In this series of interviews, Superuser takes you around the world to meet our newest user groups. These busy groups act as liaisons between the Foundation and the general community in their regions. You can find out more about a group in your area — or how to start one — at the User Groups portal.
Here we talk to Morten Fredsoe Olsen, director of unClouded, about the Denmark User Group.
He tells us about about the snowball effect in the region, the vision for the group and what events are on the horizon.
What’s the most important OpenStack debate in your region right now?
OpenStack is still in its infancy here in Denmark, thus the debate revolves around interest with potential stakeholders waiting for others to be the first to put it into production. In my opinion it’s a moot point, with many successful examples already existing in the Nordic region.
What’s the key to closing the talent gap in the OpenStack community?
Hopefully, the meet-up group will have some individuals based in operations take inspiration from what they hear and see the potential of the technology. But the long-term solution has to involve the educational institutions in our region. Right now we are in a “chicken and egg” situation and in my opinion it is up to the educations to prepare the students for what the market will demand in the coming years. Because OpenStack is coming to the Nordic region, in fact it’s already in Sweden in a big way and it will be coming to Denmark in 2017.
What trends have you seen across your region’s user groups?
When approaching hosting providers, try not to position the technology on face value but attach it to a quantifiable product to aid understanding. When pitching the technology, you’re showing it to decision makers like C-levels and operations, they need to trust and understand it.
Many are interested in the conversation about OpenStack in Denmark, they know it’s interesting and up-and-coming for our region but some haven’t heard of it before. They are hesitant to take action, in terms of proof-of- concept. One trend that happened in Sweden is after one group put forward a product a snowball effect was created with adoption in other markets and this happened extremely quickly.
What drives cloud adoption in your region?
It should be cost savings, agility and adaptability arguably. OpenStack can do the same, and more, than your existing infrastructure. While being much cheaper to adopt, implement and operate, and it’s so adaptable to just about anything. I cannot think of a scenario where OpenStack can’t solve the problem.
What’s the biggest obstacle to adoption?
The biggest obstacle is having that first important successful test case occur, which would then enable the snowball effect of high adoption. Moreover, there is also a lack of outside pressure. If the market isn’t pushed, there can be hesitation. Right now it’s a small market, with minimal competition thus other products can still be used to make money, despite their being other potentially better offerings.
What types of clouds/organizations are most active in the community?
Mostly storage technology companies such as NetApp and Tintri but we are also seeing interest from some of the Danish hosting providers like DanDomain. In terms of meet-ups you can get all sorts of people, everybody from C-level to someone who may not know where to get started and is looking for help. It’s great to have a diverse group. Participating really makes you feel like you’re part of something.
What’s your vision for your group?
Increase our attendance rates at meet-ups, ideally growing User Group membership at some point to more than 1,000 people, like our partners Fairbanks have done in the Benelux region. I also hope it can become more self sustaining where we are easily able to have companies proactively come and contribute to share their insight. Hence, getting more people inspired to get involved and take part.
Currently we’re also working to get a Sandbox environment up and running, where new users will be able to have a play with the technology and help them understand how it works. We are working with a number of different potential sponsors, so keep an eye out for that. It will be available to everyone, and will over time showcase a multitude of different kinds of OpenStack integrations.
How can people get involved?
Everybody is welcome to join our Meetup Group, which you join here: https://www.meetup.com/openstackdk/
We’re also participating in OpenStack Nordic Day coming up in October 2017, which you can find out more about it here: http://openstacknordic.orig/
Superuser is always interested in hearing from the community. Want to tell us about your user group? Email editorATopenstack.org
Cover Photo // CC BY NC
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