OpenStack Summit Austin 2016 Key Takeaways

Now that our team has returned from Austin and had a chance to think about everything we heard, saw, and experienced at the OpenStack Summit in Austin, we’ve pulled together our key takeaways from the conference. Before we share our thoughts, though, there’s some interesting information to be gleaned from the attendee metrics from the show.

According to the conference organizers, more than 7,800 people attended the OpenStack Summit as a participant, speaker, sponsor, industry analyst or member of the media. The attendees came from 61 countries across the world, and represented a wide range of roles, from cloud architect to CIO, CTO and CEO. But what is most interesting is that 54 percent of the people attending the OpenStack Summit were there for the first time. One might interpret that statistic in different ways, but we feel it is empirical evidence that more and more organizations are embracing OpenStack technologies in a significant way.

In fact, another proof point to where OpenStack is today, is that Donna Scott, distinguished analyst from Gartner, participated in the keynote presentation. Scott explained how IT organizations need to operate in two modes – predictable (Mode 1) and exploratory (Mode 2). Our team here at Trilio feels that message aside, whether you agree with the bi-modal argument or not, Gartner’s role in the keynote validates that OpenStack is no longer experimental or labware, but rather a viable platform for organizations truly committed to continuous iteration and release flow.

On the end user front, the hot topic continues to be about NFV, or network functions virtualization. NFV is an initiative to virtualize the network services that are now being carried out by proprietary, dedicated hardware. Other concerns and discussions for production OpenStack deployments included platform and distribution stability, new service integrations and other issues around network management.

Encouragingly, there were a number of vendors showcasing how they are solving some of the networking management challenges. Trilio was approached on a number of occasions at the show about this topic. As NFV continues to morph and evolve, backing up the state of this environment (point in time) is important to some. Not everything in this is stateless.

According to Boris Renski’s keynote address (Co-founder and CMO of Mirantis), when you look at AWS and the evolution of the datacenter infrastructure and virtualization market as it relates to Public, Private, Hybrid, or managed clouds, this is the beginning of a disruptive model that lends itself to taking advantage of the OpenStack fabric and framework. Our team members had many conversations about the slow, but steady maturation of OpenStack deployments across enterprises, cloud service providers (CSPs) and managed service providers (MSPs).

This is also evidenced by the number of OpenStack “in a box” and single solution vendors such as ZeroStack or Platform9 that are working to make the adoption of OpenStack easier for both enterprise and mid-market companies. Based on all we heard and learned in Austin, it’s clear OpenStack is a strategic initiative for a growing number of organizations throughout the world. Are you one of them? Or will you be left behind?