Tokyo Summit Recap

The Solinea team had a fantastic experience this fall at the OpenStack Summit Tokyo, where more than 5,000 participants representing 56 countries and 736 companies gathered to celebrate the progress of OpenStack and shape its future. Reflecting on a full week of learning, teaching and networking, I wanted to share my three big takeaways with you.

Takeaway #1: OpenStack is Huge in APAC

First, I was impressed by the huge turnout and the strong interest in OpenStack exhibited by APAC players. By region, APAC had the largest attendance at the Summit, at 46 percent.

Why is OpenStack so popular in Asia Pacific?  I had the opportunity to ask a panel of journalists and technology analysts that question during a session titled “The Media Talks Back to OpenStack.” (Watch the video here.) The responses were fairly wide-ranging:

  • Agatha Poon, a research manager with 451 Research, attributed OpenStack’s popularity in APAC to a large user base, a boon of young talent that is open-minded to new technology, and a healthy number of enterprises that are not hampered by legacy IT systems.
  • Izumi Miki, executive editor at IT Media, also acknowledged the talent base, explaining that OpenStack enables younger IT engineers to become highly marketable for their skills and liberates them from “suffocating” work environments common to many traditional IT jobs in Asia.
  • Matthew Cheung with Gartner Research pointed to government investments in open source technology, which is viewed favorably with respect to security concerns since “you can see the code,” as well as digital transformation efforts by enterprises trying to take advantage of e-commerce and the Internet of Things.
  • Sean Michael Kerner of eWeek, added that OpenStack naturally appeals to Linux users and to enterprises in regions where space utilization is a concern.

Perhaps “all of the above” is the best answer.

Although OpenStack adoption by Fortune 1000 companies in APAC lags a year or two behind adoption in the US, we at Solinea believe that now is the right time for OpenStack in APAC. Solinea CEO Francesco Paola explained why in his session with our Japanese partner, CTC: Japan’s OpenStack Market Potential: How to be Successful in the Cloud.

Our work with a Japanese client is profiled in this session, and I encourage you to watch the video to glean more insights about the APAC market from this case study. Also, stay tuned for news about our expanding operations in APAC; we’ll soon be announcing new customers and celebrating the opening of our new office in Japan.  

Takeaway #2: Implications Extend Beyond Infrastructure Alone

A second big takeaway I had from the Summit—this one more “global” in nature—was the strong interest in an approach to OpenStack that combines open infrastructure and a re-imagination of the enterprise software development process.

This “a-ha” moment for the OpenStack community was great news for all of us at Solinea, because it’s precisely the unique selling proposition we carry to the market. Large enterprises simply cannot be successful in agile, open cloud of any kind without concurrently re-engineering the software development and infrastructure operations processes. We’ve built an entire business model around this, so hearing the community talk about this was a great validation point.

By the way, Solinea contributed three sessions relating to software development. You can watch videos of each of these sessions:

Takeaway #3: Training is the Lifeblood of Future Growth

My third big takeaway from the Summit was the community consensus that we need to grow the OpenStack talent pool in order to fuel the future growth of OpenStack ecosystem. I was pleased to see that the community at large acknowledges this need and embraces the Certified OpenStack Administratorprogram, which was announced during the opening keynote.

Solinea recognized the need for training from our very beginning. We have provided OpenStack training to enterprise customers for nearly three years, and our cloud architects participated with others in the OpenStack ecosystem across 10 countries, working together on behalf of the OpenStack Foundation to identify the skills and capabilities that define a Certified OpenStack Administrator. Going forward, Solinea will support the new certification with specific COA training. This training will complement the current OpenStack architecture, operations and advanced training we already offer.

Attending an OpenStack Summit is always exhilarating, and Tokyo didn’t disappoint. I’m already looking forward to the *next* Austin Summit in April, and then Barcelona in October. I hope you’ll plan to be there too.

Author: Ken Pepple