Soaking in OpenStack and the Georgia Aquarium

OpenStack Summit Atlanta 2014

openstack_summit_2014_ATL_06The agenda was overflowing at the OpenStack Summit in Atlanta, Georgia. There were almost 5,000 people attending keynotes, sessions, networking, and a little bit of night life. I’ve had a blast, learning as much as possible from the OpenStack fire hose. Here’s what my experience looked like from the OpenStack Summit, including some amazing pictures from the Georgia Aquarium.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

It was tough to leave Merri Beth and the kids on Mother’s Day but we celebrated on Saturday instead knowing my travel plans. I was up early and got in 13 miles on the bike before flying to Atlanta. I actually missed my first flight by a minute and got put on the 11:00 am out of RDU. I was heading to the Atlanta Braves game at Turner Field, where they were playing the Chicago Cubs. I went with my co-worker Jason Baker and only missed the first inning because of my delay. The stadium was amazing and the game was really fun. The Braves came away with a win and we survived the hot and steamy weather.

Baker and I walked back to dowopenstack_summit_2014_ATL_01ntown Atlanta after the game, freshened up, then headed out to dinner. After getting our grub on, we scoped out the conference site and planned our morning commute. I went to bed early to get plenty of rest before the summit began.

Monday, May 12, 2014

I was up early to get a four mile run in before a busy day at the Georgia World Congress Center. Registration and keynotes were first. We heard from Jonathan Bryce Executive Director, OpenStack Foundation with his talk Rise of the Superuser. He brought a few people out on stage with him including Glenn Ferguson, Head of Private Cloud Enablement for Wells Fargo Bank, and Chris Launey, Cloud Services & Architecture Director for Walt Disney Company, to talk about their experiences with OpenStack.

The next Keynote was Troy Toman from Rackspace: Just Rebels? Or A Rebel Alliance?  followed by Dell Keynote: Innovation in the Enterprise, Powered by OpenStack. Tim Yeaton from Red Hat joined Dell on stage to share a few announcements.

After the keynotes, it was time for general sessions. The first session I went to was called “Are Enterprises Ready for the OpenStack transformation?” The presentation included lots of stuff about the benefits of free software and then focused on what OpenStack can do for enterprise customers, including:

  • Enable business units to be more reactive in a faster market
  • Enable development teams to be more productive and autonomous
  • Enable cloud ready applications to be more scalable
  • Enable more creativity
  • Enable finer grain costs analysis

openstack_summit_2014_ATL_04It was a good session to start the day off with. I made it through the exhibit hall and sat down for lunch with a few of the Red Hat recruiters who were attending the event.

The rest of the afternoon was dedicated to sessions. This was the fire hose that was OpenStack. I attended the following sessions:

  • OpenStack and the transformation of the data center
  • Using OpenDaylight within an OpenStack environment
  • Delivering OpenStack clouds as a factory
  • You Sir, Sir Vey

I wrapped up the day by attending the Expo Hall happy hour then headed over to the OpenStack VIP party at 200 Peachtree Center. I dropped my bag off at the hotel then headed over to the Piston party, “A Night at the Opera.” I arrived as some of the main entertainment was wrapping up, but then a DJ started playing and I had a beer in my hand—so it was time to hit the dance floor! Anna Eusebio and I may or may not have danced on stage for a few songs. And Colin Devine does not have pictures of said fun times.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

openstack_summit_2014_ATL_03As if the first day wasn’t long and exhausting, day two was just as packed. I was up early again and squeezed in a 3.6 mile run. My legs were tired from yesterday so I took it easy. The conference started up at 9:00 am with more keynotes.

I made it to the Mark Collier keynote, but then had to step out for a very important call about a project I’m working on. More about that in the next few weeks. I missed the SolidFire keynote, but made it back in time to see Mark Shuttleworth for the Canonical keynote where there were multiple on-stage demo’s and announcements.

More sessions. Actually, lots of sessions today. The line-up looked something like this:

  • Case study: University of Alabama-Birmingham (with Dell)
  • OpenStack training – Community created and delivered training for OpenStack
  • Lunch <– important
  • Planning your OpenStack cloud project
  • Building a contribution culture at Cloudwatt
  • Innovation in the enterprise with OpenStack
  • Your OpenStack DevOps team: Encouraging innovation with open source development

openstack_summit_2014_ATL_aquarium_10Wow, that was a long day of sessions. I headed over to the Canonical Mardi Gras party and drank the biggest glass of red wine. It was a heavy pour that lasted me the entire time. After that, Baker and I headed over to the Aquarium for the vArmour party (the company is in stealth mode).

The event was great, and what an awesome location to have a reception. We were set-up in front of the huge tank that included Whale Sharks, Black Tip Reef Sharks, Guitar Sharks, and lots of other marine life. I could have stayed there all night. See some of the pictures below.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

I slept in a bit today, catching up on some rest. I headed out for a run then caught up on some work from the hotel room. I was taking a break from sessions today and decided to take a different approach to the conference.

I had a meeting with the CEO of DotCloud (aka Docker) set-up at 12:30 pm. It was great to get briefed on some of the things Docker has planned. Then I worked the expo hall and did some networking. I was getting some reactions from different folks about the OpenStack Summit. You can read more about those reactions in the article that was published: 10 exciting reactions from OpenStack Summit Atlanta.

It was great to catch up with some friends like Erica Brescia, Ross Turk, and others, but it was equally as fun to meet lots of new folks in the OpenStack community and ecosystem.

openstack_summit_2014_coke_05The Expo Hall closed at 4:30 pm and by the time I was heading out of the building around 6:00 pm, it was raining. I left my umbrella in the room because I thought I would have gotten back sooner, so I caught an Uber ride to the hotel. I got up with Baker and we went out to grab a quick bite to eat before heading to the Red Hat party at the World of Coca-Cola.

It was pouring down rain, monsoon like after our meal. There were streams of water gushing down the streets in Atlanta. Baker and I carefully navigated the waters to make our way a few blocks to the World of Coca-Cola. It was a pretty neat place. I watched the 4-D movie, saw the secret vault, but decided not to taste any of the soda’s from around the world. I did however, enjoy a few glasses of wine and caught up with some Red Hatter’s who were at the party. The rain was still coming down when they kicked us out, so it was an Uber ride back to the hotel.

Wrap-up and pictures

Overall, the OpenStack Summit in Atlanta was a huge success. I learned a lot and had a good time meeting new folks in the community. Here are a few pictures from the trip.


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About Shibby

Jason Hibbets is a senior community architect at Red Hat which means he is a mash-up of a community manager and project manager. At night, he wears his cape and is a captain for the Open Raleigh brigade, as well as a co-chair for NC Open Pass. Jason is the author of a book titled The foundation for an open source city--a resource for cities and citizens interested in improving their government through civic hacking. While writing the book, he discovered his unknown superpower of building communities of passionate people. Jason graduated from North Carolina State University and resides in Raleigh, NC with his wife, two kids, two border collies, chickens, lots of tomato plants, and a lazy raccoon somewhere in an oak tree. In his copious spare time, he enjoys surfing, running, gardening, traveling, watching football, sampling craft beer, and participating in local government--not necessarily in that order, but close to it. You can follow him on Twitter: @jhibbets

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