If there’s one sign of OpenStack’s increasing maturity, it’s a flurry of merger and acquisitions that may have organizations rethinking the vendors with whom they partner in the future, according to Gigaom Research’s latest CloudTracker report.
“OpenStack is heading towards a huge consolidation,” said the report, which was released in early January, calling out EMC, which acquired Cloudscaling last year, and Cisco's interest in MetaCloud as examples of a few large commercial amalgamations. However, while some industry watchers predict consolidation, the market won't be satisfied with just a few, large players. All this opens the door to vendors who understand the platform and can guide customers through the confusion towards effective implementations.
Beyond merger activity, there’s still a lot of cash being poured into other emerging OpenStack firms. According to the Funding Tracker section in Gigaom’s report, in the fourth quarter of 2014 alone, firms in the space raised between $10 million and $100 million from venture capitalists. That’s a good sign; it proves that there’s plenty of interest in enterprises adopting the technology.
Although that may make the choice of supplier more challenging for customers, it also suggests that because large organizations have made substantial investments into this technology, OpenStack has the potential to contribute to data center transformation.
In fact, 451 Research said in its OpenStack Market Monitor & Forecast, which focuses on the key public and private vendors that directly provide OpenStack offerings, that the OpenStack market is expected to reach $3.3 billion by 2018.
“OpenStack has seen tremendous growth over the last four years in terms of investment and community expansion,” wrote Al Sadowski, Research Director for 451 Research’s Service Provider channel, who authored the report. “The open-source platform is increasingly a consideration for private cloud deployments, and the business models within the ecosystem continue to evolve.”
451 Research is not the only one to make such bold forecasts. This year, predicts Ken Rugg, CEO of database-as-a-service vendor Tesora, the number of OpenStack projects in production or being planned will exceed the number of VMware clouds.
Gigaom didn't go that far, but did suggest that public/private hybrid clouds would be a focus for cloud platform vendors in the first quarter of this year. An increasingly fragmented container market, as competitors rise to challenge Docker's dominance, will nonetheless continue its move to the mainstream. And, to keep things interesting, Canonical is pushing its LXD and LXC, which is tightly integrated with OpenStack Nova, as an alternative to containers.
Bright Cluster Manager for OpenStack brings a proven cloud / cluster management software solution to the OpenStack community, thereby making it even easier to deploy a complete cloud over bare metal and manage it effectively.
Lynn Greiner is a Toronto-based journalist who writes regularly about technology for the Financial Post and many other publications.