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Highlights from the Open Source Business Conference 2012

May 28, 2012 Leave a comment

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Last week I had the pleasure to head (back) to San Francisco to spend a few days with other open source believers at this year’s Open Source Business Conference.  I was there on behalf of Dell, the company I work for.

Here are some of my thoughts from the sessions / keynotes I sat in on this past week.Open Source Business Conference 2012

  • Jim Whitehurst of Red Hat spoke at a keynote and highlighted how the innovation that will be built on IaaS is where the revolution will reside, and that the role vendors will play in this new open source friendly enterprise will focus more on support and services.
      
  • There was a great open source panel with personnel from Yahoo, Warner Music, Blackduck, Acquia, and NorthBridge that talked through real use cases at Yahoo and Warner, plus feedback on their annual open source survey which talked through the rise of open source adoption in the enterprise, how quality and cost is driving that, and how many companies are viewing open source software as a starting point for projects now, rather than an alternative option.
      
  • HP’s Biri Singh talked through their cloud strategy including their tiered strategy of Iaas + ecosystem + marketplace.  Turns out they’re using quite a bit of open source as they are building out their public cloud  with focus on web services at scale.
      
  • A panel on “Amazon vs the world”, panelists from Canonical , Eucalyptus, and Citrix talked about open private cloud with the backdrop of Amazon’s dominance as a public cloud provider.  AWS API compatibility came up a lot, as well as the need to productize open source technologies more.  Some opportunities that were highlighted included the need to have vendors who know more than just software, but also the “wiring” of actual working systems, and the importance of staying open as we are just starting to see adoption by the enterprise.
      
  • CloudScaling hosted a great session on why open cloud is winning – how internet companies drove cloud technologies and how they were built with open source, the differences between the “Enterprise IT cloud” and the “Next Gen IT cloud”, and how “no lock-in” + flexibility + scale are the key tenets of open cloud.
      

Obviously there was a lot more at the event that I was not able to get to – You can check out a few of the presentation slides at https://www.eiseverywhere.com/ehome/31601/50199/?& 

If you were out there last week, be sure to leave a comment with your thoughts.

I enjoyed the few days out there – looking forward to the next open source event – likely in San Fran again. 🙂

Until next time,

JBGeorge
@jbgeorge

Start Your Engines: Dell Hosts OpenStack Deploy Day / Hack-a-thon!

May 24, 2012 Leave a comment

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Earlier this year, Dell (the company I work for) hosted an OpenStack deploy day, and we had great participation from users and developers from all around the world.

We’ll, we’re doing it again.

One week from today – May 31, 2012 – Dell will be hosting a world wide  Essex deploy day, and we’re inviting everyone to be a part.  It’s a great way for users of any level to deploy OpenStack with Crowbar and get a better understanding of how the Essex release of OpenStack works.

As before, the focus of the day will be on automating deployment of the latest release of OpenStack, specifically through Dell’s Crowbar software framework (www.Dell.com/Crowbar).  It will be an all day, world wide event that will engage all types of OpenStack fans – developers, operators, users, and more. 

We’re already getting a strong response from the OpenStack vendor community as well.  Along with Dell, you’ll see Suse, Mirantis, enStratus, and others in person and on Skype to work on Essex, whether its advanced topics, bug fixing, and even 101 sessions for newcomers.

All the details you need are on our Github site – https://github.com/dellcloudedge/crowbar/wiki/OpenStack-Essex-Deploy-Day

As an added bonus, we also have a few physical locations to hack in person at as well – Austin, Boston, and New York.  If you’re in one of these locales, be sure to RSVP and stop by. (And if you’re interested in hosting a location for the hack-a-thon, drop us a line and we’ll tell you how.)

If you have any questions about details, logitistics, or how Dell is enabling our customers with OpenStack, drop us a line at OpenStack@Dell.com.

See you there!

Until next time,

JBGeorge
@jbgeorge

More info:

Two Dell-Sponsored Austin Cloud Meetups in Five Days

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Hola!

