The start of the 2015 fourth quarter for OpenStack is off to a strong start, and AppFormix is honored to be a part of it! The OpenStack Foundation had a successful release of the Liberty version of OpenStack. Liberty is the 12th release now and offers features key to the community such as container management, performance enhancements specifically for larger distributions, and the Heat Orchestration project. Right after this release, the OpenStack Foundation convened with almost 6000 of its builders, users, and followers for the 2015 OpenStack Summit Tokyo.
Going to the OpenStack Summit was a huge must for the AppFormix team. Much of AppFormix customer demand comes from operators and CIOs deploying on OpenStack. We also see OpenStack and open source as the bright future of enterprise devops and the cloud industry as a whole. That's why from the beginning, we have created a product that not only integrates with OpenStack, but helps customers use their OpenStack deployment better. We do this by learning their unique OpenStack deployment upon installation and monitoring all facets of it. AppFormix Analytics then illuminates the bottlenecks within OpenStack and helps fix them by providing unprecedented visibility into our customer's cloud.
AppFormix is heavily involved in the OpenStack community, and also as proud sponsors, we were thrilled to participate in this past OpenStack Summit in Tokyo Japan. This summit included three days of general summit with a concurrent Design Summit lasting to a fourth day, all at the Prince Hotel multisite in Shinagawa. We took this summit as both a learning opportunity for our product and engineering teams and a chance to test our product's goals with the needs of users. We sent our engineers to learn from many community sessions surrounding a few factors very important to our customers, including:
- Deployment hardships
- Different analytics needs for company's' wide and varying cloud use cases
- Lapses in current OpenStack toolsets around cloud scaling and maintaining
- Operator best practices for infrastructure risk investigation
- Progress of key OpenStack projects that we might integrate with in the future (the way we integrate with Keystone)
We learned many things at this summit, but greatest of all perhaps was the reinforcement of community need for the AppFormix Analytics product. From the dozens of talks we attended, after-hour conversations, and from the hundreds that passed by our booth, we gathered that cloud infrastructure monitoring is more vital than ever. Many operators and companies told us how infrastructure monitoring, which was often a second thought, or taken for granted in legacy environments, is one of the most important aspects of building, scaling, and maintaining a stable, reliable, and cost-efficient cloud. Cloud visibility can no longer take a back seat and should be automated. Furthermore, achieving cloud elasticity has got many operators scratching their heads. However, they said better analytics would greatly help in solving the problem. Operators want to better predict what their customers consume and how their customer's needs can be met as efficiently as possible.
Many companies are at a stage today where they have been on the cloud track for one to several years, be it a public, private, hybrid, or multi-tenant cloud. At this point in their trajectory, CIOs and operations managers are searching for ways to increase the efficiency and ROI of their cloud. When these people heard about our product, they were so excited that a dependable toolset was being designed and created for the modern cloud to do just that and more.
In our Operators panel, Challenges in Building, Scaling and Operating Large Scale Infrastructure, our CEO Sumeet Singh, was joined by lead operators from 5 major-player OpenStack user companies; Visa, Workday, PayPal, Lithium, and Walmart. These guys are in positions of both leadership and technical roles and were able to describe the real ins and outs of the current-day cloud operator job. One of the biggest grievances of both them and their company’s operator teammates and employees are continuous wakeup calls at all hours of the night/morning when something goes wrong in their customer’s cloud deployments. They stressed several issues including, distance from their customer’s cloud problem, ways and tools to solve the problem quickly (so the could get back to sleep!), and the lack of intelligent monitoring and automated self-healing. They, as well as the audience was very excited to hear about AppFormix customizable alert system that integrates with PagerDuty. For those who didn’t attend the summit, or want a recap, the video of the operators panel is available here.
It was an incredible experience for the entire AppFormix team who attended the summit. We were greatly inspired to see how people from all walks of life, working on all aspects of the OpenStack ecosystem are striving to bring principles of the cloud into their businesses. AppFormix was honored to receive acknowledgment as the leading OpenStack monitoring and analytics software, both in the keynotes and in several other talks. We are thrilled to provide real value to this passionate and hardworking community and will take what we learned in this conference into 4th and 1st quarter feature development for AppFormix Analytics.