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What to expect from OpenStack Summit Boston

Tamlin Magee | April 26, 2017
Plus Foundation releases twice-yearly user survey that suggests continued interest for Docker, containers, and the usual bumps in the road around complexity.

It's nearly time for another OpenStack Summit, the twice-yearly event where the community for the open source cloud platform meets to discuss progress, use cases, challenges and new features. This time round it'll be held in Boston.

There has been a general climb in users of OpenStack, and the word of the day will likely continue to be around containers.

Agatha Poon, research director for the APAC region at 451 Research, says she expects to see "a lot more real-world examples" of OpenStack deployments across regions, and in particular the commercial use of OpenStack in different verticals.

"On the product front, I would expect to hear more about the support for container-based deployment tools, application frameworks, and ecosystem," Poon says. "And having achieved the platinum member status, I expect to hear a lot from Huawei at the summit in Boston."

In particular, the emerging markets are a large growth area for OpenStack.

According to Poon, service providers are likely to continue to talk up container-based technologies but to progress there will need to be a consensus formed on the right use-cases for the customers.

"So far they talk about is to have the scale, you will probably use container-based technologies," she says. "But other than that they're trying to figure out what else they can do with container technologies."

That might look like more details about containers not just at the infrastructure level but also how to support applications, and more details about the kinds of applications that will benefit from using container technologies, who's doing that, and how far along they are.

Although adoption of OpenStack is on the up, the foundation has had some high-profile knocks of late.

Last year HPE significantly cut down funding for its OpenStack operations and Cisco followed suit shortly afterwards. HPE slashed its OpenStack employees, and Mirantis also cut its OpenStack engineers following its acquisition of TCP Cloud.

SUSE swooped in to acquire HPE's OpenStack and Cloud Foundry assets from HPE, which was completed this year.

The high-profile departures raised questions about vendor commitment to OpenStack, leaving Rackspace as one of the few big Western vendors standing.

And just this month Intel slashed funding for the joint Intel-Rackspace OpenStack Innovation Center, an initiative that was just a few years old, and designed to accelerate the development and adoption of OpenStack in the enterprise.

Agatha Poon from 451 believes that enterprise use will continue to chug along. "They do need to spend a lot of investment and time to make it work for enterprise," she says. "But for those who are actually down that path, I think they really like the openness of the platform, because a lot of the service providers believe the future way of developing services, allows them to develop microservices coming from OpenStack API-driven architectures.


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