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OpenStack: Small Pond, but the Big Fish Love It

Mitch Wagner

BARCELONA -- OpenStack Summit -- OpenStack is strategically deployed by some big businesses, but it's just a specialty niche compared with public cloud giants like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft.

Among the companies with strategic OpenStack deployments presenting at the conference here are Banco Santander, Sky UK, Walmart, Deutsche Telekom and AT&T.

Start with Banco Santander. The €10.9 billion Spanish banking and financial services company, which does business in Europe, the US, Latin America, Singapore, Hong Kong and Africa, has more than 1,000 nodes running OpenStack, said Juan Antonio de la Fuente, cloud engineering director for Produban. Produban is Santander's IT organization; Banco Santander is an operating unit of Santander. De la Fuente spoke at the conference keynote Tuesday.

The bank takes a "cloud first" strategy for deploying applications, favoring hybrid clouds and open source, de La Fuente said.

At Sky UK, OpenStack is part of the company's "software defined data center" strategy to achieve reduced cost, increased speed of delivery and greater flexibility for multiple business units and product teams, Matt Smith, infrastructure design manager for Sky UK, said.

Sky UK has OpenStack deployed in two data centers and four availability zones, with more than 400 users, hundreds of apps, 7,000 cores and 400 TB of Ceph storage. Applications supported include its SkyQ Ultra HD set-top box, which provides automated updating for reduced maintenance costs; as well as concert ticket sales, and a video on demand portal to transfer video assets internally between the UK, Germany, Italy and external sources like Sony and Paramount. The company also provides enterprise monitoring, video streaming analysis, developer tools and more, based on OpenStack.

T-Systems, the IT business unit for Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), doesn't build hardware or even create a lot of software for its size, Jörn Kellerman , senior vice president for IT operations, said at the keynote Tuesday. What DT does is integrate. So it's important for DT to have technology that's open, innovative and uses standards.

DT is using OpenStack on its public cloud, SaaS hosting and for internal tests and workloads.

And there's more: Walmart spoke later in the day Tuesday, and said the entirety of its ecommerce platform runs on OpenStack. We'll have more about how Walmart is using OpenStack later this week. (See Walmart Puts Cloud Platform in Open Source.)

AT&T is on the agenda this week several times, and has spoken prominently at past OpenStack conferences. (See AT&T: OpenStack Needs Central Leadership , It's OpenStack or Vendor Lock-In, Says AT&T and AT&T Rallies Carriers Around OpenStack.)

OpenStack is being used in research initiatives to explore inside atoms and is planned for a new telescope that will peer across the galaxy. (See OpenStack Goes Inside Atoms, Across Galaxy.)

The work being done by OpenStack's existing enterprise, research and service provider adopters is impressive. But OpenStack has light years to go before catching up with proprietary pubic clouds.

Are you a service provider executive who wants to learn more about the impact of web-scale competition on the communications sector? Join us for Light Reading's third-annual 2020 Vision Executive Summit taking place in Rome, December 6-8. Contact our events team to find out if you qualify for a VIP pass.

The public cloud options are just plain bigger, and will stay that way for years. Revenue from OpenStack business models will exceed $5 billion by 2020 and grow at 35% CAGR, according to a study by 451 Research, released Monday. (See OpenStack Gains Ground in Enterprise.)

By comparison, Amazon Web Services Inc. revenue was $9.9 billion for the 12 months trailing June 30 of this year. And Microsoft's Intelligent Cloud revenue, which includes Azure, was $6.4 billion in the quarter ending Sept. 30, with Azure revenue growing 116% year-over-year. (See Amazon Kisses $10B Annual Cloud Revenue and Cloud Lifts Microsoft Stock to Record Height .)

451 Research believes OpenStack will succeed in private cloud and providing orchestration between public cloud and on-premises and hosted OpenStack. While "organizations across most vertical sectors" run mission-critical workloads on OpenStack, it's generally used for test and dev environments, web hosting and pilot projects, 451 Research said.

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— Mitch Wagner, Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor, Light Reading Enterprise Cloud

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