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OpenStack Folsom Design Summit: Day 1

There is only one word to describe Day 1 of the OpenStack Folsom Design Summit: “wow!”

The day started with a registration line that wrapped around the escalators, like everyone was waiting to get into a club. The chatter amongst the attendees in line was dripping with enthusiasm as people planned their days on their smartphones and iPads.  I have attended OpenStack Conferences in the past and have seen each one grow in size, so I tracked down some attendee statistics to see where we stood and came up with the following:

• Austin Summit (No Conference) — ~75
• Bexar Summit & Conference     —  ~250
• Cactus Summit & Conference   —  ~500
• Essex Summit & Conference    —  ~650
• Folsom Summit & Conference   — ~1,000 expected

Once in the general Summit area, a couple of things immediately stood out to me: First, all the talk of supporting companies is real. There was table after table lined up packed full of OpenStack goodies from industry giants such as Intel to hot OpenStack-based start-ups like Piston Cloud Computing and Nebula.  Second, it usually takes a good day or so for the “heated debate” session to surface. Before any sessions had even started, a group of about 20 were huddled up and discussing how Swift seems to be on its own release path and doesn’t fit with the typical OpenStack release cycle. There was great leadership in this impromptu discussion–ideas were tossed around, some conclusions were drawn and overall every seemed happy with the results.  I later found out there was a session dedicated to this issue. I guess they just wanted to get an early start!

The Folsom Design Summit was not the only big event to happen on Monday.  You may have heard by now, but Rackspace announced it will launch its OpenStack-based public cloud this summer, with Limited Availability sign-up starting this week.  This launch is not just about Cloud Servers; this launch is about OpenStack projects that have been in the works for more than two years coming to fruition.  The list is impressive to say the least:

Cloud Block Storage is based on LUNR and nova-volume, an OpenStack-based storage community project
Cloud Networks is based on the Quantum OpenStack Project
Cloud Databases is based on RedDwarf, a community Database-as-a-Service project powered by OpenStack
• Then of course, Cloud Servers and Cloud Files are based on the Nova and Swift OpenStack projects, respectively

The good news doesn’t stop there!  Along with these amazing new capabilities, Rackspace announced a new Cloud Control Panel and a Cloud Monitoring platform as well!  All these products were showcased by Rackspace CTO John Engates and Vice President of Product Mark Interrante at the Rackspace San Francisco office, and there was a full demo that took us through some of these new products. In the first part of the demo, Mark spun up 200-plus servers in real-time with an on-screen counter tracking building and active servers.  After he kicked this off he said, “We’ll let these start and come back in a little bit to take a look.”  Mark then walked though the amazing simplicity of creating isolated networks with Cloud Networks and then provisioned SSD and SATA block storage with Cloud Block Storage.  This was followed up with a Rackspace Cloud Control Panel live demo which showcased an intuitive new look, great design and blazing speed.  The high point of the demo, however, was when Mark went back to check on the server builds, and the counter was at 204 active!  This was met with thunderous applause and cheering from the crowd, watching scale happen is exciting!

With Day 1 in the books, there was no shortage of excitement.  From the Rackspace announcements to the start of the Summit, there was plenty of buzz to go round.  Here’s looking forward to a great week, and a great conference!

The OpenStack Design Summit & Conference runs through Friday at San Francisco’s Hyatt Regency Hotel.

About the Author

This is a post written and contributed by Wayne Walls.

Wayne Walls is a Cloud Architect at Rackspace, where he evangelizes global cloud strategy. A tenured technology leader, Wayne has engineered complex technical solutions, delivered IT transformation plans, and implemented multiple training initiatives around cloud computing. Co-maintainer of the Rackspace Developer blog, Wayne is helping developers, engineers, and executives understand cloud technologies and how to turn that knowledge into tangible returns. He holds a B.S. of Information Systems and a B.A. of Economics from the University of Oklahoma. Follow him on Twitter at @waynewalls.


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