OpenStack in the Enterprise
I must say that I respectfully disagree with VMware’s CEO, Pat Gelsinger on whether OpenStack will catch on in the enterprise. While he believes it won’t get traction in the near future, I believe quite the contrary and I’ll try to outline a few of the reasons.
First and foremost, OpenStack is moving rapidly to provide something that customers are looking for in their data centers today: choice. Being able to choose among the various deployment options, hypervisors, storage architectures, etc. and thus shedding vendor lock-in and proprietary technology holds strong appeal with enterprise data center owners and is the primary reason that so many applications have moved from Unix to Linux. Choice and flexibility in solutions allow the data center owner to respond to a rapidly changing technology environment with ease and potentially without added expense.
Second on the list would be completeness of the solutions. While our partner VMware has a strong position in the enterprise market, they are only one company with one vision. OpenStack is the result of a melting pot of ideas from architects and developers of hundreds of companies resulting in rapid advancement and strong ecosystem adoption of technology. This can be seen through the recent rapid developments in the networking and storage arenas where the new and open APIs are allowing for integration of any storage or networking player willing to participate.
Third is expense. Let’s make it simple. Senior management receives incentives for saving money. OpenStack based solutions achieve that goal by providing the latest technology that the open source community has to offer without charging for intellectual property. What you pay for when you get a commercial OpenStack release like SUSE Cloud, is the ease of installation and support for the environment in conjunction with defaulting to a series of best practice configuration options. This translates into real savings for the end user.
The fourth reason is that I believe OpenStack has the right view of the future: Software Defined Everything. By removing barriers to storage allocation and administration, advanced networking configuration and flexible compute, OpenStack allows the enterprise to focus its talent on doing tasks that make money for the business, not fiddling with the infrastructure that supports it. This gets us all closer to the Utopian state of having a single pane of glass to manage everything.
The final reason? Industry research is showing HUGE interest in private clouds, especially those that foster choice in the data center. Take a look at some of the information from just a basic web search of industry analysts information about private cloud adoption and you’ll get a very clear picture that the trend is growing and accelerating. In fact, a recent survey from Forrester shows that 46% of enterprise respondents are likely to implement private clouds over the next 12 months. This mirrors the interest we at SUSE see with our partners and end users.
Now, don’t get me wrong, we love our partner VMware; SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware is a very popular product among vSphere customers. With SUSE Cloud 2.0 their ESXi hypervisor will be a supported option. In fact, with SUSE Cloud 2.0, we’ll support KVM, Xen, ESXi and Hyper-V, all as supported choices allowing customers to build on their existing infrastructure and evolve into the enterprise environment of the future.
When I look at the market and the developing ecosystem, I have to say I believe Mr. Gelsinger is wrong and that enterprises, especially emerging enterprises will be able to rapidly recognize benefit from the open and flexible data center that can and will be created using OpenStack-based solutions. Is it the right fit for everyone? No, but if you are building your infrastructure today, it’s worth taking a look at the flexibility, agility and cost benefits that an OpenStack solution can provide.
If you’d like to get hands on with a production ready version of OpenStack and narrow the gap, reach out to your partners and SUSE reps to get more information on SUSE Cloud 2.0 today!