The mood at this year's second OpenStack Summit in Barcelona, Spain, was largely positive - with a wide range of new uses on display and a particular focus on multi-cloud, interoperability, and TCO.
Despite this curve in maturity there are still some perceived barriers to entry for more traditional legacy IT enterprises, and some challenges ahead.
OpenStack Foundation co-founder Jonathan Bryce's keynote panel on the second day focused in particular on OpenStack's place within hybrid and multi-cloud environments.
"There are is an incredible variety of workloads out there and for a lot of these users, they still use public cloud," Bryce said, speaking with Computerworld UK. "But people are getting more sophisticated in understanding that this is not the right time to use public cloud, this is the right time to use private cloud.
"One of the users talked about the majority of their load, which they handle on private cloud, but when they get to busy seasons they burst into a number of public clouds.
"They're intelligent about which loads they send over there, so, as their capacity needs increase, they turn more of their private data centre over to network intensive workloads and push some of the other workloads into the public cloud, where the cost difference is not as big.
"As their load dies down they move it back - that to me is what's exciting, as models get more sophisticated it really changes the way people can make use of that infrastructure."
TCO benefits driving OpenStack adoption
According to Mark Collier, COO of the OpenStack Foundation, one of the driving forces behind enterprise adoption of the open source platform is a realisation of the cost benefits.
The latest User Survey revealed that the overwhelming number of businesses experimenting with OpenStack are now doing so for cost reasons - that the TCO purely makes sense when compared to proprietary offers or in the public cloud alone.
"I do [think the TCO] is going to be a breakthrough point, but I don't necessarily think the economics have changed," Collier, COO of the OpenStack Foundation, told Computerworld UK.
"What has changed is people's awareness of them. Even us, looking back at our user survey for the last few releases, cost savings has been the number one reason.
He added: "Maybe one of the things that has changed is the number of people you need to operate OpenStack is not as many as it used to be. You put all that together and cost does become a big driver, and it can save a lot of money over public cloud and hyperscale companies. At the end of the day CFOs carry a pretty big stick at most companies."
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