Record attendance for the seventh OpenStack Days Israel in Tel Aviv, which focused on local use cases and contributions, including a keynote from the Israeli Defense Intelligence.

A sold out crowd of more than 500 people attended for the seventh OpenStack Days Israel at the Tel Aviv Convention Center. With standing room only, Nati Shalom kicked off the event welcoming new and old faces and announced that next year, the event will span two days with plans to double the content and attendees.

The keynotes echoed the findings from the recent OpenStack user survey with AT&T and HPE discussing the evolution of OpenStack and network functions virtualization (NFV) and content featuring complementary technologies, including Israel-based Cloudify and a keynote on VMware drivers, easy enough to use that "no OpenStack PhD is required."

Shalom celebrated the OpenStack growth in Israel by sharing one of the largest OpenStack deployments at LivePerson of 12,000 physical cores, 6,000 virtual servers and 20,000 virtual cores. The team at LivePerson was brought on stage and received an award for being a local community superuser. There were two additional sessions held by LivePerson, and Koby Holzer, the director of cloud engineering at LivePerson, shared more about LivePerson’s OpenStack deployment in a Q&A on Superuser.

Mellanox was also recognized by the event with an award for being the leading OpenStack contributor in Israel, a strong indication of the OpenStack demand in Israel.

AT&T, the most recent Superuser Awards winner, exemplifies the innovation in Israel with one of its own Innovation Lab and R&D Centers in Israel. Shalom discussed the scale of one of AT&T’s OpenStack deployment and how the number of zones is rapidly increasing. AT&T currently has 75 different zones running on OpenStack with the goal to exceed 1,000 by 2020.

A digital revolution: the Israeli Defense Intelligence (IDI)

For a local perspective on open source and OpenStack adoption, Colonel Avi Simon and Dor Litay, the CIO and Digital CTO did a keynote from the perspective of the IDI, which is responsible for Israel’s national intelligence evaluation and is the largest IT employer in Israel.

Like other organizations, Simon says that the IDI was affected by the transition to the digital age, including the introduction of computers decades after the IDI formed. Then the IDI command realized that something else had changed – the world was changing very rapidly and suddenly technologies that were being used at home were becoming more advanced, and the IDI command knew it had to transition from the way it built applications–from monolithic to a more modern, open sourced, microservices architecture, using enterprise-wide services and cluster computing platforms.

"We needed to come up with a clear strategy and where to take digital data and looked at the open source phenomenon," Simon said.

This kicked off a multi-year digital strategy and architecture that emphasized networking digital systems, using the Internet and web companies as the reference frame.

They needed total control of every aspect of the cloud, but without having to have thousands of developer resources – this is how they got to OpenStack.

“We are moving from not-invented-here (NIH) to probably-found-elsewhere (PFE)," he added.
Embracing open source, the IDI is now looking for ways to contribute to the OpenStack community. “It’s new for us, and one of the reasons we are here today today was to start that dialogue,” Simon said.

Check out more feedback about the OpenStack Days Israel from local users and ecosystem companies.