Notes on the Austin OpenStack Summit

Three weeks ago I was in Austin (Texas, USA) for the "Newton" OpenStack summit. "Newton" is the name of the next OpenStack release, whose projected release date is October 2016. This was my very first OpenStack summit, so I thought it would be worth writing a few words about it.

An OpenStack summit is actually mutiple events: the main conference, the ops summit and the design summit. The ops summit consists of sessions where people share their experience (good or bad) about deploying and operating OpenStack. The design summit consists of sessions where people (mostly) OpenStack developers discuss new features and issues to be addressed in the coming OpenStack release. Both the ops and design are rather informal and self-organized. Design Summit 101 provides a good overview on how design sessions work. One thing that I've liked a lot is the use of an Etherpad document during a session. The session lead displays the Etherpad on the projector screen, and people in the room write comments and questions while other people speak. This gives everyone a chance to give opinions and ask questions.

The OpenStack world being new to me, I was in discovery mode, and did a bit of everything. I listened to a couple talks from the main conference, and attended a number of the ops and design summits. In particular I participated to Kolla sessions, Kolla being a project I had a chance to contribute to. Talking about Kolla I also gave a talk together with Alicja Kwaśniewska and Michał Jastrzębski about the Logging system we implemented in Kolla (video).

Overall, it was an interesting experience. I learned quite a lot about OpenStack. I also learned about all things I don't know and I need to learn. OpenStack is a vast world. And it is not only OpenStack. Containers, Docker, Kubernetes are things you could hear at every corner during the summit. The most frustrating part for me probably was that I was for the most part a spectator of the design summit. If I have a chance to go to another summit in the future I hope I'll be able to act more as a contributor.

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