Open Cloud Day 2013

Another successful  Open Cloud Day 2013 held on 11-Jun-2013 in Winterthur in cooperation with  /ch/open and  ICCLab.

Over one hundred participants from academies, operators, industries, SMEs and open source organisations attended the plenary, the two parallel sessions and panel discussion. Relevant presentations on OpenStack and CloudStack architectures were discussed by Muharem Hrnjadovic and Sebastien Goasguen, respectively, and was complemented by other speeches by companies and providers that base their business of these platforms and other open platforms like CloudSigma, Anolim, EveryWare, Citrix and Cisco. Specific topics and architectures like Cloud/SDN, PaaS (Christof Marti), Elasticity and Automation were presented with in-dept discussions.

The plenary session gave the opportunity to introduce strategies for the cloud infrastructures and in particular for the Swiss Government and  Swiss Academic Open Cloud. In the first session Willy Müller (ISB) gave an update on the state of the cloud strategy of the Swiss Federal Government. This raised the discussion on the importance of security and privacy aspects for data stored in the cloud and the needs for a governmental cloud strategy. Next, Dr. Jens Piesbergen (Netcetera) presented the Swiss Governance Cloud (SGC) offering of Netcetera and partners and the challenges bringing eGovernment applications to the cloud. The 3d presentation “Open source goes Cloud” introduced the “Die Deutsche Wolke” an initiative to build a federal cloud infrastructure in cooperation with several OSB Alliance members (100% sites in Germany and under German jurisdiction).  The plenary also covered the positions of industries like Cisco (server architectures, virtualisation, automation and new configuration of data centres), Red Hat (OpenShift as PaaS infrastructure to meet the IT challenges needs to accelerate, automate, and standardise developer workflows) and CloudSigma detailing the challenges in delivering reliable and scalable performance to customers and the role of SDN for SLAs requirements.

The afternoon was dedicated to two parallel tracks for specific presentations by actors involved in the business of the Cloud mainly. Below are summaries of some of the presentations.

Track1 – Open stacks and independence

  • EveryWare AG – “Cloud provider Independence with Chef“: Features and capabilities of the automation platform CHEF can be used to realise independency for moving from a cloud operator to another. Key aspects of configuration management adaptation have been developed as well.
  • Rackspace – “Elasticity in the OpenStack cloud“:  After having introduced a graph describing the elasticity and benefits in the cloud, the interesting presentation had a special focus on the automation of the scaling and triggers to activate scaling actions within the framework of the OpenStack architecture. Elasticity using OpenStack Heat was shown with a note that the autoscaling functionality was just contributed by Rackspace through the Otter project.
  • ICCLab, ZHAW – “Provide your own PaaS environment (on OpenStack)“: The goal of PaaS is to provide developers an easy to use flexible, scalable and stable environment for their applications and let the provider do the operations of the underlying infrastructure and services. Providing your own PaaS system puts you in charge of this demanding task. The presentations gives a brief overview on how complex and challenging these systems are, using the example of CloudFoundry and BOSH.
  • Anolim – “Hand on experience with CloudStack“: This presentation provided a good B2B vision of the CloudStack from the perspective of a provider. In particular regarding the aspects of NaaS, Multi-Tenancy, Self Service Portal and utilisation of Amazon APIs.
  • Citrix, Apache CloudStack – “The Apache Cloud Ecosystem“: CloudStack together with other Apache projects helps to build a real open source cloud infrastructure. The utilisation of API wrappers allows connectivity of multiple cloud providers to data storage infrastructures. The presentation was useful to understand how Apache projects can deploy public or private cloud.

Track2 – Management, security for open clouds.

  • Stepping stone – “Automation in the Cloud – Using Open Source Software“: The stoneycloud service was presented as the foundation of their public cloud offer to thin provision new servers of customers. The Zabbix software was presented for the monitoring and configuration management based on Puppet software. The entire process was nicely shown with an example.
  • Bundesamt fur Landestopografie Swisstopo – “Load testing in the Cloud“: Mapping applications and those using satellite data are extreme bandwidth consuming. The presentation introduced the Federal Spatial Geodata Infrastructure (FSDI), launched on Jan.2013. In the presentation, how the cloud service’s load impact was detailed which was essential work used to prepare the large official go-live of their service.
  • Grid Computing Competence Centre, University of Zurich – “Roadmap for a Swiss Academic Open Cloud Infrastructure“: SwiNG roadmap presentation for promoting the adoption of Open Cloud Infrastructure for supporting scientific computing research on a Swiss wide academic scale.
  • Swisscom – “Cloud/SDN in Service Provider Networks“: The relevant focus was the paradigm called Network Function Virtualisation (NfV) and its relations with the Cloud, software defined networking and open innovation.

The conference was concluded with the panel discussion moderated by Pietro Brossi (ZHAW) involving Willy Muller, Sergio Maffioletti, Muharem Hrnjadovic and Sebastien Goasguen with relevant questions like “Where is the cloud computing today in Switzerland?” and “Where is the heading in next 2 years?” In all, the day was an excellent one, with excellent talks and organisation.






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