Do OpenStack users say yes or no?

OpenStack bi-annual report just in. Users up, NPS down.

The SUSE Linux vendor runs a six-monthly survey on OpenStack users’ attitudes and deployments. The results of this bi-annual report, completed by some 1315 individuals across the planet, are just in.

Headlines include that 60% of deployments are now in production, compared to 32% under two years ago, and twice as many users filled in the survey this time. Over half the community works in cloud operating, which I guess is no surprise. What was more surprising to me was that the size of organisations using OpenStack (in terms of headcount) is fairly evenly distributed. For example, the number of OpenStack-using companies with 1 to 9 employees was similar to those with 100,000 or more. Although, as a trend, the uptake in larger companies is increasing survey to survey, maybe they are having a slower incubation time to get OpenStack into production.

Why are users using OpenStack?

The ‘combined top three answers’ list of reasons to adopt OpenStack reads quite differently to most cited reasons to use it. Check this:

Top three answers combined:

  • 77% – To accelerate my organisation’s ability to innovate and compete, by deploying applications faster
  • 76% – To avoid vendor lock-in, with an open platform and ecosystem, including flexibility of underlying technology choices
  • 76% – To increase operational efficiency

Top three single answers:

  • 67% – To save money over alternative infrastructure choices
  • 23% – To increase operational efficiency
  • 7% – To accelerate my organisation’s ability to innovate and compete, by deploying applications faster

So, quite different, but either way, clearly focused on savings and efficiency.

Would report respondents recommend OpenStack to a friend?

Overall, the net promotor score (NPS) declined from the last survey, but then many more people filled it in, so statistically it’s hard to say if it’s a true reflection of NPS. What can be said is that (just) under half of users would recommend using OpenStack, whilst the remainder were either passive or detractors.

The detractors focus a lot around getting a more cohesive architecture together and removing confusion with the new “Big Tent” releases. Overall, there is a feeling of user experience being fragmented. This is somewhat reflected in that 24% of users are using OpenStack’s documentation every day, and 43% weekly. 22% said documentation was frequently non-existent for the version of the API they were using.

Conclusion

When something like OpenStack is moving fast and is intrinsically large, you can’t please all of the people all of the time. It is clear that more workloads are being put into production on OpenStack and the user base is growing fast. There seems to be a reliance on the community to work together to overcome the velocity of development. See the full OpenStack bi-annual report for many more aspects, such as what is being deployed on platforms.

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