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Recap: #OpenStackSummit Day 2 Keynotes

openstack-summit-atlantaAfter an eventful Day 1 of keynotes at OpenStack Summit Monday that argued for the importance of the superuser, Day 2 in Atlanta paraded several more of them onto the keynote stage with tales of the speed and flexibility  their OpenStack implementations have afforded them. While Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth ended the keynote session with an impressive demo and an announcement of a training program that promises to breed even more OpenStack superusers, OpenStack COO Mark Collier started things off with a look back and a measure of the speed we’re seeing in the modern economy.

Speed and Opportunity

Collier presented an interesting statistic during his opening remarks that put some context on the rate of change we’re seeing with innovation. He argued that, “Faster wins, everything else is rounding error” and he provided some historical perspective from the S&P 500 to make his case:

  • In 1961, the average tenure of a company in the S&P 500 was 61 years
  • By 1980, that average tenure became 25 years
  • Today it is 18 years
  • In 2027, it is estimated that 75% of today’s S&P 500 will be replaced

What global corporations want, he said, is the speed to help keep themselves on that list.  And for the OpenStack community, it presents tremendous opportunity, as he showed with this slide:


Clearly there are large companies that still haven’t conquered the agility they seek. Some have, though, and that led to today’s set of superusers.

Superuser-palooza, Part 2

Toby Ford, AVP of ITO Strategic Realization at AT&T was the first superuser of the day to talk about how OpenStack has measurably improved his organization.  As is the case in many large companies, Toby spoke of how difficult it can be for other companies to forge meaningful relationships with AT&T.  Lately, however, he’s been able to accelerate that by using the OpenStack community acting as a proxy, which has enabled him to move away from the traditional IT approach of specialized hardware in various roles to virtualized appliances.  The better agility has been noticeable for him and his constituents.

Next up was Platform Architect, Global Hosting, from Sony Computer Entertainment America Joel Johnston.  After getting the crowd revved up with an astonishingly detailed video of their recent MLB 14 release for Playstation4, Joel talked about his use of OpenStack on his back end.  Everything from player pairing, statistics gathering, leader boards, and social media interactivity runs on a Sony-run OpenStack cloud.  Unsurprisingly, his organization found that happier developers make better games and by unleashing some self-service of VM provisioning, Sony has been able to achieve that.

The killer superuser, though, was undoubtedly DigitalFilm Tree CTO Guillaume Aubuchon, who did a very funny “Between Two Ferns” parody with Mark

On the serious side, Guillaume talked about how the agility that OpenStack has enabled for their digital editing and delivery services business for both TV (like Modern Family) and film (like Her) has completely changed their cost models and approach. Guillaume lamented that video post production once appeared on a Yahoo list of disappearing jobs, but that utilizing OpenStack has allowed Digital Film Tree to completely change the way they run their business.

Breeding More Superusers, or even reducing the need for them

Throughout the various superuser conversations, almost every one of them mentioned the difficulty at finding experienced OpenStack talent and final keynote of the day featured Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth addressed that twofold. First, Mark talked about Canonical’s advancement in automating OpenStack installations, which reduces the need for much of that difficult to find talent. He went to the extreme of unveiling a hardware stack on stage before proceeding to do a live OpenStack install on it:


Then, Mark proceeded to tell the audience about Canonical’s new OpenStack training program: Jumpstart. For $10K, Canonical will deliver you an “Orange Box” loaner, which contains “10 nodes, each with 4 cores, 16GB of RAM, and generous SSD storage” and provide OpenStack training so you can create your own superusers, who can perhaps be guests at the next OpenStack Summit.  Speaking of . . .

Next Stop: Paris

With the keynote sessions for Atlanta concluding and the core design sessions starting up solidifying what will be in the Juno release, the last part of the morning gathering promoted the next OpenStack Summit. In the fall, OpenStack Summit will travel to Europe for the first time, convening in Paris November 3 – 8. After this week and until then, the community will largely go into heads-down-coding mode on Juno, but be sure to look for regional events in your area to get your OpenStack fix sooner.

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