OpenStack 2013: The year of the user

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By all accounts, 2012 was a blowout year for OpenStack starting with the formation of the OpenStack Foundation in April and continuing through the end of the year with unparalleled growth in the OpenStack ecosystem:

  • By year’s end the OpenStack community had grown to 6,695 members from 87 countries.
  • There are 550+ contributing developers working on the various OpenStack projects.
  • There have been 300,000+ downloads of the OpenStack software from the central code repositories.
  • There are now 155 companies actively sponsoring the OpenStack Foundation.
  • 48 user groups from 33 countries were launched in 2012.
  • Attendance at the OpenStack Fall 2012 Design Summit grew 3x since the Spring 2012 Summit.
  • OpenStack’s social media community is roughly 6x that of its closest open source competitor.

At the same time, significant improvements were made to the OpenStack codebase throughout the year. The Folsom release, delivered at the end of September, brought new levels of functionality, stability, performance and scalability.

OpenStack primed for the enterprise

As I mentioned in my blog last November, OpenStack is rapidly evolving from a functionally rich platform to an enterprise ready platform capable of addressing mission critical workloads across both private and public cloud environments. During the course of 2012, as a platinum sponsor and board member of OpenStack, IBM has expanded its role considerably. For example, IBM now has six core contributors on eight OpenStack projects, applying expertise we’ve developed through years of enterprise engagements.

Calling on users

While 2012 was certainly an exciting year for OpenStack, 2013 is poised to deliver even bigger developments. Why do I believe this? What force will accelerate OpenStack’s growth? The answer, I believe, is the increasing power and influence that the OpenStack end user and business partner community will have on the strategic direction of the OpenStack codebase.

It’s becoming evident that the technical evolution of OpenStack can benefit from direct user input to help prioritize the long list of potential features earmarked for future OpenStack releases. More effectively addressing the business requirements of end users and service providers will propel OpenStack to greater heights, in my opinion.

The OpenStack Board and Technical Committee, pillars of the OpenStack Foundation governance model, play a key role in this transition. Members of both these councils represent a very diverse set of individuals and companies that have a strong pulse on the business requirements of both end users and business partners. This collective experience and expertise is leveraged to provide the strategic direction required to accelerate OpenStack adoption and growth. However, more is required. The voice of the end user must somehow be directly injected into the strategic decision making process.

Users: voice your requirements

This is where the nascent OpenStack User Committee comes into play. My prediction for 2013 is that the User Committee, which represents the needs of the diverse range of OpenStack users with the primary mission of consolidating user requirements and providing specific guidance to the OpenStack development teams, will make all the difference in propelling OpenStack forward. While the structure of the User Committee is currently being defined, the growing number of OpenStack user groups around the world will certainly have a major influence.

From the voice of the user, 2013 will be the year that cements a foundational strength that will serve OpenStack for years to come. Empowering the broad user community is a powerful force – one that will ultimately lift OpenStack to market dominance.  Our users are our greatest strength.  Once this is achieved, a domino effect that increases the size of the cloud ecosystem and accelerates overall market growth is sure to follow.

Don’t miss this opportunity. Become part of the force that is defining open cloud computing. Become a member of the growing OpenStack community and let your voice be heard.

Join OpenStack at IBM Pulse 2013

OpenStack will play a prominent role at the IBM Pulse conference March 3 – 6 in Las Vegas. On the opening day, OpenStack will be featured at the Open Cloud Summit with a panel discussion, led by Jonathan Bryce, Executive Director of the OpenStack Foundation, on the role that open source plays in unifying the cloud ecosystem and driving open standards. Additional OpenStack sessions as well as IBM product announcements supporting OpenStack are planned for the conference. If you’re interested in joining the discussion, registration is still open.

IBM Cloud

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