Alessandro Perilli

A member of the Gartner Blog Network

Alessandro Perilli
Research Director
3 years at Gartner
16 years IT industry

Alessandro Perilli is a research director for Data Center Strategies in the IT Professionals Research group at Gartner. Alessandro covers private cloud computing and cloud management platforms. Read Full Bio

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Why vendors can’t sell OpenStack to enterprises

by Alessandro Perilli  |  November 19, 2013  |  75 Comments

A couple of weeks ago I attended my first OpenStack Summit in Hong Kong. It was an eye opener experience from a research standpoint, and I wrote some of my impressions in a post titled “What I saw at the OpenStack Summit” . In that post I covered three big a-ha moments for me, but omitted one.

What I saw at the Summit was a very strong desire to penetrate the enterprise market, which seems to be the hardest challenge for vendors gravitating around the OpenStack ecosystem. In fact, for the largest part, vendors don’t know how to articulate the OpenStack story to win enterprises. They simply don’t know how to sell it.

Don’t believe the hype generated by press and vendor marketing: OpenStack penetration in the large enterprise market is minimal. There are exceptions, like the way too famous PayPal case study. But PayPal is not your average large bank, your average large insurance firm, or your average healthcare organization. If you look at the excellent User Story page on the OpenStack website, you’ll see a lot of documented customer references, but not the traditional enterprise segment that vendors are after.

And yes, there are some ongoing deployments that can’t be disclosed yet, but for one promising or successful deployment there are several that fail and that will forever remain undocumented. When I evaluate a case study in Gartner I always assess what’s the stage of the project. If the project just started I don’t really know if the interviewed organization will fail and replace the product six months into the implementation. Sometimes it happens, demonstrating how a lot of the initial assumptions were wrong.

So why vendors can’t tell a resonating story about OpenStack to enterprise prospects?
There are at least four reasons:

 

1) Lack of clarity about what OpenStack does and does not. 

Over the last three years, press mistakenly positioned OpenStack as an alternative to commercial solutions that in Gartner we call cloud management platforms (CMPs). In most situations, it’s not the case. Quite the opposite, from an architectural and functional standpoint, what OpenStack does must be augmented by a commercial CMP for many enterprises that need strong process governance, sophisticated capacity management, and advanced automation capabilities. I spent the last three years at Gartner researching on these topics, but you don’t have to trust my words. eBay’s Chief Engineer in charge of the OpenStack private cloud, Subbu Allamaraju, says it better:

“However, OpenStack is a cloud controller software. Though the community did a nice job at putting together this software, an instance of an OpenStack installation does not make a cloud. As an operator you will be dealing with many additional activities not all of which users see. These include infra onboarding, boostrapping, remediation, config management, patching, packaging, upgrades, high availability, monitoring, metrics, user support, capacity forecasting and management, billing or chargeback, reclamation, security, firewalls, DNS, integration with other internal infrastructure and tools, and on and on and on. These activities are bound to consume a significant amount of time and effort. OpenStack gives some very key ingredients to build a cloud, but it is not cloud in a box.”

It is totally acceptable that press cannot get the architectural and functional difference between OpenStack and commercial CMPs focused on private cloud computing. But vendors get this difference, trust me. And no one in three years stood up to clarify what OpenStack can and cannot do for an enterprise. The net result is that the large majority of my inquires with enterprises interested to learn more about OpenStack are focused on clarifying architecture and feature set versus solutions like VMware vCloud Suite or BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management.

To the contrary, all vendor marketing seen in last three years seems focused on building a very vague association between OpenStack and the general concept of “cloud”. Nobody acknowledges that OpenStack can solve a specific set of problems related to building a cloud, but not all of them. I won’t make specific examples, but I invite readers to open a multi-tab browser and display the OpenStack page of various Foundation members for each tab.

Enterprises don’t do business with vendors that cannot articulate clearly their value proposition describing what problem they solve and why they solve it better than others.

I look forward to address this lack of clarify from a technical standpoint with my next research document.

 

2) Lack of transparency about the business model around OpenStack.

During the press and analyst day at the OpenStack Summit I was fortunate to attend a panel with prominent vendors about their involvement in the project. One of the first questions, if not the first, submitted by the moderator was something like “You offer commercial solutions to build private clouds, and yet you are investing significant resources in this open source project. Why?”

What followed was the closest thing to a discourse at a philanthropy dinner I have ever heard in my life. Not a single panelist described the business model behind their decision to support OpenStack.

I have no doubts that some individuals truly believe in the promise of OpenStack and its long term potential (for example, one thing that was mentioned was greater cloud interoperability). However, vendors gravitate around OpenStack for profit, which can come in different forms:

  • Some vendors can benefit from OpenStack’s complexity by selling professional services
  • Some vendors can benefit from OpenStack’s lack of enterprise-grade functionalities and augment an OpenStack cloud with their commercial CMPs
  • All vendors benefit from OpenStack’s open source nature by offering enterprise-grade support well beyond the 6-months life cycle of OpenStack releases.
  • All vendors benefit from OpenStack’s open source nature by leveraging drivers for the various resource managers provided by other vendors, rather than developing their own integration points. It’s a massive R&D cost that is offloaded to the OpenStack community.

