To fully appreciate the emergence of OpenStack as the de facto choice for private cloud deployments, it helps to go back to the beginning—back to 2010, when Rackspace Hosting and NASA jointly launched the open source cloud-software initiative. Two years later, the OpenStack Foundation was formed to promote OpenStack and its community.
Back then, a common criticism of OpenStack was that it wasn’t enterprise-ready. It was too complicated to deploy and not robust and secure enough for mission-critical work. But then more and more vendors signed on, industry support spread, and the open source community kept growing. Soon, enterprises ranging from WalMart to eBay were using OpenStack, aided by SUSE and other companies that made deployment easy and affordable.
Who uses OpenStack?
Today, the better question might be who doesn’t use OpenStack. Half of the Fortune 100 already runs OpenStack, and independent research commissioned by SUSE suggests that more than 80% of enterprises are either using OpenStack or are planning to start using it.
Forrester summed up the situation well way back in 2015, when it proclaimed that “OpenStack is now a technologically credible platform upon which to grow,” and added, “if it didn’t work, no Fortune 100 would risk its customer reputation on it.” More recently, Forrester went further, describing OpenStack as a “de facto standard platform for the private cloud market.”
As a further example of the growth of OpenStack, consider AT&T, which was the first U.S. telecommunications company to join OpenStack back in 2012. The company used OpenStack to develop its integrated cloud solution, a reference architecture that it plans to use to shape the design of more than 100 data centers.
Differentiators for the private cloud
In the private as well as public cloud, the key differentiator for OpenStack is that it is an open source solution that frees enterprises from the high costs and vendor lock-in endemic to proprietary alternatives. As Sorabh Saxena, senior VP of software development and engineering for AT&T, told LightReading, the move to OpenStack is in part to avoid the “old world of long cycle times and vendor lock-in.”
In the private cloud, the additional benefits of OpenStack include its security, stability, and interoperability. Faster development times lead to a quicker return on investment, along with cost savings throughout the life of the deployment. Saxena put it simply: “There are no other private clouds out there. The performance demands and need for network functions customization cannot be addressed by another solution, quite frankly.”
Lots of companies have jumped on the OpenStack bandwagon over the past seven years, but SUSE is one of the few true pioneers in open source software. As a founding member and platinum sponsor of the OpenStack Foundation, we’ve been deeply involved in OpenStack development for the enterprise market.
In fact, SUSE was the first to launch a commercially supported enterprise OpenStack distribution in 2012. And today, SUSE OpenStack Cloud 7 is the premier private cloud solution for enterprise business, built for bare-metal, virtualized, or cloud-native applications. Plus, the platform provides full support for Kubernetes clusters, effectively offering Kubernetes as a Service for maximum flexibility and scalability as needs change.
For more detailed information about the private cloud and other enterprise cloud options, download “Cloud Computing: Make the Right Choice for Your Organization.”
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