Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Friday, March 31, 2023

OpenStack Maturing, User Survey Finds 


OpenStack proponents said their latest user survey shows that the open-source cloud-computing platform has emerged as a mature infrastructure technology with broader enterprise adoption and more deployments in production.

The latest OpenStack user study reveals that two-thirds of deployments are handling production workloads while most are adopting infrastructure services such as Nova (computing), Cinder (block storage) and Neutron (networking).

Overall, the survey released on Thursday (April 20) uncovered a 44 percent increase in OpenStack deployments while the average size of cloud deployments as measured in the number of cores is increasing. Other OpenStack components such as Swift object storage provisioning also showed scaling gains. Sixteen percent of users reported provisioning more than 1 petabyte of object storage, a four-fold increase over last year.

Indeed, object storage is emerging as a differentiator among rival public cloud services providers who are cutting prices for the storage technology.

The claimed growth in OpenStack adoption has paralleled the rise of application containers and other micro-services. The user survey found that containers remain the favored emerging IT technology, with 65 percent of those surveyed running OpenStack services inside containers. Most are using the Docker runtime and 47 percent are going with Kubernetes to orchestrate OpenStack applications in containers.

"The large proportion of clouds in production demonstrates the maturity of OpenStack, while the substantial influx of clouds in proof-of-concept and test stages predicts healthy growth for the future," according to the user survey.

While teething issues plagued early OpenStack deployments, this year's survey also found that adopters now place a premium on "accelerating the organization’s ability to innovate [while] avoiding vendor-lock in." By contrast, previous surveys identified cost savings and increased operational efficiency as users' top priorities.

Overall, OpenStack deployments in production rose only slightly from last year, with about two-thirds in production and the remainder in testing. Still, the number of OpenStack deployments in production has doubled since May 2014.

Seeking to underscore maturing OpenStack technology, the survey also found that 54 percent clouds launched since the beginning of 2016 have entered production while 82 percent of those launched in 2015 are in full operational use.

Meanwhile, more than one-quarter of OpenStack deployments are located in the U.S., mostly as on-premise private clouds. That total, 70 percent, is up 5 percent from last year. Public clouds accounted for only 12 percent OpenStack deployment between October 2016 and April 2017.

Cloud infrastructure services (44 percent) are the primary workloads running on OpenStack followed closely by software development and testing (40 percent). Others include databases and web services (both identified by 27 percent of respondents) along with storage backup and archiving. Twenty-one percent of those polled said they are running big data analytics and data mining workloads such as Hadoop and Spark on OpenStack cloud infrastructure.

The OpenStack Foundation said more than 1,400 users in 78 countries participated in the ninth survey. The user survey findings will be parsed during the OpenStack Summit in Boston, May 8-11.


About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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