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VMware’s Alex Ellis Talks Serverless, OpenFaaS and Open Source at DevNet

As the founder of OpenFaaS and a freshly minted member of VMware’s Open Source Technology Center (OSTC), Alex Ellis was the perfect candidate to discuss all things serverless and open source at this year’s Cisco DevNet Create 2018. This two-day, hands-on developer conference, now in its second year and held at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA this past week, offered an intimate setting for infrastructure and app development leaders to connect and learn.

On the conference’s second day, Alex hosted a two-part workshop on OpenFaaS, a project that makes serverless functions simple for Docker and Kubernetes. Over the course of three hours, participants got their hands (and laptops) on OpenFaaS – guided by Alex, everyone deployed OpenFaaS and learned how to build, deploy and invoke serverless functions in Python. (If you’d like to tinker with OpenFaaS on your own, check out the video and the new online workshop).

With serverless top of mind for anyone in the cloud-native and developer space, Alex proved to be a popular target – from informal conversations and the “hallway track” to more formal discussions with analysts and media.  During an insightful and comprehensive interview with John Furrier and Lauren Cooney from theCUBE (which you can find embedded below), Alex discussed the origins and inspiration behind OpenFaaS.

According to Alex, he initially anticipated the project would catch on quickly. In reality, he spent 14 months building the community and extending the project. “That has been really fruitful,” Alex noted. “It’s led to over 11,000 stars on GitHub, 91 individual contributors and much, much more. It’s been a really rich experience.”

As a part of VMware’s OSTC, Alex devotes his time and talent growing the project he loves and building its community. It’s a reflection of VMware’s open source charter: be a leader in open source and contribute to the community in meaningful ways – through code, community development and active participation.

John Furrier highlighted VMware’s investment in open source during his interview with Alex: “They have good leadership there, too, at VMware, a lot of people don’t know that…There is a group inside VMware that just does [open source], not with the tentacles of VMware or Dell Technologies in there. It’s an independent group.” That group, including Alex with OpenFaaS, as well as many others from VMware, will next be at KubeCon (May 2-4) in Copenhagen and Red Hat Summit in San Francisco (May 8- 10).

Watch Alex’s full interview with theCUBE for an in-depth look at OpenFaaS, including use cases and a peek at what’s next for OpenFaaS and serverless.

Stay tuned to the Open Source Blog for more around serverless and VMware’s open source programs, and give us a follow on Twitter (@vmwopensource) while you’re at it!


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