OpenStack India Visit Reveals Interest, Energy in Cloud Computing

I travel to Bangalore, India, regularly, and every time I’m there I’m both fascinated and amazed by the rapid development and the huge changes completed between my trips.

Bangalore is known as the Silicon Valley of India, with a significant concentration of multi-national tech firms, and a booming startup scene. So I was thrilled when, as a principal architect for Rackspace Private Cloud Powered by OpenStack, I was invited to talk about Storage Architecture and Technologies at OpenStack India Day 2015 last week by the OpenStack India User Group.

Thanks to sponsorship from the Rackspace Technical Career Track program and the office of Chief Technology Officer John Engates, I was able to attend and share some of my expertise on storage systems.

The two-day event started with a taster workshop session for approximately 50 attendees from industry and local universities. The second day hosted more than 300 attendees, with a keynote from Mark Collier, chief operating officer of the OpenStack Foundation on “the OpenStack powered planet.”

I discussed points to consider when choosing a storage solution, noting that no one solution is perfect for all use cases. These considerations fit broadly into four categories: durability, availability, scalability and performance.

Data, in my mind, is the most important asset any company holds, but not all data has equal importance. The unavailability of certain data can merely be an inconvenience for a period of time, but in the worst scenario, the loss of business critical data can mean significant financial impact — even loss of life, as has happened through the unavailability of medical information. Data should be categorized with this in mind and solutions targeted based on a balance of these requirements.

I then took a more technical turn with an agnostic look at the different types of storage subsystems available. I also briefly discussed Fibre Channel and Ethernet as the medium used to connect compute to storage. I believe convergence is the future, due to a simplified operational experience.

Later I joined a panel discussion with Collier, Vijay Chundury of Redhat, Vinothini Raju of Bluemeric Inc. and Kamesh Raghvendra of The Hive on the “the Impact of OpenStack in Emerging Markets.”

As an infrastructure guy, I focused on the difficulties companies large and small face procuring infrastructure readily, quickly and for reasonable cost in these markets. Utilizing existing OpenStack-based clouds in other regions provides a clear path as a “taster” or proof of concept, while the open nature of OpenStack allows for future mobility between clouds without fear of lock in.

We also discussed development efforts targeted at federation and standardization across multiple OpenStack clouds, and how this will allow for standards-driven adoption of cloud services within home/emerging markets as well as already established markets. This is especially important in the global world that we operate in, considering that an app born in an emerging market could easily be a future global hit!

I really enjoyed observing the interest and energy toward OpenStack within India, not just the consumption of cloud services, but also their interest in contributing to the OpenStack project.  Seeing local students at the conference was especially powerful, and I hope to keep in contact with many of those I spoke with.

I would like to extend my thanks to the OpenStack India User Group for inviting me to take part in the event, and I hope to be back in the future!

Philip Williams is responsible for the integration of enterprise hardware and open source software defined storage with Rackspace's Openstack Private Cloud products. He joined Rackspace in 2011 after stints at Yahoo! and EMC in storage-related roles. He has designed solutions and infrastructure to support many different industry sectors including Rackspace’s multi-tenant environments, massive scale internet properties and financial institutions. Philip holds a BSc (hons) degree in Computing Science from UMIST, Manchester, England, and now lives with his wife in Austin, Texas.

3 COMMENTS

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here