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In 2016, we surveyed our customer base on their use of OpenStack in production, getting a pulse-check on the top considerations, expectations, and benefits of a Red Hat OpenStack Platform deployment. With 2018 marking five years of Red Hat OpenStack Platform, we checked back in with our customers to see if their experiences or expectations of OpenStack have changed. Our survey found:

  • Organizations still value strong technical support in an OpenStack solution

  • Faster delivery of IT services and scalable infrastructure remain the top benefits of an OpenStack-based cloud infrastructure

  • OpenStack provides the infrastructure for application development, especially with containers

  • OpenStack isn’t just for network functions virtualization (NFV)

To gather these insights, we surveyed 670 Red Hat OpenStack Platform customers and Red Hat Enterprise Linux customers who had shown interest in OpenStack during the last two years. Respondents came from across the globe (78 countries to be exact), and spanned a wide variety of industries (more than 20!) and organizations, from Fortune and Global 500 companies to small businesses.

Top considerations and benefits of a deployment
As we found in 2016, when it comes to buying commercial OpenStack solutions, support matters. More than 70 percent of organizations surveyed agreed that production-level technical support and documentation is a top factor when deciding between OpenStack vendors. Additionally, solution flexibility and the ability to move workloads (45 percent), as well as a more simplified installation and upgrade process (67 percent), ranked as other key considerations during the decision-making process.

Once an organization has selected an OpenStack vendor, they expect improved delivery time, agility, scalability, and reduced costs. Nearly 70 percent of respondents indicated the faster delivery of new IT services to meet business demands as a top anticipated benefit, and many (62 percent) are either experiencing or anticipating more agile and scalable infrastructure. A little more than half are also looking to see an overall reduction in IT operational costs (54 percent).

Container use on OpenStack is growing
Today’s organizations need a cloud infrastructure that can allocate resources more quickly, efficiently and at scale. Many of these organizations are also looking to more easily build and deploy cloud-native applications. Many are hoping that running Linux containers on their OpenStack deployments will help meet both of these needs, with 68 percent of survey respondents indicating that have deployed or are planning to deploy containers on their OpenStack environments. This is a 19 percent increase from 2016, when 57 percent were already using or planned to use containers on OpenStack.

Customer workloads running on OpenStack
When it comes to the type of workloads customers are running or plan to run on their OpenStack environments, survey respondents indicated a mix of both existing traditional workloads and new workloads specifically for cloud environments (63 percent). This is a significant jump from 2016, when only about 50 percent were opting for a hybrid mix.

As for the specific workloads themselves, respondents indicated they’re using OpenStack for many different applications. The top five results include:

  • Infrastructure services, such as public and private cloud services (66 percent)

  • Software development, testing, quality assurance, and continuous integration (55 percent)

  • Network functions virtualization (39 percent)

  • Web services and ecommerce (36 percent)

  • Databases (36 percent)

For more information on Red Hat OpenStack Platform, visit us at OpenStack Summit Vancouver (Booth #A19), and take part in one of our more than 50 OpenStack Summit sessions.  

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