Billed as the most important gathering of IT leaders, telco operators, cloud administrators, app developers, and OpenStack contributors focused on the future of cloud computing, OpenStack Summit Austin hosted over 7,800 attendees this year. Clearly enjoying what Gartner calls the slope of enlightenment, does this year’s record-setting attendance signal mainstream adoption for OpenStack? And if so, what do enterprises need to accelerate their adoption? Let’s examine some key findings.


With a clear signal that widespread adoption is underway, a reported 50% of Fortune 100 companies have deployed OpenStack, with one third running it in a production environment. The top three application workloads running on OpenStack are:


  • Software dev/test/QA and CI – 63%
  • Infrastructure services (i.e. public and private cloud products and services) – 49%
  • Web services and e-commerce – 38%


Major companies like and AT&T actively operate OpenStack deployments in production environments. Walmart indicated that they are seeing greater agility and performance over other mainstream solutions, while AT&T has deployed Open Stack successfully across 20-plus global data centers. Other major enterprises with deployments include SONY, SAP, VW, Cerner, AMEX, Apple, and Comcast.


With mainstream adoption clearly underway, how can enterprises that have yet to make a move begin to take advantage of OpenStack?


Standing up an OpenStack deployment environment from the ground up is challenging for most companies. While at the conference, I saw no less than seven companies actively recruiting OpenStack developers on-site including Canonical, Red Hat, RackSpace, and Mirantis. OpenStack deployment expertise is clearly in demand.
If you want to rapidly gain experience on OpenStack, you have three main options. You can (1) use an OpenStack public cloud environment; (2) hire a systems integrator to stand up a private cloud environment; or (3) purchase a preconfigured converged infrastructure solution from a vendor like NetApp. NetApp’s FlexPod® Datacenter with Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack platform is a Cisco Validated Design (CVD) that provides a converged infrastructure platform.


All three options allow you to reduce deployment time, project risk, and the cost of IT while providing the promise of standardizing on an open platform and APIs that power a global network of public and private clouds. It’s time to implement OpenStack in your environment.


Michael Elliott

Michael Elliott is NetApp’s Cloud Evangelist and thought leader focusing on data center evolution with particular emphasis on private and hybrid clouds. Michael started his career as a mainframe programmer for General Electric and held the role of adjunct professor of marketing at the University of Akron. Michael has a mathematics degree from the University of Cincinnati and an MBA from Pennsylvania State University.