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Dell Cloud Happenings This Week…

June 19, 2012 Leave a comment

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Just wanted to drop a quick blog to provide a central area on what events Dell has going on in the cloud space this week.

Here we go…

WHIR Webinar – Wed, June 20th

What: Dell / Intel / Morph Labs WHIR Webinar
Title: “Proven Innovation to Reduce Data Center OpEx by 40%”
When: Wednesday, June 20, 2012 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT
Who: Deania Davidson (Dell),  Naveen Bohra (Intel), Winston Damarillo (Morphlabs)
More Info: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/506707474
  
  
  
 

Boston OpenStack Meetup – Thu, June 21st

What: Dell and Red Hat co-sponsor this month’s Boston OpenStack Meetup 
When: Thursday, June 21, 2012, from 6:30 – 9:30PM
Where: The auditorium located at 85 Wells Avenue Newton, MA
Agenda: OpenStack Swift, Quantum
More Info: http://www.meetup.com/Openstack-Boston/events/67737262/
   
   
   
  

Austin OpenStack Meetup – Thu, June 21st

What: Dell and Opscode co-sponsor this month’s Austin OpenStack Meetup
When: Thursday, June 21, 2012, from 6:30 – 9:30PM
Where: The Austin Tech Ranch
Agenda: OpenStack Foundation with Foundation guest speakers Mark Collier, Jonathan Bryce, and Lauren Sell
More Info: http://www.meetup.com/OpenStack-Austin/events/67989692/
  
  
  

Look forward to seeing a big turnout at each of these!  See you there.

Until next time,

JBGeorge
@jbgeorge

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

The Dell OpenStack-Powered Cloud Solution: An Update!

September 18, 2011 Leave a comment

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Hello fellow cloud fans!

The Cloud is Here

The Cloud is Here (Note: I took this pic outside one day - no doctoring at all! Two jet trails created an arrow pointing at a cloud!)

There’s been a lot going on with the OpenStack team at Dell – and its been wreaking havoc with my blogging time!  

It’s been about six weeks since we announced our Dell OpenStack-Powered Cloud Solution, the market’s first OpenStack cloud solution featuring hardware, software and services. 

And the movement has been fast and furious!

Here’s a quick update…
  

The Real Deal

This is the most exciting development from our team.

Real customers solving real problems with a real OpenStack solution from Dell… TODAY. 

  
Many of you have reached out, learned about the power and agility of the Dell OpenStack-Powered Cloud Solution, and have stepped up to working with Dell to get OpenStack going in their environments.  It’s awesome that we’re able to partner with a number of you out there on some of the coolest, new technology out there.

With our long history with OpenStack (since Day 1), our cloud optimized PowerEdge C server line, and the power of the Dell Crowbar software enabling customers to get a multi-node OpenStack cloud on bare metal in less than two hours, this solution is just making a lot of sense for many of our customers.

In fact, looking for some “rubber meets the road” info? 

Look no further than Dell OpenStack customer, DreamHost – they’re a great example of how partnering with Dell can get you REAL progress on OpenStack. 

DreamHost and the Dell OpenStack-Powered Cloud Solution

DreamHost working with Dell on OpenStack!

Check out the FULL CASE STUDY here – http://i.dell.com/sites/content/shared-content/solutions/en/Documents/dreamhost-openstack-cloud-case-study.pdf
  

  
  
Crowbar

Crowbar has really taken off since  we announced it with the release of the Dell OpenStack-Powered Cloud Solution. 

In case you don’t know what Crowbar is, it’s a Dell- developed software framework designed to enable customers to deploy OpenStack quickly, as well as be a continuous integration engine for your sustaining OpenStack cloud.  It’s based on Opscode’s Chef tool, and is available as open source code for anyone to download (link to site at end of blog).

  • I mentioned DreamHost as a Dell OpenStack customer – they are actually using Crowbar as a means to deploy their Ceph storage technology.  They have taken Crowbar and developed their own “barclamp” to deploy their technology.  (A barclamp is a Crowbar module that performs a function like BIOS update, network discovery, etc.)
      
  • The Cloud Foundry team at VMware has done the same – taken the Crowbar software framework and written barclamps that will deploy the open source PaaS.
      
  • Check out Rob Hirschfeld’s Blog to learn more about some of the tech details on what’s happening with Crowbar.  Link at the end of this blog.
      

And a whole lot more – Diablo, the Essex Summit, OpenStack training at Dell

Our team’s are also feverishly working on Diablo support for our OpenStack offering.  (FYI – the Diablo release of OpenStack is slated to go public next week on Sep 22.)  We’ll actually be cooperating with a number of partners over the next week on enabling Diablo – keep an eye out – you may see some tech blogging going on about this soon.

