Who’s using OpenStack?

Really small and really big businesses, so far

We don't typically track user surveys, but the annual state of the OpenStack questionnaire provides some interesting insights into this still emerging open source cloud computing platform.

Here are some key takeaways:

-Really small and really big companies are most likely to be using OpenStack

Of the 822 respondents, 26% (the largest share) were from companies that had between one and 20 employees. The next most likely company to be using OpenStack has over 10,000 employees, a category 21% of users fall into. The United States has the most deployments. What's the takeaway? OpenStack is still working to fit in with the bread and butter enterprise shops. Right now, big-name vendors who support the program are using it, and small, open-minded agile organizations are too. Customers like PayPal, Comcast, Yahoo and a lot of others talk publicly about their OpenStack use, but more case studies would help move the initiative along. Meanwhile, the OpenStack Foundation is looking to cultivate an international presence, which is still a work in progress. But, the user conference happening this week is being held in Hong Kong to generate more internaitonal buzz. 

There's a pretty good size crowd in Hong Kong for OpenStack's first ever internationally-based user conference. Photo courtesy of OpenStack Twitter account. 

-60% of deployments are on-premises private clouds

The takeway: Watch out VMware. While VMware has been open to manging OpenStack workloads, the reality is OpenStack is a competitor to VMware's cloud management platform. 

-Top applications running on OpenStack: Web Services, Quality Assurance/testing, databases, research and continuous integration

The takeaway: Like many other cloud deployments, these projects are starting small. People like to get comfortable with a platform before they jump all in with it. That's what's happening with the cloud in general, and that's what's happening with OpenStack.

-KVM, Ubuntu rule the deployments

62% of OpenStack clouds use KVM as the hypervisor, with Xen coming in a distant second at 12%, followed by VMware ESX, Citrix XenServer, and then Microsoft HyperV. On the host operating system front, Ubuntu's Canonical leads the way with 55% share. Centos is second, while Red Hat Enterprise Linux rounds out the top three with 10%.

For the full results, click here.

Senior Writer Brandon Butler covers cloud computing for Network World and NetworkWorld.com. He can be reached at BButler@nww.com and found on Twitter at @BButlerNWW.

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