I had the pleasure of organizing IBM’s presence at a number of recent OpenStack events this August.   And let me tell you, OpenStack heated up Silicon Valley.  Now well into September, I find it fitting to not want the summer to end.  So I wrote this story to stay in the moment just a little longer.  Check out some key moments from the Operator Mid-cycle, Product Work Group Mid-cycle, Trove Day, and OpenStack Silicon Valley.

Operator Mid-cycle Event:
Ops Mid-cycle  2015While the summer was filled with mid-cycle events, none was larger then the Operator mid-cycle. With over 200 attendees coming together in Palo Alto, it was by far the most attended in-person mid-cycle of the summer, drawing record attendance including attendance as far away as Japan.  The discussions on burning issues was amazing. Granted, I’m sure Jesse Keating (@iamjkeating) from Blue Box moderating had something to do with it. But in all seriousness, I was impressed by the level of OpenStack experience all coming together in one location to share experiences and challenges.  An event like this brought together other groups to hear feedback and trends as well.  The Product Work Group and folks from the Developer Community also attended to hear feedback actionable by the developer community.  Projects like Keystone and Neutron were very engaged. Between IBM, Blue Box, and SoftLayer we sent more then a dozen people across our Private, Public, and Cloud Foundation Services teams. Of course we gathered feedback, validated our plans and took some actions back home as a result. We also included folks you’d not typically think of attending an operator event, our designers, who gathered meaningful perspective on various OpenStack personas. They connected with the User Experience project lead and are now hosting an upcoming Community Persona Workshop at the IBM Design Center in Austin.

Check out all 17 etherpads here     Check out the OpenStack Superuser article

Product Work Group Mid-cycle Event:
Aligned with the Operator event was the Product Work Group mid-cycle.  Over a dozen members came together representing companies with a very large percentage of developer contributors.  Cisco (thanks for hosting), Comcast, IBM, Intel, Rackspace, HP, Redhat, Huawei, and others.  Yes, sounds crazy, but finding common goals that benefit the community is easier then you think.  At the Operator event we gathered use cases, some moderated and others helped drive deeper level of discussion on managing OpenStack clouds. It was amazing to meet so many folks face-to-face for our own mid-cycle.  As an outcome we have a team updating the OpenStack Roadmap for Mitaka and beyond.  You’ll see that @ Tokyo !!  We also prioritized several cross project, multi-release use cases that will result in new blueprints to feed into the developer workflow (pilot starting for Mitaka).  You’ll hear more about that @Tokyo too.

Getting ready for OpenStack Silicon Valley
Week two really heated up, culminating with OpenStack Silicon Valley, #OSSV15.  IBM and Blue Box both sponsored the event, with IBM a headline sponsor.  With over 25 people engaged at the OpenStack Silicon Valley event from IBM, Blue Box and SoftLayer we made it clear we mean to even further amp up our presence around OpenStack.

Trove Day
The day before #OSSV15, Brad Topol and André Bearfield (Blue Box) were invited to speak at Trove Day, put on by Tesora a Blue Box partner.  So I took the morning off from prepping our #OSSV15 presence to attend as well.   The “Club Auto Sport” had a really cool atmosphere and the messages around Trove and futures of DBaaS were insightful.  Brad spoke on a panel on “Multi Database Environments” with SMEs from MongoDB, Couchbase, Oracle.  We found moments between discussions to capture the IBM and Blue Box teams together adding to the daily OpenStack social buzz on twitter .  #IBMCloud #OpenStack @bluebox.  Should I mention that IBM contributed a bunch of new code upstream in Kilo to enable IBM DB2 Express and Couch for Trove?  Something that will enable Tesora to support deploying those databases in their commercial products.  Yeah, I should 🙂

Openstack Silicon Valley
IMG_4844OpenStack Silicon Valley brought together thought leaders from across the industry with over 750 attendees, strong growth for it’s 2nd year.  Todd Moore (IBM VP) and Jesse Proudman (Blue Box CTO) were on main stage along with pretty much all the major companies in the cloud space.  This included both OpenStack regulars and companies like Google (now an OpenStack member too) and Microsoft.   The MC commented,“Everyone who is defining cloud as the platform is here, except (ahem) one vendor” Yes, referring to Amazon of course.   Jonathan Bryce talked about OpenStack as a “Platform for Innovation” and shared the stage with DirecTV.  The Computer History Museum venue was nostalgic and brought back memories for me personally.  In my opinion, the event content was well balanced with many different perspectives and competing view points enjoyable to watch unfold.  And many common view points like future of Containers.  How will that space evolve, who will collaborate well together, who will win out and rule the world?    Nobody knows for sure, but the discussions sure were great.  Boris from Mirantis had the room laughing with his crazy drawings of “who wants to rule the world,” looking at the various container technologies.

Jesse moderated multiple panels on main stage.  One around “Modern Tooling” and one on Cloudfunding.  My favorite quote from Jesse was:   “Fortune 1000 companies start with their existing vendors. Conversations for Blue Box have progressed in a fundamentally different way with IBM.”

We made a big announcement “Bringing Blue Box Cloud to IBM’s Global Network of Data Centers” in less than 90 days from acquisition.  This resonated throughout the event with hallway conversations talking about how impressive the 90 day delivery was.

IBM Panel SessionIBM held a panel session with several of our technical experts around futures, “Gazing into the Crystal Ball”.  Monty Taylor joined the panel, new with IBM.  Speaking of Monty, I truly enjoyed his first interview as an IBMer with John Furrier from TheCube.  If you haven’t seen it, go check it out.  Tyler Britten from Blue Box also filled the room in his session around Effective Monitoring Tools, always a popular topic. And before we knew it two days came to a close just as quickly as it began.

Check out all four of theCUBE interviews here:

  1. Blue Box Cloud Integrates with IBM OpenStack  
  2. Proudman: IBM will have Public Cloud
  3. What is the deal with Hybrid Cloud        
  4. Blue Box is Optimistic About Move to IBM

With that August was over, bringing us down the home stretch on the road to Tokyo.

Nate Ziemann              @nate_zman

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