Aptira Blog

Nehru Group of Institutions recently started a cloud computing initiative and have established a cloud lab as a part of their Cloud Excellence Centre. NGI decided to host a meetup at their Cloud Excellence centre to provide industry exposure to their students.  Several industry stalwarts were invited to the event including companies like Aptira, Reliance Jio Infocomm, Tashee Linux Services and many more.

NGI CEO Mr Krishnan kicked off the event with a keynote where he spoke about the importance of the new trends in technologies for Educational institutions and providing the very best for their students.  He also spoke about how OpenStack had helped NGI to introduce the Cloud in their curriculum and quickly roll out a Cloud lab using commodity hardware. He outlined the future for NGI and launching an organisation wide OpenStack cloud for faculty and students to use.

Kavit Munshi from Aptira spoke next about the Education sector and OpenStack. He outlined the advantages of an OpenSource solution like OpenStack and how it could help educational institutions in more areas than just teaching IT and Computer Science. Kavit presented several use cases including the NeCTAR project. Kavit also spoke about the shifting trends in Education with the advent of MOOCs and online learning.

Kritika from Anita Borg Institute spoke about the  pressing need for women to get into technology and how Antia Borg Institute was giving scholarships to women to achieve that. She also spoke about various employment opportunities that Anita Borg Institute was creating by working with industry leaders. Her talk was well received by the students and the professionals alike.

After a tea break, Dheeraj Khare from Tashee spoke about the importance of OpenSource and gave various example from his experiences in the Industry. He also gave sound advice to the students present to help the pick a career path in OpenStack and OpenSource. The talk centred getting the students to understand the role of OpenStack in the rapidly changing IT landscape.

Next Debanshu from Dell spoke about Big Data and OpenStack. His talk covered the basics of Big Data for the people in the Audience who did not know what the technology entailed and how it was different from the other existing DB technology. He also described how OpenStack could help with the deployment of a Big Data solution and various projects in the OpenStack Ecosystem around Big Data

Bharath Kumar, a student from NGI, presented various student projects that were happening at the NGI cloud labs based on OpenStack. It was interesting to see how far the students had come in a short time since they picked up OpenStack. They were planning to write several SaaS and PaaS solutions which could be consumed inside their institution by other departments and improve the quality of service that the IT department offered. Worth noting were their Lectures on Demand and MOOC project, along with a mobile app for students to manage their curriculum all running on an OpenStack cloud

Divyanshu from NetApp was the last to present and talked about Beyond OpenStack. He gave a very motivating talk about the power of OpenSource and OpenStack. His talk focused on driving the students towards entrepreneurship and looking at a career in IT beyond a standard corporate job. He also spoke about the burgeoning start up scene in India and how the OpenSource cloud could foster that.

The meetup was successful with over 60 attendees and hopefully we can be in Coimbatore again soon.



The second OpenStack India day @ GNUnify Pune was held on the 14th of Feb 2014. The event is organised by Pune Linux User Group and Symbiosis University. This year we saw a fairly large turnout of over a hundred people. We were also glad to see a lot of new faces during the event this year. The OpenStack track for the event was focused towards driving up student participation in the OpenStack development process. The track had the following topics

1) Keynote and Introduction to OpenStack – Kavit Munshi (Aptira)
2) Interning @ OpenStack – Sayali Lunkad (OpenStack Intern)
3) Ironic Project updates – Rohan Kanade (Izel Tech)
4) Introduction to OpenStack Deveopment 101 – Pranav Salunke (Aptira)
5) OpenStack Scalability and Interoperability – Sajid Akhtar (Reliance Jio Infocomm)
6) OpenStack and Big Data – Deepak Mane (TCS)

After the keynote by Kavit Munshi from Aptira, Sayali Lunkad gave an interesting talk about her experiences as an OpenStack Intern and working with the Foundation. Sayali was selected through the Outreach Program for Women organised by the GNOME Foundation. Her project involved working with Ceilometer and Horizon. She had a lot of interest from the Students attending the meetup who wanted to know how they could get involved as well. Next, Rohan Kanade gave a very engaging and in-depth talk about the Ironic project. He was inundated with questions from the professionals at the event about Ironic and the progress being made by the Ironic team.

