A few weeks ago, several of Cumulus Networks’ passionate employees headed to Barcelona to connect with other cloud-enthusiasts at the 2016 OpenStack Summit in Barcelona. We were there to visit our customers, partners, talk about our solutions, and connect with other industry experts. Here are the highlights.


OpenStack Summit Rocket Turtles



If you were lucky enough to attend the event, you may have met one of our infectious leaders (CTO and Co-founder) JR Rivers. He was manning our booth along with the EMEA team and a few marketing and product members. The team was there to connect with partners, talk about our technology, and of course, pass out our new rocket turtle.




We’d like to give a special shoutout to JR who unwrapped more than 800 #RocketTurtles! They were an instant hit, and have been spotted in various parts of Barcelona.


OpenStack Summit Rocket Turtle in Barcelona


OpenStack Summit Giveaway Winner




By visiting our booth or our partners’, Mellanox, Red Hat, Dell and Midokura, attendees were able to enter a chance to win a Lego Mindstorm EV3. Congrats to our winner, Jules Chevalier!





One of the highlights of the event for us was connecting with other industry folks in the Cumulus Networks booth and the Red Hat booth where we were showing off our community projects. We were able to connect with customers and partners alike while explaining the details and benefits of our joint solutions. Our event theme was “Linux All The Way Down” and we covered two main topics:

Topic #1 Linux and commodity hardware: not just for servers
With the rise of the Cloud Administrator, many attendees were looking for efficiencies in designing and deploying OpenStack solutions. Most already had knowledge of Linux as well as the basics with OpenStack, but lacked the expertise on the networking side. With Cumulus Linux, think of a networking switch now just like a server, but with many more network interfaces.

Topic #2 An entire OpenStack rack on your laptop, Ubuntu and RDO versions
Since Cumulus Linux is “just Linux,” it can be virtualized and used for prototyping and advanced CI/CD just as compute nodes are done similarly in QA to production environments. We updated the “Rack on a Laptop II” demonstration to include an Ubuntu version as well as an RDO Project version for the compute nodes.

Between passing out rocket turtles and dropping knowledge, we were also lucky enough to pick up a few key learnings from the event.

Key takeaway #1: OpenStack is far from dead
The past few years have seen the many saying that infrastructure software is dead, and that OpenStack is the next casualty in the open source world. Despite these claims, OpenStack Summit Austin and Barcelona showed record crowds, and many were new comers (49% of attendees to Barcelona were first timers). We’re not saying that OpenStack is the golden egg, but rather there are appropriate use cases where OpenStack is the ideal choice, and the surge in deployments and projects haven’t slowed.

Key takeaway #2: Simplified networks in software are the future
With networking projects are continuously being based on open source Linux, it is only fitting that standards continuously move up the OSI Model media layer. Network switches are now using standard ASICs on standard platforms allowing for open operating systems to be seamlessly installed. Entire Layer 3 fabrics using Cumulus Routing on the Host makes OpenStack easy for managing networks on compute nodes.

Key takeaway #3: Networking doesn’t have to be scary
Because networks are now abstracted via more transparent means, the “how” becomes less of an issue due to open standards and RFCs. The interoperability between heterogeneous network switches becomes less of an issue, as well as disaggregation between network hardware and software, resulting in greater innovation and lower TCO.

Overall, the event was a huge success. Not only did we enjoy speaking at the happy hour and learning from other industry experts, we loved connecting with our customers and partners face to face. In fact, that’s one of our favorite things about attending events, and we would love to see you at the next one. Check out our events page to find out where you can find us next.