OpenStack gathers momentum

OpenStack Foundation reports growth in deployments

Survey results and user stories presented at this week’s OpenStack Foundation Summit in Boston show that use of the open source software for cloud computing is growing rapidly in the number, the scale and the significance of deployments.

Reporting the results of its latest user survey — undertaken every six months — the OpenStack Foundation said: “OpenStack’s growth is demonstrated by rapid development of new clouds with 44 per cent more deployments reported on this survey.”

It said the average age of these clouds was only 1.7 years and that the average cloud size had also increased significantly. “Thirty seven per cent of clouds have 1000 or more cores, up from 29 per cent last year, and 16 per cent of clouds are running more than one petabyte of storage, up from 4 per cent a year ago.

Also, users with more than 1000 cores reported running 81-100 per cent of their total workload on OpenStack. The foundation added that OpenStack’s maturity was demonstrated by the fact that two-thirds of deployments were running production workloads.

Commenting on the results in his keynote speech to the conference, OpenStack Foundation executive director, Jonathan Bryce, said: “We are seven years into this project and we are seeing accelerated growth and accelerated development. We have now calculated there are over 5 million cores around the world running OpenStack, in over 80 countries.”

Most OpenStack deployments not secure

The survey results were based on 1400 completed responses from a questionnaire distributed to all 70,000 OpenStack Foundation members. They suggest that most organisations using OpenStack in production environments are using releases that are not security supported. Only 23 per cent of respondents reported using the latest version, Newton, released late 2016.

Thirty three per cent are on Liberty, released early 2015 and for which security supported ended in November 2016. Forty-two per cent are on Mikata, released early 2016, for which security support ended in April. The foundation noted: “Combined with the still significant [earlier] Juno and Kilo releases this means that a majority of users are on unsupported releases.”

For the first time in this survey respondents were asked to name their most used OpenStack-based products. Red Hat topped the list (28 per cent) followed by Canonical (25 per cent) and Mirantis (18 per cent).

Mirantis and Fujitsu launch OpenStack partnership

Mirantis used the occasion of the summit to announce a global partnership with Fujitsu. The two companies will work together to integrate the Mirantis Cloud Platform, announced in April, with Fujitsu hardware, software, and support capabilities under what they described as “a build-operate-transfer open infrastructure delivery model that will “help customers adopt open cloud infrastructure based on OpenStack and related open source technologies such as Kubernetes.”

Red Hat at the event announced Red Hat OpenStack Platform 11, the latest version of its cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS), based on the latest OpenStack release, Ocata. Red Hat said the new version would offer new networking capabilities, and improved integration with Red Hat CloudForms for cloud management.

New priorities for OpenStack Foundation

In response to the demands placed on it by the growing OpenStack ecosystem, the foundation earlier this year held a leadership summit, also in Boston. Bryce said that from this had emerged five priorities that the organisation needed to address.

Detailing these, Thierry Carrez, the foundation’s VP of engineering, said clear communication about what OpenStack is had been identified as the top priority.

“Another issue is the view that OpenStack is an all or nothing monolith, that you have to install all the OpenStack project or that you cannot plug any other technology into an OpenStack deployment,” Carrez said.

“The reality is that OpenStack is building blocks for open infrastructure that you can use together or that can be combined with other technologies.”

To promote this he said the foundation was holding, at the Boston summit, its first open source days.

“We have invited adjacent communities to collaborate with OpenStack communities and educate users on how they can make use of their technologies and get involved,” he said, adding, “But it is important we are not just inviting people into out community. We have to work upstream and collaborate with other communities.”

Lauren Sell, VP of marketing and community services, said another priority identified was to grow the number of community leaders in the foundation.

“Over the past six years our focus has been mostly on scaling our processes to cope with explosive growth,” she said. “Now we need to provide a clearer path for new contributors. We need to evolve our processes to be more friendly for other contributors, user in different time zones and different cultures.”

Carrez said the perceived complexity of OpenStack also needed to be addressed. “We keep getting dinged on the complexity of operating OpenStack,” he said.

“This is something we are really taking to heart. Shortly after the workshop we identified areas where we can address this complexity by removing unused features, trimming extraneous configuration options, or culling projects that are not going anywhere.”

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