Meeting in a city that merges a storied past with a dynamic future, local users talk about what’s next.

Clouds are gathering fast over Turkey.

The first OpenStack Day Istanbul made a huge impression on attendees, both locals and those who flew in from around the world to speak or participate. With nearly 500 registrants,10 sponsors and at least five users speaking at the event, it was clear the market and contributor pool is much larger than many people outside of Turkey knew.

Local user group leaders are very motivated to build the talent pool and establish Turkey as a formidable player in the global community, at a time when analysts are predicting a burst of nearly 37 percent growth in the local cloud market.

Local user group leaders Ahmet Turkgil and Volkan Civelek took the lead putting together the OpenStack Day Istanbul, held at the Shangri-La Bosphorus hotel, looking out over the Bosphorus Strait.

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Jennifer Lin of Juniper Networks speaks on the future of cloud computing.

For Civelek, the motivation is very personal. He worked for years in Silicon Valley at Equinix and Akamai before returning to his home country of Turkey, where he felt his peers and colleagues were missing out on the important transformation to cloud. He didn’t want Turkey to fall behind. In fact, with strong engineering talent and university programs, he feels there’s a large opportunity for the Turkish community to be at the front of the wave and help contribute and make a bigger impact on the global community.

The daylong event was very user-focused. Cloud security, talent and Ceph all seemed to be hot topics, and government and university-led projects also drew crowds.

A final panel featuring three local users wrapped up the proceedings:

  • Tubitak UlakBim – Tubitak UlakBim started operating an OpenStack cloud in 2013. With more than 4,000 cores, they serve research and government initiatives, including the .gov.tr websites and more than 200 universities.

  • Nokta Media – The largest video service in Turkey, they have been using OpenStack and Ceph for 2.5 years.

  • ARDIC– Building a platform for the internet of things, ARDIC is operating an OpenStack cloud and is very interested in building the local talent pool.

We also heard from a NATO adviser and Konya Mecmettin Erbakan Üniversites, who have been using OpenStack for two years. TurkSat was scheduled to speak about their use of OpenStack, but were called in for a meeting with government officials. With new government-funded initiatives springing up, we’ll certainly be hearing more from this community.

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Cover Photo by SuperUbo; Jennifer Lin photo and sponsor booth photo by Lauren Sell, OpenStack Foundation. // CC BY NC