Reflections On OpenStack Summit Portland: Inside The ‘Hallway Track’

Filed in Cloud Industry Insights by Wayne Walls | April 23, 2013 10:04 am

I have been a long-time attendee of OpenStack Summit[1] (since the days when it was split into a Developer Summit on Monday through Wednesday and a Business Summit and Conference on Thursday and Friday). Now the entire event is called the “OpenStack Summit” and developers, operators and business executives converge in one place to talk all things OpenStack. So far, Every six months the conference has grown – the most recent brought nearly 3,000 attendees together in Portland to talk about the future release of OpenStack, Havana, and to share their experiences with OpenStack to date. With this type of growth, it was only natural for the OpenStack Foundation to ensure there were multiple tracks so attendees can align themselves to the sessions and topics they care about most. Some of the tracks this year included:

This is always a great way to put presenters and attendees in the same room to maximize the value of the conference. However, there is unofficial track that I consider to be among the most important: the “Hallway Track.” Loosely defined, the Hallway Track encompasses all of the conversations that occur in the hallway or other social gathering points throughout the conference. It is here that you get to hear the dirty details of what a particular group really thought about a presentation or idea. It’s here that the tough questions get asked, and mostly answered; questions that would have probably been better if asked during the actual presentation. It’s a safer venue, a smaller one, that is filled with trusted opinions. Large takeaways from presentations are commonly disseminated during the Hallway Track and those are the ideas that attendees take back to their respective companies (and likely include in their conference reports).

Key Discussion Topics

I’m not going to dive into the details of every Hallway Track session I attended, but I want to share some of the overarching themes that were discussed during these sessions:

OpenStack Products Abound

There was also a great deal of product talk at OpenStack Summit Portland, with many OpenStack players offering up new solutions. Check out NetworkWorld’s roundup of the hottest OpenStack products right now[9]. Here’s a sampling of some of the products launched and discussed at the Summit:

Overall, OpenStack Summit Portland was an excellent five-day look at the state of the project from nearly every perspective. Roughly 3,000 people showed up to shape, drive and learn more about OpenStack, and the energy and enthusiasm in the sessions, and the Hallway Track were infectious. One thing is for certain, OpenStack is here to stay. I can’t wait to do it all again in six months.

  1. OpenStack Summit:
  2. State of the Stack April 2013:
  3. Yun Mao:
  5. 2013 is the “year of the user” for OpenStack:
  6. OpenStack Operations Guide:
  7. here:
  8. five-day sprint:
  9. the hottest OpenStack products right now:
  10. global cloud network:
  11. Project Savanna:
  12. Ceph’s Cinder compatibility:

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