We just got back from LinuxCon 2016 in Tokyo, Japan. After taking a few power naps to get over jet lag, it’s time to reflect and write about the conference. This was a jam-packed week incorporating three conferences rolled into one: LinuxCon, ContainerCon, and Automotive Linux Summit, with an added last day special event ‘Open Source Storage Summit‘ where EMC {code} presented. The trip was both rewarding and eye opening – we learned about technology challenges and goals from the perspective of a different part of the world and learned that a lot of the interest in various technology was dictated by the particular industry one was in.

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The calm before the storm…

Conversations Halfway Around the World

The level of container-related curiosity and intrigue revealed through conversations in Japan was beyond fascinating. The attendees’ experience with containers and industry backgrounds greatly varied, which brought about conversations of new container use cases we hadn’t even thought of yet. Some attendees are deploying your typical container environments like Docker and Apache Mesos, but some attendees were complete container “newbies” and looking to explore this technology. For example, the people who came for the Automotive Linux Summit, which was a significant portion of the attendees, mainly dealt with embedded systems and had very little intersection with container technologies in their daily work. That said, the ideas and conversations about how containers would provide efficiency were flowing, and not in short supply! In fact… I even learned a lot of new things about the automotive industry.

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John Mark talking containers with attendees

Open Source Storage Summit

The Open Source Storage Summit took place on the last day and there was a lot of buzz and interest in the air. John Mark kicked off the Summit with a powerful message of storage being the last frontier for open source and that thought leaders like EMC {code} are helping to shape the vision of the future. Thanks for the compliment JM!

Steve Wong from EMC {code} spoke next and offered the audience a choice of either seeing a database or a Minecraft server in a container. Obviously, Minecraft was the unanimous choice. Whether you invest your time in populating a database or a building a Minecraft world, you want the scalability, availability, and durability benefits offered with access to persistent storage. Ultimately, Wong brought down the house with his demo of a Minecraft server in a Docker container in AWS Tokyo using REX-Ray to provision external persistent storage.

His presentation also covered libStorage and Polly projects, which address storage governance and integration with container schedulers such as Mesos, Kubernetes, Docker Swarm, and Cloud Foundry.

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Talking REX-Ray at the Open Source Storage Summit

Odds and Ends

MacBook visits the Kanda Myojin for some en-charm-ment

Aside from the real work aspect of the trip, it’s been a while since I have visited Japan (2009) and it was an excellent opportunity to reconnect with the people, culture, and country again. We had some free time to go and visit the Kanda Myojin Shrine. It’s a shrine dedicated to “secure charms and blessings to protect your electronic devices.” Yes… it is a geek temple. Because Steve’s MacBook has recently experienced some lock-ups, we had to take it to be blessed. We gave our donation to the nerd gods, they returned an IT charm sticker, and we now await the results.

The shrine is in the Akihabara district which is loaded with electronics stores. While wandering around, we ran into a Dell retail outlet. We met some of the people associated with Dell open source projects like Project Sputnik at OSCON in Austin earlier this year. The code team is enthusiastic about the upcoming probability of working closer with the people at Dell.

{code} discovers a Dell retail outlet in the Akihabara tech district
{code} discovers a Dell retail outlet in the Akihabara tech district

Overall, the time at LinuxCon Japan was great and I was sad to see it go so quickly. You can find the EMC {code} team at our next event LinuxCon North America. Hope to see you there!