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October 21, 2016updated 13 Jan 2017 11:47am

OpenStack Summit Barcelona – your essential guide to the show

Containers, controversy, products and partnerships, lots to expect from OpenStack in Barcelona.

By James Nunns

Six months after OpenStack headed home to Austin in Texas for its conference, the open source community is now about to land in Barcelona.

Approximately 6,000 attendees from 50+ countries expect to attend the Summit in order to discuss the challenges and the benefits of the open source cloud platform.

Taking place between the 25th-28th October the event will feature numerous speakers and various hot topics.

At the Austin Summit there was talk of making OpenStack the standard for private cloud, focus on virtual machines and containers, and claims that the Big Tent would collapse.

CBR lists the big topics expected to be discussed at the Barcelona Summit.

 

Products

Typically a boat load of products and services are released during conferences so it is a pretty safe bet that this will also happen in Barcelona.

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OpenStack recently released the 14th version of its software.

OpenStack recently released the 14th version of its software.

OpenStack recently released the 14th version of its open source software, Newton, so there is unlikely to be any big releases like that.

However, with a massive ecosystem of partners in attendance such as; IBM, HPE, Rackspace, Canonical, Red Hat, Dell EMC, Intel, and many more, there will likely be various new products and services revealed during the show.

Improvements to scale and performance, container based enhancements, the integration of new services, have all been released in previous shows so keep an eye out for that.

I would expect to see some announcements made around Kubernetes and work being done around telcos.

Use cases

The second day keynote of the Austin Summit focused on use cases and for good reason.

In the past the technology has had questions raised about its role in the business, essentially, what should it be used for and why should it be used ahead of other clouds?

Boris Renski, CMO, Mirantis has delivered some entertaining keynotes in the past.

Boris Renski, CMO, Mirantis has delivered some entertaining keynotes in the past.

OpenStack now can claim to have 15 public OpenStack clouds in Europe and numerous private cloud deployments in production as well.

With large adoption in Europe, partly thanks to OpenStack fitting in nicely with

regulatory demands, there will be some European customers present and the likes of Banco Santader and Deutsche Telekom will be speaking.

OpenStack is also aiming to prove that it can scale to the largest use cases, which is one reason why China Mobile will be speaking.

China Mobile is the world’s largest mobile phone operator by subscribers with about 835 million and it has built the largest OpenStack platform for private clouds, with one for public clouds expected to be completed before the end of the year.

Bold statements

One of the great things about OpenStack is the huge ecosystem that keeps it alive. There’s an element of ‘co-opetition’ where the companies all work together but are essentially competing for deals as well.

Mark Shuttleworth first citizen of an independent African country to travel to space.

Mark Shuttleworth first citizen of an independent African country to travel to space.

This leads to some interesting positioning from companies that sparks debate and the

occasional bit of controversy.

During the Austin Summit Mark Shuttleworth, founder Canonical, said that the Big Tent model would collapse. “Much like 1999/2000 was traumatic for a lot of dotcoms. The dotcom bubble collapse left the good stuff, it was IP, internet connectivity and that just continued to grow,” said Shuttleworth to CBR.

On a less controversial and more technical note the conference also dispelled the myth that containers and virtual machines can’t work in the same architecture.

So during the Barcelona Summit there is likely to be a few more bold statements about the status of OpenStack.

Training

The tech skills gap has been a constant thorn in the side of OpenStack, as it has for much of the tech community. But for OpenStack it has directly impacted its viability as a

More certified OpenStack engineers are needed to help lower the cost of deployment.

More certified OpenStack engineers are needed to help lower the cost of deployment.

solution for businesses of all sizes.

A recent 451 Research report on cloud pricing found that OpenStack would be a much more appealing option in the future if it were to solve the cost of labour problem. The issue is that there aren’t enough OpenStack engineers, they are much more difficult to come by and cost “far more than VMware engineers,” the report said.

Lots has been done to try and solve this problem, mainly through the introduction of training and certification course by both the OpenStack Foundation and by community members, but as long as it remains an issue it will hinder the growth and adoption of the open source cloud.

Due to this being such a persistent issue it will likely be covered during the Summit.

Partnerships

Partnerships are something that’s seen throughout the calendar year and recently the likes of Amazon Web Services and VMware have partnered, as has Google and Pivotal.

The deals are mutually beneficial, whether providing a company with a more succinct cloud portfolio, or providing customer access to a greater number of products and services that company A may not provide.

Recently Ericsson expanded its alliance with Red Hat so that it could expand the current telco NFV offering to include Red Hat OpenStack Platform.

Partnerships form an important function in OpenStack as a way to simplify the ease of adoption of different products and to improve interoperability.

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