Blog, Events & Press

28 May

5 Takeaways from the OpenStack Summit in Vancouver

OpenStack Vancouver

The May 2015 OpenStack Summit recently wrapped up in Vancouver.

I couldn’t help but feel that the event – which drew in thousands of technologists and leaders spanning a myriad of industries – reminded me a bit of the Wild West. We’ve now traversed the river and reached uncharted territory.

The excitement over OpenStack was extremely palpable at the event. I spoke with one attendee who said the gains made in OpenStack software are the most exciting thing we’ve seen in IT over the last 20 years. People are excited about it. It’s likely going to create more jobs and opportunities. Technologists were chomping at the bit to pitch and present their enhancements and solutions.

One of the most interesting things I noticed at the event – it’s still a level playing field. There’s no one perceived leader for other companies to take cues from. No one is dominating yet. It is anyone’s game.

Here are my 5 biggest takeaways from the OpenStack Summit:

  • The variety of companies – I saw more small companies at this show than ever before. I also saw more big names that I’ve ever seen at any show we’ve attended. There was a large tech crowd contingent – the “we can build it ourselves” group. The most interesting conversations I had were with smaller companies, asking them if and how they are using OpenStack. Based on the mix of large and small companies, it will be interesting to see how this is all going to come together.
  • Cross-functional teams – I was surprised to see representatives from both the wireless and wire line sides of service provider organizations. These teams are coming together to figure out how to make Software Define Networking (SDN) work for the business. They don’t want to build things twice in different silos
  • Remaining open – It will be interesting to see if the people who are latching onto OpenStack will want to soon deliver their own product and capitalize on it. We do have some significant fragmentation from the open source project. We’ve seen commercial networking providers like Juniper and Alcatel Lucent create replacements for parts of the networking stack. AT&T has announced their intent to build their own private version of OpenStack networking based on MPLS and iBGP. I’m curious to see if OpenStack will go the way of the security world two decades ago when security software, over the course of five years, dwindled from the free, public domain.
  • Too much hype? – No. Every major service provider we talk to is on a journey to Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and most of them are using OpenStack to do it. This year, Comcast – one of our customers, took the award for OpenStack Superuser – a community selected company that made significant contributions to the OpenStack community. They contributed 36,000 lines of code, which is no easy task. Larger enterprises –many who attended the summit – are significantly contributing to OpenStack, as well.
  • Other hot topics – SDN and NFV were, not surprisingly, the topics of discussion during the sessions and conversations we had. Some of the more popular sessions were so crowded that we sometimes had to sit on the floor. One of the best talks, “Intent and SDN Driven Service Chain: What, Why and How,” was led by engineers and architects from Huawei USA and HP. Another interesting topic that generated some discussion by the water cooler was Kubernetes (by Google), an open source orchestration system for Docker containers.

It was evident at the summit that OpenStack continues to expand the realm of NFV and SDN. And as larger enterprises continue to cross into the OpenStack space, and smaller organizations begin to seriously consider utilizing OpenStack, there is an increased need for an infrastructure monitoring platform that‘s able to adapt to this complex, dynamic environment.

For more information, watch our video, Monitoring an OpenStack-Based Infrastructure.

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