- Venue – In one of the recent podcasts Greg has mentioned – that probably the decision to have the summit in Canada (not US) was based on premises that it is easier for Out-of-North-America OpenStack users to get a Canadian visa. Talking to some of the participants I got impression of opposite – a lot of US citizens decided to pass on the summit because of the passport requirements to go outside of US, but none of the participants was saying that it’s difficult for them to get an US visa to attend a conference. My personal excuse to go was I’m based out of Vancouver, BC and it’s a 20-minutes’ walk from my home to the conference center. The previous conference that I attended was 3-years ago and also was held in Vancouver, BC. One of OpenStack board members is from BC and my impression it’s the main factor for the conference city choice, also the views from the Convention center are awesome
- Crowd – comparing to three years ago the conference was much smaller. Previously we had to be in the session room 20 minutes ahead of time to get a seat, this time it wasn’t problem at all. Smaller hall has been used for keynotes, the expo was also much smaller. Some participants said it’s not because of fading interest in OpenStack, it’s more about having qualifying deployments that allow you to go and get value from the conference. In other words – less random people this time.
- Topics (Kata Containers) – The most intriguing to me was Kata containers project – In short – it’s still Docker containers, where each container wrapped into a VM mostly for security reasons. VMware has a similar concept VMware Integrated Containers (VIC) – for at least three years. For VMware the primary goal is manageability (you can manage your containers the exact same way as you manage VMs), The problem with this setup – you have to use a proxy to deal with the containers, that causes limitations (i.e. you couldn’t use Docker build command with VIC – can be resolved by now). So adoption of Kata containers considering complexity that it introduces seems questionable to me.
- Topics (Istio) – Istio as the next step in building resilient Kubernetes infrastructure. In general OpenStack Summit 2018 in Vancouver seemed to be more Kubernetes convention than OpenStack users and contributors gathering. In short – Istio has great potential and number of use-cases, it seems to be a pretty new technology that means there is lot of things that can be improved. Confusion between Istio and Envoy is the biggest item that requires clarity for an architect. These two can be decoupled and used with other pairing technologies, but the details around such implementation are still not clear
- Working on the expo floor – I had an opportunity to talk to literally mostly everyone attending the conference, a lot of interest around Avi Vantage platform and our OpenStack and Kubernetes integration. We had the following sessions delivered:
– Canary and Blue/Green Continuous Delivery of OpenStack Applications – OpenDev CI/CD with EBSCO
– OpenStack-based NFV Cloud at Swisscom: Challenges and Experiences with Swisscom and HPE (if you want a quick snapshot of Avi – please watch video at 26:45 for 8 minutes exceptional coverage by Avi Networks CTO – Ranga Rajagopalan)
It was a great experience to attend and to meet first time or to re-connect with the engineers who think in similar way and working on making technology better by challenging status quo.