Wanted to let the Austin cloud enthusiasts, professionals, and fans know that Dell (the company that I work for) will be hosting a couple of user group gatherings this week…

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#1

The Austin OpenStack Meetup

WHEN: Thu, May 10 6:30pm
WHERE: Austin Tech Ranch (9111 Jollyville Rd #100, Austin, TX)
WEB: www.meetup.com/OpenStack-Austin

This meetup has been a staple of the Austin OpenStack community, with Dell having spearheaded its start in October of last year.

We’ve had a number of great companies join Dell in sponsoring this monthly meetup at Austin’s Tech Ranch, including Rackspace, Suse, Canonical, and even HP. 🙂

This month, we’ve got Puppet Labs joining Dell as a joint sponsor of the meetup. On the docket for discussion:

  • Important topics, events, news, etc from the OpenStack Design Summit and Conference held in San Francisco the week of Apr 16
  • Discussion on the recently announced OpenStack Foundation – we hope to have someone from the foundation development team present
  • A review of DevStack as a community development platform

Should be loads of fun – come hungry and thirsty – loads of pizza and cokes. (BTW people, let’s at least TRY to make a dent in the salad this time.)

All the details you need to know are at www.meetup.com/OpenStack-Austin.

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#2The Austin Cloud User Group

WHEN: Tue, May 15, 6pm to 8pm
WHERE: Pervasive SW North Austin HQ (12365 B Riata Trace Parkway. Austin, TX 78727)
WEB: www.meetup.com/AustinCloudUserGroup

Dell has been a sponsor of this user group before, and a number of us attend regularly – we’re glad to be back to talk about some of the things going on with Dell’s public cloud. Specifically, our Dell cloud services team will be hosting and talking about the goings on at Dell in the cloud hosting space.

You’ll see Dell’s cloud evangelist, Stephen Spector, as he touches on

  • Discussion and demos of Dell’s vCloud hosted offering
  • Demos of processor intensive applicataions in a public cloud setting
  • Demos of a few common applications running on Dell’s cloud

If you’ve ever seen Stephen speak, you know you’re in for a treat. For those who don’t know, Stephen is the former Community Manager for the OpenStack community, so we’re ecstatic to have him here at Dell!

Again, come hungry and thirsty – loads of pizza and cokes.

All the details you need to know are at www.meetup.com/AustinCloudUserGroup.

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OK, that’s it – be sure to make it out to at least one of these meetups, and we’ll give you a shout out if make it to both. 🙂

Until next time,

JBGeorge
@jbgeorge

Play Ball! Hadoop Players Sponsor Big Data Event in Chicago

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A beautiful day at Wrigley Field

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What does data analytics have to do with baseball????

Well actually, quite a bit.  Moneyball anyone?

(If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it.  A true story adaption about Billy Beane and the Oakland A’s using intense number crunching to build a solid baseball team in a smaller market, competing with bigger markets – and bigger salaries.)

Great crowd at the ball game!The Technology

Last week, I had the pleasure of representing Dell (the company I work for), as we joined Intel, Cloudera, and Clarity to meet with a number of customers at the Ivy League Baseball Club across from Wrigley Field, right before the Cubs – Cardinals game.  It was great to talk to customers who were using Hadoop, as well as those that were just learning about the technology.

The presentation delivered by all four companies focused on the Dell Apache Hadoop Solution, a powerful packaged solution that features

  1. A reference architecture featuring Intel technology
  2. A set of software which includes Cloudera’s CDH distribution (with option to upgrade to Cloudera Enterprise), along with Dell’s innovative Crowbar software framework to enable easy provisioing and management
  3. Services provided by a combination of Dell, Cloudera, and Clarity, to provide our customers with deployment, support, and consulting services

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The Experience

Even more impactful than the presentation was the more 1:1 time after the presentation, where many users and newbies shared stories, experiences, best practices, etc.  Got to hear about a lot of the struggles around “going it alone”, and enthusiasm that Dell and our partners were delivering a solution that would make that a bit simpler.

Here’s a sampling of some of the topics that came up.

Why should I care about big data / hadoop?

Here’s the thing: you have data.  It’s in your sales tracking system, from your website traffic, from your social media outlets, in your customer support databases, and more.  And not only do you have data, you have A LOT of data.  But here’s the power of data.  Your company has strategic objectives, customer strategies, and product plans.  Data gives you insight into how to best spend your resources, where to focus your product development, where your customers are buying your products, and what problems they are encountering.  This enables your business to make intelligent decisions to better satisfy your customers. 

