OpenStack: Still waiting for the users

Years into the open source cloud platform's development, there are plenty of vendors but some say a lack of end users

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Many of OpenStack’s earliest adopters have used the platform as a basis for brand new deployments that will serve new cloud applications, Gartner’s Leong says. Organizations are not typically deploying OpenStack to run existing or legacy applications. “You have to think if you’re an enterprise: Is it worthwhile to migrate those existing workloads from the environments where they sit relatively happily, or do you simply want to go after new workloads?” If OpenStack is the platform for those new workloads, then it has a small footprint now, but that is expected to only grow in importance.

Chen agrees. “OpenStack is still in the watching, and maybe a little bit of (proof of concept) stage for most enterprises,” he says.

Mainly do-it-yourself service providers have latched onto the project, but he says it’s likely still at least a year or two away from being a significant play in the enterprise market. More offerings that are fully supported need to be rolled out, he says, and perhaps even more broadly, enterprises need to have a case for using cloud in general, even that is only slowly being undertaken in the enterprise market now. “It’s just a matter of time,” he says. “With all the products and vendors involved in the project, it’s hard to see how OpenStack will not be a success in some form. It’s just a question of what form that will be.”

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. Read his Cloud Chronicles here.  

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