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OpenStack Foundation hails second coming of private cloud

Enterprises have come to view private cloud as a “toxic” phrase, but new ways and means of building deployments is changing that, according to the OpenStack Foundation and its stakeholders

Enterprises need to prepare themselves for the “second coming” of private cloud, with the OpenStack Foundation saying the next iteration of the technology will cost less and do more.

During the day one keynote at the OpenStack Summit in Boston, the foundation’s executive director, Jonathan Bryce, said demand for cloud is growing across the board.

“We’re at a major inflection point in cloud. We’re seeing big growth in public cloud, big growth in private cloud and we’re seeing hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud use cases move into the real world and become something people are putting production workloads on.

“[We’re seeing] 44% growth for OpenStack, AWS growing a similar rate, and some of our ecosystem companies are seeing 40-45% growth in their businesses.”

One area of growth that might come as a surprise to some is around the continued demand for private cloud, said Bryce, but the nature of these deployments is very different now to what it was seven years ago when the OpenStack Foundation first formed.

“A few years ago, I would hear a lot of companies say, ‘I’m always going to be in my datacentre, [because] I can’t go to the public cloud,’ or they’d say, ‘We’re cloud first and I’m going to put everything into the public cloud’. The same companies are moving beyond that single focus and realising they need to have a range of options,” he said.

This, in turn, has fuelled demand for consuming private cloud resources in other ways, with remotely managed deployments growing in popularity, he said.

“We’ve entered a second generation of private cloud, based on what people are doing and how they’re doing it now,” he added.

“[And with that] a new consumption model has emerged in the market and is gaining traction and that is remotely managed private cloud.

“It’s a private cloud that is dedicated to you but delivered as a service. It can be on your premises or in a provider’s premises, so you get the power, the long-term cost savings and the customisation of private cloud without necessarily being responsible for the operational model around it.”

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In response to this trend, the foundation has introduced a remote managed private cloud category in the OpenStack Marketplace, featuring offerings from a range of long-standing collaborators with plays in this area, including Mirantis, Rackspace, IBM and Canonical.

Boris Renski, co-founder and chief marketing officer at OpenStack distribution provider Mirantis, said the emergence of remotely managed private cloud should go some way to correcting the view some senior IT leaders have about private cloud being a “toxic” word.

“Private cloud evolved to become a bit of a marketing term that, unfortunately, from time to time, is associated with failure and the reason [for that] is because the whole private cloud concept piggy backs on cloud which has really been evangelised by public cloud,” he said.

“When public cloud really started taking off, it was really was based on a particular, prescriptive delivery model and private cloud violated some of the key principles that were instrumental to the success of public cloud.”

First versus second generation

First generation private cloud users differ from the newer wave adopters in a number of other ways too, Bryce said.

For instance, the first generation were spinning up huge environments to house hyper-scale workloads, and running at massive scale, with a sole focus on compute virtualisation.

“Now we see everything is virutalised – the compute, the network, the storage, [and] we’re pulling in bare metal and a lot of other technologies, including OpenShift, Cloud Foundry and Kubernetes,” said Bryce.

“We’ve also seen a change in the user profile and the customer profile and some of that is driven by that being easier to deploy, easier to run at smaller scale and achieve cost savings, and some of that is also being driven by an ecosystem that has matured and found a market fit for their products.”

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