The next talk of the day was conducted by Pranav Salunke from Aptira. Pranav did a session on Introduction to OpenStack Development 101. The talk took the students through the various steps required to setup the development environment and the various OpenSource software required like Gerrit, Jenkins, Git etc. Pranav and Rohan also demonstrated live bug fixing by identifying a very small bug in Nova and uploading a commit using Git. Pranav also demoed how to fix bugs on the OpenStack documentation project by fixing a bug in OpenStack training manuals. This session was very well received by students and professionals alike.

The penultimate session of the day consisted of Sajid Akhtar from Reliance Jio Infocomm talking about the unique challenges in scaling OpenStack and how interoperability between various cloud providers may work. Sajid also gave an overview of some LSPE (Large Scale Production Environment) design fundamentals and considerations. The last session of the day was given by Deepak Mane from TCS about running big data and Savanna on OpenStack. He talked about the best practices and various design issues people could run into, while keeping his talk simple enough to be understood by students.

I would like to thank the students at Sybmiosis, Pune Linux Users Group and the Symbiosis Institute of Computer Studies and Research for hosting us and providing us with a wonderful platform to connect with the Pune community at large. Looking forward to the next gnuNify event in 2015

There is a special place in our hearts at Aptira for the OpenStack Object Storage project/service known as Swift. Many of us had prior experience with it when we came to Aptira and since we started we've done a whole bunch of interesting implementations for our customers in Australia and APAC.                      
After the proliferation of several new ecosystem projects there have been some renewed discussions in the community asking "what is core?" and this seems to have driven some recent questions where customers would ask us if we felt Swift was "extensible/pluggable enough" and maybe if it even needed some kind of re-design of architecture to "bring it in-line with other OpenStack services". We thought a quick blog post with our 2c was in order.
Our opinion on the "what is core?" question is pretty simple:
  • Compute
  • Storage
  • Networking
We also recognise the value of ancillary services like Horizon and Keystone but don't want to take it beyond that. Services (and their respective projects) which fall beyond that scope should have a designation like "ecosystem". However that is simply our aggregate internal opinion (2c) and we recognise that the community is currently in the ongoing process of trying to answer this question.
Internally and amongst most of the other implementers that we speak with in the OpenStack community is that Swift has always represented the gold standard for what we feel an OpenStack service should be:
  • Robust active-active architecture
  • Flexible implementation
  • Horizontal scale
  • Rock-solid codebase and API
  • Easy to upgrade from n-1 release to n
  • Strong and open development community
You'll note that these bulletpoints basically boil down to "ops friendly" and "production friendly", since we are largely an ops company that relies on the OpenStack community at large to "close the loop" when it comes to DevOps. We have always felt like OpenStack services should have some form of "common minimum requirement" and framework that implements it so that all the services are implemented consistently and with the same HA model.  As noted above, we have always felt that Swift represented an exemplar for what those requirements and that framework might look like.

As well as that we can provide a couple of examples from the coalface of cloud:

  • We are in the middle of a few middleware projects right now to customise how Swift works for the requirements of particular customers. This ranges from custom authentication to minor changes to the existing (extremely) flexible implementation architecture.
  • At the same time we are in collaboration with a major storage vendor (I won't say which, but it's not one of the 3-letter acronyms) on combining Swift with their hardware for a very large scale deployment at a higher education institution in Australia. On this front I can tell you for a fact that the major proprietary storage vendors are scrambling to make sure their solutions work with Swift. If you're already a customer or partner, it might pay to actually ask what the roadmap is and current status.

Let's make it really clear. If you want Swift on top of some other storage solution, it can do that (we will be able to talk more about this mid-year). If you want to extend/modify Swift, you can do that and it's not even going to require any major departures from the existing architecture. I have a niggling suspicion that this is simply a matter of education and marketing, the OpenStack Foundation could probably consider their messaging, that by and large external perception of OpenStack is still as a "compute" thing only. Better messaging about what an Object Store is, its use cases/problems it solves and why Swift does such a fine job could go a long way to changing those sorts of perceptions (as well as driving developer adoption).

We think Swift is great and would love to discuss how Aptira can help you integrate Swift with your existing storage infrastructure.


