The pleasure of life as a systems engineer for a vendor is going out and meeting smart customers and doing new things. It means you get to learn from thinkers and industry leaders as they build solutions for their own customers and companies.

When I joined SolidFire three years ago, it was clear there was a new set of customers willing to do new things. The conversation around automation, in particular, became a daily conversation, and OpenStack quickly became a part of that conversation.

Next week, OpenStack’s marquee event, the Design Summit, will come to Spain. OpenStack has continued to mature and with it solutions that can help users successfully deploy private clouds. There are many ways to engage with NetApp SolidFire during the event: Visit our booth A30, schedule a meeting with us, see us around the Marketplace, or attend one of our SolidFire-led sessions.

What I’ve learned over three years is that OpenStack and next generation platforms are a journey people are on, rather than a destination, and Design Summits are great places to find answers to questions during that journey. Developments are driven much more through community contribution rather than one overall driving force. To adopt OpenStack in your environment also often requires cultural changes to your organization to reflect the coming together of multiple teams when building a cloud platform.

For storage specifically, when SolidFire was a standalone company, we emphasized how important predictable performance, simple scalability and proven integration for Cinder block storage are for OpenStack clouds. Now as part of NetApp, we can – portfolio wide – address the needs of not just Cinder but also your Swift object storage and Manila file storage needs.

So come by and say hi at Booth A30, grab some stickers or our ubiquitous socks, register for our 3D printer raffle, and find out how NetApp has all of your OpenStack storage needs covered. We would love to hear about your OpenStack journey and will have all our best technical resources from NetApp and NetApp SolidFire there to talk with you. See you in Barcelona.

Andy Roberts