I already have a data warehousing solution – what’s the benefit of hadoop?Hadoop!

Many analytics solutions today require data to be in a format that adheres to the standards of a relational database (aka structured data).  This is fine for data that conforms to this format.  However, a lot of the new data that is available to us is not formatted in that manner – this is referred to as unstructured data.  Unstructured data includes data types, such as audio, video, graphics, log files, etc.  Hadoop as a technology handles unstructured data very well, allowing for analysis of those types of data.  Additionally, a number of the traditional enterprise level analytics solutions are building hadoop connectors to allow for hadoop processed data to be utilized by the enterprise tool set.  Finally, as data scales, using an open source based technology like Hadoop makes things very cost efficient.

How does the Dell Apache Hadoop Solution help me with hadoop?

Before this solution was made available, many of our Dell customers came to us asking, “If Dell was going to build a hadoop solution, how would you design it?”  And this was how we started down the path of hadoop.  What we discovered was many customers had pockets of hadoop projects in their companies, but progress was at a crawl.  Many of the issues were around infrastructure design, deployment, and overall general help around the technology.  And that is the basis for the Dell Apache Hadoop Solution – making hadoop accessible, quick, and simple to deploy from bare metal and get to a functional hadoop cluster asap.   We’ve enabled many of these customers to go from a science experiment to a productive Hadoop instance very quickly, and provide them the consulting and education they need to maximize its benefit.

You can learn more about what Dell is doing with Hadoop at www.Dell.com/Hadoop or you can drop me an email at Hadoop@Dell.com.

The Game

For those of you not interested in sports, you can now tune your TV’s off – about to talk baseball for a bit.

As far as the game went, it was a doozy.  I have ties to Chicago, so I was rooting for the Cubs. Play Ball

  • The Cubs were up 1-0 most of the game until the top of the 8th when Cardinal Matt Holliday knocked out a 2 run homer
  • Trailing in the bottom of the 9th, Cubs first baseman Bryan Lahair hit a homer to tie it up 2-2, and take us into extra innings
  • Here’s where the fireworks really began!
  • Bottom of the 10th
    • Cubs LF Tony Campana gets on base with a single
    • Campana then tries to steal 2nd and barely makes it
    • Cardinals coach Matt Matheny did not agree and made a federal case out of it with the 2nd base umpire
    • And out goes Matheny – ejected!
    • Cardinals walked Lahair
    • With two men on base, Cubs LF Alfonso Soriano gets a single and drives Campana home for the 3-2 win!
    • Prior to this, the Cardinals had beaten the Cubs in the LAST THIRTEEN SERIES between the two clubs.  With this win, that streak has been broken.

Great game, great crowd, great partners!  Thanks to everyone who came out.  I look forward to the next one. 🙂

Until next time,

JBGeorge
@jbgeorge

RoadStack RV: Dell, Rackspace, OpenStack and a Long Stretch of Road…

April 29, 2012 Leave a comment

.The RoadStackers in Austin!

This past week marked the end of a nearly three week journey by a few brave souls from Rackspace and Dell, as the two companies sponsored the team to travel to and from the OpenStack Summit in San Fran last week, making Stacker Stops along the way.

A team that included folks like Dell’s Andi Abes and Rackspace’s Wayne Walls, Jordon Rinke, Scott Simpson, and Glen Campbell, finally ended their tour this past Friday, pulling into their San Antonio home base.

The team had quite a lofty mission – make the drive from San Antonio to San Fran, spend the week at the summit, and drive back hitting key cities like Los Angeles, Boulder, Dallas, and Austin.  As they drove, they’d code and blog.  When they stopped, they spread the good word around the OpenStack open cloud. 

(And I hear there was a bit of hijinks thrown in as well.)

We had the pleasure of hosting the RoadStackers when they stopped by the Dell campus in Austin – I had a chance to chat with the guys, so take a look at a few of the 90 second videos we put together…

And yeah – we had a little fun with it – enjoy!

If you want to learn more about Dell is doing in the OpenStack space, including the Dell OpenStack-Powered Cloud Solution, check out www.Dell.com/OpenStack or drop me an email at OpenStack@Dell.com.

