As we get closer to the OpenStack Summit next week in Portland, I wanted to reflect back on the last 6 months of my community involvement with OpenStack. It was almost 6 months ago when I created the Minnesota OpenStack Meetup in an attempt to drive some discussions, education, collaboration, and community around OpenStack in the Twin Cities. Since that time, the Minnesota OpenStack Meetup group has grown to over 120 members (at 127 at the time of this writing). We have members from all over the United States, as well as the world. I’ve really been happy to see people joining our discussions and participating in sharing their interest and knowledge around OpenStack.

We’ve had some really great discussions around topics like the following:

  • How to Make Your First Commit into OpenStack, by Colin McNamara.
  • An Overview of OpenStack Networking, by myself.
  • A presentation by some folks at Best Buy around how they deploy and use OpenStack in their labs.
  • A presentation on MSDC Networks and how they fit in with OpenFlow and OpenStack, by Steve Ulrich and myself.
  • A presentation on Why OpenStack is Gaining So Much Traction, by myself.

Our last Meetup was actually a combined Meetup with the local DevOps Meetup group, in which we spent some time mingling amongst group members and sharing ideas around different cloud platforms and how they relate to OpenStack as on on-premise IaaS cloud. This event in particular was eye opening, in that it broadened our groups local reach by opening up our Meetup group to some new members from the DevOps Meetup group.

In addition to the OpenStack Meetups locally, I’ve also had the pleasure to participate in some Meetup groups in other cities as well. In early March, I was fortunate enough to be invited to the first ever Triangle OpenStack Meetup to present on OpenStack Networking. It was great to be a part of another group of people driving discussions and collaboration around OpenStack. Thanks to my friends Mark Voelker and Amy Lewis for having me!

Related to OpenStack, I was happy to be able to be in the bay area in March to participate in the Bay Area Network Virtualization Meetup meeting on Open vSwitch. My friend Ben Pfaff gave a great talk on the history of Open vSwitch, and it’s future as well. In addition, he gave an eye opening demo on programming Open vSwitch. His demo source is available here. Since Open vSwitch is typically the first plugin people use with OpenStack Networking, and since most of the open source plugins use it (in addition to some commercial ones), it has increasing relevance here. I hope to present in the future at this Meetup on integrating LISP with Open vSwitch and OpenStack!

Looking back on all of these community events, it’s great to think back on all of the great discussions that have come up, all of the knowledge that has been shared, and all of the new friends I’ve met. Building communities around OpenStack has been a great experience. By bringing people together to share ideas and learn from each other, I hope that I’ve been able to open people’s eyes to the power of OpenStack, both from a technology perspective, as well as from a community perspective.

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the Summit next week!