Last week I had the pleasure of attending the IBM Cloud Academy (ICA) conference in Atlanta, Georgia. For the second ICA conference in a row, Cybera staff presented a paper. As there is considerable interest in both Apache VCL and OpenStack, the paper presented by Cameron Mann and I, 'Using Apache VCL and OpenStack to Provide a Virtual Computing Lab,' appeared to be well received.
(Interestingly, the OpenStack Summit is also taking place in Atlanta this week, happening just a couple of days after the ICA conference.)
While Apache VCL is, in its own way, a virtual machine provisioning system and does not require OpenStack, combining the two provides interesting benefits, especially if Apache VCL is installed as a tenant in a larger OpenStack-based cloud.
Many of the other presentations involved the Apache VCL project in some fashion, from technical discussions on how to deploy it, to the governance of organizations providing shared services such as Apache VCL to students. There was also a talk on how to break off pieces of large high performance computing installations for use with Apache VCL.
There were several other interesting presentations that dealt with cloud technologies, including a look at security with regards to the concept of virtual machine introspection, as well as how to move a traditional relational database (RDBMS) schema to a NoSQL system, the latter being presented by two University of Alberta researchers, Dan Han and Dr. Eleni Stroulia.
Overall the conference had an open, grassroots feeling. I was impressed by the many ways professors, teachers, and technologists ' especially those at smaller colleges ' are using Apache VCL to solve problems.