From Experiment to Mainstream Solution: OpenStack Summit Barcelona Recap


This year’s fall OpenStack Summit in Barcelona was characterized by a lack of controversy or hype, as has sometimes been the case at previous Summits.

Instead, this Summit sounded a workman-like note with a focus on real world workloads and practical concerns on use cases such as multi-cloud and network function virtualization, or NFV.

That was apparent in the themes of the keynotes, “OpenStack for work that matters” and “OpenStack in a multi-cloud world.” Read more about those keynotes in my day one recap and day two recap blog posts.

OpenStack has gone from a science project, in its early days to a mainstream enterprise technology that can now fuel IT transformation. That was clear from the day one keynote where use cases in banking, media, telecom and scientific research were all highlighted. Hallway and marketplace conversations mirrored those themes with a focus on mainstream IT concerns like cost savings and how to create reliable and resilient platforms.

This also echoes what we are seeing at Rackspace as we speak with prospects and work with customers. We’re working with a broad selection of industries that hold in common a desire to transform their businesses using innovative technologies such as OpenStack. But they want to do so by spending time and effort consuming technology and not wrestling with that technology.

These users appreciate the value of a fully managed private cloud operated by the company with the most OpenStack experience and expertise. They also know that building a truly reliable enterprise grade OpenStack cloud is a task best handled by a partner with more than one billion server hours already managing the largest OpenStack deployments in the world. Rackspace has a proven track record doing this using both the upstream version of OpenStack as well as the Red Hat OpenStack platform.

While those living in the cloud bubble like to talk about “winners and losers,” mainstream IT has been busy focused on the new reality of working in a multi-cloud, multi-technology world. Users are not choosing private cloud or public cloud, OpenStack or AWS/Azure/GCE or virtual machines or bare-metal/containers. In the real world, users don’t make binary choices about technologies; they choose the technologies that best fit the use cases and solve the problems they have. That means, most often, multiple technologies and platforms.

Rackspace understands this reality, which is why we embraced a multi-cloud world in order to best help our customers with their most vexing IT challenges. This means providing Fanatical Support for users, regardless of cloud platform. We help our customers succeed with AWS, Azure, our OpenStack public cloud and our OpenStack private cloud.

Juggling multi-technologies is not new for Rackspace. We began as a bare-metal server hosting company that moved to support our customers when they embraced virtualization in the data center, then created OpenStack and our public cloud when it became clear that cloud would be a transformative platform for customers. We’ve continued to add to our portfolio with our OpenStack Private Cloud offerings and other multi-cloud offerings such as Fanatical Support for AWS and Azure.

Rackspace has approached multi-technologies with a similar zeal and flexibility, to help customers navigate the fast changing IT landscape. In each case, we focus on making it easy for users to consume whichever technology is best for them, without having to bear the burden of operational complexity.

When users asked for bare-metal servers that can be consumed as easily as cloud instances, we created our OnMetal offering based on the OpenStack Ironic project. With the increase in adoption of containers, we are working to help users more easily consume this new solution through a managed Kubernetes offering. We are currently in beta and will make it generally available as soon as possible.

We welcome the continued movement of OpenStack from experiment to mature mainstream solution. As co-founder and standard-bearer, Rackspace looks forward to leading OpenStack into this next phase of growth.

Kenneth Hui was a Senior Technical Marketing Engineer and Cloud Solutions Architect at Rackspace. Ken has 20+ years of experience in the IT industry and is passionate about helping customers with their cloud computing journey. He lives in New York City where he can indulge in his love of great food from all around the world. You can follow Ken on Twitter @kenhuiny.


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