Not Everyone Believes That OpenStack Has Succeeded

by Ostatic Staff - Nov. 20, 2013

Debate continues to swirl over whether OpenStack has emerged as a successful cloud computing platform in terms of actual deployments, or whether it is overhyped and immature.  Earlier this month, we reported on survey results from The OpenStack Foundation that showed that many enterprises are deploying or plan to deploy the platform.

Now, though, Gartner Research Director Allessandro Perilli, is out with an essay that paints a much gloomier picture of actual OpenStack deployments. Perilli was at OpenStack Summit, too, where there were numerous promising announcements surrounding the platform.

Perilli writes:

"A couple of weeks ago I attended my first OpenStack Summit in Hong Kong. It was an eye opener experience from a research standpoint, and I wrote some of my impressions in a post titled “What I saw at the OpenStack Summit." 

"Don’t believe the hype generated by press and vendor marketing: OpenStack penetration in the large enterprise market is minimal. There are exceptions, like the way too famous PayPal case study. But PayPal is not your average large bank, your average large insurance firm, or your average healthcare organization. If you look at the excellent User Story page on the OpenStack website, you’ll see a lot of documented customer references, but not the traditional enterprise segment that vendors are after. And yes, there are some ongoing deployments that can’t be disclosed yet, but for one promising or successful deployment there are several that fail and that will forever remain undocumented."

This of course, differs widely from the results of The Open Stack Foundation's survey that generated 822 responses and involved 387 OpenStack cloud deployments across 56 countries.  The survey pointed to an extremely robust set of OpenStack deployments across the globe, with many IT departments reporting plans to deploy the platform.

This isn't the first time that there have been claims about OpenStack hype. Citrix has steadily pointed to concrete CloudStack deployments, and, in a post, reported this:

"CloudStack continues to gain rapid adoption with large scale deployments around the world, both with major service provider and enterprise customers. While you might not realize it from reading the press releases, CloudStack is far and away the most widely deployed open source platform in the cloud. It’s not even a close race. While other platforms have lots of 'PR wins,' very few have been successful in real deployments."

It's no secret which open cloud computing platform Citrix officials were referring to there, in terms of "PR wins." 

Of course, it's worth remembering that there is evidence that OpenStack is showing up in many multi-cloud deploymentsRightScale's State of the Cloud 2013 survey found that usage of and interest in multi-cloud deployments is on the rise at organizations.  In fact, among larger enterprises with more than 1,000 employees, 77 percent of respondents were pursuing multi-cloud deployments with the majority of those (47 percent) choosing hybrid cloud strategies.

This is an important fact that many "winner takes all" types don't factor in: IT departments do not have to depend on only one coud platform or one operating system any longer. Indeed, as organizations pursue multi-cloud strategies, they have to have alternatives to AWS. Note these findings from the RightScale survey:

"Among the 64 percent of respondents who plan to include a private cloud option as part of their cloud portfolio, open source private cloud solutions are taking the lead. 41 percent of those respondents plan to use only open source-based private cloud options (CloudStack, OpenStack or Eucalyptus), while another 29 percent plan to use a combination of open source and VMware options."

 OpenStack's future may very well lie in hybrid, multi-cloud deployments, but discussion is ongoing about who is actually using the platform.