OpenStack Summit Emphasizes Security, Interoperability

Although the event will highlight use cases at major customers as well as cloud interoperability, securing OpenStack clouds will be a prevailing theme this year.

OpenStack Summit

BARCELONA, Spain—From security to interoperabilty to use cases and everything in-between, this week's OpenStack Summit from Oct. 25 to 28 in Barcelona, is set to illuminate the cloud. This year's event, which brings together vendors, operators and developers of the open-source cloud platform, will offer more sessions than ever before on securing OpenStack clouds.

The Barcelona Summit follows the release of the OpenStack Newton milestone, which debuted on Oct. 6. While discussions about the most recent release are always part of every OpenStack Summit, so too are case-studies from operators of OpenStack clouds.

OpenStack Chief Operator Officer Mark Collier is scheduled to deliver a keynote on Oct. 25, titled "OpenStack for the World that Matters," that will touch on some applications for OpenStack deployment today and into the future. From an operator perspective, Banco Santander, a Spain-based banking conglomerate, is set to detail in a keynote how it uses OpenStack at scale to help enable big data workloads.

A key vertical for OpenStack in recent years has been telecommunications and cable operators, including AT&T, Comcast and NTT, among others. Matt Smith, infrastructure design manager at European entertainment company Sky, is set to detail why Sky U.K. uses OpenStack to enable its operations, including set-top boxes and video-on-demand capabilities. Jörn Kellermann, senior vice president of global IT operations for Deutsche Telekom, is also set to take the keynote stage to detail how OpenStack use has grown at his company.

One of the earliest use-cases for OpenStack is in the area of high-performance computing. After all, NASA is one of the two original founders of OpenStack and, to this day, uses OpenStack to help its mission of space exploration.

The Large Hadron Collider at CERN is perhaps the largest OpenStack deployment in the world, with 190,000 compute cores deployed to date. A panel of researchers from CERN and Cambridge University are set to discuss the scientific research potential of OpenStack.

Retail has also emerged as a major vertical for OpenStack deployments. The world's largest retailer, Walmart, is among those that have embraced the open-source cloud platform. Megan Rossetti from Walmart's OpenStack operations team and Andrew Mitry, lead architect for Walmart's OpenStack effort, are speaking at the OpenStack Summit about how the retail giant is building a successful open-source culture.

Interoperability across multiple cloud deployments has been a key theme for the last several years of OpenStack Summit events and the same is true for the Barcelona Summit. Jonathan Bryce, executive director of the OpenStack Foundation, is set to deliver a keynote on Oct. 26 about the multi-cloud future. Bryce often adds live demos to his keynote appearances from OpenStack member companies, and this time, IBM Distinguished Engineer Brad Topol is set to provide a demonstration about why interoperability and workload portability matter.

Part of the interoperability challenge for multiple clouds is solved through the use of containers, a key theme at the conference, which will include multiple sessions about container use and deployment with OpenStack.

Security is also now a core theme at the OpenStack Summit, which wasn't always the case. At the first OpenStack Summit that I attended back in 2012, there was only a single session on security, but the OpenStack Barcelona event includes a long list of sessions on the topic.

Security topics that will be covered include protecting both object and block storage systems in OpenStack. There are also multiple sessions on networking security and even a session on security issues in managing internet of things (IoT) devices using OpenStack. Container security is another hot topic across multiple sessions.

Back in 2012, the only security session at the OpenStack Summit was co-presented by Robert Clark, who has been a mainstay of the OpenStack security scene since then and currently serves as the project technical leader of the OpenStack Security project. Clark is scheduled to speak on Oct. 27 in a session where he'll detail what's new for security in the latest OpenStack Newton release.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.