Executive Viewpoint 2014 Prediction: Red Hat - Potential Realized: Four Reasons OpenStack Will Become an Enterprise Force in 2014

Chuck Dubuque (Profile)
Monday, January 27th 2014

The definition of potential is “latent qualities or abilities that may be developed and lead to future success or usefulness.” That's a great way to describe virtualization and, particularly, OpenStack adoption in 2013. Indeed, both solutions saw their potential skyrocket this past year, as greater numbers of organizations began exploring ways IaaS tools like OpenStack can help them achieve large-scale cloud deployments.

Now, it's time for that potential to be fully realized – and it will be in 2014. It will be the year we see OpenStack make a big move from being a platform with a great deal of interest and hype, to something that is a very tangible option for public and private organizations that wish to build their cloud infrastructure.

These organizations may, at one time, have been wary of OpenStack adoption, with questions about security, interoperability and vendor lock-in, usability, and overall confusion about the benefits of the solution to enterprises. But those concerns are being addressed by the simple maturity of the product and efforts by vendors to provide enterprise-ready OpenStack solutions. Today, OpenStack is no longer a massive development project; it is being commercialized and packaged to be consumable for organizations, and is well on its way to being able to address specific needs.

This process will continue in 2014. As a result, the market for OpenStack will broaden and grow. This growth will be driven by four primary factors:

1.  The Continued Focus on Security

As with any new platform, security was an initial concern with OpenStack. The focus on the development of enterprise-grade OpenStack solutions has helped alleviate that concern, and that focus will continue unabated in 2014. This will lead to...

2.  Increased Adoption within the Financial, Telecommunications and Public Sectors

We are beginning to see OpenStack solutions tailor made for each of these industries. Each of these share commonalities in that they have deep concerns about security, privacy and compliance – all of which are being directly addressed by new, enterprise-grade OpenStack solutions. Organizations in these sectors will take a good, hard look at how OpenStack can help them scale their cloud initiatives while ensuring that confidential data is well-protected. As a result, the financial, telecommunications and public arenas will serve as the primary proof points for OpenStack within organizational environments, and the harbingers for adoption in other sectors.

3.  The Growing OpenStack Ecosystem

There was a significant uptick in this area in 2013, but 2014 will undoubtedly be the year the OpenStack ecosystem truly comes into its own. Right now, just about everyone is throwing their hat into the ring, but it's not enough to have everyone and their mother commit to building enterprise-grade OpenStack solutions. Rather, the key in 2014 will be the number of OpenStack certifications that are granted. I believe this number will greatly increase, separating true OpenStack hardware and software vendors from the pretenders. The certification will provide organizations with the assurance of reliability, and help them feel more comfortable about OpenStack implementation.