The OpenStack summit is going global with the first design summit being held outside of the United States in Hong Kong, November 5-8. In addition, the event is going beyond the primary focus of designing the next release to include a much bigger focus on users. I think that this signals a pretty significant shift from a somewhat interesting but niche technology, to a much more broadly appealing, world ready, foundation for cloud.
Note that I didn’t call OpenStack a cloud management platform. In my mind at least, that requires advanced capabilities such as monitoring, metering and billing, multi-tier application deployment and process workflow that either aren’t in OpenStack or aren’t mature. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t consider OpenStack right now. In fact, one of the great things about OpenStack is the open APIs that allow you to control the heterogeneous storage, hypervisor, compute, and network resources programmatically and create your own solution.
There are two primary reasons that clients are using OpenStack today. The first is time to market. Because OpenStack is relatively easy to deploy and has open APIs that control a broad range of hypervisor, storage, compute and network devices, organizations are able to get up and running very quickly across the devices that they have in their data center today. The second driver for OpenStack usage has been cost. Organizations can choose to run workloads on cheaper hardware, storage, network and hypervisors because OpenStack supports those devices in a very scalable and secure way.
IBM is a founding and Platinum member of the OpenStack Foundation and is also a Headline sponsor of the Hong Kong summit. I’ll be there, working the booth and demonstrating how IBM products built on OpenStack not only inherit the interoperability and heterogeneous support of OpenStack but also fill in gaps to create a fully functional and supported Cloud Management Platform.
I hope that you will consider joining OpenStack (www.openstack.org/join It’s free!) and trying out the code (also free!). I’d also like to encourage you to go the Hong Kong Summit (www.openstack.org not free, but relatively cheap). It’s going to be the biggest OpenStack event ever with close to 5,000 participants. There will be plenty of opportunities to learn about using OpenStack or even to participate in design discussions and influence the direction of the next release.