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ATLANTA. OpenStack is not just about the cloud, it's about connecting the entire planet in a way that has never been done before. At the OpenStack Summit here, Jonathan Bryce, Executive Director of the OpenStack Foundation, kicked off the event with a visionary keynote about the role of the cloud in the modern world and how OpenStack fits in to this scenario.
"We're living in a software defined economy," Bryce said. "In software defined economy every company competes with a startup and the barrier to entry is low."
Bryce added that it's critical to have both people and the systems that actually enable an agile infrastructure. He added that without an agile infrastructure it's like having a high performance car without wheels.
"In the last five years seen we have seen a lot of growth in the agile infrastructure space," Bryce said. "We have gone from a model where the only place to get agile infrastructure was Amazon and OpenStack has now opened that up."
"OpenStack is the engine of the software defined economy," Bryce added.
Going a step forward, OpenStack provides a different consumption model for technology than other technologies do. Bryce noted that that the modern enterprise is no longer simply passively consuming software that some vendor sells on a two- or three-year cycle.
"Users are getting involved and really making a difference," Bryce said.
As has been the case for at least the last three OpenStack Summit events, Bryce brought some users on stage. Glenn Ferguson, Head of Cloud Enablement at Wells Fargo, explained why his company is using OpenStack and why he's involved.
"This is a community and it is in my best interest to be at conferences and let the community know what we're doing," Ferguson said. "The collective mass of the community is what everyone benefits from."
Chris Launey, director, cloud services and architecture at the Walt Disney Company, said he's involved with OpenStack because he wants to empower people when they come to work with technology. Launey noted that Disney was able to build an OpenStack pilot deployment in only three months.
Troy Toman, Vice President, Cloud Infrastructure Products at Rackspace, followed Bryce with a keynote that compared OpenStack to the Rebel Alliance from the Star War movies. "We may not be facing the Death Star, but we do have our challenges," Toman said.
While showing a picture of Imperial Stormtroopers, Toman said that proprietary non-OpenStack cloud technologies have armies of software developers and they are relentless.
Going a step beyond the Star Wars metaphor, Toman said that OpenStack could one day power a Planetary Scale cloud operating system. OpenStack now has some federation capabilities, though he noted that there is still work to be done to improve interopability.
"OpenStack is at a key moment now," Toman said. "We're moving to a software defined world that will change the world in ways we can't imagine."
Troy Toman, Vice President, Cloud Infrastructure Products at Rackspace
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Datamation and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist
Graphic image courtesy of Shutterstock.