WP014: The OpenStack Community Survey & Oceania Sales Motions
Software Defined Talk Members Only White Paper Exegesis Podcast, episode #14
Coté, Brandon Whichard, & Matt Ray November 2017.

Community surveys are a handy tool for tracking momentum, proving legitimacy, and, of course, understanding the state of the community. “Community” doesn’t have to be all rainbows and sandals - open source - but it often does. This week we look at the most recent OpenStack Community Survey. Check out the episode.

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  • Rise in use: “[t]here were nearly 1,000 unique OpenStack deployments logged in 2017, a 95% increase compared to 2016.” - but, really, that’s crazy…?
  • More use in Asia, China specifically:
  • “Asia accounted for 33% of overall survey respondents in 2017, compared to 23% in 2016. The increase was heavily in influenced by participation in China, which accounted for 17% of overall respondents, second to the United States at 28%. Top industries represented by Chinese users are IT (50%), telecom (14%), government / defense (7%) and finance (6%).”
  • Multi-cloud use.
  • Kubernetes run on-top of OpenStack:
  • Who uses this stuff:
  • Used for private cloud:
  • Motivations:
  • What does this “[s]tandardizing on open APIs the top business driver” mean?
  • Hey: always sort this shit descending! Should be: Standardize, avoid lock-in, increase efficiency, accelerate innovation, etc.
  • Vendor powering clouds is probably an OK proxy for market-share, though not revenue exactly.


  • From @LawrenceHecht: “Growth in survey respondents from China: 5% in 2016 to 17% in 2017. Translating the survey gave Huawei a tie for #1 for vendors powering OpenStack. Mirantis dropped from 18% to 8% -- I'll let you guys speculate about how that is related to their move to K8s”
  • Some market-sizing: “Four years ago, in October 2013, 451 Research reported that OpenStack cloud revenues were approximately $600 million in 2013. In April 2016, 451 Research reported that 2015 OpenStack ecosystem revenues came in at $1.2 billion, with a forecast to grow to $3.37 billion by 2018. Now in November 2017, 451 Research is out with it latest OpenStack market sizing report, estimating 2017 OpenStack ecosystem revenue at $2.6 billion. Looking forward, 451 Research is forecasting that OpenStack market revenues will reach $6.7 billion by 2021.”
  • Drivers for OpenStack use, from Al@451: “Interviewed in the press room after the keynote, Al Sadowski, research veep at 451 Research, said among 761 enterprise decision makers surveyed, the ability to move workloads from public to private cloud and efficiency were the two most commonly mentioned drivers for container usage. Lock-in concern is there, but it's not necessarily top of mind.”

  • Notice that most all of the coverage focuses on the big, speculative figure of $6.7bn in 2021 instead of the much smaller 2017 number of $2.5bn.
  • It’s sticky: “While containers are eclipsing OpenStack in terms of attention, 451 Research’s OpenStack Pulse finds that very few OpenStack users are abandoning OpenStack.”
  • Also notice that Al’s quote is pretty much lifted for most stories (if I remember correctly).
  • Gartner not hot on OpenStack for enterprise use, Matthew Cheung: “in general, large enterprises are still showing a lack of interest in OpenStack because of an enterprise's limited capabilities to implement, manage and maintain OpenStack. In fact, the lack of enterprises' capabilities implementing OpenStack themselves drives a vendor-led OpenStack market with various consumption models that will bridge the gaps in an enterprise's skill sets and the operational challenges for implementing the project.”
  • Cheung also says China has rising OpenStack usage: “Gartner data on inquiry shows an increase in end users' interests and active OpenStack vendors' activities within the China market.”