Here we are in Vancouver, where the one dollar coin is called a “loonie”, and the two dollar coin a ‘toonie’, and the cities international conference center is playing host to the May 2015 OpenStack Summit.

We’re finished with the keynote presentations now from Day 1 and Day 2 so… hmmm… I guess I’ll have to think for myself… J Fear, not! There’s plenty going on here.

On Monday, Nuage Networks announced their partner reference architecture for OpenStack showcasing the value of F5 Networks, and a few others, to deliver an improved OpenStack deployment. Click the link above to see their solution for expanding on the basic implementation of OpenStack Neutron. So, a hearty ‘hurrah’ to our friends at Nuage Networks – great work. 

The unexpected
While we had many existing customers, and a number of new ones, visit the F5 booth, it was a delight to receive our friends from Cisco.

I accompanied the “Other Lauren’s”, as they are known (you'll have to ask them about that yourself, right “Other Barry”?) for a quick video shoot as part of their on-site Engineers Unplugged series. There’s nothing more fun that an unscripted technical whiteboard interview. In particular when it ends with the drawing of unicorns! A standard Engineers Unplugged ritual that awarded me this nifty badge: 

Confirming my inability to draw unicorns, or anything for that matter, the evidence – the video itself – will be available in a few weeks from now.

Thoughts on OpenStack?
Finding a brief period this afternoon to sit and collect my thoughts, I came to a few conclusions:

  • OpenStack is Real: it was great to hear all the comments about improving the Openstack ‘Operator’ experience throughout the keynote speeches: Mark Interrante of HP, Imad Sousou of Intel, and Subbu Allamaraju of eBay made numerous references to this. Awesome to know that OpenStack is being geared to the masses, and not just those with PhD’s.
  • The community is growing: there was definitely a lot of ‘marketing relationships’ at the event but there were also a lot of good integrations and some fantastic examples of driving real business value that went well beyond the power-point deck. Vendors are taking OpenStack seriously. As are organizations, with the event growing almost 50% in size this year.
  • The customer evidence is undeniable: With huge carriers like AT&T and Comcast running their on-demand services on OpenStack, Yahoo bringing the containerization movement to the play, and huge infrastructures like that of NASA, eBay/PayPal, Intel, Pantheon, already so successful on OpenStack. Long live the community!
  • Support for Average Joe: There’s been a lot of growth in OpenStack support models, from ad-hoc to fully managed, and this has gone a long way to making OpenStack more accessible to the Average Joe sys admin.

As per the conclusions of the last two posts, the major themes of the event were clear:

  • OpenStack-powered planet
  • Containerization
  • Community

The OpenStack-powered planet is all about cross-OpenStack, interoperability. Simplifying the ability to migrate workloads across OpenStack environments.

Many proclaimed containerization a threat to OpenStack, which is know primarily for its management of Virtual Machines, and their hosts. However, Yahoo showed us that these claims were far from reality with its enormous OpenStack managed container-based environment.

What I appreciate most from the OpenStack Summits, and which is very visible at the events, is the strength and focus of the community. The number of vendor developers committing their code to the project is outstanding and, I believe, is what’s driving the platforms success. Will we see the same for OpenDaylight? 

Final words
It’s been a long week but a good one. There nothing quite like collaborating in a passionate and energetic movement. However, all that enthusiasm takes its toll, the energy levels start to drop, and, out comes the crazy (note unicorns…)!

As testament to such, I’ll leave you with some footage from the final minutes of the event, with F5’s OpenStack aficionado, John Gruber, leaping to a parallel universe.