Last week Lydia Leong from Gartner published an analyst report with some opinions on Open Stack. I’ve been critical in the past about traditional analyst firms and I’ve also gone on record as being positive about open source (and, for full disclosure, the CloudU program I run is sponsored by OpenStack member Rackspace) but notwithstanding any of these conflicts, before people take undeserved swipes at the report or its author, they should read it fully – it is, in my view, a well reasoned report that, while raising some questions about the maturity of Open Stack, also articulates the benefit that an open source cloud project can bring.

As an aside it seems timely to mention the damage that some vendor employees are doing to both their own companies and the community by throwing accusations around the place – while people may not like the traditional analyst model, at least we now have choice in the marketplace with such companies as Rishidot Research and Redmonk providing an alternative analysis model. It’s a free market and when IT buyers and vendors see no value in traditional models, they’ll be the first to vote with their wallets.

Anyway – I digress. Back to the discussion at hand – open cloud adoption

It was interesting then to read some data produced from a Zenoss sponsored survey that looked at the state of open source cloud adoption – while analyst reports, by their very nature need to focus on where a product is today, surveys of real-world customers include a degree of forward looking that adds some color to the conversation. Zenoss polled over 100000 community members and the high level findings of the responses were:

  • 82.9% of respondents said they are not using an open cloud
  • Maturity (38.5%), lack of support (30.7%), and security (28.9%) were most commonly selected as reasons why respondents are not using an open source cloud
  • OpenStack Dominates Adoption Plans but CloudStack and Eucalyptus also figure
  • Of those considering deploying an open cloud 62.8% are looking at OpenStack, 46.8% are looking at CloudStack, and 23.8% are looking at Eucalyptus
  • 56.9% of respondents said they are thinking of deploying an open source cloud in the future, 41.6% of these expect to do so in 1 – 2 years
  • The top 3 aspects of an open source cloud solution deemed most important by respondents include efficiency & performance of virtualization technology (75.4%), project’s use of a preferred open source license (52.1%), and quality of community ecosystem (64.2%)

I’m actually in the process of putting the finishing touches to a new CloudU lesson – this one looks specifically at why “open cloud” is important. Much of the source material for the report came from a conversation I had with Krishnan Subramanian of Rishidot Research and Jonathan Bryce from OpenStack (video embedded below). Yes it is correct that open cloud (of whatever flavor you like) is still nascent and that has its risks, but underlying all this are the benefits that open cloud can bring – people shouldn’t lost sight of this.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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