What's next for OpenStack in 2014? The project gained a number of prominent supporters this year, resulting in the rapid creation and iteration of new services. The Havana release included many innovative features for network management, and enterprises may be warming to the flexibility of OpenStack cloud infrastructure, which can scale for large environments, help companies avoid vendor lock in and save money on hardware costs. Going forward, the OpenStack community may be more oriented toward feature refinement than pushing for adoption.

Companies in the U.S. and Europe drove strong OpenStack uptake over the past year, creating a strong customer base that developers can now address with more advanced features. Speaking to The VAR Guy, DreamHost CEO and vice president of software development Simon Anderson observed that the adoption phase was mostly complete and that OpenStack is maturing.

"In 2014, the theme really is about production hardening of OpenStack," stated Anderson. "Work needs to continue to be done to make [OpenStack] perform optimally."

On a technical level, work is already underway on a unified command-line interface that would provide one tool for working with all OpenStack components. Such an addition would address some of the common OpenStack pain points, such as its perceived steep learning curve and the need to sometimes use inconsistent administration tools. The Nova API is also being overhauled for greater user-friendliness and better orchestrate compute resources.

OpenStack is still trying to make up ground on Amazon Web Services in some markets. SiliconANGLE's Bert Latamore argued that the open source project has been buoyed by vendors such as IBM and HP that are keen not to repeat the mistakes they may have made with virtualization. However, having strong, clear leadership within the OpenStack community will be the key to sustaining its success.

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