Until next time,

JBGeorge
@jbegeorge

Videos:

More News on the OpenStack Foundation: Participating Members

April 12, 2012 1 comment

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At the Oct 2011 OpenStack conference in Boston, leaders in the community, namely Rackspace, made the announcement that steps were being taken to transition the open source cloud technology to a foundation format.

Today, more news has come out regarding details on this move, and some of the key players in the newly forming foundation.

The Platinum Members listed includeOpenStack

  • AT&T
  • Canonical
  • HP
  • IBM
  • Nebula
  • Rackspace
  • Red Hat
  • Suse

The Gold Members listed are made up of

  • Dell (the company I work for)
  • Cisco
  • ClearPath Networks
  • CloudScaling
  • DreamHost
  • ITRI
  • Mirantis
  • Morph Labs
  • Netapp
  • Piston Cloud Computing
  • Yahoo!

In addition to these partners, there are a number of individual partner options available, allowing anyone interested in being a part of the foundation that option. 

Dell has long been known for our approach to customer solutions: Open, Capable, and Affordable.  So naturally, we are glad to see progress in this area of the community and initiative.  In fact, here’s what our VP and GM of Server Development had to say on the topic:

“We believe the OpenStack Foundation is a significant step in the evolution of the OpenStack initiative and for open source cloud innovation”, said Forrest Norrod, VP & GM of Dell Server Platforms.  “Dell has always been about open – open standards, systems and solutions promote innovation and give our customers choice.   We look forward to participating in the OpenStack Foundation as part of our continued efforts to empower and grow the open source cloud ecosystem.”

This is only the first step, and the Foundation leads are looking to get to an agreed to set of bylaws and framework by the third quarter of 2012.  If you’d like to learn more about the mission and framework of the foundation, check out the OpenStack Wiki here.

And if you’d like to learn more about Dell is doing in the OpenStack space, including details on our on-premise OpenStack offering, the Dell OpenStack-Powered Cloud Solution, feel free to visit us at www.Dell.com/OpenStack.   You can also drop me a line at OpenStack@Dell.com.

This is certainly an exciting day for OpenStack, as the movement continues to mature and grow.

PS – for any of you that are in / near the Austin area, we’ll be having our April edition of the monthly OpenStack meetup TONIGHT hosted by Dell, and sponsored this month by Suse.  Everyone’s welcome, so be sure to stop by the Tech Ranch tonight – more info at http://www.meetup.com/OpenStack-Austin.

Until next time.

JBGeorge
@jbgeorge

THIS JUST IN: The Dell OpenStack-Powered Cloud Solution Expands Globally

March 21, 2012 Leave a comment

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It’s hard to believe that it’s only been eight months since Dell, the company I work for, brought the Dell OpenStack-Powered Cloud Solution to market. www.Dell.com/OpenStack

It was a great day for Dell in that we were

  • the first to bring an OpenStack based, on-premise cloud solution to market
  • the first to make available a software framework like Crowbar (extending Opscode’s Chef tool)
  • the first to provide a referencable Dell OpenStack customer in DreamHost

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Being the agile team we are, we were very focused in our launch.  We launched the solution in North America first, while www.Dell.com/OpenStackwe learned about the open source cloud needs of Europe and Asia and what our customers in those regions needed from an OpenStack solution.

We listened.  We learned.  We built.  We tested.  We took learnings back to our solution.  And we retested.  And got more customer input.  And retested.  And we built in our learnings.

(Should be a very familiar song and dance to the innovators out there.)

And that journey brings us to today.

With that exprience under our belt, I’m proud to say our team has reached our next milestone….

At World Hosting Days in Germany today, Dell will be announcing that our OpenStack-Powered Cloud Solution will be launching in the UK, Germany, and China.

  
Our executive director, John Igoe, will be on stage at the event to talk through more details on the launch, supported by a great group of folks to help answer questions on the announcement and the solution.

As we take the Dell OpenStack-Powered Cloud Solution into these new regions, it continues to feature:

  • A validated and OpenStack-optimized reference architecture based on Dell’s infrastructure portfolio, including Dell PowerEdge C series and new 12G servers
  • Open source OpenStack cloud software
  • Dell developed Crowbar software to enable quick and easy deployment + continous integration
  • Deployment, support, and consulting services

We’re very excited by the news today, and anticipate this will help accelerate OpenStack as a movement and a community. 

