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By Emily Johnson

Cloud Connect Chicago 2013 is taking a new approach to the program this year. The focus is on the top cloud computing infrastructure management platforms including: OpenStack, CloudStack, Eucalyptus and VMware and the full-fledged stack wars that are currently playing out in the media.

We had an opportunity to sit down with Randy Bias, Cloudscaling’s CEO & CTO and Director of the OpenStack Foundation who organized the Cloud Connect OpenStack track and Boot Camp and he shared his thoughts on how his program is coming together and what he thinks attendees will gain from it.

“We think that OpenStack is still new to many different people, we’re hoping to provide an objective view to help people to get an understanding of OpenStack, how they can get started,” said Bias.

The track, comprised of an impressive speaker line-up, includes names such as Boris Renski of Mirantis, Scott Devoid of the Argonne National Laboratory, Sean Lynch of Metacloud, and Jay Cuthrell of  the Virtual Computing Environment Company (VCE).

“Boris will always be entertaining,” Bias said.  “He’s one of the other people in the space who has a strong opinion like I do and he’s not afraid to voice it.” Renski will be presenting on two sessions at Cloud Connect; “APIs, Architecture, and the Realities of Cloud Bursting” and “Three OpenStack Case Studies”.

Renski is the current CMO and Co-founder of Mirantis, a software engineering service that delivers OpenStack clouds and is one of the top 5 contributors to OpenStack in both commits and lines of code.

Bias also made sure to mention Virtual Computing Environment Company’s Jay Cuthrell as a must-see-speaker in the OpenStack track.

“It will be interesting to have an open conversation [with Jay Cuthrell] about building the right infrastructure,” Bias said.  “He’s got a very different perspective from someone like me. We’re hoping he and I can go back and forth and have a hard discussion about the best or right way to do stuff,” said Bias.

Cuthrell works in the Office of the CTO at VCE collaborating with service providers, systems integrators, ISVs, and media & entertainment companies to deliver converged cloud infrastructure. Cuthrell will sit on the Cloud Connect panel, “Which Cloud Should You Build? Elastic or Enterprise?” and contribute to the conversation around which applications are best suited for OpenStack.

Bias’ inclination to welcome debate and in fact, encourage it as well as the varied viewpoints present in this track should lead to a thorough discussion around OpenStack. “There is greater understanding through communication and discussion,” Bias said. “The struggle of ideas allows the best ideas to rise to the top. If you don’t have some contention and discuss, you just have people positing.”

And you better believe Bias will also be providing his viewpoint on the stack war debate at Cloud Connect. Bias will chair the OpenStack Boot Camp on Monday, October 21 where he’ll tackle difficult questions like: Is OpenStack ready for the enterprise and, why choose OpenStack over another cloud platform like CloudStack or Eucalyptus? Bias had a few fighting words when  asked these questions during our interview, however, you’ll need to attend Cloud Connect to hear what he had to say.

Cloud Connect Chicago will take place at the McCormick Place convention center from October 21-23. Register to reserve your spot today.

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