In the past few weeks, we’ve touched on a number of OpenStack topics as they relate to enterprise and service provider storage environments.

8 things you should know about storage deployments with OpenStack” is great for anyone just beginning their foray into a storage solution with OpenStack, while “Private cloud: A compelling infrastructure delivery model” dives right into the key attributes driving the latest enterprise storage trend. Give each a read and download the corresponding articles for more details around each topic.

In this installment let’s touch on the business benefits, use cases, and critical factors to consider with OpenStack deployments.

What’s on the table? 

OpenStack, obviously. But while OpenStack is certainly seeing a major rise in popularity in recent years, surprise! It’s not the only cloud computing software out there, and not everyone is using it to orchestrate their infrastructure. CloudStack and VMware offer the next most competitive platforms to OpenStack.

OpenStack in particular is so compelling because it fills a gap for businesses who don’t necessarily have the resources and expertise readily available internally to build and monitor the complexity of traditional orchestration solutions. This quote from our latest article, “Orchestrating Your IT Infrastructure,” summarizes its rise in popularity:

The opportunity for OpenStack in the enterprise is significant. Large-scale enterprises like Comcast, Bloomberg, and Best Buy are already using it in some capacity. Some of the world’s largest cloud infrastructures today are built on a combination of open source software, commodity hardware, and a bunch of PhDs to make it all work. But those unable to afford the cost, complexity, or extra brain power on staff want their PhDs built into the infrastructure, not standing next to it. This is the void OpenStack and its ecosystem are looking to fill.

On top of that, OpenStack’s vendor support from market leaders like Red Hat, Rackspace, and Dell, and its extremely robust community of developers and users, make it a stable option. 451 Research predicts OpenStack will be a $3.3 billion market by 2018.

Pack your use case; we’re going to OpenStack!

Let’s say you’ve decided to go with OpenStack as your cloud computing software. What, exactly, should you use it for? Initially, OpenStack use cases were primarily associated with test/dev and QA. But broader use and new technology to support the platform’s capabilities have flexed OpenStack’s wings.

Now we see everything from test/dev to web and database-driven applications, benchmark and stress testing, management, monitoring, continuous integration/continuous development, and more. OpenStack’s open source nature means new projects are continually being created and matured, from Trove for Database as a Service (DBaaS), to Magnum for container management.

More points around choosing to adopt OpenStack in your environment, as well as detailed deployment use cases and benefits, are explained in “Orchestrating Your IT Infrastructure with OpenStack.”

Download the article now, and share your tips, use cases, and questions about OpenStack in the comments!


Debbie Pelzmann