CloudStack European User Group roundup

We had a great turn out for the April meeting of the CloudStack European User Group on April 2. The meeting was very kindly hosted by BT (British Telecom) at their Showcase Centre in London.

I’d been a little worried about attendance because, in my wisdom, I’d decided at organise this meeting a week before the CloudStack Collaboration Conference in Denver.

However, the room was packed. Partly my fault as I’d told the guys at BT that “if everybody who’s registered turns up, I’ll eat my hat.” I managed to keep my trilby in my pocket, but only just.

I started the meeting off with my usual roundup of CloudStack news. Since our last meeting in January the main news item has been the release of CloudStack 4.3. We discussed many of the great new features of 4.3 and also the emphasis on code quality that has been a recent driver in the project. The new zone-to-zone VPN functionality was greeted with a few cheers in the room, Christian seemed beside himself with excitement!

After having a good look at 4.3, we had a discussion on the ongoing lack of awareness of Apache CloudStack. Despite having nearly 300 production deployments, a large & vibrant community CloudStack sill does not get the attention that we think it deserves. I decided to compare the perception of Cloudstack in US/Europe with that in Japan (where it is the dominant IaaS technology).

 

 

 

Next to speak was John Gillam, Cloud CTO of BT themselves. John’s talk was the story of BT’s adoption of CloudStack in order to drive their global cloud. John explained how BT has started their cloud journey many years ago by attempting to wirte their own orchestration platform. After realising the error of their ways, they discovered CloudStack in 2010 (in its early VMOps start-up days) . John explained, that even back then he recognised the technology as a game-changer: something that could orchestrate VM’s and properly manage multi-tenant networking .

The first release of the BT cloud was June 2011, by October 2012 it was launched in US and Latin America and by October 2013 they had availability zones in 16 countries. John also talked through some of the tools that the BT guys have developed and his ambition to contribute those to the Apache project.

But the best part of Johns talk for me was learning about BT’s desire to get actively involved in supporting the Apache CloudStack community. As a major user of CloudStack, BT have got a great accumulated wealth of experience with the technology and it will be great to see them interacting in the project. I look forward to seeing those BT email addresses starting to appear in the mailing lists.

 

 

When I first got involved in Cloudstack I often felt that Europe was a remote outpost in our community: the majorty of the movers and shakers seemed to be in silicon valley.

However, this seems to be changing. At this meeting we had (from memory) 6 project committers and 3 PMC members in the room. All based in Europe. As if that wasn’t enough, we also had the newly appointed VP of Apache Cloudstack, Hugo Trippers and it was Hugo who gave the next talk.

When not running critical instrastructures at Schuberg Philis, Hugo spends his time helping develop and maintain Apache CloudStack (on which he relies to maintain those ciritical infrstructures). Hugo (almost single handedly wrote the original Nicera NVP integration for Cloudstack and has recently been working on early integration for OpendDaylight

 

 

 

Next up was Geoff, the ShapeBlue CTO. Geoff had planned to do a talk around an exciting projects that we’ve been working on recently, but in that true spirit of opensource collaboration, he’s not allowed to actually talk about it quite yet , unless he aes everybody sign an NDA.

Geoff decided to revert to type and talk about CloudStack networking instead. I often get people telling me that nobody on planet earth knows more about CloudStack’s networking model than him and, as usual, he gave a master-class in the intricate details, brining in some practical tips from the field. Geoff focussed on some of the great new networking features in CloudStack 4.3

 

Bringing the day home was Sebastien Goasguen, with a great talk on Cloudstack’s support for both the Amazon EC2 API and the Google Compute engine API