Another Content Rich Episode of OpenStack Silicon Valley

By Kedar Poduri
Converged Infrastructure Group, Citrix

Another sold-out event! Hope are you as excited as I am about the upcoming edition of the OpenStack Silicon Valley event. While I enjoy the OpenStack summits, I have always felt that the OSSV events are more compact and richer in content.

As expected, the event seems to be big on ‘containers’-related talks. While there was some basic container coverage at the Vancouver summit, the sessions at this event seem to dig farther and deeper into the OpenStack and containers world. Google has been at the forefront of container management solutions with Kubernetes, and Craig McLuckie’s take on “containers Ending the IaaS / PaaS Distinction” should be an interesting one. While I am a big enthusiast of Kubernetes, I am not quite there yet to think that it would erase the IaaS / Paas separation though. I also think that there are applications and use-cases where the distinction is indeed critical. But who knows, Craig may change my mind.

Boris, in his talk, seems to promote OpenStack as the arena for all container battles until a ‘winner’ emerges. Definitely an intelligent move to play all sides. It also seems practical, and a reflection of the current state of containers world. I don’t expect a single winner, at least any time soon, but a set of winners, each focused on a specific set of applications or use-cases. And there is no reason why OpenStack couldn’t be a common platform for these technologies to co-exist in an enterprise.

It will be interesting to hear my former boss Sheng Liang’s take on containers and what the Ranchers at his new company, Rancher Labs, are up to. And my current boss Steve Wilson’s talk, “It isn’t containers vs VMs. It is about applications,” should also push a fresh perspective forward on this topic.

I am always curious to see what Randy Bias has to say, and he has never disappointed. A straight shooter as he is and with a ‘to-the-point’ style, his “Three Things OpenStack Needs to Do. Now” talk could be holding a few firecrackers. And of course, his deep-dive session with Lew Tucker and Diana Bryant is full of potential as well. Guess what the topic is: ‘How open source communities get anything done while every argument is on public display?’ Just apt for this group, I think, for some forthright discussion on how the OpenStack Community, or any open source community, for that matter, should balance the democratic process of voicing every member’s opinion with the goal of making fast progress.

For those of you in operations, James Staten’s take on how in any firm, people and processes have to change before groundbreaking technologies like OpenStack and containers can take a strong foothold and have a meaningful impact should be an important one. James was a former Forrester analyst, and is now a Microsoft cloud advocate. I wonder if any of his takes have changed to fit the ‘corporate’ needs.

I have never attended a talk by Adrian Cockcroft talk without learning something new. I don’t expect this time to be different.

And apart from all of these, there are a number of technical sessions that I am looking forward to.

I am also excited to show off all the work Citrix has been doing in integrating its various solutions to OpenStack at our booth and gather some honest feedback. Citrix has been working closely with its customers in understanding their need to build OpenStack-based private clouds and incorporate their Citrix assets (XenApp, NetScaler, XenServer) seamlessly in those environments. Since these environments are intended to deliver VDI and other mission critical applications, the bar has been high on features, quality and performance. Citrix has closely collaborated with Mirantis in this effort, and it would be great to have folks come by and see this live to provide feedback, but also to give suggestions as far as future directions.

Oh, and by the way, if you haven’t yet visited the Computer History Museum, the venue for this year’s event, you certainly should plan on spending a bit of time there. You have an opportunity to see some of the rarest artifacts of modern computer world. Frankly, I never thought it would be thrilling to see the Apple I or Cray live, but strangely it is!

Image by Ben Becker

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