We’ve seen the OpenStack community grow so quickly and our friends in Europe and Asia are a strong part of what makes the OpenStack open source movement so great.  In fact, I am happy to report that we’ve already begun enablng some of our customers in those areas to start with our solution.

If you’re interested in learning more about what Dell is doing with OpenStack, and more on the Dell OpenStack-Powered Cloud Solution, you can visit www.Dell.com/OpenStack or drop us an email at OpenStack@Dell.com.

Until next time.

JOSEPH
@jbgeorge

More info:

2012: A year of Cloud Coalescence (whatever that means)

January 5, 2012 Leave a comment

This post is a collaboration between three Dell Cloud activists: Rob Hirschfeld (@zehicle), Joseph B George (@jbgeorge) and Stephen Spector (@SpectoratDell).

We’re not making predictions for the “whole” Cloud market, this is a relatively narrow perspective based on technologies that on our daily radar. These views are strictly our own and based on publicly available data. They do not reflect plans, commitments, or internal data from our employer (Dell).

The major 2012 theme is cloud coalescence.  However, Rob worries that we’ll see slower adoption due to lack of engineers and confusing names/concepts.

Here are our twelve items for 2012:

  1. Open sourcecontinues to be a disruptive technology delivery model. It’s not “free” software – there’s an emerging IT culture that is doing business differently, including a number of large enterprises. The stable of sleeping giant vendors are waking up to this in 2012 but full engagement will take time.
      
  2. Linux. It is the cloud operating system and had a great 2012. It seems silly pointing this out since it seems obvious, but it’s the foundation for open source acceleration.
      
  3. Tight market for engineering and product development talent will get tighter. The catch-22 of this is that potential mentors are busy breaking new ground and writing code, making it hard for new experts to be developed.
      
  4. On track, OpenStack moves into its awkward adolescence. It is still gangly and rebelling against authority, but coming into its own. Expect to see a groundswell of installations and an expected wave of issues and challenges that will drive the community. By the “F” release, expect to see OpenStack cement itself as a serious, stable contender with notable public deployments and a significant international private deployment foot print.
      
  5. We’ll start seeing OpenStack Quantum (networking) in near-production pilots by year end.OpenStack Quantum is the glue that holds the big players in OpenStack Nova together. The potential for next generation cloud networking based on open standards is huge, but it will emerge without a killer app (OpenStack Nova in this case) pushing it forward. The OpenStack community will pull together to keep Quantum on track.
      
  6. Hadoop will cross into mainstream awareness as the need for big data analysis grows exponentially along with the data. Hadoop is on fire in select circles and completely obscure in others. The challenge for Hadoop is there are not enough engineers who know how to operate it. We suspect that lack of expertise will throttle demand until we get more proprietary tools to simplify analysis. We also predict a lot of very rich entrepreneurs and VCs emerging from this market segment.
      
  7. DevOps will enter mainstream IT discussions. Marketers from major IT brands will struggle and fail to find a better name for the movement. Our prediction is that by 2015, it will just be the way that “IT” is done and the name won’t matter.
      
  8. KVM continues to gain believers as the open source hypervisor. In 2011, I would not have believed this prediction but KVM making great strides and getting a lot of love from the OpenStack community, though Xen is also a key open source technology as well. I believe that Libvirt compatibility between LXE & KVM will further accelerate both virtualization approaches. 
      
  9. Big Data and NoSQL will continue to converge. While NoSQL enthusiasm as a universal replacement for structured databases appears to be deflating, real applications will win.
     
  10. Java will continue to encounter turbulenceas a software platform under Oracle’s overly heady handed management.
     
  11. PaaS continues to be a confusing term. Cloud players will struggle with a definition but I don’t think a common definition will surface in 2012. I think the big news will be convergence between DevOps and PaaS; however, that will be under the radar since most of the market is still getting educated on both of those concepts.
      
  12. Hybrid cloud will continue to make strides but will not truly emerge in 2012 – we’ll try to develop this technology, and expose gaps that will get us there ultimately (see PaaS and Quantum above)

Thoughts?  We’d love to hear your comments.

