The OpenStack Summit is happening in Sydney and, as has become the norm, that means a host of statistics about OpenStack adoption and usage are being publicized. This year sees surveys conducted by Cloudify, Heavy Reading, SDxCentral, SUSE and the OpenStack Foundation all pointing to the growth of OpenStack adoption across industries. Key highlights include an uptick in multi-cloud deployments and increasing use of OpenStack across NFV and IoT/edge computing use cases.

Increasing OpenStack Adoption and Deployment

A survey by SUSE found that OpenStack is in production in 23 percent of organizations (up from 15 percent in 2016). In addition, 37 percent are testing and 22 percent expect to do so in the next 12 months, meaning a total of 82 percent are using or plan to use OpenStack.

Likewise, results from Heavy Reading report that engagement with OpenStack is on the rise, with 84 percent of respondents saying they are actively engaged with or following the project, up from 74 percent from last year, and the percent contributing directly to the project grew from 17 percent to 21 percent.

The OpenStack User Survey reports growth of users among mainstream, non-IT industries, indicated by a significant increase in responses among finance industry and government users from 2016 to 2017, in addition to increases in industries like telecom and research.

OpenStack User Survey participation grew significantly in Asia, and particularly in China, which comprised 17 percent of overall respondents in 2017 as compared to 5 percent in 2016. Likely contributing to this increase was the availability of the survey in seven additional languages for the first time, which enabled more users in Asia to take the survey.

Increasing use of Multi-Cloud

Cloudify reports that half of the organizations that responded to its survey are managing more than one cloud, with close to 9 percent of them deployed across five clouds or more. The most popular two-cloud combination is AWS and Azure, suggesting that organizations are using public/public multi-clouds in order to avoid vendor lock-in. The second most popular two-cloud combination is AWS and OpenStack.

According to SUSE’s survey, the preferred cloud services for business-critical workloads are private cloud (43 percent) and hybrid cloud (42 percent). The use of cloud is expected to grow over the next two years; this is particularly the case for hybrid (66 percent) and private cloud (55 percent), with 36 percent seeing public cloud growing in this timeframe. Eighty-nine percent of SUSE’s survey respondents would ideally like to go from development in public cloud to production in their own private cloud. Key reasons are security (63 percent), data sovereignty (52 percent) and performance issues (52 percent), followed by cost (30 percent).

OpenStack becoming a default for NFV and Edge Computing

According to Heavy Reading, a large majority (84 percent) of CSPs say that OpenStack is essential or important to their company’s success. CSPs who are already implementing their NFV and cloud strategies are even more positive, with 96 percent and 85 percent respectively saying it is essential or important.

In SDxCentral’s 2017 Edge Computing and MEC Report, 87 percent of respondents selected OpenStack as the software that will be used to manage edge infrastructure. Verizon is among the users who are deploying OpenStack at the edge.

Containers Lead the Way

In the OpenStack User Survey, production usage of Ironic bare metal services saw significant growth—increasing from 9 percent to 20 percent since the last report six months ago. This increase is especially notable, as more users such as eBay and Commonwealth Bank are running container orchestration frameworks on OpenStack bare metal.

Nearly half of all deployments reported using a PaaS or CaaS tool to manage applications on top of their OpenStack clouds, and Kubernetes remains the top application framework on OpenStack.


Well, I’ve long called on the OpenStack Foundation to lead less with vendor-driven news and more with what real-world customers are doing with OpenStack and this plethora of surveys do just that. Clearly, OpenStack has turned a corner and the complexities and tensions of the past have been left behind as the initiative settles into its valid role in some specific areas. I’m looking forward to some more conversations with customers at the event.

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.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.