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OpenStack Meetup, Coimbatore – 31 March 2014

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.

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