Last week, I was prepping for the 11th OpenStack Summit in Vancouver, when I suddenly had a question pop up. How on earth would I, much less over a hundred of us, from Cisco communicate at an international destination in an easy and organized way?

Some group ideas were:

  • Temporary international data plans for $30
  • For the thrifty, call forwarding via Wi-Fi to messaging clients such as Cisco Jabber
  • Email


Even just organizing using one of these methods would be fragmented and painful. Ironically, an OpenStack based solution called Cisco Spark  comes into play here much more nicely. It allows to more easily organize and communicate with each other at events like the OpenStack Summit.

Cisco Spark: Built and Hosted on OpenStack

Did you know that WebEx is the 3rd largest cloud SaaS solution in the world? Or that it has been operating on OpenStack for over three years? Additionally, the new Cisco Spark solution for team collaboration was developed on and is hosted on an OpenStack cloud to our customers.  As someone who hates the inefficiency of email bombardment, this sleek new collaboration solution is ideal for teams to organize around projects.

Via virtual rooms, not a plethora of email threads, you can share files, message the team, meet instantly, and make decisions collectively, wherever you are on any device. We have found that the Cisco Spark “rooms” model has proven to be great for conference attendees to organize and communicate. E.g. separate Rooms for Demo Teams, Booth Organizers, Session Presentations, and organizing social festivities across a 100 people.

Cisco Spark 3

OpenStack @ Cisco? 

Most people are aware of Cisco as a leading Infrastructure and Data Center company, but are not aware of how involved Cisco is with OpenStack.  Cisco is a premier sponsor at this Summit and has been involved with OpenStack since its inception.  Cisco’s investment in OpenStack is in three main areas.  Our goal is to help our customers and partners:

  1. Build OpenStack Clouds (Infrastructure, Upstream Code Commitments)
  2. Use OpenStack (Managed Private Cloud, Developer App Tools)
  3. Connect OpenStack (A connected network of Clouds via the OpenStack based Intercloud)

Want to hear from Cisco OpenStack Thought Leaders? 

Check out this video highlighting our commitment to OpenStack and the community.  Featuring Lew Tucker, Scott Sanchez, Niki Acosta, Geoff Arnold, Mike Cohen, and Ken Owens.


Cisco @ the OpenStack Summit:

If you’re attending the summit be sure to check out the Cisco Booth to Meet the Engineers and view demos.  Additionally, our OpenStack team is presenting nearly 30 sessions—more than triple the last Summit.  Cisco will also have a special sponsored track on Tuesday to share details on our OpenStack strategy and breadth of solutions.  Attendees at sponsored track sessions will be eligible to win the new MacBook or one of seven iPad minis!

Safe travels, Happy Hacking, and enjoy the rest of the Summit in majestic Vancouver!

Follow me on Twitter: @AlfieriJamie



Jamie Alfieri

Product Marketing: Cisco Intercloud Services