community formulate strategies for the future that will help ensure that OpenStack remains an important part of our future in a changing environment, which includes outreach to other adjacent organizations, helping guide direction, offering advice and guidance to participants, and helping select focus areas to which Foundation resources should be applied.


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


I beleive the Board's top priorities should be examining the changing technology climate to ensure we remain a strong, relevant project, promoting interoperability among OpenStack clouds, and ensuring that strategic use cases are well met.  

Mark has already been nominated by:

  • Britt Houser
  • Tracy Jones
  • Michael Chen
  • Karol Stepniewski
  • Mayan Weiss
  • Dave McCowan
  • Santhosh Sundararaman
  • Egle Sigler
  • Anni Lai
  • Steven Ren