Rob, JBG, and Stephen

You can follow Rob at www.RobHirschfeld.com or @zehicle on Twitter.
You can follow Joseph at www.JBGeorge.net or @jbgeorge on Twitter.

You can follow Stephen at http://en.community.dell.com/members/dell_2d00_stephen-sp/blogs/default.aspx or @SpectoratDell on Twitter.

OpenStack meetups in Austin and Boston!

November 28, 2011 Leave a comment

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Just a quick heads up on some OpenStack meet ups coming your way…

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Boston

Austin OpenStack Meetup #1

A shot from our FIRST OpenStack meetup in Austin last month...

This Tuesday, Nov 29, Dell (the company I work for), along with Fidelity, will be sponsoring an OpenStack meetup in BOSTON at 6pm at the Lexington Depot. 

Hear from folks actively deploying (or getting close to) on OpenStack clouds.

Partly presentation and mostly discussion (and obviously pizza).  🙂

Sessions should cover the core new features in Diablo: Keystone and Dashboard, as well as deployment strategies (and will touch on Dell’s own Crowbar). Each topic will have a presentation followed by open Q & A. 

Time is also reserved for an unconference so come armed with some topics

Meet and eat at 6, then get to cloud stuff at 6:30, and plan to end around 9pm.

Learn more / register at http://www.meetup.com/Openstack-Boston/ – if you attend, be sure to grab some pics and tweet w #OSBOS

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Austin

Last month, my team at Dell hosted the first ever OpenStack meetup in Austin with a great showing of the cloud community in the city.  We’re now at over 100 members on the MeetUp, and we want to keep the goodness going. 

We’ll be back at the Tech Ranch on Thu, December 8 to have our second Austin OpenStack meetup where the topic (based on last time’s feedback) will be deployment, and a myriad of other topics.

This time around Rackspace will be joining us and sponsoring the food and refreshments for the night.

You can join the group and get details on the Austin meet up at http://www.meetup.com/Openstack-Austin/

Same deal – when you come, take a few pics and tweet with #OSATX.

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What city’s next?

A number of the attendees of the last Austin meetup actually traveled in from a number of nearby cities, so if you’re so inclined, start an OpenStack meetup in your area!

Feel free to drop me a line or catch me at the next meet up if you’re interested in learning how we got started.

See you at the next meet up!

Until next time,

JBGeorge
@jbgeorge

More info on what Dell is doing with OpenStack at www.Dell.com/OpenStack or email me at OpenStack@Dell.com

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TOP TEN: Why You Should Be At Tonight’s Austin OpenStack Meetup

October 27, 2011 Leave a comment

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OK, ladies and gentlemen – the top ten reasons for why you should head out to the Tech Ranch tonight for our first Austin OpenStack meetup.
  

OpenStack Meet Up Tonight (Thu, 10/27) 6:30pm at Tech Ranch Austin

OpenStack Meet Up Tonight (Thu, 10/27) 6:30pm at Tech Ranch Austin

10.   There will be free food.

9.  You’ll meet other Stackers and cloud fans in the Austin area.

8.  You’ll get a first hand view of OpenStack, Diablo, and Crowbar

7.  You’ll get to hobnob with OpenStack rockstars from Dell, Rackspace, Opscode, and other OpenStack supporters.  (There are also rumors that Dell’s elusive and wildly handsome director of marketing will be in attendance.)

6.   There will be free food.

5.   You’ll learn about Crowbar from the people that actually wrote the software.

4.   Remember the week-long OpenStack technical trainings that have been happening world-wide over the last month or so?  This week, it’s in Austin, so we’ll have a number of out of town guests to meet up with.

3.   JBG will provide timely World Series score updates.

2.   Live demos.  That’s always a crowd favorite.

1.   OpenStack is one of the coolest new technology movements out there – this is a great way to dive into OpenStack

(Oh, and there will be FREE FOOD.)

  
If you’re planning to head out, be sure to RSVP at http://www.meetup.com/OpenStack-Austin/events/37908242/

You can learn more about Dell’s doing with OpenStack by emailing me at OpenStack@Dell.com or visiting  www.Dell.com/OpenStack

See you tonight!

JBGeorge
@jbgeorge