These past few weeks have seen a few articles and press releases posted that Aptira, myself and OpenStack have gotten a mention in.

Firstly, one that I'm sorry to say I missed the publication of back in March (sorry Rohan!), was a case study on the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras organisation and how they scale from a few staff in off peak season to 1000's of staff and volunteers in their festival season. Aptira is proud to sponsor and support the Mardi Gras organisation, as well as providing their virtual desktops in our cloud infrastructure with the ability for them to scale up as their demands dramatically rise in season, in April we also took over running their web site which experiences the same variations of load. Here's the article in Computerworld.

Next up our awesome partners at Equinix did a case study on how we work with them and houes our main opeartions from their state of the art modern data centre in Sydney, SY3. Here's a link to download the case study.

Next was two press releases that went out when Michael, Sina, Iain, Andy and I manned the OpenStack booth at CeBit a few weeks ago. Here's Sina and Michael being booth babes.

aptira staffs openstack booth at cebit

The press releases were about OpenStack obviously, and we also did one for Piston Enterprise OpenStack, as we spent 3 days showing hundreds of people how we could build them an enterprise cloud in roughly 13.5 minutes, from complete bare metal and raw switch, using just a USB key. Piston really have OpenStack nailed. Here are the releases for you reading pleasure:

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/5/prweb10772569.htm and http://www.cebit.com.au/cebit-in-the-media/2013/aptira-presents-piston-enterprise-openstack-at-cebit

At CeBit I had an interview with a very nice bloke, Stuart Corner, and what followed were a couple of articles in the Fairfax media. The first article I commented in was the very first mention of OpenStack (and Aptira for that matter) in the tier one media in Australia. I felt pretty proud of that, and even my Mum and Dad now think there's something in this OpenStack stuff. Here's the article:


It is true that OpenStack presents a unique opportunity for nations around the world to develop cloud solutions ground up, and I do hope our government (whichever way that game goes) soon do something serious to encourage investment in local talent and technology, else I see Aptira moving to Singapore or a myriad of places that have better investment regimes than Australia. The mining boom is gone, wake up Australia.

The second article from Stuart was a bit disappointing in 2 ways. Stuart should have checked facts about OpenStack adoption before publishing, and Angus should have been better informed. No, Rackspace was not first to launch OpenStack public cloud in Australia, Haylix beat them by well over a year, and it was a bit disappointing that Angus didn't know of the efforts of the current deployers of OpenStack in the country. Most notably, providing a world class and world leading OpenStack deployment that aids serious stuff like genomics, bushfire and disaster research and a bunch of other good things, is not playing around (NeCTAR).


Good on Ruslan Kogan for continuing to lead online in Australia. I know Angus is very keen to do better press next time, which is great!

Anyway, it's late I need to sleep...


On the 15th of December OpenStack India meetup group held a full day event at Bangalore. The event had over 120 attendees and speakers from companies such as Aptira, Dell, HP, Canonical, Ericsson etc. Aptira was one of the main sponsors of the event. You can read about it on the OpenStack blog by Atul Jha.

Earlier this week we held what may be the first multi city video linked OpenStack User Group meetup. Tristan has blogged about it up on openstack.org

Our CEO Tristan Goode has had an article featured in the online publication Technology Spectator and indeed a thought provoking piece it is. The rest of the Aptira family are quite proud that our leader is being recognised and published as a technology thought leader and Cloud Computing expert. 

Please follow the link :


tristan technology spectator cloud

I believe a key role of the OpenStack Foundation is to protect the brand that is OpenStack. I also believe that training is of key importance to advancing OpenStack.

Recently Rackspace advertised offering "Rackspace Certified Training for OpenStack". In some media this was interpreted as certified OpenStack training, it was tweeted by Rackspace staff as "OpenStack Certified Technician", and it was emailed to all summit attendees that Rackspace could "accelerate your career by becoming one of the first Certified OpenStack technicians".

Lets be clear here. Rackspace DO NOT have any sort of official certification for OpenStack, from OpenStack. They are tying the words Certified and OpenStack together in PR, and quite frankly, it's makes things grey and not black and white as it should be.

