2021 OpenInfra Annual Report: OpenInfra Events

By Erin Disney on 09/02/2022


Going into the second year of pandemic related travel restrictions and in-person event cancellations, 2021 presented a unique set of challenges to our ongoing efforts to gather and connect as a community. Instead of trying again to recreate the annual in-person Summit virtually in 2021, the Foundation decided to pivot and focus on the good parts of virtual events (engagement, interactivity, and global reach) while trying to steer away from the challenges (difficult to focus on a screen for long periods of time, inability to ask questions, lack of personal interaction).

We introduced OpenInfra Live in March of 2021, a weekly interactive series covering all things OpenInfra, streaming to YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn every Thursday, as well as being posted to WeChat. To date, we’ve produced over 30 episodes, with an average of 100 live viewers that grows to 1,500 views within the first month of streaming. Over the course of the year, we accumulated over 75,000 views across all episodes of the show, and plan to continue the program in 2021.

Topics of the weekly episodes included:

  • Explosive Growth of OpenStack Deployments: The 2021 User Survey showed that the footprint of OpenStack clouds grew by 66% over the last year, totaling over 25 million cores in production. During this episode, operators from Kakao, LINE, Schwarz IT, NeCTAR and T-Systems discuss what’s causing this OpenStack growth at their organization
  • The Role of Open Source in Digital Sovereignty: Johan Christenson, CEO of CityNetwork, hosted a discussion around the role of open source in digital sovereignty between Pierre Gronlier, CTO of Gaia-X, Kurt Garloff, CTO at Sovereign Cloud Stack, and Linda Siwe, chief commercial officer at Binero. The Future of Network Depends on Open Infrastructure: Martin Casado, Bruce Davie and Amar Padmanabhan joined Jonathan Bryce and Mark Collier to discuss the opportunities around connecting the globe, including leveraging open source technologies like Magma, software-based RAN and OpenStack.
  • Large Scale OpenStack series: Over the course of the year, we developed a series of episodes featuring members of the Large Scale SIG discussing issues faced by operators running OpenStack at scale. As an example, in July operators of OpenStack-based large scale clouds (including InMotion Hosting, CERN, NECTAR research cloud, Verizon Media, City Network and Open Telekom Cloud) joined to discuss how they manage spare capacity.

With the help of Foundation members and event sponsors, partners, and the support of the entire Community, we were able to continue our mission to collaborate, share knowledge, network, and continue improving the software with a broad global reach despite the continued challenges of the year.

All episodes of OpenInfra Live from 2021 are available on YouTube.


On November 17th and 18th, the Foundation hosted its first two-day virtual event featuring presentations by more than 30 leaders from the global OpenInfra community streaming live on YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook. Both days of Keynotes were also streamed to SegmentFault, a China-focused platform. Keynote topics covered a broad range of OpenInfra use cases, and projects like OpenStack and Kubernetes took center stage.

The OpenInfra Live Keynotes event featured:

  • Jonathan Bryce and Mark Collier discussed LOKI stack—Linux OpenStack Kubernetes Infrastructure—highlighting the trend of organizations integrating three of the top four most active open source projects together in production.
  • Balaji Srinivasan (Entrepreneur, Crypto Expert, Former Partner at a16z and CTO of Coinbase) talked about the need to decentralize at the infrastructure layer, which removes the “trust factor” requirement of the operator because the entire backend is not only open source, but also open state and open execution.
  • Sarah Novotny (Director of Open Source Strategy & Ecosystem, Microsoft) detailed the key patterns for success when companies engage in open source communities, as well as trends we should watch for over the next decade of open source.
  • Thierry Carrez (VP of Engineering, OpenInfra Foundation) provided updates on the state of open infrastructure and how the Foundation’s scope expanded to getting infrastructure powered by open source software everywhere. Other Day Two speakers included: Martin Casado (Partner, Andreessen Horowitz) joined to discuss the cost of cloud and how it is impacting the economics of cloud-native companies.
  • Haoyang Li (OpenInfra Foundation) provided an update on what the open infrastructure landscape looks like in China. Representatives from each of the OpenInfra projects joined to discuss current happenings in each of their Communities

A huge thank you to our Headline sponsors Red Hat and Wind River, and our Supporting sponsors, Cloud & Heat, Component Soft, Coredge, InMotion Hosting, iVolve and Vexxhost.

You can check out all of the OpenInfra Live Keynote segments on this YouTube playlist.


After the success of the first virtual PTGs in 2020, we decided to continue that format into the 2021 PTGs since the potential to host in-person events was still questionable.

Both the April and October 2021 PTG welcomed over 500 registered attendees from 46 countries. The April PTG hosted 47 project teams, and the October PTG had 49 teams participate, including two new OpenStack projects, Venus and Skyline. The teams met throughout the week in 2-4 hour increments at times that worked best for their team members.

The PTGbot was a successful scheduling tool once again, helping participants and teams keep track of discussions and virtual meeting locations.

Many teams publish a recap of their PTG discussions and future technical plans. You can check out some of those recaps here:


OpenInfra Days are one or two day regional events organized by the local community and supported by the OpenInfra Foundation to include project workshops, upstream training, and booths from the local ecosystem. These events continue to be an excellent touchstone for the community to engage with our ecosystem, and to gather local open source developers and users to collaborate, share use cases, and support for the OpenInfra projects.

Several communities hosted both virtual and in-person events this year, spanning across the globe, including two first-time events:

  • OpenInfra Days DR Congo
  • OpenInfra Days Asia

OpenInfra Days Asia was a combined effort from User Groups in multiple regions, championed by OpenInfra Foundation board member, Rico Lin.

Other events include:

  • OpenInfra Days Indonesia
  • OpenInfra Days China
  • OpenInfra Community Days Korea
  • Cloud Operator Day Tokyo

In a unique approach, the second annual Cloud Operator Days took place throughout the month of August with on demand sessions online, leading up to a two day live online event, complete with keynotes, that gathered 2,000 attendees to discuss challenges of operating cloud infrastructure.

The OpenInfra Foundation supported and sponsored each of these events. Overall, the events drew over 100,000 attendees virtually.

You can read the full 2021 OpenInfra Annual Report here!