Things are Opening up

By Everett Toews, Senior Developer, Edmonton

The OpenStack Essex Design Summit and Conference was held in Boston in early October, 2011. I was there to represent Cybera, to absorb as much knowledge as possible, and to connect with our collaborators from the NeCTAR project in Australia. Here are some of my highlights from the conference.

On my first day at the design summit, I learned about a new tool to setup a full OpenStack development environment, known as devstack. This tool is really just a collection of scripts that automate the process of pulling down the latest OpenStack code and deploying all of the projects together. Devstack.org website is the best place to start and provides an excellent side-by-side commentary on the main script that does the deployment. I was able to get a development environment, working in a Ubuntu 11.04 VirtualBox VM, on my Mac in minutes. To me, this looks like the way forward for getting an OpenStack dev env up and running.

On the second day, I led the IPv6 Call to Arms design session. Cybera has deployed OpenStack on IPv6 with some success, but it'€™s clear that much more development and testing is requirement to get it running smoothly. My goals were to discover the landscape of IPv6 usage in the OpenStack community, and perhaps find a way forward for IPv6 support in OpenStack. Thankfully, the session was attended by Robert and Carl from DreamHost, who are developing IPv6 support in Quantum '€” the Network as a Service project. One of the results of the session was that Cybera and NeCTAR agreed to assist DreamHost by being beta test sites for its work on IPv6.

The third day was really the start of the conference. The big reveal of the day happened during the morning'€™s first keynote speech: The announcement of the formation of the OpenStack Foundation. The foundation will be an independent legal entity, akin to the Linux or Apache foundations, that will own the OpenStack trademark and copyrights, and provide the governance structure. This was followed by HP announcing that it has opened a private beta for its HP Cloud Services. HP'€™s beta will be comprised of 1,000+ compute hosts and will be based on OpenStack.

On the final day of the conference I was privileged to present alongside our collaborators from NeCTAR '€” Tom Fifield and Steven Manos '€” in front of an audience of 300+ people. Steven gave an overview of the NeCTAR project as a whole, Tom dove into the technical details of its research cloud based on OpenStack, and I followed up with an IPv6 call-to-arms and a discussion on the excellent OpenStack community. You can watch the presentation and view the slides here.

Beyond the highlights of the design summit and conference, I attended a lot of interesting sessions and met many people in various stages of working with OpenStack. The community has grown by leaps and bounds, and the OpenStack Foundation will only encourage further adoption. It was a great week in Boston and I'€™m looking forward to further contributing to OpenStack.