Telcos, travel, and Tapjoy as OpenStack Summit continues

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The final day of keynotes at OpenStack Summit delivered even more user stories from a variety of disparate industries who all share a common need for making the deployment of virtual infrastructure fast and easy. 

Kicking off was OpenStack Foundation Chief Operations Officer Mark Collier, who began his remarks with a William Gibson quote from 1993: "The future is already here—it's just not very evenly distributed." The speed of technology is always moving faster, but with the growth of cloud, mobile, and open source, the access to that technology is starting to spread more quickly and evenly than ever before.

Collier gave multiple examples from across the world of how mobile is empowering conversation, collaboration, and organization on a scale that would have been impossible with distributed technology. "When you combine ubiquitous connectivity with the supercomputer in your pocket—that is distributed power." He noted that with few exceptions, these technologies rely on the cloud to power them. With OpenStack the cloud too is becoming more distributed, with more choices for deployment and the opportunity for computer power to be spun up in any location of the world.

Moving beyond the technology itself, Collier commented on the distributed nature of not just OpenStack as a project, but as a community. He shared that 59 countries were present at the Summit before having a 60th confirmed from the floor through Twitter. And though this eleventh Summit is only the second to occur outside the United States, Collier also confirmed what the map on the official Summit hoodie hinted at: the next two will be international as well, with the next Summit headed to Vancouver, Canada and the one following to Tokyo, Japan.

The first user keynote was from Tim Bell of CERN, who had won the inaugural OpenStack Superuser award just the day before. Bell gave an overview of CERN's OpenStack clouds, the largest of which contains 75,000+ nodes and runs on the RDO community distribution of OpenStack. Much of the details of Bell's talk can also be found in our previous interview with him.

Next up on the stage was Rajeev Khanna of Expedia; the company is using OpenStack to empower their developers to provision virtual machines on an as-needed basis. This is freeing server capacity for Expedia, by giving developers the confidence that if they need additonal machines, they'll be able to spin up new ones automatically, reducing the tendencies of devleopers to hang onto unneeded machines just in case they would be needed in the future.

The final user keynote came from Weston Jossey of Tapjoy. Tapjoy is a mobile advertising platform whose work is heavily dependent on big data analytics of its users social data. Tapjoy only recently adopted OpenStack in June but has experienced zero downtime since making the switch, allowing the company to run uninterrupted analysis using tools like Apache Hadoop on top of OpenStack.

Finally, the morning ended with a panel of Telco experts: Toby Ford of AT&T, Markus Brunner of Swisscom, and Xiaolong Kong of Orange Labs; moderated by Michael Stil, PTL (project team lead) of the Nova project. The panelists described how OpenStack and virutalization in general is revolutionizing an industry which had been previously built almost exclusively on proprietary single-purpose devices. Network Functional Virtualization (NFV) is allowing them to now run many of their workloads in virtualized instances.

As with day one at the Summit, the OpenStack Foundation produced a short video recapping some of the major themes of the second day. If you're not here in person, it's really worth checking out below.

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Jason was an staff member and Red Hatter from 2013 to 2022. This profile contains his work-related articles from that time. Other contributions can be found on his personal account.

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