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Back to the Future: OpenStack Silicon Valley 2014

Boris Renski - August 01, 2014

I still remember the Essex OpenStack summit that took place in Boston in the fall of 2011. It was the dawn of OpenStack. It was a boutique event, 800 people or so, where most knew each other from their earlier OpenStack work. Everybody was within arm’s reach. Attendees were either high profile executives from industry leading infrastructure companies or hardcore technologists, hands on with building cloud fabric of the future.

The event was bustling with energy and enthusiasm. CTO and VP level execs would mingle and get drunk with open source hackers. By the end of the week, everybody departed energized and full of new ideas.

This week OpenStack turned 4 years old. 800 attendees at the Boston Summit has now turned into 5000 attendees at the most recent Atlanta Summit. And while I am extremely excited for all the growth, I can’t help but reminisce back to the early days of the Boston Summit, when OpenStack was that cool new thing, appreciated by few.

It is that nostalgia that drove us at Mirantis to rally up the community to put together OpenStack Silicon Valley. Bringing those who stood at the origins of OpenStack within arm’s reach of true OpenStack enthusiasts and early adopters. High quality production for a small, high quality crowd. No corporate trolls, planning their next sabbatical during a marquee keynote. No clowns only visiting for free pizza and beer.

I want to thank the OpenStack foundation for backing this initiative and all the sponsors and speakers that have been instrumental to making this event happen.

Here are some sessions from OpenStack SV 2014 event that I am particularly excited about:

Is OpenStack ready for the Enterprise?

Martin Fink | EVP and CTO, HP
Open source won the internet. And now, open source will win the cloud too, with OpenStack® Technology leading the charge. Open source industry veteran, Martin Fink, will talk about why OpenStack is primed for the Enterprise, and how organizations can achieve stability, interoperability and scalability in an increasingly complex IT environment.

Panel: Will Containers Eclipse Hypervisors?

  • James Waters, VP Product Marketing & Ecosystem for Cloud Foundry, Pivotal 
  • Brandon Burns, Staff Engineer on Kubernetes Project, Google  
  • Solomon Hykes, Founder and CTO, dotCloud & Docker

Dev and test remains the top use case for OpenStack today. At the same time developers don’t want to bother with OS versions and hypervisors. Application-centric packaging using container technologies like Docker or Cloud Foundry's Warden is widely embraced by the OpenStack community, with some arguing it threatens traditional OS virtualization. In this panel, representatives of the Apache Mesos, Google Kubernetes, Cloud Foundry and OpenStack communities will examine this trend and discuss various pro and cons of containers as well as address intersections between methods of orchestrating containerized workloads.

Policy for the Cloud Frontier

Martin Casado | CTO of Networking, VMware

If we’ve automated so much, how come we still need humans to run the cloud? Cloud has automated compute, storage, and some networking -- only it’s not enough. A key barrier to the next level of automation is policy, so networks can properly metabolize business logic, compliance, and cost optimization. Now, the OpenStack Congress project is aimed squarely at this problem

The Software Defined Economy

Jonathan Bryce | Executive Director, OpenStack Foundation 

Even if world domination is unfinished business for OpenStack, the revolution in community-driven development is irreversible. 2400 developers from 200 different organizations have cranked 16 million lines of code through 9 release, now running 5000 CI jobs every day. Rewriting the rules for writing software is how OpenStack drives the software driven economy.

The Lie of the Benevolent Dictator; The Truth of a Working Meritocracy

Randy Bias | CEO and Founder, Cloudscaling

You’ve all heard the refrain: “OpenStack can’t do X because there is no benevolent dictator as with Linux.” The problem is not with the governance model. The real problem is OpenStack’s current governance trajectory. How should a democratic meritocracy work? Can grass-roots organization self-govern? Do we need many mini-me benevolent dictators, one for each program? In this keynote I will identify the two key issues that are holding OpenStack back from more rapid success, and I will explore possible solutions. This call to arms will be frank, open to debate and critical to OpenStack’s future.

Panel: Is Open Source Cloud a Winner-Take-All Game? 

  • Sameer Dholakia, VP & GM, Cloud Platforms
  • Alessandro Perilli, GM, Open Hybrid Cloud, Red Hat 
  • Marten Mickos, CEO, Eucalyptus   

As open source makes cloud both free and frictionless, does it need to be a winner-take-all game? Big proprietary platforms are fueling the cloud arms race, as open source cloud projects are tacking between innovation and alliances. Kumbaya is boring, but is it necessary to get cloud right? Or does innovation mandate competition at all costs?

We look forward to seeing everybody on September 16th.

Cross-posted from

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