Is OpenStack coming of age?

OpenStack Summit Paris at Night
OpenStack Summit Paris (c) Alex Walker

Is OpenStack coming of age?

Alex Walker, SDN / NFV Consultant | Imtech ICT UK

Here in Paris, I’m attending my second OpenStack Summit since beginning my SDN and NFV journey some 9 months ago. So what has changed since the previous Atlanta Summit back in May?

Well, there are still five thousand people here! OpenStack is definitely not going away, and is gaining momentum (with the likes of VMware are here, “embracing” OpenStack) and the NFV sessions are still full to bursting.


OpenStack Summit 2014 Paris
IPv6 developments coming along nicely (c) Alex Walker

But I’m noticing a more mature – with a slightly less gung-ho attitude amongst the presenters, vendors and keynotes here. There’s more focus on solving the (now) known technical challenges, and less “SDN is the best thing since sliced bread” and “we have the perfect solution to any and all of your problems”.

Focus is shifting towards real-world challenges such as high availability, performance, vendor interoperability, troubleshooting, and the big M-word; Management. For me, full, end-to-end, service-focused service instantiation and lifecycle management is an area in which the NFV area is sorely lacking any cost-effective solutions – but that’s for another blog!

It’s good to see the various vendors facing these issues, with less “magic fairy dust”, and a bigger dose of realism than previously.

Also new is all of the NFV vendors talking about OPNFV (Open Platform for NFV) with all wanting to be seen to be a part of it. I’m hopeful that this will be of benefit to our customers and end-users, but I think it may be some time before we see some output here. From what I hear, OPNFV are still very much in the setup phase – sorting out issues such as governance.

One very interesting thing that I’ve heard a number of vendors stating it is taking many release cycles to get their changes approved and up-streamed into new releases of Neutron – sometimes taking as many as two or three release cycles (up to 18 months). Is OpenStack outgrowing itself? Too few, overworked gatekeepers? This may explain why we have seen some vendors going it alone with changes made to “their” version of OpenStack which aren’t yet upstreamed into mainline releases.

OpenStack is succeeding, growing and gaining momentum, and it will remain the dominant player in this space. But it is “in year 4 of a 10 year release program” as I heard one pundit note yesterday. The community here are hard at work, and with their feet much more firmly placed on the ground!

Watch this space for my full video blog on OpenStack Summit at the end of this week.

2 thoughts on “Is OpenStack coming of age?

  1. Here at #CiscoliveLA OPNFV. Is featuring heavily in the SDN, Orchestration and Automation session but less so for now in the ACI story. There is no doubt that lots of work is being done by networking vendors to make programmability, automation and orchestration cornerstones of their product strategies going forward. The networking industry is changing forever.

  2. Hi Dave. OPNFV is being talked about loads here too. I think it will (eventually) bring some great stuff to the party, but will it be too little, too late for most service providers out there? Watch this space!

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