Meet one of OpenInfra Europe’s advisory board members, Kurt Garloff.


OpenInfra Europe is a regional hub supported by the OpenInfra Foundation, created to build and strengthen regional communities and empower organizations to succeed with open infrastructure. Their mission is to grow and sustain a strong and vibrant regional ecosystem that collaborates openly to keep developing vital software technologies in the open. With every new regional hub comes a new advisory board, so let’s meet one of OpenInfra Europe’s advisory board members, Kurt Garloff.

Can you tell us about your background?

I’m currently working on building a European Cloud initiative – this has been my professional focus as of 2020, after leaving SUSE following their change in direction.

From December 2018 to December 2019, I was responsible for the Cloud and Storage Departments at SUSE R&D.

Before SUSE, I was leading the architecture, community and consulting teams in Deutsche Telekom’s (DT) Open Telekom Cloud Team.

DT has been a vocal supporter of OpenStack since I joined in early 2012 — we have been able to run several OpenStack projects. We have participated in most OpenInfra Summits and are active in a few working groups. I personally support the InterOp working group, a key area for OpenStack’s success given the centrifugal forces in such a large project. DT became a gold member of the OpenInfra Foundation in 2016 and has been the headline sponsor for a few summits (Barcelona, Boston, Berlin). I was serving on the board for most of 2018 until I handed over to Clemens Hardewig.

Before joining DT at the end of 2011 I was a long-time contributor to the Linux kernel, which also gave me the privilege of building up and leading SUSE Labs and working with several great engineers in and outside my company, contributing to the success of the open source technology.

How are you involved in the OpenInfra community and for how long?

Being a long-time member of various open source communities (Linux kernel, openSUSE and others), I have a personal interest in seeing OpenStack become a leading cloud infrastructure. In my professional life, I ran an engineering organization that is in charge of developing, building and running cloud infrastructure (check out this link for more details). I built the OpenStack platform behind DT’s business marketplace, worked with Huawei to build and run an OpenStack engineering team in Europe, built Open Telekom Cloud and ran the storage engineering departments at SUSE.

What does being on the OpenInfra Europe advisory board mean to you?

Europe is fragmented in culture and economy, even if the EU helps to overcome the regulatory part of it. We have many more small and medium-sized companies. It’s one of the strengths of Europe but also considered a weakness. In an IT platform economy, large players can create a “the winner takes it all” situation. In order to compete, small and medium players need to network and collaborate, building a platform together. This can only reasonably happen through open source (or better the four opens). It also goes beyond that, by establishing ways to standardize and collaborate on operational topics. OpenInfra Europe can help network and have conversations and I hope I can help some of these to be fruitful.

What is something you look forward to as OpenInfra Europe evolves?

In the attention economy, being seen is the primary currency. Being serious and consistent about our goals may not always draw as much attention as others, but working steadily in a consistent strategic direction does leave traces. Working for really open infrastructure platforms is what the OpenInfra Foundation is about and I really hope we can enthuse many people with this idea.

Want to know more about OpenInfra Europe? Go to

Kristin Barrientos