OpenStack moves forward


In Sydney Australia, the OpenStack cloud crew gathered together at the OpenStack Summit to contemplate where they are today and where they’re going tomorrow.

First, OpenStack has continued to grow. Specifically, multiple surveys show that more and more companies are adopting OpenStack for their private and hybrid clouds.


  • The OpenStack User Survey showed that 48 percent of deployments are with another cloud. Additionally, year-over-year analysis showed growth among non-IT, mainstream industries, including significant growth among the financial and government industries, as well as growth in research, retail and telecom.
  • A Cloudify-sponsored survey of nearly 700 enterprise cloud professionals found that OpenStack was the most widely deployed cloud infrastructure. Results also upheld the multi-cloud trend found in the user survey. The Cloudify survey showed 51 percent of organizations are deploying more than one cloud and the second most popular two-cloud combination is Amazon Web Services (AWS) and OpenStack.
  • In a recent SDxCentral report, 87 percent of respondents said that OpenStack would be used to manage edge infrastructure.
  • A Heavy Reading survey focused on telecom operators found that 96 percent of those who already are deploying an NFV strategy find OpenStack essential or important.
  • A SUSE-sponsored survey of more than 1,400 senior IT professionals found that OpenStack is in production in 23 percent of organizations (up from 15 percent in 2015). A total of 82 percent are using or plan to use OpenStack in the future.

What I take from all this is that OpenStack remains popular. In particular, it seems to be gaining ground in hybrid cloud deployments. I believe that’s because hybrid cloud models are picking up in popularity. Last year IDG found almost 40 percent of cloud users were unhappy with pure public cloud deployments. Now, public clouds are still popular, but companies feel more comfortable having at least some of their IT crown jewels inside a private cloud, and that’s where OpenStack makes sense.

Indeed, 451 Research predicts OpenStack revenue will exceed $6 billion by 2021, as it expands at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) rate of 30 percent. The reason? Once more it’s the rise of hybrid cloud.

OpenStack is also, by 451 Research’s figuring, doing well with the rise of containers and Kubernetes, That’s because “some of the most innovative and progressive OpenStack deployments feature the use of container technology such as Docker and Kubernetes.”


This where OpenStack is today. It’s a maturing Infrastucture-as-a-Service, open-source cloud that’s finding increasingly broad acceptance. Tomorrow, that’s another story.

The OpenStack Foundation is moving beyond the big umbrella that covers OpenStack-specific projects. At the Summit, OpenStack executive director Jonathan Bryce said the group is looking to foster open-source software in data center cloud infrastructure, container infrastructure, edge computing, continuous integration/continuous delivery and even machine learning and AI.

What is this all about? It’s a “new plan to overcome the hardest problem in open source today: integrating and operating open-source technologies to solve real-world problems.” In his keynote, Bryce said, “As open-source leaders, we’ll fail our user base if we deliver innovation without integration, meaning the operational tools and knowledge to put it all into production. By working together across projects, we can invest in closing this gap and ensuring that infrastructure is not only open but also consumable by anyone in the world.”

OpenStack, which has hundreds of corporate members, already manages to keep rivals such as Linux powers Red Hat, SUSE, and Canonical and networking giants Cisco and Juniper, on the same cloud page. I wouldn’t bet against Bryce and his crew and their ability to fill in the gaps between multiple open-source projects.


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