OpenStack Foundation COO Mark Collier cuts cords, deploys containers and talks “Four Opens” on day one of the Summit keynote.


BARCELONA, Spain — Six years in, OpenStack isn’t just working. It’s doing work that matters.

“Whether you’re a big bank with big data, a media company delivering millions of streams, or a researcher studying billions of stars, OpenStack is the versatile, reliable platform for the work that matters,” says Mark Collier, OpenStack Foundation COO.

In a keynote stretching over two hours, he offered the 5,000 attendees from 50+ countries a chance to “see how the Chorizo is made” and encouraged them to get involved in the next release.

This is how we do it

For starters, OpenStack’s “Four Opens” philosophy is the cornerstone of its rapid growth. There’s open source and open source, Collier says, but the OpenStack community is dedicated open source, community, development and design. These four elements have been essential to achieving the rapid evolution of the platform, now capable of managing the bare metal, virtual machine, and container infrastructure today’s workloads need.

Those are big accomplishments, but as he showed off a global map dotted with contributors he encouraged organizations to pitch in. “Reviews really matter. It’s a big part of what makes the whole thing work if you want to get involved,” he says.

Another way to contribute to the community: share your architecture, Collier says, offering the crowd a look at the Foundation’s revamped page of reference architectures:

“Beyond code, it’s great to have details of people who are successful and what they’re doing,” he says, adding that it’s open source so community members are encouraged to contribute to it.

Show, don’t tell

Collier outlined three basic steps to do work that matters in a live demo with Chris Hoge, the Foundation’s interop engineer. In a mini-data center with 12 servers set up in the auditorium of the Museu Blau, Collier showed how to easily deploy services, add resources and deploy an app with OpenStack. He first launched an instance, then launched a LAMP stack and started a Kubernetes cluster on top of OpenStack in less time that it would take to dash from the auditorium to the session rooms.

Can you hear me now?

The second live demo of the day spoke volumes about the future of OpenStack. Collier invited Ildiko Vancsa, ecosystem technical lead at OpenStack Foundation onstage to make a phone call to Heather Kirksey of OPNFV seated in the Barcelona chairs of the OpenStack Foundation lounge across the square. Vancsa noted that OpenStack delivers 99.999 % availability — less than five minutes of downtime per year. Collier then played “chaos monkey” and unplug the network cables. Fortunately, there was a “doctor” in the house –  Ryota Mibu of NEC who employed OPNFV doctor which enabled the call to go through loud and clear even when Collier cut the cables with an outsize pair of scissors.

The big and small of it

A poll from 451 shared during the Summit revealed that two-thirds of respondents (65 percent) are in organizations of between 1,000 and 10,000 employees. The keynote stage featured some of the larger names doing work that matters with OpenStack, including Banco Santander,Deutsche Telekom, Huawei, Sky UK, CERN and Cambridge.

If science is in OpenStack’s DNA (from its founding with NASA and Rackspace) that relationship is in continual evolution with CERN, the very first Superuser.  Some of the most inspiring moments of the morning were shared by Tim Bell of CERN, home to the Large Hadron Collider as well as the Antimatter Factory. Bell shared updates on future plans for computing needs — adding 100,000 cores in the next six months — even as the research facility faces a flat budget outlook for 2023.

Cambridge’s Dr. Rosie Bolton shared the truly astounding big data of SKA, a radio observatory that will be capable of looking far into the universe. SK will be capable of probing “right back to when the first stars were switching on,” says Bolton. Some 65,000 frequency channels will be able to distinguish different emissions with clarity.  The scope of the project is ambitious – 50 years and over a billion dollars – and the scale is, too: 1.3 zettabytes consumed and destroyed every six hours.

You can catch the keynote presentations at the Foundation video page and stay tuned for more coverage of the Summit from Superuser.