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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

Speaker Profile:


Tim is a candidate in the 2018 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 5 years, I have been serving as a community elected member of the OpenStack management board. I was also a founding member of the OpenStack user committee for 3 years until September 2015 organising the first user surveys and ensuring feedback from OpenStack users to the community.

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 at several summits but also at many of the OpenStack days, local user events and participating in OpenStack working groups. 


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 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 and representing the needs of this vital part of the community.

My experience at CERN has been invaluable given the common principles of multi­cultural collaboration and meritocracy. As a publically funded organisation, CERN benefits from the same 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 appropriate focus is placed on areas such as the collaboration with other open source projects and interoperability to drive further adoption. 


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


The adjacent communities collaboration work to encourage use of open infrastructure projects is key to the foundation's future success. OpenStack is rarely alone as an open source project in installations and lowering the barriers with other projects who share the same vision will encourage further growth.

Organisations such as CERN are constantly facing these challenges, committing upstream improvements and sharing the experiences of these complex integrations. We need to make sure that the next wave of deployments can benefit from these efforts.

Tim has already been nominated by:

  • Jonathan Bryce
  • Christopher Hale
  • Isiaka Mosudi
  • Elliot Nichols
  • John Devereaux
  • Robin Dekens
  • Brian Munke
  • Stephan Fabel
  • erick jiang
  • Mahesh Balumuri