The main problems I see:

1. The timing is unfortunate because there is no clear Board/Foundation policy as yet.
2. I believe it is the Foundation’s right to determine what is certified and what is not under the terms of the Foundation’s trademarks.
3. This type of activity is clearly open to abuse. Any operator regardless of size, integrity or professionalism could adopt a similar approach. Therefore it needs to be dealt with urgently.

Leaving Rackspace’s actions aside, I made a suggestion to the Foundation mailing list and Board mailing list for a certification process for training materials and deliverables that they be offered to an OpenStack community sourced committee for review and approval. If this proposal is accepted then it would be nice to see Rackspace offer up their course materials for this review, and that this might form a baseline for establishing the certification benchmark.

If certified qualifications are not valued in the USA, courses that present an official certification are highly valued in Australia, Asia and Europe as clear markers of achievement. Integrity of that certification is key.

If we cannot gather enough support to resist such opportunistic behaviour then we (as a community) risk letting this run away on us. The Foundation needs to formulate a considered and effective response on this very important topic. Anything else risks tarnishing OpenStack.


We are very pleased to announce that Aptira is once again being recognized as a thought leader in the Managed Services and OpenStack community. We have been featured in the Rust Report, and our CEO Tristan Goode was asked about our business and his thoughts regarding the marketplace in general. 

It was a good opportunity for Aptira to get some press around the leaps and bounds that OpenStack is making in the region and the part we are playing in making that come to fruition.

Aptira is getting the attention it deserves as a disruptive technology provider and those that matter are starting to take notice, which is good because we are out to make as much noise in the marketplace as possible.

The featured article can be be found here at the Rust Report interview with Aptira.

tristan talks openstack rush report

The latest news from team Aptira is our hosting of the Sydney event for the Australian OpenStack user group last night. It was a fantastic night in which Aptira provided a venue for OzStackers from Sydney to get together, drink beer and learn from our resident technical masters about OpenStack.

Most importantly of all it is where community is built over a few beers and many laughs. This is the essence of what Aptira is all about, sharing knowledge and helping as much as possible. There was also solid representation from enterprise organisations with us as well on the night from such diverse industries such as managed services, video renders and financial data mining organisations all looking to become involved and contribute to the OpenStack project. Interestingly they are all looking to deploy OpenStack in their production environments in the not too distant future.

This proves not only that the community is growing but that big business is starting to take notice of the maturity of OpenStack as a platform that can potentially provide huge value and flexibility in their infrastructure environments.

The news from all of our friends in other OpenStack cells across the country who held similar events in the other capital cities was just as promising, that an inclusive and increasingly business focused community is growing and growing quickly.

There were many brilliant technical discussions that everyone learned from and the big buzz is definitely around the increased capabilities of the Quantum component of the new “Folsom” version of OpenStack that is slated for release on the 27th of September. This promises to give network virtualisation a huge boost in functionality and the community waits with baited breath to see it in full flight.

Ultimately the night was in aid of celebrating the fact that the Foundation can now give a solid direction to the project through the board and it can develop in a much more coherent and focused way. It is also to support the people around the world that have tirelessly given their time and expertise in their fields to make the project what it is. People such as our own CEO, Tristan Goode, that now sits on the Foundation Board and gives his time to help make the project what it is today and he is one of many dedicated individuals from users and vendors alike.

Most importantly though, the night was FUN! All tiers of the IT industry were represented from end users to resellers and distributors and celebrating the OpenStack foundations inception and what that means for users all around the world. We got some great feedback about what the user groups would like to see and this helps us to be able to help the community and deliver that to the OpenStack users which we will be doing over the next few months with several events planned for November and December, so watch this space ! 

