Brussels / 1 & 2 February 2020


Interview with Thierry Carrez
Why open infrastructure matters

Photo of Thierry Carrez

Thierry Carrez will give a talk about Why open infrastructure matters at FOSDEM 2020.

Q: Could you briefly introduce yourself?

Hi! My name is Thierry Carrez, I work for the OpenStack Foundation, and I’m based in a small village in France. I’ve been contributing to open source projects since 2004, starting with Gentoo Linux.

Q: What will your talk be about, exactly? Why this topic?

My talk is about the concept of open infrastructure: using open source solutions for providing the compute, networking and storage resources your applications need. How it is different and what are its benefits compared to proprietary infrastructure?

Q: What do you hope to accomplish by giving this talk? What do you expect?

Today, a lot of open source applications run on proprietary infrastructure like Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud or Microsoft Azure. A lot of open source development is happening on proprietary platforms like GitHub. There is a disconnect here: people create open source software because they think it’s a superior way of building software, and yet they use proprietary software to develop or run it. I hope that my talk will help solve some of that disconnect.

Q: So most ‘infrastructure’ we use daily is now provided by a small number of internet giants like Amazon, Google and Microsoft. Why hasn’t open infrastructure caught on?

People don’t want to care about infrastructure, and focus on development and deployment of their applications. It’s just easier to use the company credit card and buy services than to ask hard questions like how to minimize the cost or optimize the capabilities of your infrastructure. But we are seeing a growing number of people whose role it is to provide infrastructure for others to build on, and for those using open infrastructure has key benefits. It’s just hard to fight the marketing reach of the largest companies in the world, but if there is a place and conference in the world where it feels appropriate, it’s FOSDEM !

Q: Have you enjoyed previous FOSDEM editions?

My first FOSDEM presence was in 2005, where I gave two talks in the Gentoo devroom. Since then, I came almost every year and spoke several times. In a world where tech conferences have become a business, I think free, volunteer-run conferences like FOSDEM are essential to keep technology accessible to all, and all topics covered (including less trendy ones). It is also difficult to stay relevant for 20 years! I used to think that FOSDEM should drastically evolve, but nowadays I think FOSDEM should very much stay the same. I’m looking forward to the 2020 edition.

Creative Commons License
Creative Commons License

This interview is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Belgium License.