The benefits of OpenStack, a free and open-source software cloud computing platform, from an end-user perspective are clear. Transitioning to a cloud computing environment promises many benefits, including greater economies of scale and greater flexibility to adopt new application workloads. With these benefits, however, come new challenges – such as the need to control and re-configure this hyper-dynamic environment as application workloads move in, out, and around the networking infrastructure.
Many organisations are turning to cloud orchestration solutions to overcome these issues. Yet proprietary solutions can lead to vendor lock-in, reducing flexibility and often inhibiting the network’s ability to scale as business needs evolve. In fact,these solutions can limit an organisation’s ability to achieve the very benefits the cloud offers. An open solution, such as OpenStack, allows end-users to gain all the benefits of cloud while also guaranteeing the flexibility they need to drive innovation and growth.
From a vendor’s perspective, OpenStack is a key factor in promoting multivendor and system-to-system interoperability for cloud environments. This is essential to creating a healthy, competitive marketplace and so it is important that vendors are fully committed to making OpenStack a key part of their cloud architecture strategies.
OpenStack has won over developers, but what needs to be done to win over CIOs?
Public and private clouds continue to evolve from basic, homogenous entities to rich, service-orientated clouds, combining best-of-breed solutions, including both physical and virtual resources. As this process continues, CIOs will inevitably be attracted to open, flexible solutions that allow them to reduce complexity and respond to the changing needs of the business faster.
CIOs are always under pressure to adapt to the needs of the wider organisation and, as the role of cloud – either public or private – grows, the need to transition between cloud services without being locked-in or having to manage a complex transfer process will be a powerful argument for open standards such as OpenStack.
OpenStack Trend over the next year or two
OpenStack adoption will increase rapidly in the coming months and years. We have already seen that OpenStack is capturing the hearts and minds of the industry. It has rapidly become the de facto open source standard for cloud computing, with more than 15,000 members in 136 countries already.
The reason for this is simple; as more applications migrate to the cloud, the ability to move data from one cloud solution to another will become increasingly vital. Open cloud standards make it easy to transfer workloads from one cloud service to another. Conversely, a lack of open standards can make it incredibly difficult to transfer workloads to another cloud. As cloud matures and organisations gain more experience of these situations, open standards will become an increasingly important part of any purchasing decision for IT teams, helping to drive further adoption of OpenStack.