The meetup, held March 15-16 in Milan, is a chance for operators to share best practices and share war stories.

If you run an OpenStack cloud, attending the next Ops Meetup is a great way to swap best practices and share war stories.

This is the second time the get-together is held in Europe, finding a home in Milan, Italy’s epicenter for design and fashion. (Previous editions were focused on providing input for upcoming releases, however with the addition of the Forum at the upcoming Boston Summit operators will collaborate with OpenStack upstream developers to share feedback and shape upcoming releases.)

Sponsors for the Milan meetup include Enter Cloud Suite, Bloomberg, Intel, CloudBase, SWITCH and Nuage Networks.

Unlike previous editions, tickets are limited. This time it offers mostly round table, working groups and discussion sessions, with a small number of presentations. You still have time to influence the sessions, too – so check out the Etherpad. (If you need a visa to enter Italy, the Etherpad has info on that, too.) Suggestions so far include bare metal, containers and upgrade challenges.

Superuser talked to one of the organizers, Mariano Cunietti, Enter’s CTO.

What’s the most important OpenStack debate in your region right now?

Basically, what we’ve seen in the last year is that the momentum for OpenStack as a foundation platform for operators is evolving in two main directions.

The first one — the one with the most traction — is the NFV implications of adopting OpenStack. Telco operators are adopting it to implement a new approach to the network management, especially access networks. And since we are an ISP since 1996 we are as a matter of fact interested in this evolution since the AT&T keynote in Austin.

The second one is that the number of operators running OpenStack as a public infrastructure-as-a-service (IAAS) platform is shrinking to a few big ones. In Italy, the only providers running OpenStack for public IAAS are Fastweb and Enter, our company. This is a bit awkward for us because the large adoption of OpenStack as a private cloud foundation in the future will lead more and more users to request for public access to a known stack.

This is the second European ops meetup – what pushed you to organize it?

We have been involved in OpenStack community since the Cactus release. That’s a long time! Since we don’t contribute code, our main role as providers is to provide bug fixes, feedback, use cases and awareness about OpenStack.

We started the first Italian OpenStack User Group back in 2012, but over the last couple of years we were so busy building our own product that we lost some of the direct involvement in the community. But we’re still here and as passionate about OpenStack as we were when we started. Moreover, we are now one of the official providers of the EU, so being European has a special meaning for us.

Is interest in attending mostly European or international?

We still don’t have a complete list of attendees, but I would guess that most of them will be from Europe with some attendees traveling from North America and Asia, too.

Europe is in a historical moment that puts it as a “mid-land” between two very different cultures and economies in rapid change. The efforts our European institutions are putting in trying to address the challenges coming from both the evolution of society and technology are tremendous and we think that being European (and federated) may be a very interesting alternative for the market.

What will operators get out of this meetup?

As expected, Ops meetups focus on the biggest pain points that affect OpenStack operators. The agenda is still not official, but taking a glance at the proposed topics you can see that container-run APIs (Kubernetes, Kolla), updating OpenStack and logging-related talks got the majority of the votes. Also, MQ issues, Ceph (and CephFS), DBaaS, security are on top of the interest list.

Outside the official agenda, I expect there will be a lot of buzz about the new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), the new EU data protection law that will go into effect May 25, 2018. A lot has changed since 1995 and we are called to a higher level of consciousness of risks and countermeasures. That’s why in Europe we are seeing several initiatives around the definition of new Code of Conduct for Cloud Service Providers, like CISPE (which Enter Cloud Suite recently subscribed along with AWS, OVH and other minor cloud providers) and the EU official CSIG.

What should visitors see in Milan or surrounding areas?

Milan has a lot to offer in terms of both historical sites and entertainment. The Duomo and the Castello Sforzesco are the main monuments, just to name a couple, but we have a lot more. Don’t forget the original Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Last Supper” fresco which was featured in the “DaVinci Code” book and movie, located in the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie. Book ahead, it always gets sold out weeks before.

If you come with your family, there a lot of extraordinary shops in the Brera neighborhood with top fashion brands: you know, Milan is a fashion capital. You can find good bargains here, too, just remember to arrive with a large, empty suitcase.

As far as nightlife, the canal district Navigli is the best spot for restaurants, bars and live music. But we are already setting up a cocktail hour — the sacrosanct “aperitivo” — in the Darsena so you’ll get a taste of it for sure.

Anything else you want to add?

We’re proud of being part of such an amazing community like OpenStack. We’ve met a lot of extraordinary people in it and some of them are real friends. So if you’re not an OpenStack Ops newcomer, meet us again in Milan and I promise we’ll have fun. Or, if it’s your first time at the Ops meetup,…then what are you waiting for? Join us!

Tickets for the two-day event are $20USD. Please reserve ahead for the Ops Meetup, so the organizers can keep you properly fed and caffeinated for two full days. If you have any questions about the event, reach out to organizers on the Ops Mailing List.

Cover photo by: Marco Trovo’