​OpenStack expands both its customer reach and deployments size

In every way that matters, OpenStack is getting bigger.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

How exactly will OpenStack become a $5-billion-a-year technology? 451 Research explains the path OpenStack clouds are taking to becoming a technology storm.

OpenStack Logo 2016

OpenStack clouds are heading for multi-billion dollar revenue in businesses large and small.

In 451 Research's recent report on OpenStack adoption among enterprise private cloud users, they found that 72 percent of OpenStack-based clouds are between 1,000 and 10,000 cores and three-fourths choose OpenStack to increase operational efficiency and app deployment speed.

They also found that OpenStack is not just for large enterprises. Two-thirds of respondents (65 percent) are in organizations of between 1,000 and 10,000 employees.

The survey also uncovered that OpenStack-powered clouds have moved beyond small-scale deployments. Approximately 72 percent of OpenStack enterprise deployments are between 1,000 to 10,000 cores in size. Additionally, 5 percent of OpenStack clouds among enterprises top the 100,000-core mark. So, while OpenStack may be expanding its reach into smaller companies, it's being used for larger deployments.

Curiously, OpenStack users are adopting containers at a faster rate than the rest of the enterprise market with 55 percent of OpenStack users also using containers, compared to 17 percent with other cloud users. What's odd about this, as Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical and Ubuntu, pointed out to me at an OpenStack Summit meeting, is OpenStack is not especially well-suited for containers

Well, not yet anyway. But, it will be with companies both moving the technology forward and customers demanding it.

OpenStack is also moving along to real enterprise workloads rather than just testing and development work. These include infrastructure services (66 percent), business applications and big data (60 percent and 59 percent, respectively), and web services and ecommerce (57 percent).

You'll also find OpenStack clouds running in a wide variety of businesses. While 20 percent cited the technology industry, manufacturing (15 percent), retail/hospitality (11 percent), professional services (10 percent), healthcare (7 percent), insurance (6 percent), transportation (5 percent), communications/media (5 percent), wholesale trade (5 percent), energy and utilities (4 percent), education (3 percent), financial services (3 percent), and government (3 percent) were all represented.

Why are so many businesses across so many industries adopting OpenStack? Simple. Increasing operational efficiency and accelerating innovation/deployment speed are top business drivers for enterprise adoption of OpenStack, at 76 and 75 percent, respectively. Supporting DevOps is a close second, at 69 percent. Reducing cost and standardizing on OpenStack APIs were close behind, at 50 and 45 percent, respectively.

"Our research in aggregate indicates enterprises globally are moving beyond using OpenStack for science projects and basic test and development to workloads that impact the bottom line," said Al Sadowski, 451 Research's research vice president. "This is supported by our OpenStack Market Monitor which projects an overall market size of over $5 billion in 2020 with APAC, namely China, leading the way in terms of growth."

Mark Collier, COO of the OpenStack Foundation, agreed, "The research [is] telling us that OpenStack is not merely an interesting technology, but it's a cornerstone technology. Companies are using OpenStack to do work that matters to their businesses, and they're using it to support their journey to a changing landscape in which rapid development and deployment of software is the primary means of competitive advantage."

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