“To me, open source means community, development and transparency.”


We’re spotlighting users and operators who are on the front lines deploying OpenStack in their organizations to drive business success. These users are taking risks, contributing back to the community, and working to secure the success of their organization in today’s software-defined economy.

Today, we sit down with Shilla Saebi, a cloud operations engineer at Comcast. She works on supporting, maintaining and deploying the cloud infrastructure and services. She started contributing to OpenStack in 2013, after the Icehouse summit in Hong Kong. She is a core reviewer for OpenStack-Manuals and is part of the core team for the Training-Guides. You can follow her on Twitter @ShillaSaebi.


Describe how are you using OpenStack. What kinds of applications or workloads are you currently running on OpenStack?

We are using OpenStack and cloud infrastructure to power large-scale, media-rich, customer-facing applications and services as well as internal customer projects for both production and development environments.

What has been the biggest benefits to your organization as a result of using OpenStack?

OpenStack has allowed us to place self-service, elastically scalable infrastructure close to our customers. This has allowed our engineers to deploy new applications in record time and in unique situations (events like the Olympics and World Cup) while improving customer experience by reducing round trip latency. Our internal customers can now deploy infrastructure in minutes versus months.

How has your team’s OpenStack deployment grown and developed?

We have been rapidly growing and expanding our footprint nationwide in our national and regional data centers. Portions of our latest X1 set top box back-end, which currently services millions of consumer set top boxes, is one of our largest consumers of OpenStack infrastructure. Our internal conferencing system is running in multiple Comcast cloud sites. Our development teams build applications specific to large events that can elastically scale to support our user base and then that infrastructure can be spun down post event. Due to an increase in customer needs and requirements, we have expanded our OpenStack footprint by 500% in the past year.

What does “open source” mean to you?

To me, open source means community, development and transparency. You can access and edit the source code. You can collaborate with others to make changes to the code and give back to the community. When you are involved in this initiative, you will network with like-minded individuals, expand your skills and work together to develop a product. This allows the future of the software to be driven by the community.

If you run an OpenStack cloud and would like to be a contributor to Pass the Mic, email us with the subject line: Pass the Mic.