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Vendors, analysts debate enterprise prospects of OpenStack

Analysts have debated the success so far of OpenStack in the enterprise.

Vendors and analysts have recently debated OpenStack's prospects in the enterprise, with some arguing that companies have been slow to warm to OpenStack-based products. However, the OpenStack Foundation and Red Hat have both pointed to rapid growth and adoption of open source technologies among large businesses.

After attending the recent OpenStack Summit in Hong Kong, Gartner analyst Alessandro Perilli felt that some OpenStack vendors had not been articulating the platform's advantages to potential clients. Issues such as lack of differentiation and transparency, as well as pragmatism, were holding back OpenStack-based product sales to enterprises, Perilli argued.

Commenting on Perilli's argument, GigaOM's Derrick Harris suggested that the OpenStack community could learn from Hadoop, another open source project that has been very successful in changing how companies approach cloud infrastructure. More specifically, the Hadoop community may offer an example of how to pitch products that are based on open source code.

OpenStack contributors and vendors have taken issue with Perilli's remarks. Red Hat's Bryan Che asserted that open source projects were not an apples-to-apples comparison of products. Furthermore, he pointed out that companies like Red Hat have proven that it's possible to build successful enterprise products on OpenStack.

OpenStack Foundation COO Mark Collier provided a wider range of examples. Moreover, he cited the newness of the cloud market as one reason to hold off on issuing final judgment on any platform.

"Confusion in the market on exactly how best to embrace cloud computing is a symptom of the early stages of a massive transition, but in just three years, OpenStack adoption has grown even faster than we expected," Collier told InfoWorld via email. "At our recent events, dozens of companies have talked about their deployments, including Comcast, Bloomberg, Paypal, Shutterstock, Workday and others."

As OpenStack evolves, it may become more streamlined. It will be up to vendors to help clients through the complex process of finding and implementing the right solutions.