OpenStack Summit Austin: Why It’s Time to Believe the Hype

Austin, Texas


By Sumit Kumar, Technical Marketing Engineer, NetApp


It’s been about a year since I first got involved with OpenStack. I will not lie—during the first few weeks, I couldn’t figure out what all the hype was about. My perception of OpenStack was that it was an open source alternative to Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure, and that was it. But then I realized why the OpenStack community was so passionate about the project. All the hype made perfect sense.


You see, the amazing thing about OpenStack is that it has evolved to become this really active platform where different groups of people come together and work on projects and technologies that they believe in. The rise in the number of OpenStack contributors and the steady emergence of exciting new projects like Magnum and Kolla are strong evidence of a healthy community. These propel the entire OpenStack ecosystem forward and enable us to do more.


For example, we can now have a self-managed Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) with OpenStack. We can also deliver secure workspaces to teams instantly by taking advantage of Manila, the file-share-as-a-service project, with NetApp storage. If this doesn’t sound amazing to you, it’s probably because you’ve never had to wait for an hour on a Friday night just so you could meet the class requirement of submitting assignments through a secured virtual machine. Unfortunately, it’s an all too familiar scenario to some of us (this author included).


We at NetApp are strong believers in OpenStack, and help our customers meet their business goals by embracing private cloud and cloud native application architectures. We are also actively involved in driving forward Cinder and Manila, two of OpenStack’s core projects, to deliver more robust functionality. Moreover, we practice what we preach: NetApp’s own IT has adopted OpenStack to reduce costs, increase efficiency, and provide faster services.


NetApp IT OpenStack Results


Adopting OpenStack has enabled us to be more flexible and avoid vendor lock-ins. It’s also enabled us to save time by migrating to a self-service model from a ticket-based delivery model. I don’t know about you, but if I were a developer requiring infrastructure to run tests, I’d want the process to be easy, consistent, and fast.


That is exactly what NetApp IT wanted to achieve. We’ve also been able to cut costs by offloading the right kinds of workloads on the right kinds of clouds. For example, it makes perfect sense to avoid paying money for space, power, hardware-maintenance, etc., for a task that you might execute rarely. Hence, we’ve offloaded Disaster-Recovery type use cases to the public cloud, which has resulted in significant savings.


In my work with the OpenStack team at NetApp, I get to observe the hard work of our development teams every day. It gives me absolute confidence that NetApp’s ONTAP, E-Series, and SolidFire technologies will continue to improve OpenStack and increase its capabilities. We’ll be showcasing this vision and these capabilities across the NetApp portfolio during the upcoming OpenStack Summit in Austin, Texas, April 25 – 29. If you’re interested, we’re very proud to be delivering a number of sessions.


One of our talks at the summit, “Skyrocketing Development and Deployment with OpenStack and Docker,” (April 27, 11 a.m.) will focus on how OpenStack, Docker, and NetApp can combine to help teams get productive faster. We’ll also dive into hybrid clouds and show how you can take advantage of public clouds for your OpenStack deployment when you need it. And we’ll show you how you can roll out more reliable applications by running tests against your cloned production databases quickly and without compromising on costs and efficiency.


During our Marketplace theater session at the summit (April 26, 1:05 a.m.), I’ll share my experiences and thoughts on the work being done to optimize OpenStack for specific use cases like big data, databases, DevOps, containers, VDI, file-share services and backups. We will also explore how OpenStack and NetApp provide value to these trending workloads, and how the new way of doing things is benefiting all kinds of customers, including our own NetApp IT. You can find the event details on this page.


Excited? I sure am! This will be my second OpenStack Summit (the first was in Tokyo last year). I’m really looking forward to learning about the amazing things the OpenStack community has been working on.


You’ll find my team and me on the expo floor or during any of our sessions. If you’re interested in getting some one-on-one time with NetApp executives and/or engineers, you can still sign up for VIP meetings here. We love getting questions and we would love to host you at Black Heart bar on Tuesday night. See you in Austin!