Jonathan Bryce, OpenStack Foundation executive director, on the state of the stack heading into OpenStack Silicon Valley, August 26-27.

Experimentation leads to breakthroughs. Five years ago, virtualization was already well established, and OpenStack—the open source cloud platform for processing, storing, and moving data— was just getting started. OpenStack was this experimental technology, and virtualization was achieving its breakthrough.

Fast forward five years, and now both OpenStack and virtualization have achieved widespread adoption. OpenStack now embraces a diversity of projects, some experimental, some gaining interesting use cases, and some part of the hardened “core” of the project. OpenStack, with its modular architecture, has an incredible breadth of technology. You can stick to the basics, like compute, storage, and networking, or add on new components as they’re developed, but there are different stages of development and adoption for each of them.

Although everyone is interested in containers, they really are still emergent—everyone seems interested, but how many companies are using containers in production? And who will be the winners in containers? A lot of people are trying to figure out how to make use of containers, and what’s the right way to adopt them without disrupting what they need to accomplish. And OpenStack is the perfect platform on which to build and take advantage of technologies that, like containers, are still in the experimental stage.

If you have OpenStack as the foundation of your cloud strategy, you can add in new, even experimental technologies, and then deploy them to production when the time is right, all with one underlying cloud infrastructure. Whether you’re doing virtual machines on most any hypervisor, or whether you want to manage bare metal provisioning, if you want to run containers inside of VMs, or run containers on bare metal, OpenStack has capabilities for all of those. OpenStack can unify everything into a single interface, mixing and matching them, enabling you to build out a robust environment that’s still manageable.

I’ll be talking about OpenStack as an integration engine at OpenStack Silicon Valley, a community event that’s taking place for its second year at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View August 26-27. You can register here.

Now, experimental projects are being developed in concert with OpenStack, and that provides a lot of value as you figure out how to adopt them. It’s containers today, but who knows what the experimental projects will be five years from now?

OpenStack isn’t just software. It’s a platform that you can provision behind your private cloud, or consume it as a service, renting it by the hour and managing it as an operating expense rather than a capital expense. And with the first round of interoperability testing we announced at the summit, called OpenStack Powered, you can know that federated products are running the same code, with the same APIs, and within the core set of capabilities, it’s going to look and act the same. Come to OpenStack Silicon Valley to hear from experts shaping the open source cloud economy, and learn how OpenStack can be the unifying platform for innovation, now and in the future.

This post first appeared on the OpenStack Silicon Valley event page, and Bryce can be found on Twitter @jbryce.

Cover Photo by Marja van Bochove // CC BY NC