Research from OpenStack Summit Shows Deployments Ramping Up


If you already have OpenStack administration skills, or are considering pursuing them, you’ll want to take note of some surprising research reported in conjunction with OpenStack Summit in Barcelona last week. Specifically, a study commissioned by The OpenStack Foundation found that enterprises have moved squarely away from the OpenStack evaluation stage that was prevalent last year, and are managing deployments and serious workloads. Directly on the heels of that study, a Red Hat survey produced similar results, and showed that as containerized applications emerge as a new workload type, OpenStack is a prime deployment environment.

The OpenStack Foundation commissioned analysts at 451 Research to do a study of enterprise private cloud users. You can find many related user stories spanning workloads, organization sizes and geography at the OpenStack User Stories page. The 451 analysts found that about 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. Increasingly, enterprises are running OpenStack at scale, and that is going to create enormous opportunities for OpenStack administrators, developers, and container technologists.

At the same time, OpenStack is arriving not just at huge enterprises but also at smaller businesses. Some of the findings from the 451 Research include:

  • Mid-market adoption shows that OpenStack use is not limited to large enterprises. Two-thirds of respondents (65 percent) are in organizations of between 1,000 and 10,000 employees.

  • 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, five percent of OpenStack clouds among enterprises top the 100,000 core mark.

  • 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 across all respondents.

  • OpenStack supports workloads that matter to enterprises, not just test and dev. These include infrastructure services (66 percent), business applications and big data (60 percent and 59 percent, respectively), and web services and ecommerce (57 percent).

  • OpenStack users can be found in a diverse cross section of industries. While 20 percent cited the technology industry, the majority come from 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 & utilities (4 percent), education (3 percent), financial services (3 percent), and government (3 percent).

  • 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, research vice president with 451 Research. “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.”

Red Hat Bolsters the Case

Also in conjunction with OpenStack Summit in Barcelona, Red Hat is out with notable results from its polling of its OpenStack user base. It found that production OpenStack deployments increased hugely in the last year, according to a survey of 150 information technology decision makers and professionals.

The results stand in sharp contrast to Red Hat’s results from last year, which showed that many enterprises were still in the evaluation stage. According to the company:

[Beyond indications] of a doubling of OpenStack production deployments from a year ago, trendlines indicate that:

  • OpenStack is critical infrastructure for application development, especially with containers

  • Built-in management tools aren’t doing the job by themselves

  • Customers want workload portability across OpenStack and other infrastructures

  • Organizations are looking for strong technical support

In short, there is pronounced need for OpenStack expertise at many organizations.

Not only have production deployments increased, Red Hat reported, but the use cases are growing as well. The bulk of respondents (66 percent) are now using, or planning to use, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) with their OpenStack deployments. This is a jump over last year’s survey, when just 54 percent of respondents were considering PaaS and OpenStack together, and the findings show the combined growth in interest of these complementary technologies.

In other Red Hat news, the company said that Swisscom has selected Red Hat as its technology partner to help the company deliver a modern, agile, and highly scalable OpenStack cloud platform.

If you have been considering picking up OpenStack administration skills or certification, now is clearly the time.  How can you get trained and certified?This article lists some great choices, including some free options.

Additionally, The Linux Foundation offers an OpenStack Administration Fundamentals course, which serves as preparation for certification. The course is available bundled with the COA exam, enabling students to learn the skills they need to work as an OpenStack administrator and get the certification to prove it. The most unique feature of the course is that it provides each learner with a live OpenStack lab environment that can be rebooted at any time (to reduce the pain of troubleshooting what went wrong). Customers have access to the course and the lab environment for a full 12 months after purchase.

Learn everything you need to know to create and manage private and public clouds with The Linux Foundation Training’s online, self-paced OpenStack Administration Fundamentals course.