OpenStack Summit 2015, Tokyo Edition is over. It was amazing. I have a handful of ideas for follow up technical posts after I have time to get home and dig into them a little bit. But I want to get a few thoughts down on the conference as a whole while I’m sitting in my incredibly small room in Tokyo being too tired to go out on the town.
There could have been a container summit inside OpenStack Summit. Everywhere I turned, people were talking about containers. How to use them effectively and innovate around scaling them. It was awesome. These 2 technologies (IaaS and Containers) are going going to collide somewhere not very far up the road. When they do it is going to be something to behold. I can’t wait to be part of it.
The conference on the whole was incredible. I can’t give enough credit to the team who put it all together. It was stretched out across (at least) 4 buildings on multiple floors, and it worked the vast majority of the time. The rooms were a little over-crowded for the biggest talks (or any talk that had the words ‘container’ or ‘kubernetes’ or ‘nfv’ in the title), and they tended to be a little too warm. The warm seems to be common for most public areas in Japan. I guess that’s just how they roll here.
Probably my biggest criticism of the conference is angled at most of the keynote speakers. They were, on the whole, not great. When I am at a large IT conference like this, I expect the keynote presentations to be motivational and polished. Too many of these were history lessons and needed a few more rounds in front of a mirror. There were exceptions of course (particular kudos to the IBM BlueBox folks!). But that was my biggest ‘needs improvement’ factor the OpenStack Summit Tokyo.
Out of 10, I would give this conference a solid 8. My score for Tokyo would be similar, if not higher.
I can’t wait to see what happens in Austin. I’m already working on ideas for talks. 🙂
My morning started off with a few lessons learned about being in Tokyo, where I speak 0 words of the language.
have cash, Japanese cash, if you plan on getting on Tokyo public transit. After learning this lesson I spent 45 minutes looking for a 7-11 (they use Citi ATMs which apparently easier for us gringoes) before getting in a cab to get me to the Summit on time. We passed 4 7-11’s in the first 1/2 mile of my trip. Of Course.
It is a serious walking city. the walking. omg the walking. and then the walking.
But on to the OpenStack Summit stuff, of which there is a lot.
After getting registered with the required keynote addresses. They are all on the schedule, so I won’t go into the who and what, but a few observations.
The production quality is incredibly high. Like giant tv cameras on platforms high. Like 5 big monitors so us in the back can see too, high.
The speakers were, on the whole, a little unpolished. They usually had good things to say, but could have used a few more dry runs for a crowd this big.
ZOMG the crowd. Well over 5000 people from 56 countries. The big tent really is big these days. It is awesome, in a word. It is also the most inclusive conference I’ve ever attended. That is also very awesome.
Double ZOMG THE HEAT. The conference is stretched out over 3 (4?) hotels plus a conference center. All of the thermostats seem to be set on ~81 Farenheit (Celsius?). Take that and toss in an overcrowded room full of sweaty geeks and things can get a little uncomfortable. Especially in the middles of the aisles. Especially especially after lunch.
The Marketplace (vendors tables) is utter chaos. With that said, Mirantis easily wins this year. They have
Bitnami COO Erica Brescia took some pretty awesome shots at Docker Hub and its lack of curation. It’s the wild west out there, and it comes with consequences. I’m not a huge fan of Bitnami. But I am a huge fan of how Erica Brescia does her job.
My least favorite observation on the day was Canonical’s slogan for LXD. They had an ad on the spashes before the keynotes started and it was something along the lines of “Ubuntu/Canonical has the fastest hypervisor on the planet with lxd $something $something $something”
Hey Canonical, you are aware that containers and virtual machines are different things, right? So are you trying to re-define the word, or are you trying to pass off a container manager as a hypervisor? Huh? At any rate, it’s an awful slogan and even worse marketecture. I’m debating a drive by of their booth tomorrow.
After lunch I went to a talk held by Mirantis where the compared a base install of their offering to a GA(ish?)-release of RHEL OSP 7. They were more fair and balanced than I thought they would be. Their product, Fuse, is 3 or 4 years old at this point and very polished. OSP 7 uses OSP Director, which is based on TripleO. OSP 7 is Red Hat‘s first release based on this installer. It suffers from exactly the warts you think it would.
With that said, I was surprised they had to pic some pretty small nits to make their presentation work. A lot of their documentation issues were already addressed. But they correctly identified the biggest areas of need for OSPd as Red Hat works to mature it in OSP 8 and beyond.
All in all Day 1 was great fun. I’m looking way forward to Day 2. On top of that I’m PRETTY SURE I can get to and return from the conference using Tokyo Public Transport.
This year I get to go to Open Stack Summit in Tokyo. It will be my first time visiting Japan. Right now I am in a very small hotel room at 3am (local time), wide awake because I went to bed at 7pm. Such is jet lag, I guess. My personal goal for this even is to create a short post daily with some initial thoughts / reactions / fun things I learned.
Day 0 was just getting here. I got on a plane in Richmond, VA just before 9am Eastern on Sunday morning. I got off a plane an hour outside of Tokyo at 3:40pm Monday. I was in the air for ~16 hours total. Time zones and datelines will forever befuddle me. I took the Narita Express train from the airport to downtown Tokyo.
The practical thing I learned is that GPS on your phone SUCKS in downtown Tokyo. I was going to walk the ~1 mile from Tokyo Station to my hotel. Google Maps took me in 4 different directions while thinking I was on 3 different roads before I gave up and got into a cab. I’m pretty sure I would still be walking if not for that nice man.
The other thing that jumped out at me was during the train ride in. Space is so much more utilized in Japan. At first I thought it was just sort of stacked up and haphazard. But as I rode by it I began to see the organization and beauty in how the space in the Tokyo area is utilized. It’s pretty amazing.
It made me start thinking about my own house and the 5 acres of trees that it sits on. Not in a better/worse sort of way. Obviously I have different goals than someone who lives near downtown Tokyo. But when I give a talk about containers I talk a lot about them being the ‘next layer of density’ in computing. Bimodal IT is one of the biggest concepts in that area.
Over the next few days, I will definitely be a mode A guy walking around in a mode B country. Wish me luck!