And then there’s the upcoming OpenStack Conference and Design Summit, to be held in Boston the week of Oct 3.  Dell has been a major part of EVERY OpenStack design summit, and this one is no different, as Dell is a conference sponsor of the event.  All the usual Dell OpenStack celebrities will be there – along with a few new ones – participating in a variety of capacities at the event, so buckle up for some real insight based on real world OpenStack feedback.

Finally, if you haven’t heard, the OpenStack community announced a number of trainings to get users up to speed on the cloud technology.  There are a number of trainings planned, including sessions in Boston, London, and Dell headquarters in Austin.  If you’re interested in learning more about the training happening at Dell in Austin, check it out here http://www.cvent.com/events/rackspace-training-for-openstack-austin/event-summary-77838e10ba284088b4628026f2cd9158.aspx

More info

Being the marketing director, I want to be sure you have access to a number of the wicked cool stuff out there on our OpenStack-Powered Cloud Solutiona, Crowbar, and more.

Whew!  Told ya it would be a lot…

OK, that should get you up to speed. 

As always, feel free to contact us at OpenStack@Dell.com or leave a comment.

On my next blog, I’ll get you an update on where we are with our new Apache Hadoop solution!

Until next time,

JBG
@jbgeorge

THIS JUST IN: VMware and Dell Partner to Enable Cloud Foundry via #Crowbar

August 17, 2011 4 comments

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And the goodness just keeps on coming!

DellA few weeks ago, Dell (they company I work for) unleashed the power of the Dell developed, open source Crowbar software framework as a part of the announcement of the Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution.  It allowed users to deploy a full OpenStack IaaS cloud on bare metal PowerEdge C servers in less than two hours (vs multiple days if done manually), and allows for a continuous integration mechanism for the stood up cloud. 

A week later, we announced the Dell | Cloudera Solution for Apache Hadoop, which also leverages the powerful Crowbar software to deploy a running Hadoop cluster on to bare metal PowerEdge C servers in less than a day, where it can take days or even weeks if deployed by other means.

So….

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)?   Check.

Hadoop / Big Data?  Check.

But what about Platform as a Service (PaaS)?

Big time check.
  

VMware Cloud FoundryToday, VMware is announcing their development of a Cloud Foundry barclamp for Dell’s Crowbar software!

VMware’s Cloud Foundry is an open platform as a service (PaaS) project initiated by VMware designed to support multiple frameworks, multiple cloud providers, and multiple application services all on a cloud scale platform. It’s a project that is only a few months old, but one that has been getting outstanding interest from enterprises who want PaaS to be the new developer UI to their private cloud.  And Cloud Foundry is already powering real solutions.
  

And now it can be deployed quickly, simply, and automated with Dell’s Crowbar software.  
  

Crowbar, software that leverages OpsCode’s Chef configuration management tool,  allows users to get up and running on powerful technologies like Cloud Foundry, but actually does much more.  It actually does BIOS configuration, RAID configuration, network discovery, deploys Nagios and Ganglia, and more to enable an environment ideal for complex technologies.  It is also aware of changes in its environment, and adjusts to them in an automated manner.  (Learn more about Crowbar here.)
  

This is another win for open source in my book, and a real indicator of the impact open source is going to have on the next era of IT.

Dell's Crowbar SoftwareSo who’s the next Crowbar barclamp rockstar? 

You tell me.

You.  Crowbar.  Download.  Build barclamp.  Share.

I’d love to be telling your story here next.  🙂

More info:

  
Until next time,

JBGeorge
@jbgeorge

The #Dell #Crowbar Software Framework: Who, What, When, Where, and How

August 1, 2011 1 comment

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It’s been about a week since Dell (the company I work for) officially announced the Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution, the market’s first HW / SW / Services solution for OpenStack – and the response has been great! 

(Check out my last blog post about it here for more details.)

Crowbar from Dell

Crowbar from Dell

Since this wasn’t your average announcement with a big company like Dell actually contributing to the community, I received a number of questions, comments, and accolades around our contributed software framework – Crowbar.

So I thought I’d pass on some of the people, history, functionality, and background behind Dell’s Crowbar software.
  

History

Since Dell had been a committed partner of OpenStack’s since it’s announcement in July of 2010 (over a year ago), we were among the first to begin working with the OpenStack code as we began developing the Dell solution for it.   Since it was very early, very raw code, there was a lot of installing / testing / coding / re-testing / blowing it away / reinstalling / testing / coding  / re-testing / blowing it away… you get the idea. 

