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OpenStack Foundation slams claims open source cloud platform's days are numbered

OpenStack Foundation executive director Jonathan Bryce dismisses predictions around the impending demise of OpenStack

The OpenStack Foundation is on a mission to clear up a number of misconceptions about the open source cloud platform, particularly those pertaining to its often predicted demise.

OpenStack Foundation executive director, Jonathan Bryce, used the opening keynote of the organisation’s bi-annual user summit to hit back at the organisation’s detractors for regularly stating the platform’s days are numbered.

“It’s kind of a hobby. People love to make these comments and make these predictions, and they do them year after year, but those are opinions – what I really like to base my plans and decisions on is facts and data,” said Bryce.

To back this point, he repeatedly referred back to the findings of the foundation’s most recent OpenStack user survey, which revealed a 44% year-on-year rise in OpenStack deployments, and two-thirds of these are classified as production-grade workloads.

“We’re seven years into this project and we’re seeing accelerated growth and accelerated adoption, and that makes sense when you think about how open technology gets developed,” said Bryce.

“There is a period where communities form, and then they start building the technology and then it crosses the chasm where it can be adopted and used for a massive amount of use cases.

“That’s where we are now. Our technology has matured, it’s been put into production and we’re seeing a huge user spike in this adoption pace.”

The aforementioned user survey also highlighted a marked downturn in user satisfaction levels among organisations whose deployments were created between 2010 and 2014.

Despite Bryce’s bullishness about OpenStack and its success, he did concede there are a number of things the foundation could do a better job at, with regard to communicating to the market what OpenStack does and where it is headed.

OpenStack has an important role to play in cloud today and in the future, but there are always things we can improve and ways we need to look at what we’re doing and how we’re doing it and how we can change,” he said.

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Picking up on the this part of the discussion, Lauren Sell, vice-president of marketing and community services at the OpenStack Foundation, and its vice-president of engineering, Thierry Carrez, outlined several areas the organisation has already earmarked for improvement.

These include establishing a tighter definition about what constitutes an official OpenStack project, ensuring user feedback informs the upstream development of new iterations of OpenStack, and making deployments of the platform easier for users to manage.

“This is something we are taking to heart. We have started to more actively identify areas where we can address this complexity in projects by removing unused features or pruning extraneous configuration options, or culling projects that are not going anywhere,” said Carrez.

A misconception the foundation is keen to address is the impression some users have that OpenStack is an “all or nothing monolith” that users are prevented from plugging any other technology into.

“The reality is that OpenStack is the building blocks for open infrastructure and you can use those together, standalone or combine them with other technologies,” added Sell. 

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