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21% of UK IT professionals now use OpenStack, SUSE research suggests

Linux distribution provider claims UK IT decision-makers are coming round to the idea of using the open-source cloud platform

Research from Linux distribution provider SUSE suggests that 21% of senior IT professionals in the UK now use open-source cloud platform OpenStack.

The company polled 813 IT workers from across the US, Canada, Germany, France, Italy and the Nordics, including 110 from the UK, to ascertain their interest in using OpenStack.

Of the UK respondents, 80% said they were already using OpenStack or intended to deploy it soon within their organisations.

Breaking down the figures further, the company said 21% of the UK respondents already use OpenStack, and 59% are planning to in the very near future.

But when asked about the main barriers to OpenStack adoption within their organisations, many respondents cited skills shortages and the risk of installation problems.

Mark Smith, senior product marketing manager at SUSE, told Computer Weekly that OpenStack is gaining ground among enterprises that have already used virtualisation to increase the efficiency of their IT infrastructure but want to achieve even bigger savings.

“What we’re hearing from customers – and it is reflected in this survey – is that OpenStack is high on their shopping list because they are looking to get to that next level of IT efficiency,” said Smith.

The OpenStack concept, and the technology underpinning it, has also reached a level of maturity that makes it a more viable option for enterprises to deploy, provided they have the required skills in-house, he said.

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“It is natural with any new technology that there will be a requirement to skill up and equip the business to handle it, but going hand-in-hand with that is the reputation that OpenStack has of being difficult to deploy on your own,” said Smith.  

The SUSE poll also asked UK respondents about their concerns around using the private cloud more generally, and 91% cited supplier lock-in as their biggest worry.

Danny Rowark, UK and Ireland country manager at SUSE, said fears about supplier lock-in are, coincidentally, one of the reasons why interest in OpenStack appears to be rising in the UK.

“With cost as a primary motivator for UK businesses to move to the cloud, an open-source solution can play a key role in enabling organisations to implement a private cloud solution – reducing costs, driving innovation and agility, as well as providing freedom from supplier lock-in,” he said.

Read more on Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)