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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 280,000 cores. This cloud provides processing power to analyse the data from the Large Hadron Collider and other experiments which produce around 60PB a year. The practical experiences are shared on the blog at



OpenStack Summit Presentations


Tim 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?


During the past 4 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, Paris and Barcelona summits but also at many of the user group events in Europe such as London, Berlin, Tel Aviv, 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 OpenStack 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 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 an effective way 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 appropriate 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 continue to be impressive. With the increased function and maturity of the project, there is a significant potential for significant increases in deployments over the next few years.

The user committee will be undergoing significant changes as it becomes an elected body and the active user contributor status is established to recognise those non-code contributions. The board should be encouraging these changes and ensuring they are smoothly integrated during 2017 along with the change to the split summit events.

For 2017, the investment in interoperability needs to continue, further collaboration with other open source communities and facing up to the strategic challenges to support the continued growth of the OpenStack community and production use.


Tim has already been nominated by:

  • Adriel Cabrera
  • Allison Randal
  • Zane Bitter
  • Egle Sigler
  • Richard Fontana
  • Allison Price
  • Tristan Goode
  • Joseph George
  • Mark Collier
  • Shane Wang