OpenStack Summit Highlights Cloud Use Cases

Monday May 8th 2017 by Sean Michael Kerner
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OpenStack Summit emphasizes community needs beyond just the cloud.

BOSTON — OpenStack started off as a cloud technology project and has evolved steadily over the last few years. In a marathon two and a half hour set of keynotes on the first day of the OpenStack Summit here, the OpenStack Foundation and the vendors and companies that use it talked about how they are using the cloud.

Moving beyond just the private cloud to a "manage open cloud as a service" model was a key theme in the keynotes. OpenStack Summit 2017 Mirantis co-founder Boris Renski discussed the need for a managed OpenStack model that evolved from the private cloud model.

Patrick Weeks, Sr. Director of Digital Operations at GE Digital for healthcare, explained how GE is using OpenStack to accelerate its efforts. Weeks detailed what's needed to move to the cloud, and for him it's not just about technology, it's also about goal setting.

Weeks suggested having a "can do" set of problem solvers on the cloud team and setting nearly impossible goals. By setting borderline impossible goals, he argued it's possible to achieve more than otherwise would in fact be possible.

GE is now using a private cloud as a service model, and since 2015 it has migrated 530 applications to the cloud. Perhaps even more interesting is the efficiency factor, with 608 applications retired as part of the cloud migration and consolidation.

OpenStack in Edge-of-Network Use Cases

Verizon is also embracing OpenStack, enabling a cloud in the box solution for edge-of-network use cases. In her keynote address, Beth Cohen, distinguished member of Technical Staff at Verizon, explained that OpenStack-powered virtual network services are now used for both internal as well as external customers.

The U.S. Army is now using OpenStack to power the infrastructure behind its Cyber School operations. Major Julianna Rodriguez explained that the Army is using OpenStack infrastructure to rapidly iterate training material and courseware as part of its cyber school operations efforts.

OpenStack could also one day enable a new era of robot building.  Daniela Rus, Director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), detailed new research for 3D printing robots on demand.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at ServerWatch and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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