None of these business models were even briefly mentioned, and that reflects the reticence that vendors have in clarifying why they want to be in the OpenStack business.

Enterprises need to understand the long term viability of technologies they consider for adoption. An unclear business model doesn’t help.

 

3) Lack of vision and long term differentiation.

I mark some of my slide decks as “evergreen”. It means that I keep updating them even if there’s no imminent research document associated to them, simply because they are about a topic that comes up every day during inquiries. One of my evergreen decks describes the cloud management platform market profile and vendor segmentation. In that deck I keep track of commercial CMPs and OpenStack distributions among other information. And to my count, at today, there are 17 OpenStack distributions. I am fairly certain there are more.

What value they add to the vanilla OpenStack code that enterprises could (but don’t want to) download by themselves? What is the differentiation between all these distributions?

For way too many, it’s all about number of code contributors and simplifying the installation process, in this exact order.

Number of code contributors doesn’t tell anything about vendors’ vision and long term differentiation. How many developers contribute to a commercial CMP? Does it matter if the product doesn’t solve today’s and tomorrow’s needs an organization has? Andrew Clay Shafer, former VP of Engineering at CloudScaling (an OpenStack Foundation Gold Member), called it vanity metrics. I agree and invite technical press to dig deeper in writing their stories about OpenStack.

OpenStack installation issues is nothing new, and it’s somehow shocking that three years into the project the code is still so complex to install. So it’s positive that vendors are working to solve the problem. However, you can’t win enterprises with a smoother installation procedure. Did you ever install VMware vCloud Suite? Or BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management? Or Cisco Automated Suite for Clouds? Or Microsoft System Center? Or IBM SmartCloud Orchestrator? Or HP Cloud Service Automation? Or CA Automated Suite for Cloud? Most of these commercial CMPs are massively complicated multi-tier systems. In some cases, the vendor requires professional services even just to deploy them. Yet, large enterprises keep buying (some of) them to build their private clouds. Enterprise organizations demand software simplification, but if a smoother installation process is the only value an OpenStack vendor can provide that’s not really impressive.

When large enterprises decide to build a private cloud, they commit to a long and complex, multi-year, often million-dollar implementation. Accordingly, organizations evaluate the long term viability (i.e., Acquisition? Bankrupt? Radical change of the go to market strategy?) of their vendor of choice, if and how a vendor’s vision aligns with internal business goals, and if the technology roadmap will likely support their evolving needs over the many phases of the project.

Enterprises don’t buy a long term vision articulated around how great the software setup is and how many code commits you are responsible for.

 

4) Lack of pragmatism.

In my previous blog post, I described how OpenStack vendors divide into two camps that I called “purists” and “pragmatists”.

Purists keep telling enterprise prospects that OpenStack can’t be a general purpose cloud environment, able to host traditional multi-tier LoB applications as well as new cloud-aware applications. “Either your application can scale out or you are stuck in a VMware world”, I was told at the Summit. This, admittedly small, faction is the one that ignores how many large enterprises keep calling Gartner asking clarifications about what OpenStack is and how they could leverage it to reduce their dependency from VMware. This faction also ignores how incredibly hard and time consuming is for an enterprise organization embrace cloud design patterns.

Ironically, this faction includes players that waste no time in criticizing established virtualization or enterprise management vendors for not offering “true” cloud solutions. However, enterprise clients continue to buy “non-true” cloud solutions and OpenStack adoption in this market segment remains minimal.

Enterprises don’t particularly like vendors that show lack of awareness about the technical, organizational, cultural and political issues that plague their environments. How can these vendors be good business partners?

 

 

There are other, significant reasons why enterprises don’t buy OpenStack. I’ll talk about the technical issues in my upcoming research paper. The above are the ones why vendors can’t even get the attention they hope for.

75 Comments »

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75 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Mike R.   November 19, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    OpenStack core api is still incomplete, even though many vendors initially backed RackSpace’s movement to open-source their IaaS. What has been really interesting to see is the recent market shift behind VMware’s Cloud Foundry, which solves challenges of both IaaS and PaaS. Verizon, NTT Communications, CenturyLink (including acquisitions Tier 3, AppFog, Savvis), IBM, EMC, Pivotal, Canonical (Ubuntu), all are now backing Cloud Foundry.

  • 2 Why vendors can’t sell OpenStack to enterprises — Tech News and Analysis   November 19, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    [...] Why vendors can’t sell OpenStack to enterprises [...]

  • 3 Keith Townsend   November 19, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    Good points. Another key reason is that even with a vendor managed IaaS cloud OpenStack still requires some development muscle on the customer side. Paypal as you mentioned is an outlier. They have 12 developers in their operations teams devoted to making OpenStack work in their environment.

    Most enterprise operations teams can’t meet this in-house development requirement. Even in an outsourced model you’d still require some subset of development capability to make OpenStack what you need internally.

  • 4 Alessandro Perilli   November 19, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    Very valid point Keith, and I agree. I voluntarily left out all reasons that are related to OpenStack technical issues, because those will be fully detailed in my research document.

