Hooroo! Australia bids farewell to incredible OpenStack Summit

We have reached the end of another successful and exciting OpenStack Summit. Sydney did not disappoint giving attendees a wonderful show of weather ranging from rain and wind to bright, brilliant sunshine. The running joke was that Sydney was, again, just trying to be like Melbourne. Most locals will get that joke, and hopefully now some of our international visitors do, too!

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Monty Taylor (Red Hat), Mark Collier (OpenStack Foundation), and Lauren Sell (OpenStack Foundation) open the Sydney Summit. (Photo: Author)

And much like the varied weather, the Summit really reflected the incredible diversity of both technology and community that we in the OpenStack world are so incredibly proud of. With over 2300 attendees from 54 countries, this Summit was noticeably more intimate but no less dynamic. Often having a smaller group of people allows for a more personal experience and increases the opportunities for deep, important interactions.

To my enjoyment I found that, unlike previous Summits, there wasn’t as much of a singularly dominant technological theme. In Boston it was impossible to turn a corner and not bump into a container talk. While containers were still a strong theme here in Sydney, I felt the general impetus moved away from specific technologies and into use cases and solutions. It feels like the OpenStack community has now matured to the point that it’s able to focus less on each specific technology piece and more on the business value those pieces create when working together.

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Jonathan Bryce (OpenStack Foundation) (Photo: Author)

It is exciting to see both Red Hat associates and customers following this solution-based thinking with sessions demonstrating the business value that our amazing technology creates. Consider such sessions as SD-WAN – The open source way, where the complex components required for a solution are reviewed, and then live demoed as a complete solution. Truly exceptional. Or perhaps check out an overview of how the many components to an NFV solution come together to form a successful business story in A Telco Story of OpenStack Success.

At this Summit I felt that while the sessions still contained the expected technical content they rarely lost sight of the end goal: that OpenStack is becoming a key, and necessary, component to enabling true enterprise business value from IT systems.

To this end I was also excited to see over 40 sessions from Red Hat associates and our customers covering a wide range of industry solutions and use cases.  From Telcos to Insurance companies it is really exciting to see both our associates and our customers sharing their experiences with our solutions, especially in Australia and New Zealand with the world.

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Mark McLoughlin, Senior Director of Engineering at Red Hat with Paddy Power Betfair’s Steven Armstrong and Thomas Andrew getting ready for a Facebook Live session (Photo: Anna Nathan)

Of course, there were too many sessions to attend in person, and with the wonderfully dynamic and festive air of the Marketplace offering great demos, swag, food, and, most importantly, conversations, I’m grateful for the OpenStack Foundation’s rapid publishing of all session videos. It’s a veritable pirate’s bounty of goodies and I recommend checking it out sooner rather than later on their website.

I was able to attend a few talks from Red Hat customers and associates that really got me thinking and excited. The themes were varied, from the growing world of Edge computing, to virtualizing network operations, to changing company culture; Red Hat and our customers are doing very exciting things.

Digital Transformation

Take for instance Telstra, who are using Red Hat OpenStack Platform as part of a virtual router solution. Two years ago the journey started with a virtualized network component delivered as an internal trial. This took a year to complete and was a big success from both a technological and cultural standpoint. As Senior Technology Specialist Andrew Harris from Telstra pointed out during the Q and A of his session, projects like this are not only about implementing new technology but also about “educating … staff in Linux, OpenStack and IT systems.” It was a great session co-presented with Juniper and Red Hat and really gets into how Telstra are able to deliver key business requirements such as reliability, redundancy, and scale while still meeting strict cost requirements.

 

Of course this type of digital transformation story is not limited to telcos. The use of OpenStack as a catalyst for company change as well as advanced solutions was seen strongly in two sessions from Australia’s Insurance Australia Group (IAG). Product

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Eddie Satterly, IAG (Photo: Author)

Engineering and DataOps Lead Eddie Satterly recounted the journey IAG took to consolidate data for a better customer experience using open source technologies. IAG uses Red Hat OpenStack Platform as the basis for an internal open source revolution that has not only lead to significant cost savings but has even resulted in the IAG team open sourcing some of the tools that made it happen. Check out the full story of how they did it and join TechCrunch reporter Frederic Lardinois who chats with Eddie about the entire experience. There’s also a Facebook live chat Eddie did with Mark McLoughlin, Senior Director of Engineering at Red Hat that further tells their story.

 

 

Ops!

An area of excitement for those of us with roots in the operational space is the way that OpenStack continues to become easier to install and maintain. The evolution of TripleO, the upstream project for Red Hat OpenStack Platform’s deployment and lifecycle management tool known as director, has really reached a high point in the Pike cycle. With Pike, TripleO has begun utilizing Ansible as the core “engine” for upgrades, container orchestration, and lifecycle management. Check out Senior Principal Software Engineer Steve Hardy’s deep dive into all the cool things TripleO is doing and learn just how excited the new “openstack overcloud config download” command is going to make you, and your Ops team, become.

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Steve Hardy (Red Hat) and Jaromir Coufal (Red Hat) (Photo: Author)

And as a quick companion to Steve’s talk, don’t miss his joint lightening talk with Red Hat Senior Product Manager Jaromir Coufal, lovingly titled OpenStack in Containers: A Deployment Hero’s Story of Love and Hate, for an excellent 10 minute intro to the journey of OpenStack, containers, and deployment.

Want more? Don’t miss these sessions …

Storage and OpenStack:

Containers and OpenStack:

Telcos and OpenStack

A great event

Although only 3 days long, this Summit really did pack a sizeable amount of content into that time. Being able to have the OpenStack world come to Sydney and enjoy a bit of Australian culture was really wonderful. Whether we were watching the world famous Melbourne Cup horse race with a room full of OpenStack developers and operators, or cruising Sydney’s famous harbour and talking the merits of cloud storage with the community, it really was an unique and exceptional week.

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The Melbourne Cup is about to start! (Photo: Author)

The chance to see colleagues from across the globe, immersed in the technical content and environment they love, supporting and learning alongside customers, vendors, and engineers is incredibly exhilarating. In fact, despite the tiredness at the end of each day, I went to bed each night feeling more and more excited about the next day, week, and year in this wonderful community we call OpenStack!