Like the city in which we are meeting, the Barcelona OpenStack Summit feels both old and new at the same time.
Barcelona is a new venue for the bi-annual Summit and as usual, there are an impressive number of first time attendees. But there is also a very familiar feel to the Summit this time — after all, this is the 14th such Summit, the fifth international Summit and the fourth outside North America. The Summits are now mainstream tech conferences — which makes sense, since OpenStack is a mainstream enterprise technology.
This was reflected in the themes of the first day’s keynotes.
Mark Collier, chief operating officer for the OpenStack Foundation, kicked the Summit off by reviewing findings from 451 Research’s latest study: that OpenStack has become a versatile and reliable platform used for “work that matters” across varying industries. Fully 80 percent of the companies running OpenStack are not technology companies, as demonstrated by morning keynotes highlighting use cases from banking, media, telecom and scientific research.
Each use case reinforced that OpenStack is being used to build software that solves big problems.
Speaking of big, Luis Enriquez from Banco Santander explained how that banking conglomerate, based in Spain, is using OpenStack to drive big data solutions in that industry. Banco Santander is working with Cloudera and Red Hat to managed 1.8 PB of date for use in advanced data analytics. Open source technology, backed with enterprise grade support, has allowed Santander to enable new business models while still spending less than it would using proprietary technologies.
For the media use case, Matt Smith from Sky UK said his company uses OpenStack for video streaming, big data analytics and monitoring. Sky UK is a satellite TV, telephony and internet service provider. As is the case with so many companies, Sky UK’s IT department was asked to enable the business to move faster and be more flexible while lowering cost. OpenStack allowed Sky UK to build a video streaming platform and to provide a dashboard offering executives a comprehensive view of how their 60+ public facing apps are being used by customers.
The push by telecom to create a carrier-grade Network Virtualization Platform, aka NFV, using OpenStack has continued, advancing most recently with the Newton release. Ildiko Vancsa, Ecosystem Tech Lead at the OpenStack Foundation; Ifat Afek from Nokia and Ryota Mibu from NEC all took the stage to demonstrate how to build an 4G mobile network with 99.999 percent uptime using OpenStack and other open source technologies.
In one of the most buzz-worthy moments of the keynote, the team demonstrated a live phone call that did not fail even after multiple cables linking the cell phone to the 4G network were cut.
Then they presented a dashboard that clearly showed where failures had occurred on the network, plus provided a root cause analysis showing the failures occurred due to “faulty” cables — all created and maintained using OpenStack and related open source projects including Congress, Doctor and Vitrage.
Appropriate that immediately following the telecom and NFV demonstration, China Mobile won the Summit’s OpenStack Superuser award. Demonstrating the strength of telecom and NFV as a primary OpenStack users, China Mobile was the fourth telecom to win the award out of five total winners.
The final highlighted use case showcased OpenStack’s ability to power scientific research at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN. The latest projects include an anti-matter and anti-hydrogen study that is creating 500 TB of data A DAY, and will require a 60 percent increase in computing power by 2023. All this has to be done while keeping costs down — and OpenStack is one of the foundational technologies enabling this important research.
Dr. Rosie Bolton of Selwyn College in Cambridge in the UK described breakthroughs the college hopes to make through the Square Kilometer Array project, aka SKA, which aims to build the largest radio telescope project in the world. Using SKA, researchers hope to probe the very beginning of the universe. OpenStack provides SKA with a platform that makes data more accessible, flexible and secure, all while keeping cost down (sensing a trend here?).
Dr. Paul Calleja of Cambridge University gave the keynote, about the progressive translational medicine initiative they’ve created that correlates gene sequencing insights with clinical patient data to deliver real-time recommendations to doctors. OpenStack is (again) the foundational platform enabling new ways to help patients.
Come back tomorrow for a recap of the day two keynotes, and stay tuned next week for a Summit recap with the Rackspace perspective.