Gartner has been fielding an increasing number of inquiry calls from IT managers, technical professionals, vendors, service providers and investors wanting to learn about OpenStack. We have found that the hype around OpenStack has led to a set of dangerous myths that are affecting sourcing, partnership and investment decisions, including the arbitrary selection of OpenStack without considering alternatives or doing a technical evaluation. This research examines the impact of the hype and provides recommendations that are based in the practical realities of OpenStack as it exists today.
Some people have been led to believe that because OpenStack is open source, it is an open and widely-adopted standard, with broad interoperability and freedom from commercial interests.
In reality, OpenStack is dominated by commercial interests, as it is a business strategy for the vendors involved, not the effort of a community of altruistic individual contributors. Some of the participants, notably Rackspace and other service providers are afraid of the growing dominance of AWS in the cloud IaaS market and do not believe that they have the ability to muster, on their own, the engineering resources necessary to successfully compete with AWS at scale, nor do they want to pay an ongoing license fee for a commercial CMP like VMware's vCloud stack.
Both Rackspace and HP believe that OpenStack will enable them to offer hybrid public/private cloud solutions, if they can drive OpenStack penetration for on-premises enterprise clouds. Others, like Piston Cloud Computing, Nebula, and Cloudscaling, provide commercial distributions of OpenStack, along with professional services and support. Many are vendors, such as Cisco, Citrix (see Note 2), Dell and Red Hat, that want to ensure OpenStack works well with their products, as well as limiting VMware's future market power.