OpenStack cloud sees explosive growth

The open-source OpenStack cloud has grown by 166% since 2020.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor
OpenStack Logo 2016

OpenStack clouds are heading for multi-billion dollar revenue.

One bit of accepted wisdom in some cloud circles is that OpenStack, the open-source Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud, is declining. Nothing could be further from the truth. It's alive, well, and growing like crazy. According to the 2022 OpenStack User Survey, OpenStack now has over 40 million production cores. Or, in other words, it's seen 60% growth since 2021 and a 166% jump since 2020. 

Not bad for a so-called also-run, eh?

It's not just telecoms, where OpenStack has become the backbone of major cell companies such as China Mobile and Verizon. Nor is it just other major companies such as the Japanese instant messaging service LINE, the on-demand, cloud-based financial management service company Workday, Walmart Labs, and Yahoo. No, many other, much smaller companies have also staked their cloud future on OpenStack. 

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Why? There are many reasons. As Jonathan Bryce, executive director of the Open Infrastructure Foundation (OpenInfra Foundation), OpenStack's parent organization, said, "OpenStack supports the ever-changing world of infrastructure where now we have GPUs, FPGAs, smart NICs, and smart storage. At the same time, you can still get direct access to the underlying hardware." This, in turn, enables "OpenStack users to create such amazing things as telecom cloud workloads on the cloud that can do edge transcoding video. With this, people can watch 4K videos on their phones using 5G." 

Another reason for OpenStack's growing popularity is its Kubernetes integration. 

Thanks to Linux OpenStack Kubernetes Infrastructure (LOKI), Kubernetes is now deployed on over 85% of OpenStack deployments. In addition, Magnum, the OpenStack container orchestration service, is also gaining popularity. 21% of users are now running production workloads with it. Still, Kubernetes is everyone's first choice. 73% of users rely on vanilla Kubernetes, while 12% use Kubernetes via Red Hat's Kubernetes distribution OpenShift

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Red Hat is also an OpenStack supporter. As Maria Bracho, Red Hat's manager of product management, said, "Over the last couple of years, more customers are using OpenStack and OpenShift together in different deployment models. At Red Hat, we have done a ton of work to make sure that these platforms can be used together, so users are no longer faced with a decision between one platform or the other, but rather can freely and confidently choose the configuration where their current and future workloads are served best." 

Kubernetes is also very useful with hybrid clouds. OpenStack is often used in hybrid clouds. Indeed, 80% of OpenStack users are deploying it in hybrid clouds. To make it easier to build out hybrid clouds, operators are turning to Octavia, an open-source, operator-scale load-balancing program. Today, not quite 50% of OpenStack deployments are using Octavia. 

Put it all together, and as OpenInfra Foundation's general manager Thierry Carrez said, "Hype is nice, but substance lasts, and as OpenStack deployments continue to grow in staggering numbers, the OpenStack community is proving that it's not only alive and well, but also delivering indisputable value to organizations."

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