Indian OpenStack User group - Chennai Meetup

The Indian OpenStack User group’s First Chennai meetup was held on the 19th September 2012 at the Malles Manotta hotel in T. Nagar in Chennai. We saw a decent turnout of 31 people at the event. The even started off with Yogesh from CSS Corp talking about OpenStack and its various components. This also led to a very interesting Q&A session about the OpenStack eco system and cloud computing in general. Next a demo of an OpenStack setup was given by Johnson and Yogesh from CSS Corp. This was very interesting and a lot of a first time users got to see the working of the OpenStack solution first hand. Atul from CSS Corp then spoke about the OpenStack foundation and gave us a brief overview of the Foundation and its layout. Kavit from Aptira then spoke briefly on the impact of OpenStack on SMEs and the Hosting community in general. After the talk, delicious lunch was provided and the users continued to chat and network. This was a successful first meetup in Chennai and we hope there are many more to come here after.

aptira indian openstack user group kavit


aptira indian openstack user group dash demo















Indian OpenStack User group - Bangalore Meetup

The Bangalore chapter of the Indian OpenStack User Group held their 4th meetup on the 22nd of September at JP Nagar. The venue was provided by Ahimanikya Satapathy and 20 users attended the meetup. Deepak Garg of Citrix provided a demo and live installation of Devstack and discusses the various developments happening in the world of OpenStack. Kavit Munshi of Aptira gave a talk on the OpenStack foundation and the future direction of OpenStack. There was networking between the users over pizza and drinks. The community also discussed what they wanted to see happening in the future OpenStack meetups. The organisers from the various cities have also decided to collaborate a bit more with the other cities and the users to organise more focused meetups.













Kavit Munshi

We would like to congratulate our CEO Tristan, who was voted to the OpenStack Board of Directors. Our thanks go out to all our customers and associates that joined the Foundation and voted for Tristan. Tristan has just returned from San Diego where last Tuesday he sat at the first meeting of the Board of Directors. Aptira is very proud to see Tristan on the Board and we trust he will be as valued on the OpenStack board as he is within the Australian OpenStack community.

tristan sits on the openstack foundation board

New to Team Aptira

The biggest news at Aptira this week is we have some new crew on the team! I welcome on board Sina Sadeghi our Cloud Engineer. Sina comes to us with a wealth of OpenStack production experience on NeCTAR’s world leading deployment and he’ll be pulling our OpenStack Public Cloud out of beta in the coming weeks, as well as heading our Piston Enterprise OpenStack engineering and support team. I also welcome on board Luke Collins as Sales Director. Luke is charged with business development for Aptira, and as such will be charged with growing our business right across our product range, from our traditional hosting products, right through our OpenStack cloud deployment and consulting business, establishing vendor relationships, and to establishing Piston Enterprise OpenStack as the defacto private cloud operating system for SMB and enterprise.

Beijing APAC OpenStack event report

It’s been a big couple of weeks for Aptira. The weekend before last I was in Beijing for the OpenStack APAC conference, it was officially the biggest OpenStack event yet! This is half the main room.

aptira attends the APAC openstack conference

Along with Tom Fifield from NeCTAR, it was a pleasure to join a discussion panel with representatives of the OpenStack User Groups from China, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan and the USA.

tristan sits on panel at APAC openstack conference

We also had some great dinners with many of the attendees, everyone had a great time. Boris from Mirantis has written a great account of his visit and experiences which we all shared at http://www.mirantis.com/blog/apac-openstack-conference-update/

Cheng from COSUG has blogged the event at openstack.org, uploaded a bunch of photos to Flikr, and he links to the slides as well. I’m told there will be videos posted at some stage. https://www.openstack.org/blog/2012/08/openstack-won-unprecedented-popularity-in-asiapacific/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/85376316@N02/sets/72157631160199442/

Hobart Puppet and Chef Code Dojo

Last Friday I went to Hobart for the first OpenStack Code Dojo. Not having been in a code dojo before I was unsure of what to expect, but my fears of looking like a n00b due to my elementary Python skills were soon cast away. The morning started off with Nan Liu and Matt Ray being beamed in from PuppetLabs and Opscode respectively to give us all a run down on where Puppet and Chef is at. Photos are at http://aosug.openstack.org.au/photos/10338012/#151469192

Then we went for a great lunch at the Ball and Chain Grill in Salamanca Markets. http://aosug.openstack.org.au/photos/10338012/#151469622

The afternoon was spent on the dojos, Led by Chef Dojo Steve Androulakis, we took a dive into Chef by stepping through what needs to be done to deploy a VM entirely with Chef from scratch. Following this, Puppet Dojos Russell Sim and Clint Walsh then took us through the same steps with Puppet. The goal was to spin up 100 VMs to produce a random number.