And as any cloud technology goes, deploying OpenStack on bare metal took time, effort, and expertise

It wasn’t long before our solutions development team decided we’d automate this process to make our efforts quicker.  But lo and behold, we discovered that others in the community were dealing with the same thing.   A few early users indicated that it was taking them a full day to deploy OpenStack from start to finish, and in most cases, it was taking multiple days.

So we decided build out a quick, automated method of deploying OpenStack on bare metal technology that the whole community could use.

And Crowbar was born.
     

Functionality

Extending the capabilities of the Chef configuration management framework from Opscode, our team began developing Crowbar with the goal of installing a multi-node OpenStack cloud on bare metal PowerEdge C servers in less than four hours.  “Multi-node” was a key requirement as almost every use case we encountered required that. 

We announced Crowbar’s existence and development in early 2011, with our intent to field test, and then release to the open source community.  Over the course of time, we began testing it out in various instances and scenarios, as well as demo-ing it at various cloud events.  Many of you may remember us showcasing our progress at SCaLE, CloudConnect, and the Apr OpenStack Design Summit (which Dell sponsored).  

With time and experience, we came across a number of requirements for this type of a tool – automated BIOS configuration, RAID configuration, network discovery and set up, installation of the open source system monitoring tool Nagios, installation of the open source performance monitoring tool Ganglia, and more.  So we built it all in.

And based on the extensive cloud cloud experience on our team, we knew that cloud development and management is an ever evolving exercise – as the Dell OpenStack lead architect and OpenStack community celeb Rob Hirschfeld would say, “Cloud is always ready, and never finished.”  So Crowbar is designed in a way to manage change.  Add in a new supported server to the mix, and Crowbar detects it and proceeds to add it to the OpenStack pool.  When software needs to be updated, Crowbar can be leveraged to update once, and deploy to all.
     

Barclamps

Dell Crowbar featuring Barclamps!

Dell Crowbar featuring Barclamps!

And what about new components that come out?  There are a number of new OpenStack capabilities coming out of various projects – how do those get rolled in?

Barclamps.  

(Yes, we designed Crowbar with modularity in mind.)

Think of it this way:  Crowbar is made up of two general functionality categories – the Crowbar core and Crowbar barclamps.  The Crowbar core contains all the main functionality that allows Crowbar to perform tasks.  Barclamps are modules that actually perform a function.  So need to deploy OpenStack Nova (aka cloud compute)?  Leverage the Nova barclamp.  Need to deploy OpenStack Swift (aka cloud storage)?  Leverage the Swift barclamp.

Need to deploy some software that doesn’t have a barclamp?

You can create your own barclamp!

And that’s the beauty of Crowbar – we created (and will continue to create) barclamps that work for our customers, but we’re encouraging / training our customers to develop their own barclamps, and we want the community at large to do the same.
  

What real customers are doing with the Crowbar and the Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution

In our press release, one of our OpenStack customers, DreamHost, spoke about their success with the Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution.  Along with Dell server technology and services, the innovative DreamHost team really picked up on the Crowbar tool.  In fact, as they are working on hosted options for their Ceph technology, the DreamHost team has begun developing a barclamp for Ceph!

In fact, here’s what the DreamHost GM of Emerging Technologies, Ben Cherian, had to say about Crowbar:

“If Dell had not developed Crowbar, we would have been forced to write a similar tool ourselves. It’s a fundamental goal that we have in the company: automate, automate, automate. That’s how we drive down prices.”

Ben also went on to say that since Dell had already developed a technology like Crowbar, we ended up saving them four to six months of development time.
  

Common Questions

  1. Is Crowbar for Dell products only?
      
    The Crowbar software that we’ve developed at Dell will obviously work with Dell supported platforms.  But there is no reason that this framework will not work for any other vendor technology – all that needs to happen is for that vendor / user / community member to create a barclamp for that technology.
       
  2. Is Crowbar for OpenStack only?
      
    Obviously, our original use case is for OpenStack – it has been tested and validated for that model.  However, again, it is a flexible software framework.  We can see a number of use cases for OpenStack, and welcome the community to use it where it makes sense.
      
  3. What do I get with Crowbar as a part of the Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution vs open source Crowbar?
      
    There are two main differences at this point: 
      
    First, open source Crowbar has everything that the Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution Crowbar has, except for the BIOS and RAID capabilities, where we’re trying to clear some legal hurdles before we open source.  Once those are cleared, we expect to open source those capabilities.
      
    Second, when you get Crowbar as a part of the Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution, you will get full support from Dell via Dell Services.  Any questions, support, training you need on Crowbar, Dell delivers it.
      

Where do I get Crowbar?

OK, the question of the hour.   How do you get Crowbar?

