I attended the OpenStack Design Summit a few weeks ago in San Diego and I was struck by how far the community has come in such a short period of time. Yes, it’s true that attendance for the Summit was up 40 percent. And, the OpenStack ecosystem has grown tremendously since the announcement of the OpenStack Foundation in April of this year: from 150 to 850 member organizations and 2600 individuals to 5600+ individuals. But, something much more significant was taking place that was very tangible as I walked the Summit floor and sat in on a number of sessions. Something very similar to what IBM experienced first hand in the not so distant past – OpenStack is on a growth and maturity path that mimics that of Linux.
OpenStack just recently celebrated its two year anniversary and its rapid growth rivals any open source project in history. While that in itself is impressive, what’s really important is the fact that OpenStack is very visibly beginning to evolve from a functionally rich platform to an enterprise ready platform. Of course, the community continues to focus on delivering new technical capabilities. That’s a given and was evident by the numerous technical sessions that were being held at the Summit. In addition, I saw real evidence that the community and platform are taking concrete steps to ensure that OpenStack is capable of addressing mission critical workloads across both private and public cloud environments.
Addressing enterprise readiness is typically not the area that development communities gravitate towards. There’s not a lot of glamour in this work. It involves painstaking enablement (RAS, security, internationalization, etc.), thorough code reviews and extensive testing – due diligence that businesses and service providers rely on as they deploy OpenStack to support their core, day to day operations. Browsing through the Summit agenda, I noticed for the first time, there were numerous sessions focused exclusively on OpenStack stability, integration, scalability, security, quality and serviceability. In most instances, companies like IBM with extensive experience in these areas, were contributing and, in many cases, leading these efforts.
In addition to the technical maturity, I was equally impressed with the expanded ecosystem participants and business development content that was on display at the Summit. It was very evident from discussions at many of the Summit booths that vendors and ISVs see real business opportunity with OpenStack and many are eager to establish partnerships to deliver advanced solutions. Business buzz and excitement is fundamental to any open source project’s success. Business opportunity brings investment which accelerates the project’s maturity and grows the project’s ecosystem. We’ve seen this phenomenon before with other successful open source projects like Linux – OpenStack is following a similar path.
History, in many ways, is repeating itself with OpenStack. Like Linux, the OpenStack development community is receptive to contributions that will dramatically improve the enterprise readiness of the code base. Like Linux, OpenStack has adopted a governance policy that will help ensure continue growth of the community. Like Linux, the ecosystem is rapidly expanding to include a broad range of participants (large and small enterprises, vendors, service provides, system integrators, and ISVs) that will accelerate momentum. As was the case with Linux, IBM strongly believes in the value OpenStack can deliver to our customers and we will work with the community to deliver the functional and non-functional enhancements our customers require.
The groundswell of support for OpenStack is real and is growing. The Design Summit is one of several proof points. Don’t miss this opportunity. Become a member of the growing OpenStack community and be part of the movement that defines open cloud computing.