Naturally afterwards we met at the Birdcage Bar at the Wrest Point Casino for a post event beer.

The Dojo is a great fun event and the Hobart day was a trial run for many more to follow, there's another big 2 day one on in Melbourne on September 24 and 25, which is unfortunately already sold out with 35 attendees and 20 on the wait list but I assure you there will be MOAR in Melbourne and all around the country! It's great to be working with NeCTAR and ANDS on these events that benefit all of us. Thanks to David Flanders at ANDS for his efforts getting ANDS, NeCTAR, AOSUG and the Research institutions around the country together.

Check http://nectar-ands.eventbrite.com/ for details of upcoming events, and I will be cross posting the Eventbrite events at http://aosug.openstack.org.au.

PyCon Australia in Hobart

Last weekend I attended PyCon, and it was great to meet so many talented Python enthusiasts and check out what's what in the Python world. With my "Hello World" Python experience a lot of content was way over my head, but there was much of it that was comprehendible and I can count myself as  Python fan now, but still a long way from contributing to the OpenStack code base, unless someone wants Hello World on a welcome screen for Horizon.

Aptira and OpenStack in the News

During the week the good folks at OpenStack put out a global great press release about OpenStack in Australia, mentioning us, and our friends at Haylix and NeCTAR, you can read it at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/8/prweb9824216.htm

OpenStack Mini-Conf announced for Linux Conf in January!

We've had an OpenStack Mini-Conf confirmed for Linux.conf.au in late January. This will be a big event at a big event and I know many people have submitted OpenStack oriented props to Linux.conf.au so we will have an outstanding line up. I'm arranging an information web site for the mini-conf where we'll be taking proposals for talks, workshops and the like. Some of the already submitted props for the main conference tracks will make it to the main event, and details of those that dont will be considered for the Mini-conf. I'd like to put together a committee from our User Group to evaluate and nominate the submissions, so please contact me if you'd like to be part of the committee. I'm not yet sure of sponsorship and such and how that works but will post details on the mini-conf site when it goes live. Because of the significance of Linux Conf, we will have support from the OpenStack Foundation to hold this event.


I'm currently in Beijing at the OpenStack APAC conference. I'm stunned at the enormous attendance (well over 1000 and many more in Shanghai), and like the San Francisco summit, the enthusiasm is incredibly infectious. This is the quote of the day from an opening speech by a gentlemen from the "Ministry of Industry and Information Technology Software and Integrated Circuit Promotion Center" (yep) "OpenStack will bring down the monopoly of the existing commercial cloud providers"!

You may have seen recently that the OpenStack Foundation is being formed and membership is now open for Individuals and Corporate Sponsors. The OpenStack Foundation will be an independent body providing shared resources to help achieve the OpenStack mission by protecting, empowering, and promoting OpenStack software and the community around it, including users, developers and the entire ecosystem.

This is an exciting time for OpenStack establishing an independent, permanent legal home that can represent Stackers everywhere. The cost to become an Individual Member is FREE! Like beer, and software!

As an Individual Member, you can:
- Get active in the OpenStack community as a user, developer, business person, art maker, or however you want to contribute;
- Run for an elected position such as Project Technical Lead for projects you contribute to, Technical Committee Member, or Foundation Board of Directors Member;
- Vote in elections such as for the Board of Directors; and
- Stay informed on the latest OpenStack news through member updates.

You can join the Foundation at https://www.openstack.org/join/

I am very pleased to hear that I've been nominated for election for the OpenStack Foundation Board, with the elections to be held online between the 20th and 24th of August.


I'm hoping to represent all Stackers in Australia, and provide some International presence on what is likely to be a Board heavily weighted with US representation in the 16 seats of the Platinum and Gold members, and probably also in the 8 seats for the Individual Members. Another reason for why I'd like to be on the Board is to push for better global communication between the User Groups around the world. We are working on a world-class project, I believe we need a world-class portal or facility that goes beyond the abilities of IRC, mailing lists and meetup.com to ensure we all work together most effectively. We could build a portal that is geared to managing a large scale global collaborative project, that hooks into GitHub and the other crucial components in the eco-system, and ultimately design it so it will be of use to other community projects. If you want to know anything about the Foundation or Board please do not hesitate to email me or call me any time on 0400 399 211.

