OpenStack is about disruption and technological diversity: Jonathan Bryce

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Credit: Swapnil Bhartiya

OpenStack Summit has grown from 75 people to 7,500 people in 6 years!

When OpenStack Summit kicked off in Austin, Texas this week, I was amazed at the scale of the event. It was massive.

There was an R&B band, Soul Track Mind, playing inside the keynote hall spreading positive energy across the room.

Austin holds a special place for OpenStack as that’s where the first OpenStack summit took place back in 2010 and it was attended by 75 people. Fast forward to 2016 and there were over 7,500 people representing 62 countries.

When Jonathan Bryce, Executive Director at OpenStack Foundation took the stage he highlighted the community's growth. Bryce said that OpenStack is a huge community now, spread across 178 countries and over 50,000 people. This massive community works together to release OpenStack. “Every six months, we have a release cycle and our developers across all of the different project teams work together to build the code and we hit these releases on a regular cadence. It's pretty awesome. Mitaka was the 13th release of OpenStack. There were 2,300 plus developers that contributed to Mitaka and there were from almost 350 companies,” said Bryce.

Then he touched upon the real revolution that technologies like OpenStack are bringing. It’s not as much about technology as it is about people, culture and process. Companies have to change their work culture when they adopt technologies like OpenStack. They have to change their mindset. Bryce said, “It goes beyond OpenStack. It goes beyond cloud computing. It really gets to how business is being done. To start us off and to help us think strategically about this shift and about the disruptions that are going on.”

He said that OpenStack is about disruption. “When you talk about disruption, a lot of times people focus on the scary parts of it. You better watch out, you're going to get disrupted. That is sometimes how we think about it when we hear that term. Actually, times of disruption are the times of greatest opportunity,”

Bryce said that if players in the market are able to capture the value in a time of disruption, that's when you can really accelerate your business when you can create a new market, when you can do incredible things.

Bryce also found a link between disruption and diversity. So many different people from different organizations, from different industries, from across the world contributing to OpenStack. “I think that one of the things that we also see is that our IT environments are becoming increasingly diverse. When was the last time that you had to manage fewer technologies in your IT environment? It doesn't happen. That's the promise that comes out every time that a new technology or new company comes along.”

"I hate to break it to you but we've been lying to you all these years," Bryce said. The fact is, all of those technologies end up being additive. There are new capabilities but you have to maintain the old capabilities.

And during these these times of disruption, companies need a strategy for taking advantage of diversity in IT. “If you can embrace it, manage it, then you can take advantage of it and really do incredible things in your businesses. What we have started to see is that for a lot of companies, OpenStack is a strategy. It's a strategy for taking advantage of diversity in IT and we see a lot of that diversity,” said Bryce.

He identified that one area where OpenStack is playing a huge role is the telecom and NFV market. Bryce that that this market is the fastest growing use case in the last couple of OpenStack user surveys. He also talked about how OpenStack is increasingly being used in the research and academic world; how it’s being used by organizations like CERN.

The popularity of OpenStack can be estimated by the fact that more than half of the Fortune 100 now runs OpenStack, according to Bryce. And more and more users are using it in production. According to the most recent user survey, 65% of the deployments were cataloged as being in production, doing production workload for some of the biggest brands in the world. “That's incredible. That's actually a 33% increase since a year ago when we asked that question. There are trends in that user survey too. One that was stood out in bold was that 97% of the users on that survey said that Standardizing on the same platform in APIs was a key reason, one of the top five reasons for why they were adapting OpenStack,” said Bryce.

At the end of his keynote the winner of this year’s super user award was announced and the award went to AT&T. They deserved it thanks to the massive transformation they are doing with their networking infrastructure.

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