The Openinfra Foundation meets in Berlin: a decade of open infrastructure, young talent for the community and environmentally friendly computing are just around the corner.
From 7 The Openinfra Foundation invites you to its in-house conference in Berlin until June 9, 2022 – for the first time in over two years as a face-to-face event. The community last met in Shanghai in 2019. Around 1000 participants accepted the invitation and can pick up interesting new information and ideas from 100 presentations on eleven different topics.
The third day of the Openinfra Summit is in full swing. Since some lectures were fully booked on the first day and not everyone who was interested could attend, the organizers created new capacities for the following days. According to the Foundation, there are good reasons why demand is so high: in addition to the break caused by the pandemic, the fact that almost half of the participants are at the summit for the first time also plays a role.
The next decade of open infrastructure
The slogan of the conference is: “Build the Next Decade”. To achieve this ambitious goal, the Foundation has thought and is now going through a return to what the foundations of a large and successful open source project are: the ecosystem, the developers and the users. For the Foundation, these are the three essential forces of its work, as became clear in several talks and presentations.
An exciting question is the financing of the overall construct, for which the Openinfra team made an important decision. Individual projects in the area of open infrastructure are now to be financed directly. In this way, companies or organizations could get involved in specific technologies. The foundation’s experience in managing and administering open source software projects should also be available to them. Simply put, the organization wants to extend the proven model used in OpenStack, Kata Containers and StarlingX to other projects.
The Openinfra team has also given some thought to the topic of developers and users. As a starting aid for future users, there is now the area “Infra-solutions and advice”. Here you will find various commercial providers who provide professional support when getting started with OpenStack and Co. At the present time more than 15 companies already offer such support. How new, talented developers find their way to Openinfra is also a topic of the summit: Here, the foundation focused in particular on the academic environment.
New Talent for the OpenInfra Community and Mentoring
The Foundation has had connections over the past several years linked to universities mainly in the US, such as Boston University and Oregon State University. With her commitment, she wants to show the students how the ecosystem around the open source software works. It also connects mentors from the OpenInfra environment with interested young professionals and researchers. During the Summit, numerous projects will offer sessions to meet potential new co-developers. For those who are curious, this is a chance to take their first steps in the OpenInfra universe. Speaking of the university, one of the 'Special Interest Groups' (SIG) of the Foundation has taken up the cause of research. The SIG has been around since spring 2016 and sees itself primarily as a social network.
Environmentally friendly computing, as close as possible to the data
On the application side, the presentations on the main stage were broad fanned out The contribution from the research department of the BBC was interesting. Using different technologies and data sources, BBC Research allows users to use their cloud with the lowest possible carbon emissions. Using Running Average Power Limit (RAPL) and the Linux kernel, the department records the energy consumption per process. If you want to know more about this, you should take a look at Hubblo’s Scaphandre project on GitHub.
About a known interface of the National Grid Electricity System Operator, the BBC team obtains information on the volume of carbon dioxide emissions from the energy used. They visualize the data using Prometheus and Grafana. For example, a project presented consumed 10.3 kilowatt hours and released 1.4 kilograms of carbon dioxide. If users let their intensive computing processes run on a windy day, the footprint is smaller because the electricity then comes mainly from renewable energy sources with minimal carbon emissions.
Edge Computing: Processing data where it happens
Fungible’s presentation on data processing units (DPUs for short) was also informative. The starting point was the data growth shown the day before to over 180 ZetaBytes in 2025. The processing requires correspondingly high network traffic. According to Fungible, this can quickly become a bottleneck and create bottlenecks. On-site data processing has been a known challenge in edge computing for some time. Another well-known hurdle is the use of non-specialized CPUs. Those familiar with the scene point to ASICs or GPU-based approaches, and DPUs work similarly.
They contain hardware-based accelerators for data storage functions. They are also optimized for Openinfra-compatible software such as Cinder. DPUs are a new approach to bringing computing closer to the data. In the benchmarks presented at the summit, Fungible was able to show that the units can bring about significant increases in performance and time savings. They also fit into the system of disaggregated infrastructure that treats hardware resources as a service.
Openinfra Foundation: beyond OpenStack
The Openinfra Foundation has its roots in the founding year of 2012 – when it started as the governing body for OpenStack, an open source infrastructure for cloud computing. The Foundation is now also working on other technologies such as machine learning, edge computing and hybrid clouds. In doing so, it draws on the support of more than 60 platinum, gold and silver members as well as partner companies and the OpenStack/Openinfra community.
In addition to OpenStack, the projects of the Openinfra Foundation include the Edge computing infrastructure StarlingX and the tool for lifecycle management Airship, in particular the CI/CD platform Zuul, which will celebrate its tenth birthday in 2022 and is available in version 6.0. According to those responsible for Openinfra, Tesla is apparently planning to use Zuul for autonomous driving, and BMW and Volvo are also using the technology. The virtualized kata containers introduced around five years ago are also widespread.
Participate in the last-minute summit
The summit organized by Openinfra will take place from June 7th to 9th, 2022 in Berlin Congress Center near Alexanderplatz, the program can be browsed on the event website. Last-minute decision-makers still have the opportunity to join on the third day. Anyone who is interested in working with the Open Infrastructure Foundation for themselves or their own organization can find further information on membership on their website.
The Openinfra Summit ends on June 9, 2022, further face-to-face events are planned. The next house conference will take place from June 13th to 15th, 2023 in Vancouver, Canada. Apparently the Foundation likes this city, because in eight years they are inviting people there for the third time. Project teams should also mark October 17-20, 2022 for Ohio’s next Project Team Gathering (PTG).