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OpenInfra Summit interview with Mark Collier

OpenInfra Summit interview with Mark Collier

Recently we joined the annual OpenInfra summit in Berlin and what a blast we had! Among the great talks there, our boat tour and dinners, we also held interviews with some really interesting people. One of those interviews was held with Mark Collier, who is the COO and co-founder of the OpenInfra Foundation.

We have transcribed the interview for you so, so you can read it as well!

As host of the summit what excites you the most?

Mark Collier: The most exciting thing is seeing people in person again. There are just so many people we haven’t been able to see in person for 2,5 years. And also, there are a lot of technology conversations going on such as Kata, OpenStack, StarlingX. So, in those technology conversations we are also talking about what new projects can we start and how can the foundation help with that? Furthermore, there is a lot of great work we are going to kick of this week. But the number 1 most exciting thing is just seeing people in person again.

What is the important news the foundation is announcing during the summit?

Mark Collier: Well, we launched a new foundation last year and this is the first summit since then. It is kind of fun to remind people we got a new foundation, new members and we added 33% members since we started with the foundation. Specifically, in terms of this weeks announcements, we will announce that Bloomberg is a new gold member and Vexxhost as well. We will also announce that we continued to add more and more members. Fairbanks is a great example of that ecosystem growth. We will also announce that we are open to hosting new projects. For instance, we have new models for supporting new projects. We will hear a lot of talks about what projects should we start, how can people work together in that and how can the foundation help?

What has been most challenging for the foundation since the last summit, 2,5 years ago?

Mark Collier: We went through several stages of figuring out how do we adapt and the most challenging in that sense was not being able to meet people other in person. We have done a lot online and through Zoom, such as the online summit. We tried to keep the engagement up, that was a big challenge for us. We also tried to bring the magic of a summit in person to an online summit as well, but I don’t think anyone really succeeded at that. So that was a challenge. However, we were still able to continue to ship new versions of software, every community has had new production releases and our users have grown. So, we have been able to adapt but at the same time there is no substitute for meeting in person.

What progress has been made within the open infrastructure community of which you think sets the stage for the next decade the most?

Mark Collier: Looking at some of those organizations like Meta, they are working with very low latency stuff that enables the metaverse. They are thinking of edge computing and how to get latency down. That is an example of a company that knows infrastructure at scale. They got brilliant engineers and are really pushing the envelope.

Another example is ANT Group. They are doing a lot with containers and just won the super user awards. When you look at the caliber of organizations that are joining and thinking of infrastructure, in new areas such as containers, security, confidential computing you see a lot of passion. This is what really ads to the DNA, the diversity, the ideas and the expertise. I think it enables creating more and new projects in the next decade, for what is definitely going to have a continued growth trend in infrastructure.

What do you envision happening in the next decade of open infrastructure and what role does the OpenInfra Foundation want to play in bringing that vision to life?

Mark Collier: Great question. I would say one of the things we see as a trend and isn’t going to stop any time soon is more complexity in the data center and new architectures coming in. This is for a reason as it’s solving new problems and pushing the envelope for efficiency, performance and latency. This is going to put new demands on the software and the role the foundation is going to play is to help create that software, bring people together so that they can write software together and to enable all that hardware. Then, in a related note I would say where the software is running and where the infrastructure is. The possibilities are endless, we are going to need more cooperation and more software. So, in summary, the foundation is here to coordinate and bring together this network of people and companies.

This was the interview we held with Mark Collier during the OpenInfra Summit. What do you think of the interview? Are there any other questions you would like to have asked Mark Collier? Let us know by sending a message.

To see more videos, pictures or interviews from the summit, visit our LinkedIn page through the following link:

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