  1. You get Dell-supported Crowbar when you purchase the Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution.
      
  2. You get open source Crowbar from our github site – http://www.github.com/dellcloudedge.
      

You can head over to http://www.RobHirschfeld.com and see much more TECHNICAL content on the Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution and Crowbar.  In addition to being our lead architect on OpenStack, Rob is actually one of the developers of the actual Crowbar software.  (You can also follow him on Twitter at @zehicle.)

And as always, if you want to learn more about the Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution, you can head to http://www.Dell.com/OpenStack.  Or if you’d like to reach out to us to learn more, drop me and the gang a line at OpenStack@Dell.com.
  

Until next time,

JOSEPH
@jbgeorge
  

Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution

Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution

THIS JUST IN: Dell Announces the Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution

July 26, 2011 6 comments

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On the heels of the one year anniversary of the OpenStack open source cloud operating system – here’s some awesome news…

Dell (the company I work for) announces the Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution, the market’s first hardware + software + services OpenStack solution for customers seeking to build out their own OpenStack clouds!

Let’s take a look under the hood, shall we?
  

Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution

Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution

Hardware (Dell PowerEdge C cloud optimized servers)

 Built on a reference architecture honed since DAY ONE of the OpenStack movement, the Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution offers a hardware configuration featuring cloud optimized Dell PowerEdge C servers.  Dell has built cloud infrastructure for some of the biggest names in the world, like Facebook and Microsoft Azure, and have used those learnings to develop the highly dense, power-efficient PowerEdge C servers that the Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution has been architected with.

  

Software (Dell Crowbar deploying and managing the OpenStack cloud platform)

When Dell began testing OpenStack in mid 2010, we were installing it, testing it, blowing it away, reinstalling it, tweaking it, blowing it away, reinstalling it… you get the picture.  And it wasn’t trivial.  These deployments took considerable time, effort, and expertise, so we developed the Dell Crowbar software framework extending Opscode’s Chef automation, which can deploy MULTI-NODE OpenStack clouds in hours or even minutes, rather than days when done manually.   (Anyone remember our team deploying a 6 node Nova and Swift OpenStack deployment in 29 minutes at CloudConnect?)   Crowbar enables BIOS and RAID setup and configuration, network setup, deploys open source tools like Nagios and Ganglia for monitoring, and much more.  

And hey, we’re a community here, right?  So here’s what the OpenStack community has been waiting to hear – Dell has now open sourced Crowbar!  We’ve made it available to the open source community via our Github site, which is linked below.   My partner in crime, Rob Hirschfeld, goes into Crowbar deep on his blog, so I’ve provided a link to his site below as well.  (FYI – we are still working through some of the legal aspects of BIOS and RAID capabilities, but decided to open source the rest of Crowbar while we work it out.)

And speaking of support…

    

Services (Dell Services + Rackspace Cloud Builders)

After a year of being in OpenStack, we’ve built up some expertise, so Dell Services, along with our partner Rackspace Cloud Builders, will be offering a plethora of services to help you make your OpenStack cloud a reality.

  • Consulting
  • Deployment
  • Training
  • Support for the entire solution – HW, Crowbar, OpenStack, etc
  • And a host of other services direct from Dell Services

When you get the Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution, you can call Dell for support on any aspect of the solution, and we’ll help you figure it out, with our crack support teams, our OpenStack engineers, and our OpenStack partners.

And those are the basics. 

  

Fast. Easy. Now.  The Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution

Fast. Easy. Now. The Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution

A few more comments….

Let me just say – I am proud that we’ve delivered this solution to market, but even PROUDER to be part of a company had the vision to see the potential of OpenStack on Day One.  Yes, that’s a big deal to me.

I’d like to call out a number of partners we’ve worked with to get to this point – Rackspace, Citrix, Opscode, Canonical, Intel, and others – the community is a big deal in OpenStack, and it’s great to have their support in this announcement.   I’m also very happy that one of our first Dell OpenStack customers, DreamHost, is a part of this announcement as well with a full case study on how they’re doing OpenStack with Dell.  (HINT: they’re neck deep in Crowbar and loving it!) 

We plan to celebrate the announcement big time at OSCON, so if you’re here, come by the Dell booth – demos, gear, giveaways, etc.   And our breakout session will be on Thursday (10:40am in room E-141) – “Prying Open the Cloud with Dell Crowbar and OpenStack” – Rob will present the deep down details on Crowbar. 
(And if you want to get in on the celebration, feel free to tweet the news and your thoughts – be sure to use hashtags #Dell, #OpenStack and #Crowbar…)

 

So What’s Next?