So please, join the Foundation and get involved.  To vote in the initial Board election, you MUST become an Individual Member by August 15th.

Please give me feedback on what you think the Board will need to do to make OpenStack a success, and when voting comes along in a couple of weeks' time, please turn out and cast a vote for me to represent you and the Australian OpenStack User Group.  We've got a formidable task ahead of us to get the numbers, and every vote counts.

On the upcoming events front, I know its been a little quiet through August, but we have an OpenStack code dojo in Hobart next week, then an inaugural meetup in Adelaide on August 28. Technical presentation meetups are planned for Sydney and Melbourne in September, but the biggest news is that there'll be a whole lot of OpenStack at linux.conf.au in January! I will have more details on his very soon.

Blogged from behind the Great Wall.

I wanted to update everyone about some upcoming events we are organising for the Australian OpenStack User Group.

Upcoming Events

Brisbane June 26 - Meetup

We’re holding a meetup in Brissy on June 26th, at a venue yet to be determined. I’m looking for assistance in picking a venue up there, a pub will be fine but preferably one where we can meet and chat without getting blasted by music etc, and where they have food, and most importantly, where we can throw on a bar tab! Please get in contact with us if you want to help us select a location, help organize the event or sponsor in any way.

Sydney June 28 – Aptira EOFY bash and AOSUG Meetup

On June 28, we’re going back to the Harbour View Hotel in the Rocks in Sydney for an End Of Financial Year bash. Those that came to AOSUG's first Sydney meet back in December last year will remember the Harbour View fondly I'm sure. It had great drinks, great food and it kicked off the Aussie meets in spectacular fashion! The meet will be a social gathering, just an informal get together for us to meet and chat and drink and eat.

Perth July 16 - Meetup

We’re planning to hold a meetup in Perth July 16, at a venue yet to be determined. Once again I’m looking for assistance in picking a venue. Like Brisbane, a pub will be fine but preferably one where we can meet and chat without getting blasted by music, and where they have food, and most importantly, where we can throw on a bar tab! Please get in contact with me directly if you want to help us select a location, help organize the event or sponsor in any way.

Adelaide August 28 - Meetup

In conjunction with SAGE-AU and many thanks to Robert Mibus for the invitation, we’re inviting South Australian OzStackers to join the regular Adelaide chapter of SAGE-AU’s monthly meeting in Adelaide on August 28. I’m planning to ask one of the OpenStack project tech leads or luminaries to participate by way of beaming them in via WebEx or other (as we’ve done in Sydney and Melbourne recently) to present a talk on their involvement with OpenStack. Numbers for this event are limited so if you’re an SA OzStacker please jump onto http://aosug.openstack.org.au and RSVP to reserve your spot.

OpenStack APEC Conference (OSAC) – August 11-12, Beijing and Shanghai

Hosted by the China OpenStack User Group (COUG) and the Chinese Software Developer Network (CSDN), a massive event is being organised to be held simultaneously in Beijing and Shanghai. This event is shaping up to be the biggest OpenStack event ever, with 1000+ guests expected for Beijing, and 600+ guests expected for Shanghai, with live streaming to link the 2 conference sites. I am very excited about this event, I’ll be attending and if anyone else is looking to go please get in touch with me! I’ll post the event web site to AOSUG once it goes live in the coming days.

Anyway that’s all from me for now, hope you all have a great Friday. At Aptira we have a “no-changes” policy on all infrastructure every Friday so we can be sure to make Friday arvo drinks and have an easy weekend.


Last Tuesday night (17/5) in Melbourne saw the the 2nd meetup of the Melbourne contingent of the Australian OpenStack User Group. It was a fantastic night with great speakers and a great group of people who are passionate about OpenStack.
There was a mix of people with various OpenStack experience, from the NeCTAR team who have made contributions to the source, to IT staff from various companies trying to get a handle on the new technology that everyone is talking about.

