Gartner analyst Allessandro Perilli recently attended his first summit for the open source cloud platform OpenStack and he says the project has a long way to go before it's truly an enterprise-grade platform.
In a blog post reviewing his experience, the analyst - who focuses on studying cloud management tools - says that OpenStack is struggling to increase its enterprise adoption. Despite marketing efforts by vendors and favorable press, enterprise adoption remains in the very earliest stages, he says.
"Don't believe the hype generated by press and vendor marketing: OpenStack penetration in the large enterprise market is minimal."Sure there are examples like PayPal, eBay and Yahoo using OpenStack. But these are not the meat and potatoes types of enterprise customers that vendors are looking to serve. Why? He outlines four reasons, most of which are related to the process and community nature of the project, and less around the technical maturity of it. By the way, this is not the first time a Gartner analyst has thrown cold water on the project.
Lack of clarity about what OpenStack does
There is market confusion about exactly what OpenStack is, he says. It is an open source platform that can be assembled together to build a cloud. It, by itself, is not a cloud though just by downloading and installing it. OpenStack requires some heavy lifting to turn the code into an executable cloud platform, which is why dozens of companies have come out with distributions or productized versions of OpenStack code. But, the code itself is not a competitor to cloud platforms offered by vendors like VMware, BMC, CA or others.
Lack of transparency about the business model
OpenStack vendors are not up front with customers about their reasons for participating in the project, Perilli says. Leaders of OpenStack companies make altruistic statements about how their efforts to advance the code are for the greater good of the project. In reality, Perilli says it's to advance their product. Enterprises want to hear a clear business model from their vendors in order to buy from them.
Lack of differentiation
Perilli says there are more than 17 vendors offering OpenStack distributions or products and they're not significantly differentiated among each other. There are nuanced differences - some for example preach greater fidelity with other public clouds like Amazon Web Services than others.
Lack of pragmatism
Most enterprises that adopt OpenStack will not jump all in with the platform, they will use it in conjunction with other platforms they already have. OpenStack vendors need to be able to support this heterogenous environment and not just cater to applications designed to run on OpenStack, Perilli says.
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