[RFC] CUDCon - Cloud conference to parallel FUDCon

Robyn Bergeron rbergero at redhat.com
Mon Aug 22 23:04:21 UTC 2011

On 08/22/2011 03:25 PM, Karsten Wade wrote:
> I'll likely end up answering stuff a few times, but that's OK.
> Part of this is that I had two ideas at the same time - one to do an
> open source conference, the other to call it CUDCon. Clearly it's an
> evolving beast. Onward with replies ...
> On Mon, Aug 22, 2011 at 01:46:51PM -0700, Robyn Bergeron wrote:
>> So my gut feelings on this:
>> * Having this at the *same time* as FUDCon would be less than optimal,
>> as we've seen in the past with having FUDCon co-lo'd with JUDCon or
>> Summit, or even FUDCon at the same time as other events (fosdem, etc.).
>> People have to choose from one or the other, and can't make the most of
>> their time at either event.  Even FADs run on the same days as
>> $variousconferences wind up having people come in and out and not be
>> able to get anything done.
>> * Having it before/after puts a lot of folks in the position of having
>> to take off a full week from work, or else having to choose one or the
>> other.
> So perhaps my thinking on this is a few years out of date, considering
> the alignment of thinking that says, "No, duh!"
> The thinking is, bring in a *new* set of people who wouldn't be at
> FUDCon.
I understand that. My thinking is, that those people won't want to come 
to a place where they're feeling like they're going to have Fedora 
constantly being "advertised."

> Don't put up a competing track, merge. All the Fedora-focused cloud
> talks end up being done "within" CUDCon. Think of it, if you will, as
> a tag saying, "This talk is interesting to Fedora&  cloud," i.e., more
> than one audience.
Yes, but all of the non-Fedora cloud stuff winds up being in that track 
as well, and it becomes something that a bunch of us have to choose 
from. And it's the folks who have been busting ass to make Cloud 
actually successful in Fedora - we're the ones who wind up getting the 
most screwed. Because we care about Fedora, and we care about Cloud. 
It's one thing to have a day-long track - it's entirely something 
different to expand it to something large where we're obligated to 
essentially be at one event or another.
>> * I fear that despite having it under "different branding" - even having
>> it at the same time as a Red Hat-sponsored "event" will give it the
>> illusion that it's going to be very Red Hat-focused - possibly
>> disenfranchising other folks from coming.
> I'll be honest, I think (as with the original FUDCon), the CUDCon as a
> brand is good enough it is worth doing battle with the "Yet another
> *UDCon from Red Hat."
> But as I said at the start, and is clear in the response, there are 3
> points here.
> 1. Is it useful to have an open source cloud conference?
> 2. Can it be called CUDCon or does it need a more neutral name? But
>     what about the humor value? (CUDSummit.org is available, too, but
>     loses the -con air.)
While I think it's cute, I think a more neutral name and more neutral 
venue would make it more neutral.
> 3. Should it be paired with FUDCon?
> Bigger conferences pair stuff all the time and it works. I'm just
> wondering if CUDCon is the thing that grows FUDCon to be bigger-er so
> it doesn't suffer from the brain-drainage problem.
Yes, bigger conferences pair stuff all the time.  But it's usually the 
"vendor-neutral" conference that is the main event, and "branded" parts 
of that may run before or after. Take KVM Forum and Linuxcon for example 
- obviously LinuxCon was the main event, and KVM Forum was an add on.  
But they weren't simultaneous, people weren't forced to choose - they 
went early, and stayed later. Same goes for things like Build a Cloud 
Day preceding events like SCALE, OLF, etc.

