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Webinar: How universities thrive on open source

Webinar: How universities thrive on open source

Why a webinar?

Together with the University of Luxembourg and the Tilburg University, we organized a webinar last week. You might wonder, why organize a webinar particularly with universities? Well, as you probably know open source is huge and extensive and, specific knowledge really helps getting the most out of open source quicker. Therefore, sharing this knowledge solves a lot of re-inventing the wheel over and over again.

As I also mention in my introduction at the webinar: Fairbanks is an Open Infrastructure Foundation member, we attended the OpenInfra Summit in Berlin earlier this year. There we also organized interviews to learn more about how to improve collaboration in the open source world. An example of an interview we held was one with Kendall Nelson, she is an Upstream Developer Advocate for the OpenInfra Foundation. She told me that several members asked them to develop knowledge, specific to certain industries; she is very much focused on bringing together universities. For Kendall bringing together universities and high schools is key to further success of the OpenInfra Foundation.

Furthermore, I recognized very clearly when talking to universities and high schools that some of the discussed subjects are about the same challenges. Some teams solved these challenges on their own, while others are still looking at what to do and would like to discuss their options with other teams. Some examples of questions that occur often are:

  • What do I do, now that Red Hat supports CentOS in a different way?
  • SUSE stops supporting SUSE Enterprise Storage (SES), what are my options? Can I migrate to upstream Ceph, to what version should I upgrade and how?
  • How do I combine certain technologies to create the most efficient infrastructure stack?

And that is how the idea arose to host a webinar, where we share knowledge with each other.

What did the webinar look like?

The webinar consisted of an introduction by me, two talks of two speakers and a Q&A session of the speakers and Fairbanks after the talks were done. Lars Biemans from the Tilburg University discussed the pitfalls in open source software. Christophe Trefois from the University of Luxembourg discussed how the University is working with OpenStack. In addition, he discussed how the process of migrating from CentOS to Rocky Linux took place. 

You can find the webinar here:

Will there be more webinars?

I would love to hear from you about the idea to participate in a follow-up event like this and also it would be great if you would like to share information about your open source infrastructures or challenges you have been through. Lars Biemans (Tilburg University) already mentioned that he would like to see the subject addressed about hybrid environments; keeping a piece of your infrastructure on premises and a piece in the cloud and how to operate these in a sufficient and secure way. Christophe Trefois (Luxembourg University) mentioned that he would like to hear about experiences how central IT migrates from a more vendor oriented infrastructure to a more open source one or more about how other universities addressed the challenges as discussed in this latest webinar.

Now let’s see if we can get the ball rolling and host more webinars together with you.

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