Survey: OpenStack Deployments, Multi-Cloud and Need for Expertise All Rise

Production deployments of OpenStack more than doubled from just the previous year, a recent Red Hat survey of its global customer base found, driving customer requirements beyond the basic need for on-demand self-service infrastructure resources.

Rackspace and Red Hat are working together to meet those needs.

It’s been nearly a year since Rackspace and Red Hat jointly announced our enterprise-grade manage private cloud service, based on Red Hat OpenStack Platform. Since then, we’ve seen growing interest in Rackspace Private Cloud Powered by Red Hat, aka RPC-R. In particular, customers are finding it enables them to focus on consuming cloud resources instead of wrestling with cloud infrastructure.

The Red Hat survey found 43 percent of global respondents are now using OpenStack in production, up from 16 percent a year ago. As production usage grows, certain trend lines surfaced through the survey:

  • OpenStack is critical infrastructure for application development, especially with containers
  • Built-in management tools aren’t doing the job by themselves
  • Customers want workload portability across OpenStack and other infrastructures
  • Organizations are looking for strong technical support

Containers are moving from hype to actual use among the OpenStack community. We’ve seen the strong interest over several OpenStack Summits and the Red Hat survey found that the majority of respondents were using or planning to use containers on OpenStack.

Red Hat has been at the forefront of this movement with its OpenShift technology and leadership in the Kubernetes and Docker communities. The Red Hat approach has been to offer Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform on OpenStack for container management and app development (Note that OpenShift is supported on other cloud and IaaS platforms).

At Rackspace, we’ve been exploring different container technologies to support, including Kubernetes and OpenShift. Currently, existing RPC-R customers can run OpenShift on RPC-R, knowing Red Hat will fully support the OpenShift layer while Rackspace provides managed services for the OpenStack layer.

As more workloads move into production on OpenStack, the ability to do day-to-day tasks, from monitoring to capacity management, becomes more critical. While most users still rely on the management tools built in to OpenStack, more users are recognizing the need for additional tools to manage both the infrastructure and the resources and workloads running on it.

Rackspace’s value proposition has always been our ability to relieve customers from the burden of infrastructure management. RPC-R customers gain the benefits of Rackspace’s expertise and the tools we’ve built over the years to manage clouds at scale. Customers can also add capabilities for managing resources on RPC-R using Red Hat CloudForms to enhance their native OpenStack toolsets.

We live in a multi-cloud world and the Red Hat survey reflects that — 67 percent of respondents rated portability as an important or very important feature in OpenStack. OpenStack users are frequently also AWS users, who also have workloads running on traditional virtual machines and bare-metal servers. RPC-R users can manage these diverse technologies using CloudForms, while also relying on the expertise of Rackspace to provide the support customers need to succeed in a multi-cloud world.

It should be no surprise that nearly 75 percent of survey respondents rate technical support as important or very important when choosing an OpenStack partner. OpenStack is still a complex technology that requires hard to find expertise to manage day to day. Marrying Red Hat OpenStack Platform with Rackspace Fanatical Support creates the best managed private cloud service for any customer looking for an enterprise-grade solution that they can consume but not have to manage on their own.

As the Red Hat survey points out, “From a doubling in production deployments to the increased migration of traditional virtualized workloads, OpenStack’s enterprise future is certainly one of optimism. There are distinct needs that still need to be addressed, namely unified management and ensuring strong support for Linux containers, but overall, OpenStack is now beyond the proof-of-concept phase and ready to support mission-critical operations.” With RPC-R, Rackspace and Red Hat are well on our way to supporting our customers’ mission-critical workloads.

 

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