Three things driving OpenStack’s refreshed enterprise adoption


OpenStack is growing in enterprise adoption, according to the company’s own user survey from this year, seeing a 44 percent increase in deployments compared to the survey conducted one year ago. In a market where open source business models are struggling to prove profitable, OpenStack faces its own challenges of remaining relevant just a few years after a high profile launch. So what’s driving this uptick in user adoption of OpenStack’s Infrastructure as a Service platform?

The top three drivers, according to this year’s survey, were avoiding vendor lock-in, accelerating innovation and increased operational efficiency.

“We are seeing the adoption changing now. People are coming to companies like us with an OpenStack distribution that’s off-the-shelf, ready and packaged with reference architectures, proven methodologies for implementing this successfully, and consuming it much more … efficiently at scale without having to scale the number of staff they require to operate that cloud,” said Mark Baker, Ubuntu product manager for OpenStack at Canonical Ltd. and OpenStack board member.

During the OpenStack Summit in Boston, Massachusetts, host Stu Miniman (@stu) and guest host John Troyer (@jtroyer), of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile live streaming studio, interviewed Baker about his perception of customer adoption and the improvements he has seen with OpenStack.

Meeting customer requirements and offering options

Much like all things related to technology and enterprise adoption, scale, efficiency and delivering business value are still key drivers. However, this year, the number one reason for moving to OpenStack was avoiding vendor lock-in, and Baker pointed to agility as another reason he is seeing for this growth.

“Customers have complex and diverse requirements, and so they want to deliver different styles of applications in different ways. And OpenStack is a great way of delivering machines, whether it’s virtual machines or container machines to applications, and it provides a very robust and agile environment for doing that. But other styles of application may require running natively on bare metal,” Baker said.

As an early contributor to OpenStack, Canonical was part of the team helping to drive new features and capabilities to the project. Now that has changed, and addressing operations problems has become the focus.

“For OpenStack to succeed as it moves forward, we need to be able to show you can upgrade gracefully without service interruption. … So a lot of the work that we’ve been doing is [about] how we streamline these operations, how we crowdsource best practices for operating these clouds of scale,” Baker stated.

Canonical’s objective is to help customers regardless of whether they chose container platforms and OpenStack or whether a public cloud benefits the operational aspect in delivering value to their businesses.

For those who question the longevity of the platform, Baker pointed out that OpenStack is deeply embedded inside big telecom companies like AT&T Inc. and Deutsche Telekom AG. OpenStack’s User Survey also indicated that top industries using the platform include information technology, which represents 56 percent of total respondents; telecommunications are at 16 percent and academic/research at 11 percent.

“So OpenStack is definitely here to stay. It’s just no longer quite the bright, new shiny thing it used to be. It’s kind of getting to be part of the regular infrastructure,” Baker concluded.

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s independent editorial coverage of OpenStack Summit 2017 Boston(* Disclosure: Canonical Ltd. sponsored this OpenStack Summit segment on SiliconANGLE Media’s theCUBE. Neither Canonical nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

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