That Time When OpenStack Turned Four

This is huge. Really huge. If someone told me four years ago that OpenStack would be where it is today – just a mere four years in – I would’ve shrugged my shoulders and said “maybe, we’ll see.”

I am absolutely astounded by how far we’ve come as a community and as a project. Think about it: as of May 2014, OpenStack boasted 16,266 individual members in 139 countries from 355 organizations. There were 2,130 contributors, 466 average monthly contributors and 17,209 patches merged. Let’s compare that to May 2013, when there were 9,511 individual members from 209 organizations. 998 total contributors, 230 average monthly contributors and 7,260 patches merged.

Oh, and the Atlanta Summit this past May was the biggest ever, with more than 4,500 attendees from 55 different countries.

As the project continues to evolve into its fifth year, I’m excited to see increased operator participation. While developers and users are key cornerstones for OpenStack, the operators can tell us what works and what works at scale. One of our big goals for this past year was to close the feedback loop between operators and developers. Moving forward, we as a community have to continue to foster close relationships between the developers and the operators to continue innovation and balance stability. The launch this year of DefCore, a set of standards and tests that will help the community understand which projects are stable, widely used and key to interoperability, will help this progress. Rackspace is hosting the next OpenStack Ops Meetup August 25 and 26 in San Antonio; if you want to learn more.

We’ve also made great strides in making OpenStack more stable and have made great progress defining OpenStack core, two things will continue to hammer on.

And the production use and the maturity of use cases are incredible. If you’ve been to any of the recent OpenStack Summits, you’ve seen household names talking about how they use OpenStack – Comcast, Sony, Disney, eBay, Wells Fargo, AT&T and more showed how they’re using it in production to run very real, critical workloads. More than 1,200 user surveys have been completed by users detailing their OpenStack deployments. There are more than 70 user groups and more than 9,000 members joined a user group this year alone.

At Rackspace, we are co-founders of OpenStack, but we’re also among its largest users. It’s been a boon for us and our business. Our public and private clouds are built on it. It’s a key pillar of our managed cloud strategy. And it powers much of what we do. We’ve been able to rebuild our public cloud for massive scale and OpenStack has empowered us to innovate quickly and be agile (Have you heard of OnMetal yet? That was built with OpenStack Ironic, the bare-metal provisioning program).

I’m as optimistic about OpenStack’s future as I am humbled and inspired by its growth. It’s truly a project that we – the community– have taken from a handful of lines of code to a production-ready cloud operating system that world-beating enterprises use and trust.

Year five is a big one. So let’s celebrate how far we’ve come, and look forward to where we’ll go.

Vice President of Software Development Paul Voccio has worked in operations and development for Rackspace Cloud. His current mission is to work on OpenStack and public clouds; he wants to retire on the moon.


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