Time for YOU to start using this.  The Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution, Crowbar, all of it.   Talk to your Dell rep, emaial us at OpenStack@Dell.com, download Crowbar, start building Crowbar barclamps, discuss it in the forums, etc…  and get started building OpenStack clouds with Dell.
  

More info:

Until next time,

JBG
@jbgeorge

OpenStack’s First Year: How a Committed Community Made a Difference

July 23, 2011 Leave a comment

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You know the saying:  “Time flies when you’re having fun.”

This week has been a crazy one, so I didn’t get to chime in on Tuesday with my thoughts on the one year anniversary of OpenStack.

So today, I took some time to think back over the last year, and I realized how far we’ve come as a technology and as a community.  

In addition to the solid OpenStack technology that is being guided by market requirements and pushing the envelope, I believe that the unique set of OpenStack developers, partners, and users has helped get it to where it is. 

Pardon me, while I stroll through memory lane…
  

Design Summits

  • Austin Design Summit (July 13 – 14, 2010) – I’m not sure if we could have called this one a design summit as it was more of a meeting of minds, lots of ideas, and a ton of excitement about this new platform called OpenStack.  Got to hear from both Rackspace and NASA on the code bases, and how this could change the market.  I specifically recall our group of cloud solution attendees from Dell (the company I work for) talking about how much potential this technology had.  (And besides, this meeting was in our home town!)
      
    OpenStack was announced publicly for the first time a few days later on the 19th.  Dell was among a handful of companies who believed in the initiative back then – it was early – and we had to have vision.
      
  • San Antonio Design Summit (Nov 9 – 12, 2010) – This was held at the Weston Centre in San Antonio, and I remember thinking “where did all these people come from???”   We had a lot of international presence there from the UK, France, Japan, and other parts of the world.  It was exciting to think that in just four months, we’d already started going global. I also recall we started talking to the business of OpenStack – licenses, brands, etc, which was a good sign of progress.
      
    Dell did our part as well – Rob Hirschfeld and Greg Althaus, a couple of Dell OpenStack rockstars, each spoke on OpenStack deployment, reference architectures, and operational models. We also contributed gear for the InstallFest later that week, made up of PowerEdge C6100s and C2100s  (I also remember giving quite a few tours of the “server room” to see what Austin release was running on.)  
        
  • Santa Clara Design Summit (Apr 26 – 29, 2011)– Our first design summit on the west coast!  This one is still pretty fresh in my mind, but what blew me away was again, the growth!  The community grew and became more sophisticated.  Those that were learning at the first two design summits were blossoming experts at this design summit, having lived through the evolution of OpenStack.  Though I’m sure it was logistically nuts for the organizers as they greatly exceeded capacity, it was a great indicator that we were on to something special.
      
    The Dell team gave it our all here as well – Rob gave a session on what Dell was doing with OpenStack and Crowbar, and my favorite – daily live demos of Crowbar deploying multi-node OpenStack clouds on bare metal servers! (I’d time our guys – the best time was 29 min minutes for a 6 node OpenStack cloud running on Dell PowerEdge C 6100’s – not too shabby! 
      
    (Anyone remember the Crowbar bunny shirts?)
     

Year One Partners

I just checked the OpenStack.org site, and at THIS MOMENT, there are 91 partners in the community.  (Depending on when you read this, there could / will be more.)

You’ll find a number of key industry players there – Rackspace, Dell, Citrix, Intel, AMD, Cisco, Canonical, Brocade, Arista, Opscode, and more.  And this group has done a lot to further the intiative over the last year. 

Here are a list of a few examples. 

  • Rackspace announcing the creation of Rackspace Cloud Builders, who’s purpose in life is to service customers on OpenStack deployment, training, support, and consulting.
  • Citrix announcing Project Olympus and a distribution of OpenStack to come soon
  • Dell announces the Crowbar deployment software for OpenStack, and our intention to release an OpenStack solution to market
  • Canonical announces their intention to make OpenStack the default cloud platform in the Ubuntu operating system
  • Equinix’s sponsoring of a live OpenStack demo enviornment w support from Dell, Rackspace, and Citrix
  • Real live production usage by companies like Internap

What a year. 

I’d venture to say those of us who were there on Day 1 believed this was going to be big, but we’re excited that it has been adopted by the cloud community as much as it has.

And to all the partners, develeopers, and users who have made the first year amazing – I salute you.

We’re on to something big.   🙂
      

If you want to learn more about what Dell has done with OpenStack over the last year, and see if what we’re building is a fit for you, email us at OpenStack@Dell.com.
   

More info on OpenStack and the one year anniversary:

Until next time,

JOSEPH
@jbgeorge