Throughout the month of July, we’re featuring user groups from across the world to learn about how each group operates. Today, we hear from Brazil and North Carolina.
## North Carolina
*The Triangle OpenStack group was founded in 2013 by a handful of people working on OpenStack at Cisco. Today, they have over 400 members who meet regularly. Visit their Meetup group [here](http://www.meetup.com/Triangle-OpenStack-Meetup).*
![alt text here](superuser:figure:duvxurudpzl1qrw81ryl)
##### 1) How long has your user group been around? Describe how it formed.
The Triangle OpenStack Meetup Group was founded in March of 2013. Several folks working at Cisco on OpenStack felt a need to connect with other OpenStack users and developers in the Research Triangle Park area, but at the time no user group existed. We took the idea to executives at Cisco asking for pizza money and meeting space and readied some initial talks about projects we were working on at the time. Our first meetup was mostly advertised by word of mouth, but still attracted over 50 participants. The rest is history–since then we’ve grown to over 400 members from dozens of companies!
##### 2) Describe a typical user group meeting.
We generally focus on one talk for approximately 60-90 minutes including Q&A, then break for pizza and networking with other members. Our meetings vary though–for example, we’ve split the evening among two talks, hosted a hands-on workshop, and done an evening of lightning talks in the past. We generally try to have a variety of topics from month to month in order to have content that’s appealing to lots of different member types–users, operators, developers, and those just getting started with OpenStack. We’re always looking for new content and speakers!
##### 3) What’s once piece of advice you would give to new users?
Understanding and interacting with the community is at least as important and valuable as learning the software itself. It’s a tremendous resource no matter what your level of OpenStack awareness is.
##### 4) What have been the biggest benefits of meeting as a group to talk about OpenStack?
We’ve been able to get experts to share knowledge on a variety of topics that we might otherwise have a much harder time with–for example, we’ve had a couple of talks on IPv6 with OpenStack, managing OpenStack with Puppet and Ansible, and the inner workings of the infrastructure that powers the OpenStack CI infrastructure. We’ve even brought in speakers from out of state. Moreover though, folks have had a chance to meet and talk with other users and developers in person.
##### 5) What’s something your user group will do to celebrate OpenStack’s 4th Birthday?
We hosted a 4th birthday party at Fortnight Brewing in Cary which featured a bunch of door prizes–many of which were collected from booths at the most recent OpenStack Summit in Atlanta by our members who were able to attend and brought back for our members who weren’t able to attend.
##### 6) Record your group singing “Happy Birthday” to Openstack!
*The Brazil Meetup group was formed in 2011 and consists of 300 core, active users. To learn more about the group, visit their .[Meetup Group](http://www.meetup.com/openstack-brasil).*
![alt text here](superuser:figure:s3ofhdieo99eayxjvhsd)
##### 1) Describe a typical user group meeting.
We have meetings to exchange information and meet other people involved in the OpenStack project.
##### 2) How do the members of your group collaborate outside of meetings?
Answers on the group list, meetings, and hackathons about OpenStack. We also have a lot of contributors working on OpenStack.
##### 3) What are the three things about OpenStack you want all of your members to know?
1) OpenStack is a platform without vendor lock-in. It’s open source software!
2) If security is a problem to use the Cloud, then you can use Openstack to create a private or public cloud using open source software.
3) OpenStack has many global companies supporting and developing the software.
##### 4) What’s one piece of advice you would give to new users?
Start to learn all concepts about Openstack. After you understand this, everything is easier.
##### 5) What do you wish was powered by OpenStack? If you could build anything with OpenStack, what would it be?
A large research center at the university with great computational power managed by OpenStack
##### 6) What is the unique opportunity for OpenStack in your region?
Creating private clouds to Brazilian Government and also private companies.
##### 7) What have been the biggest benefits to your user group members in using OpenStack?
Sharing information about OpenStack and cloud technologies and exchanging opinions and talking with other involved in OpenStack.
##### 8) What’s something your user group will do to celebrate OpenStack’s 4th birthday?
We’ll have a big Meetup for OpenStack Brazil Day with lectures about OpenStack. At the same time, we’ll celebrate the OpenStack Birthday.