The evening started with Tristan Goode (Aptira) welcoming the group to the meetup, then sharing his impressions of the recent OpenStack conference in San Francisco, which he believes was the best conference he has been to in over 20 years in the IT industry.
Tom Fifield (NeCTAR) gave an energetic talk about the OpenStack project. It’s the fastest moving open source project he has ever seen, and he is glad to see the openness of the project being protected by the founding of a non-profit organisation that will hold all the IP and trademarks of the project. An open attitude to the project will lead to a better product in the end. OpenStack is real and its ready for use now, the current Essex release will have long term support on Ubuntu.
Angus Salkeld (Red Hat) gave a demo of project Heat. Heat provides a mechanism to provision up PaaS configurations, via template. It supports versioning of templates and the full PaaS installation. His WordPress demo brought up a MySQL instance and an apache instance, in approx. 5 minutes.
The final speaker of the night was John Dickinson (Rackspace), discussing the Swift component of OpenStack. He provided some history to the project, where Rackspace were at when they decided to embark on what is now Swift, a massively scalable object storage, allowing you to store unstructured data without bounds. He also described the design of the system, providing details on the core components of Swift, the object server, the proxy server, consistency server and rings.
One of the principles of the design was to reduce the impact on the operational staff, running with minimal manual intervention. Impressive considering it aims to store data reliably on unreliable hardware.
John is also very passionate about open source, he sees OpenStack as a way to overcome data sovereignty issues which are a growing concern with Australia and other parts of the world. It is amazing that people of this calibre are willing to make themselves available to a relatively small user group.

The meetup is an unbelievable opportunity to meet not just other people who use the technology, but the people who build it and contribute to it. Everyone is so enthusiastic about where OpenStack is right now and where it plans to be in the future. If you're using OpenStack now you really need to come along to the next meetup, if you're just playing around with OpenStack you definitely need to be at the next meetup, if you just want to find out more about OpenStack then there is no better place to be than the next meetup.

Today we launch our Aptira blog. I find any sort of public comment very difficult to write, so much so that often I write a post to a forum or similar and spend ages on it, then only to delete it at the last minute and become annoyed by how I could have spent the time doing something else. So I approach this first post with trepidation, feeling that without making some kind of a good opening, I'll be reticent to continue to post if I feel this is lacklustre. Gotta start somewhere - here goes...

There's 2 things I wanted to mention in this first post, firstly a retrospective on the fantastic trip Phil, Kat and I took to the OpenStack Conference a few weeks ago, and secondly a mention of the talented and interesting people we are meeting through the Australian OpenStack User Group.

Back in  late April we jetted off to San Francisco to attend the OpenStack conference. It was by far the best conference I've attended in almost 25 years of IT work. Never before have I been to meet a group of people that were so inspiring, so passionate, and so welcoming. Phil and I had the opportunity to present early on the Friday on the topics of the Australian User Group, data sovereignty and cloud in Australia, and an idea Phil had come up with called Storage for Life. We didn't get a huge attendance, but we must have had some impact because we had people coming to find us all that day, and beyond, to ask about it. Later that same morning I sat on a panel with Stefano Maffulli and some of our OpenStack User Group colleagues from around the world, which was a great opportunity for us to meet and start working together.

None of that was the best part. What was really amazing was to talk to everyone there, hang out with them and really recognise that we were kindred in our enthusiasm to make OpenStack succeed. The vibe was something I'd never encountered before, and I found myself really looking forward to seeing all these people again, so much so when we returned to Australia aside from jet lag there was certainly a somewhat deadening feeling of having left my new friends behind and far away. I am looking forward to the next conference already, and I hope that we can pull together an ASPAC "off season" conference in a few months with our new friends from Taiwan, China, Japan and Korea (and other ASPAC UGs!).

I, and all of us here at Aptira, are very proud and pleased to be involved with these people who provide the life blood for the most exciting emerging project since Linux.

This brings me to the Australian OpenStack User Group (AOSUG). None of the above would have happened without them. The AOSUG community is an inspiring and talented bunch, and it was seeing how these people we have met at the events have interacted and thrived on the coming together to get behind this project, that very quickly convinced us at Aptira to get very involved with OpenStack, and to very solidly commit ourselves to making the project a success.

I thank you all at AOSUG, and I look forward to seeing you all again and again to see how OpenStack continues to inspire you.

Tristan Goode
Chief Executive Officer