Open Stack Summit in Vancouver: maturity and diversity

Open Stack Summit in Vancouver: maturity and diversity

I'm attending the Open Stack Summit in Vancouver to understand the latest open source technologies for our strongly growing open source activities. Many companies ask us for our opinion as they want to deploy largely open source-based technologies.

On the one hand, cloud computing is diversifying because business applications need cloud diversity as IT is the key asset of today’s manifold business activities. On the other hand, cloud computing needs maturity to support critical processes. An impossible equation?

In the opening keynote, Mark Collier, Open Stack’s COO, said that the future of cloud computing lay with CERN, the organization that runs the Large Hadron Collider, the biggest machine in the world and one of the largest data generators. Two years ago, I held a presentation with Helge Meinhard, CERN's Technical Operation Manager, at our Paris CXP Forum. Back then, that CXP Forum session already was about diversity and maturity. At that time, CERN was using Open Stack to exploit the advantages of hybrid cloud as they were using their own private cloud based on Open Stack, but also the Open Telekom Cloud, a sovereign private cloud from T-Systems. Today, CERN is using a much more diversified cloud as they are moving very quickly to cloud and container federation with Open Stack Magnum, Open Stack Manila, but also Google Kubernetes Engine running on Google Cloud. Is it manageable, is it mature? Ricardo Rocha, CERN’s project manager for containers, was very quick to respond: “Of course! Most of our activities rely on this!”

There are still some issues with Open Stack, especially the trade-off you often have to make between power and complexity. Fortunately, many projects in the Open Stack community are addressing those issues with many real-life use cases, and not only for tech-savvy companies such as CERN, as two major European companies confirmed to me. With its focus on reducing management issues, the community seems to be heading in the right direction, i.e. maturity. I guess that the arrival and inclusion of container technologies, along with their development-oriented culture, helped a lot to resolve the equation. But Open Stack is still reserved for large and/or intensely digitalized companies.

As the CERN example shows, interoperability is a reality with Open Stack and one of its key assets, and it permits diversity, while the community is working hard on maturity.