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Interest in deploying open-source clouds is rising--survey

Nearly three-quarters of open-source users are considering production deployments of the OpenStack cloud platform, a survey says.

2011 State of OpenStack
2011 State of OpenStack

As interest in open-source cloud computing continues to grow, a new--albeit self-interested--survey shows that users are looking to move from experiments to production deployments.

Today, systems management software provider Zenoss released the results of what they've titled the "OpenStack Adoption Survey". (OpenStack is an open-source cloud operating system.) The data was culled from 772 surveys filled out at the recent OpenStack Conference in Boston and the Zenoss open source management community.

OpenStack, which came on the scene in July of 2010 out of Rackspace, is software that delivers a massively scalable cloud operating system for both public and private clouds. The website notes, "OpenStack is a community and a project as well as a stack of open source software to help organizations run clouds for virtual computing or storage."

The most telling result of the survey was that 73 percent are considering and OpenStack deployment with 40 percent of that group planning to be operational with 12 months. What is the allure? Not surprisingly, cost and avoiding vendor lock-in were the top two reasons, garnering 47 percent and 46 percent of the votes respectively.

The survey asked what specific components of OpenStack are most interesting. Forty-four percent of respondants cited object storage (which goes by the code name Swift) as the top draw, closely followed by compute (called Nova) at 43 percent. Network Connectivity (via Quantum) and Dashboard both tied at 40 percent.

Consistent with other cloud-related surveys, 63 percent of "OpenStack Adoption Survey" respondents cited performance and availability as their biggest cloud concerns.

What's not clear, of course, is whether these survey results will translate into traction for OpenStack over the next 12 months. Personally, I think we'll see a lot of OpenStack deployments, but it's still not clear how big or mission-critical they will be.