I don't want FUDCon or CUDCon to be the solution to "fix" the other 
problem. They should both be able to stand on their own as viable 
events. As it is, people are *fully booked* when they come to FUDCon 
with things they already have to solve/hack on. I would say at least a 
good half of the people active on this list and in meetings, myself 
included, don't do the Cloud SIG as part of "their job" - it's purely 
volunteer.  And there are other folks for whom Cloud is their primary 
job, and maybe even "Cloud in Fedora" is part of their job, but are far 
more active in Fedora than just that angle - gholms and ke4qqq are the 
primary examples here. For people like us, and I don't want this to come 
off as 'all about me' since we all know my actual technical contribution 
is really really low ;) - our ability to effectively participate in both 
parts of the conference is basically shot.
>> I really like the idea of having a Cloud Developer/End user-focused
>> event, giving devs the opportunity to work amongst each other and find
>> common ground, ways to work together, and getting to hear about the gaps
>> that end-users are experiencing -- but I feel like having it be more
>> independent, and getting some key folks in from other communities to
>> help drive it and put it together, would make it much more
>> unbiased-appearing.
> OK, let's keep that as a very serious option, that I just take this to
> a stand-alone, new plan and discussion, then start pulling people in
> from various related communities.
>> We did have what was more or less a "full track," so to speak, of
>> cloud-stuff at FUDCon this year, and that worked very well, even though
>> it was somewhat Fedora-focused.
>> My other major concern is "what happens if it's super successful" (oh
>> noes!) - how do we manage that with the limited Fedora budget that we
>> have, or where are we getting money to sponsor what could potentially be
>> another 100 folks showing up - as far as a "fudpub option", having
>> enough rooms at a hotel at a point when FUDCon itself has blocked off
>> only enough rooms for a Fedora audience, etc.
> I'm using this open thinking process to bake a plan I'll be presenting
> to platform and cloud product and marketing folks at Red Hat for
> funding -- regardless of FUDCon connection. Do I think the FUDCon
> connection makes it an easier or harder sell for those folks? Not sure
> yet ...
> So my go-plan for Milan is to scrape by with what I can find for
> funding (very little) but prove the model, and use that to justify
> actual budget for Blacksburg from $sponsors. Naturally, I'd start
> looking for sponsorship first at home ...
>> Generally, I think it would be far better off as an independent event,
>> particularly if we want it to be an Independent Event - we can't say
>> that we want it to be for everyone and that it's not Fedora-focused, but
>> still want to leverage the fact that Fedora is onsite. I really feel
>> like it's one or the other, but doing both I think causes a big
>> distraction for FUDCon itself, and ties itself in a way to Red Hat
>> branding that really makes it not independent, no matter how much we say
>> otherwise.  Even calling itself an *UDCon is essentially reusing names
>> that are given to other Red Hat conferences, which I suspect probably
>> would just give people the impression that it's going to be very RHT
>> focused.
>> Sorry to be all Negative-Nancy.  Like I said, I like the idea - but I
>> don't want the idea, or FUDCon, to suffer - I think it could be very
>> successful as something that is more independent, both in terms of
>> attendees and output done.
> You'll note in the proposal that one of the values of connecting with
> a FUDCon is the chance to interrelate with the very developers who
> work on both important upstreams and important integration points
> (Fedora and RHEL/EPEL.) That's a value and focus to start.
> I'm feeling like that is something I *can* deliver on by pairing with
> FUDCon.
> I can't deliver that equivalent value without pairing an open source
> cloud conference with another conference.
Do we really need that value? Is the value of having 10+ Big Name open 
source cloud projects not enough?

If anything, I'd argue that the most value would NOT be in the OS layer 
- the most value would be in synchronizing with virtualization projects, 
and with other management pieces (Puppet, Chef, Zenoss, etc.). For the 
most part, the cloud stuff out there is abstracted away from having a 
direct relationship with the OS folks by virtue of the fact that most of 
it is used to orchestrate virtualization bits.  Even if we did try and 
deliver that value via FUDCon, most cloud folks are in the know enough 
to know that the only people present are going to be Fedora/RHEL and 
KVM-focused, and unless we get folks from Ubuntu and Suse and Microsoft 
and Xen and VMware to show up, the "value" isn't going to be very 
comprehensive for them to be compelling.

> I see there is enough there-there to bring together some of the open
> source cloud efforts to a conference, but what brings out the kernel
> and packaging and release engineering folks from the various Linux
> distros?
> If we can get a conference that *starts* alongside FUDCon, there is no
> reason it can't run alongside other distro-specific conferences.
> And that brings us back around to the saw's edge that I think FUDCon
> is at. It doesn't have to grow in size, but if it is going to, one way
> is to figure out how to embrace the shared communities of interest.
> Anyway, I'm not stuck on any idea other than the same one we all agree
> needs doing, 'neutral-ground open source cloud conference'. Well, I'm
> a bit stuck in not taking ourselves too seriously, which is why I want
> to be all clever with the CUDonyms.
> - Karsten
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