OpenStack adoption grows into multi-cloud formations

The open source cloud platform sees a rise in unique installations, as well as more integration with commercial clouds.

While private clouds are seen as something for larger organizations with healthy IT budgets, open source continues to play the role of disruptor, offering small to medium-size businesses (or departments of larger corporations) opportunities to build in this space as well. That's why its interesting to see OpenStack, the open source platform for cloud computing, continuing to expand its base, and is increasingly part of more multi-cloud initiatives within enterprises.

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Photo: Joe McKendrick

Those are two of the key takeaways of OpenStack's latest community survey, which included 1,052 responses covering 600 installations. (Data charts here.) The study shows there was a 95 percent increase in unique OpenStack deployments logged in 2017 over 2016, mainly in the beginning of the year.

There is a strong trend to multi-cloud integration among OpenStack users. Close to half, 48 percent, indicate that they also interact with other clouds -- up from 38 percent a year ago. Amazon Web Services (AWS) remains the most popular cloud interacting with OpenStack deployments, at 48 percent, though this is down from 58 percent a year ago. Another 28 percent interact with Microsoft Azure platforms, and 21 percent integrate with Google Compute Engine-based clouds. One respondent, Johan Christenson, CEO of City Network, says multiple clouds provide for a healthy market: "We believe there is a direct need for competition in the IaaS market, and OpenStack provides that by being both a solid choice in public cloud as well as private, creating true hybrid possibilities."

Within the OpenStack community, on-premises private clouds continues to be the dominant deployment mode. Seventy-two percent run OpenStack for their private clouds, versus 12% employing OpenStack for public cloud services.

Standardizing on open APIs is the top business driver for employing OpenStack technology, cited by 31 percent as their main priority. Other reasons for adopting OpenStack include attaining increased efficiency (18 percent), accelerating innovation (18 percent), and avoiding vendor lock-in (18 percent).

Nearly half of all deployments reported using a Platform as a Service or Container as a Service tool to manage applications on top of their OpenStack clouds. Kubernetes continues to be the most popular container management tool, used by 50 percent of deployments using a PaaS or containers tool and 32 percent of production deployments. (Here's a story of how a team architecte Kubernetes to run on OpenStack.)

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