Has OpenStack Crossed the Chasm?

By John Meadows
VP Business Development, Talligent

There are clear signs in 2015 that OpenStack has made moved up the technology adoption curve up from the early adopters to the early majority.  Community emphasis is now heavily focused on operations and usability and the number of enterprises adopting OpenStack and attending events such as the OpenStack Summit and OpenStack Silicon Valley has grown dramatically.

Up until recently, the amount of effort and technical know-how required to deploy and maintain an OpenStack cloud prevented all but the most dedicated companies from pursuing OpenStack as the cloud of choice.  Generally that meant that you had to have massive scale, unique budget pressures, gifted technical staff, or some combination of the three to effectively pursue OpenStack. In addition, past OpenStack Design Summits have been just that – Design Summits.  Vendors were willing to spend big bucks to sponsor the events but the content was focused on OpenStack design, with the audience mostly representing code contributors.

Community Momentum

With the key OpenStack services in place and stable, the community is now able to focus on user requirements such as ease of deployment and operations.  The distribution vendors have invested heavily in deployment and management tools.  Billing and reporting is commercially available (from Talligent, natch!).  The results are clear – enterprises are participating at a much higher and growing rate.  967 different companies sent representatives to the most recent Summit this past May in Vancouver; and the enterprise use cases are piling up.

I find it quite encouraging that the community has put so much recent effort into documenting user stories specifically to close the loop between users, operators, product owners and developers.  The specific goal is to improve “the product experience for operators and end users” by helping to identify and prioritize current barriers to adoption and operations.  Those barriers are communicated to the project team leads to incorporate the changes into the roadmap.  Communication is less siloed by project and user requirements are clearly articulated.  Focus has shifted to operators’ needs.

Hearing From Users

The Vancouver audience included a growing percent of architects and operators interested in learning to design, operate, and grow their OpenStack clouds.  As you would expect, the content and tone of the sessions shifted to reflect audience requirements.  We should expect high interest in sessions at the OpenStack Silicon Valley summit that focus on case studies and the production deployment and operation of OpenStack clouds, including DIRECTV’s case study and operational best practices from Rackspace and BlueBox.

451 Research has found that public cloud prices have stabilized over the last 10 months (with a price drop of just 2.25%), indicating that the public cloud market is maturing.  This is in direct conflict with most predictions of continued large declines just a year ago.  The full details are shown in the 451 Research’s latest Cloud Pricing Index.  If this trend holds, companies can plan their cloud strategy with some confidence that the price of public cloud is not going to suddenly drop out.  For public clouds, service providers can enter the cloud market with more confidence that margins will hold.

OpenStack has hit critical mass.  Given the predictable costs, flexibility, and usability improvements, the timing is now!

Talligent is excited to preview our upcoming v3 release at OpenStack Silicon Valley August 26-27 in Mountain View, CA.  This new release includes VMware rating and visibility for hybrid environments, enhanced bandwidth metering, Elastic Search to support large scale deployments of Ceilometer, ad hoc reporting, dynamic policy, and improved dashboard/KPIs).  The Talligent OpenBook solution provides key customer management and reporting capabilities for the operation of private or public clouds.  Comes see us at OpenStack Silicon Valley, or visit our website at www.talligent.com

Photo by Flickr user Graham.

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