One of the better summaries of enterprise OpenStack adoption

In a story about Mirantis running on IBM SoftLayer:

Gauging the uptake of OpenStack in enterprises has been tricky, whether it’s deployed afresh or to replace existing Amazon EC2 or VMware installations. Interest in hiring OpenStack talent is growing, and vendors such as Red Hat are tying in OpenStack closely with their respective Linux distributions. But signs show that the average OpenStack installation is rather modest and OpenStack has struggled to find larger market share — possibly, as InfoWorld’s Dave Linthicum observed, due to its continued lack of robust networking features.

Hopefully company’s using OpenStack will start talking more, then we’ll have a fuller picture of it’s adoption, namely, in private cloud.

In our 451 usage surveys, OpenStack ranks high – second, next to VMware, see chart above – so it seems like there’s usage out there. Quoting from that TheInfoPro piece:

While 36% of respondents already have a cloud platform in production use, 35% will be selecting and deploying a cloud platform for the first time in the next two years or more, and it is not unreasonable to expect that some early adopters will switch horses as the race continues to evolve. As a direct result of its dominance in the enterprise workload virtualization market, and corresponding investment in licensing and expertise, VMware is usually guaranteed a place at the table. However, it is by no means guaranteed a leading position in the cloud platform race that is still very much in its early stages. – See more at:

One of the better summaries of enterprise OpenStack adoption

Mirantis navigates changing OpenStack market, growth with 4.0 release (451 Report)

My team has a new report up on Mirantis, with updates on their momentum and an overview of what’s in their 4.0 OpenStack distro release.

Here’s the 451 take, our brief opinion on the news:

Mirantis reported more bookings in the last quarter of 2013 than all of 2012 – its growth by revenue, employees and overall business highlights the company as a leader among OpenStack pure-play vendors. Mirantis seems well positioned for an evolving OpenStack ecosystem and market, but the transition from services and support, which has been its specialty, to product subscription models may be challenging. Mirantis must maintain its contribution and profile as many others try to capitalize on making OpenStack enterprise- and production-ready. Its enterprise-grade support expertise and expanded effort in OpenStack training should help Mirantis do this.

451 subscribers (or those with a free trial) can read the whole report over on the 451 site.

On the Mirantis OpenStack Distro

OpenStack infro from 451's HCTS 2013

Mirantis came out with their OpenStack distro today and there’s several pieces with me popping up here and there, including in their press release. I think it’s great to see more people formalizing down to a distro. I was speaking with another interested party, one of the mega-companies, this afternoon about their OpenStack efforts and said, “maybe my two years at Dell warped my mind, but you need a SKU to get this jalopy to jump the chasm.” As I mention in my 451 piece on Mirantis OpenStack , Rob’s sandwich metaphor is just fine…still, I like to see a complete buffet so I’m eager to see the soups as well. I know it may be a painful analogy, but I tend to foist the Linux pattern on OpenStack.

How many distros do we need?

Like I mentioned to Barb Darrow, right now it seems really Slackware , which is good fun. Eventually, it needs to winnow out. Barb asked me if we really need so many OpenStack distros. Here’s what I typed back to her:

To the broader question, I don’t think we need that many OpenStack distros in the long term. At this phase, however, there will be many. Remember Linux? There were all sorts of distros before the market consolidated. Virtualization was the same. The historical pattern of infrastructure platforms – operating systems, virtualization, cloud platforms, etc. – is a whole bunch at first, and then pretty fast winnowing down when someone has one that works well in the mainstream.

And that’s where OpenStack is now: waiting for that winnowing, so you see a lot of distros and pseudo-distros (like Piston, Cloudscaling, Nebula and others who whip OpenStack into shape).

As far as cloud platform adoption, what I see is the following: there are very few mainstream users of any cloud stack aside from the usual handful of public cloud all stars. This is starting to change as I talk with more and more “normals” (like Disney and large banks) that really, really want to build their own clouds.

OpenStack infro from 451's HCTS 2013

That said, in our 451 TheInfoPro cloud surveys, Microsoft and VMWare usually top the list for “vendors you’re interested in for cloud” type questions. At this point I don’t think there’s any inevitability about who’ll dominate in cloud platforms. The most import thing is getting each platform in good enough shape that mainstream shops can start using the platforms.

She also asked me about Mirantis’ credibility here, to which I replied:

Mirantis has credibility when it comes to building OpenStack clouds and hardening OpenStack. They’ve been the primary- and sub-contractors for many OpenStack projects. The sub-contracting is what’s most interesting: Mirantis has been behind the scenes of cloud build outs that go out under other brand’s names.

She has a good write-up over on GigaOm.

If you want more of my take on this, check out the piece for 451 clients. You can always sign up for a free, 30 day trial if you don’t have an account and want to putter around beyond the paywall.

On the Mirantis OpenStack Distro