5 key takeaways from OpenStack Summit 2015

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wpid-thumbnail-ab9ba00aa07f660736b2acc2bf8d9de5-500x325More than 6,000 cloud enthusiasts, developers, administrators, architects and IT pros descended on Vancouver last week for the semi-annual OpenStack 2015 summit.

First, congratulations to the OpenStack team. OpenStack Kilo, the 11th release of the open source software for building public, private, and hybrid clouds, has nearly 400 new capabilities to support software development, big data analysis and application infrastructure at scale.

In a recent blog, “Open doors with an open hybrid approach,” we shared some thoughts on how hybrid cloud requires an open approach and an open technology base to thrive. Open technologies empower developers and IT departments to easily integrate and port applications across hybrid environments without the need for rework.

An open approach ensures that the ultimate potential of hybrid is realized by enabling applications, data and environments to interoperate freely.  For many, this is becoming common wisdom.  The challenge in endorsing this approach resides in the lack of clarity on how to bring all the piece parts together, in a manner that satisfies enterprise needs.

The following are our top five takeaways from this year’s summit:

Increased OpenStack adoption rate

It was amazing to see how large enterprises like Yahoo and Walmart are embracing the use of OpenStack in their respective enterprises. This clearly tells us that OpenStack technology is ready for prime time usage from small customers and large enterprises alike.

Interoperable OpenStack clouds

Given the rapid changes in the digital transformation, customers are requesting flexibility to interoperate between multiple clouds. But they also want to seamlessly move across the clouds, as required. One of the coolest features of Kilo is it’s Keystone to Keystone federated identity support, which shows the flexibility of an OpenStack-powered planet with a global footprint of clouds.

It was amazing to learn how the TV and entertainment industry is leveraging cloud-based workflow with federated identity to work across multiple cloud providers across geos. These organizations are able to work efficiently through the film production process and cut down the time it takes to produce the short films from weeks and days to hours.

OpenStack is certainly moving in the right direction with RefStack, whose goal is to ensure interoperability between OpenStack clouds.

OpenStack is at the epicenter of the next generation data center

Next generation data centers are leveraging the cool capabilities of OpenStack to quickly provision the increasing horse power needs of existing applications while instantaneously deploying new solutions to meet the time-to-market business requirements.

OpenStack Startup Ecosystem

Although there are many startups working on providing enriched technical capabilities on top of OpenStack (SwiftStack, BlueBox, etc.), venture capitalists and analysts predict that the startups should really focus on building the vertical industry solutions based on OpenStack where the future demand is going to be high in the marketplace.

Engage with the OpenStack community

There is no better way to learn any technology than to get your hands dirty. Many of companies, individuals and enterprises that are successful in OpenStack are the key contributors giving back to the OpenStack development community. Hence, if you are not already a contributor to the OpenStack community, we strongly encourage you to sign-up with one of the OpenStack projects that interest you.

With this, IBM remains deeply committed to increasing our contributions to the OpenStack community and expanding the impact and influence of Open technology in the industry.

Moe Abdula is Vice President of Cloud Foundation Services Product Management, IBM


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