In thinking about the OpenStack community, our approach to the project going forward, and the upcoming Board elections, I’m reminded of a specific hand of the poker game Texas Hold ‘Em I observed a few years back between two players.
As one particular hand began, both players had similar chip stacks, and were each dealt cards that were statistically favorable to win.
The hand played out like most other hands – the flop, the turn, the river, betting, calling, etc. And as the game continued toward its conclusion, those of us observing the game could see that one player was playing with the statistically better cards, and presumably the win.
But then the second player made a bold move that turned everything on its head.
He went “all in.”
The “all in” move in poker is one that commits all of your chips to the pot, and often requires your opponent to make a decision for most or all of their chips. It is an aggressive move in this scenario.
After taking some time to consider his options, the first player ultimately chose to fold his strong cards and cut his perceived losses, allowing the other player to claim the winnings.
And this prize can be claimed almost completely because of the “all in” strategy.
Clearly, going “all in” can be a very strong move indeed.
Decision Time in OpenStack
Next week – Monday, January 9 through Friday, January 13 – is an important week for the OpenStack community, as we elect the 2017 Individual Representatives to the Foundation’s Board of Directors.
I’m honored to have been nominated as a candidate for Board Director, to potentially serve the community again, as I did back in 2013.
Back in the summer of 2010, I was fortunate to be one of the few in the crowded ball room at the Omni Hotel in Austin, Texas, witnessing the birth of the OpenStack project. And it is amazing to see how far it has come – but with a tremendous amount of work yet to do.
Over the years, we’ve been fortunate to celebrate tremendous wins and market excitement. Other times, there were roadblocks to overcome. And similar to the aforementioned poker game, we often had to analyze “the hand” we were dealt, “estimate the odds” of where cloud customers and the market was headed, and position ourselves to maximize chances for success – often trusting our instinct, when available data was incomplete at best.
And, as with many new projects that are in growth phase, our community was often put in a position to re-confirm our commitment to our mission. And our response was resounding and consistent on where we stood….
Remaining “All In” with OpenStack
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, it’s critical that we stay committed to the cause of OpenStack and its objective.
There are four key areas of focus for OpenStack, that I hope to advocate, if elected to the board.
- OpenStack adoption within the enterprise worldwide. I am in the camp that very much believes in the private cloud (as well as public cloud), and that the open source and vendor communities need to put more effort and resources into ensuring OpenStack is the optimal private cloud out there, across all industries / geographies / etc.
- Designing and positioning OpenStack to address tangible business challenges. The enterprise customer is not seeking a new technology – they looking for things like ways to make IT management more self service, a means to drive on-demand scalability of infrastructure and PaaS, and a way to operate workloads on-premise, AS WELL AS off-premise.
- Addressing the cultural IT changes that need to occur. As cloud continues to permeate the enterprise IT organization, we need to deliver the right training and certifications to enable existing IT experts to transition to this new means of IT service. If we can ensure these valuable people have a place in the new archetype, they will be our advocates as well.
- Championing the OpenStack operator. The reality of cloud is not just in the using, but in the operating. There is a strong contingent of operators within our community, and their role is critical to our success – we need to continue to enable this important function.
I’ve been fortunate to be a part of a number of technology movements in my career, just as they started to make the turn from innovative idea to consistent, reliable IT necessity. And this is why I continue to be excited about the prospect of OpenStack – I’m seeing growth with more customers, more use cases, more production implementations.
And, while there are may be detractors out there, coining catchy and nonsensical “as-a-Service” buzzwords, my position on OpenStack should sound familiar – because it hasn’t changed since Day One.
And, if given the opportunity, I hope to partner with you to get the rest of the world “all in” on OpenStack as well.
Until next time,
Joseph George is the Vice President of Solutions Strategy at SUSE, and is a candidate for OpenStack Board of Directors. OpenStack Elections take place on the week of January 9, 2017.
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