OpenStack Summit Austin - day one - diversity

With the rise of OpenStack in cloud architectures, the OpenStack Summit has become a key conference on this subject. Here are my thoughts and experiences from day one:

First of all I'm very happy that the summit takes place in Austin, Texas. The city perfectly fits the culture that surrounds OpenStack in particular and open source in general. Austin is a city full of students with a thriving nightlife and an open culture. This mirrors quite well the geeky open source culture. Austin is also very different from the rest of Texas as it is very liberal in a quite conservative state. All of this permits the town to be very diverse, and very interesting - you can meet all sorts of people from cowboys to hippies. And this year in the opening keynote, the emphasis was indeed on diversity.

Why? Because this is one of the key elements of open source, and the key to OpenStack. The technologies and projects shipped by OpenStack allow many companies to manage the diversity of their IT systems while limiting their dependency on software vendors and giving them more options to select and change the technologies they use to transform their systems. OpenStack wants to be the foundation of the foundation of digital transformation, cloud computing. A foundation on which you build, integrate and manage very diverse systems. As part of digital transformation, these systems are your added value on the market and the source of your future innovations.

How? Thanks to open source, this foundation remains open and quite independent from major software vendors, and as more and more software providers and users base their technologies on OpenStack, it has become a de facto cloud computing standard. For example, if you use it, you can easily choose between HP, IBM and SAP for your BI system, and better mix and integrate these technologies. Now that the community has reached a sufficient size, it has become very rich in members, projects, technologies and functionalities. The success of OpenStack lies in the fact that it allows to manage diversity thanks to a common foundation.

Many global clients have shared their experiences, clients that are themselves very diverse:

· Telecoms giants like AT&T or Verizon that are betting on fully codified infrastructure for their IT and network systems;

· Technology providers like SAP, IBM or OVH that are basing the core of their business on OpenStack;

· Manufacturing companies like Volkswagen, PSA or Siemens that are engaged in large digital transformation projects;

· Many start-ups;

· Universities and research bodies, etc.

Diversity has been the word of the first day and I guess that tomorrow, the word of the day will be ‘culture’. But that’s a different story…