What to check out at OpenStack Summit
The popular open source infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) OpenStack cloud is having its semiannual conference, OpenStack Summit, in Boston May 8-11. Besides the opportunity to meet yours truly at the show, there are many excellent reasons to attend.
OpenStack and Azure rule the private and hybrid cloud. Numerous companies, including Canonical, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Mirantis, Rackspace, Red Hat, and SUSE offer OpenStack-based cloud distributions, services, and preconfigured clouds. Besides powering the private clouds of global businesses such as Bank of America, BMW, Volkswagen, and Walmart, OpenStack has become the cloud of choice for telecoms. The 2017 OpenStack User Survey showed 86 percent of global telecom companies are adopting OpenStack.
If you plan to build your business around a private cloud, it behooves you to check out OpenStack Summit. If you can't make it to the show, most of the major speeches and panels will be video-streamed and archived for future viewing.
I recommend starting with the keynotes. Some, such as OpenStack Foundation Executive Director Jonathan Bryce's "Costs Less, Does More," should provide a good general overview of OpenStack's current state. Others, such as customer overviews from GE Healthcare and the U.S. Army Cyber School, will show you how real organizations are using OpenStack to reach their goals.
One especially interesting user story looks to be A Series of Unfortunate Deployments. This is a tale of what went wrong with an attempt to create a scalable, high-performance chemistry search engine based on the Lambda Big Data Architecture. I find the most useful user studies are those where projects didn't work out as planned, instead of success stories.
You might also want to know why telecom organizations are so interested in OpenStack. You'll find part of the answer in a panel presentation, The 5G Network: A Glimpse Into the Connected Future. In it, executives from AT&T, Ericsson, Verizon, and Huawei promise to reveal how they're using OpenStack and software-defined networking (SDN) to build the needed infrastructure for 5G networking.
Besides SDN, OpenStack users tend to deploy containers more often than most cloud users. According to 451 Research, OpenStack users are adopting containers far faster than most enterprise cloud users. By late 2016, 55 percent of OpenStack users were using containers, compared with only 17 percent of other cloud users.
Therefore, it shouldn't surprise you to find many conference sessions devoted to containers. You won't find many introductory Docker sessions here, but if you're still puzzled by the differences between virtual machines (VM) and containers, there's a lecture just for you.
Most of the container sessions are for more sophisticated audiences. For instance, Securing Microservice Interactions in OpenStack and Kubernetes deals with securing container APIs, communication channels, and data-store interactions, a session emphatically not for beginners. For container developers who are still wet behind the ears, there's Introduction to Container Security.
The OpenStack Summit also features numerous container management DevOps topics. These include Ansible, with an introduction on how to use Ansible on OpenStack; a brief look at SaltStack on OpenStack; and many Kubernetes panels.
Kubernetes is easily the most popular DevOps topic at the summit. I’m taken with several: Kubernetes on OpenStack on Kubernetes; Using Kubernetes and OpenStack for CPU and GPU Intensive Workloads; and Kubernetes and OpenStack at Scale.
There's a lot to learn at OpenStack Summit—I just wish I could go to more sessions. Fortunately, thanks to video-recording, whether you're on site or not, you can pick up much of what you'll need to get a handle on this powerful cloud. Enjoy!
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