By David La Motta, Technical Marketing Engineer, Citrix Solutions
The answer is simple: Amsterdam and the Apache CloudStack Collaboration Conference, which took place in that fine city from November 20 to 22, 2013.
As noted in previous blogs (here and here), a few of us packed our bags and headed over to the Old Continent to represent NetApp, share with the community what we have been working on for the last several months, and meet both old and new friends alike.
The venue at the Beurs van Berlage was truly a delight, blending historic architecture with vibrant brainpower and camaraderie focused around Apache CloudStack (ACS). As gold sponsors to the event, NetApp had a table setup in the sponsor area; interest was great, with visitors posing a wide range of questions from the most basic to the most technically deep. In general, our table-goers’ eyes lit up the most when we showed them a demo of the plugin we have been working on, called the Virtual Storage Console (VSC) for Apache CloudStack.
Our presentation about the Virtual Storage Console for Apache CloudStack on Friday started with a great quote from Mark Hinkle: “We grow when we share.” The words were so apt for the conference, but more so they described precisely our intent in being part of the event. We didn’t stand on stage to pitch NetApp; we stood in front of our captive audience to share an end-to-end view of files modified, flows followed and strategies implemented to get the VSC to do what it does. Our overall goal was just that, sharing with other community members the broad steps needed to get an Apache CloudStack plugin implemented. Of course, for our customers who attended our session, we talked about the value add the VSC brings to the table in terms of backup/recovery (backing up the ACS MySQL DB was a favorite), and the overall simplicity of managing your ACS-related NetApp storage via this plugin, be it from the user interface, from an API or from the command-line.
In general, the depth of knowledge shared by the community during this conference was amazing. One of my favorite sessions was about the Google Compute Engine (GCE), which showcased a translation layer—so to speak—from the GCE into CloudStack. If you have been following the news lately, it is the same Compute Engine that allows you to scale to 1 million requests per second, all for a whopping $10. Not to digress, but talk about the power of a hybrid cloud! Fantastic, if you ask me. There were many other great sessions as well, and for those of you who were there you can attest that there was some running around to go from one session to another: it was all good content that nobody wanted to miss.
Chris Suich represented us well in the storage panel, taking a nonchalant stance at all questions presented to him. The panel was a great way to gather thoughts and points of view from other storage vendors, and also answer questions from the audience. There was talk about object storage, current storage usage models, roadmaps and more. For the storage aficionado, this was like having an hour-long session of bliss.
We closed the conference giving away Surface tablets to two happy winners. As presenters, we also got some gifts: a couple of ever-awesome Raspberry Pi computers, pre-loaded with Apache CloudStack itself. Very cool indeed!
For those of you who haven’t been able to shake the XXX from your mind, they come from the Amsterdam coat of arms. I leave it to you to find out exactly what each X represents.
Until next time!