  • 5 Arturo Suarez   November 19, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    I kind of agree with you, Alessandro. Some of the critics to OpenStack are something we share. We, being an OpenStack native company with less marketing dollars, have this very pragmatic approach. Whether the solution is powered by OpenStack, it does not really matter other than to guarantee that the core of it will be general knowledge and they could eventually swap to another vendor (this is something that remains to be seen) whenever they want or need. It also grants there will be a constant evolution of that core to meet new needs and enable new services on top. Other than that, they need to compare end to end products or commit to a project based on OpenStack to create a customized solution. A customer only wants a solution to their needs, OpenStack based or otherwise.

    I do think the business model around OpenStack product vs project approach is clear, and there are ways to differentiate. A totally different story is to be profitable or get a proper return on the investment.

  • 6 Why vendors can’t sell OpenStack to enterprises | 8ballbilliard   November 19, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    [...] about some of the prob­lems fac­ing ven­dors sell­ing Open­Stack as private-cloud soft­ware. You should read it. My two cents: If Open­Stack ven­dors really are at a loss for how to describe their prod­ucts, [...]

  • 7 Marco Meinardi   November 20, 2013 at 10:36 am

    Great stuff Alessandro, a real accurate analysis around the OpenStack movement. Indeed, it resembles much more a political movement driven by massive consensus (that kills the thoughts) rather than by real technology and business benefits. It’s so hypocritical that no vendor articulated clearly what’s their real interest in backing the project… making it sound like it’s for the good of mankind.
    Some people want to think that the infrastructure-as-a-service technology is so commoditised that needs to be standardised, in a way the industry can focus on competing on some higher level of value-add. But I struggle to believe that when the majority of technology vendor didn’t get the real drivers behind IaaS adoption. Or when so much still needs to be done there to achieve real resource optimisation and drive better performance.

  • 8 Lukas Eder   November 20, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    A very interesting read about OpenStack. While many things do not apply to Open Source in particular (as they might as well apply to commercial software), there is still a big inherent problem with large and complex Open Source systems. They’re not *required* to be profitable and thus survive a lot longer than any commercial product that would have been cancelled once management recognises the inability to make money with it. I’ve recently blogged about these connections myself:

    http://blog.jooq.org/2013/08/01/10-reasons-not-to-choose-a-particular-open-source-software/

    Another very interesting point of view was made by tomitribe (TomEE) who makes a good point about the fact that we haven’t yet fully understood the business that can drive Open Source software:

    http://www.tomitribe.com/blog/2013/11/feed-the-fish/

  • 9 Yves de Montcheuil   November 20, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    Alessandro, I’ll start by stating that I don’t know nearly enough about OpenStack and this is why I was drawn to your post (very enlightening by the way). But I know a thing or two about open source vendors, and I couldn’t help drawing two parallels with your points:

    – Lack of transparency about the business model: this same issue has plagued the open source world for years, with way too many open source vendors dancing around the fact that they need a sustainable business model and are in business to make money! Stating the obvious has never (in my view at least) been detrimental to the relationship with a community, especially when the ongoing sustainability of the vendor is the key to keeping an open source product/project kicking and vibrant. Many vendors (Talend included) have striven under the open core model, but too few have had the courage to admit it.

    – Division between “purists” and “pragmatists”: sounds very similar to current discussions in the Hadoop ecosystem, where some players tout their “full open source” approach, some are overtly open core (even though they won’t use the term…), and some embed Hadoop so deeply into a proprietary stack that open source is nothing but a distant memory. But how relevant is it? If users adopt it, if clients pay for it, good for them. The world needs choice. I bet OpenStack provides a similar spectrum of alternatives. Or if it doesn’t, that it will, if it is to thrive.

  • 10 Zachariah   November 20, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    I look forward to your “Research Paper”. You went to a conference for open source software with business profit in the front of your mind. Good job at missing the point. You could have come away with more if learning about what OpenStack is and is not, was your motivation. All those cloud platforms you listed REQUIRE professional services to implement. Sitting down and figuring it out is not really an option. BMC’s support portal can’t even spell OpenStack correctly. CA is notorious for vapor-ware. Cisco is too expensive. Not to mention you lose the plugin flexibility with those products.

    We built an OpenStack environment in a week, prior to the operations manual being available. Since its publishing, we’ve built a few different environments pretty quickly, with customization’s. We have a crew 5 guys. Our latest environment builds itself.

    Can you mix, match, and scale different hypervisors with different plugins along with containers in any of the vendor solutions you list? Do you even have experience with OpenStack setups?

  • 11 Greg Knieriemen   November 20, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    I’m baffled by this post – especially the headline: vendors are absolutely selling OpenStack-based solutions to the enterprise.

    Disclosure: I work for a vendor that is a Gold Member of OpenStack and I’m an active proponent of OpenStack.

    We have worked with a number of large enterprises (some of the largest banks and retailers in the world) who are building OpenStack-based solutions.

    Your lack of exposure to vendors actually selling and implementing OpenStack-based solutions doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Seriously – if Gartner were to poll the largest enterprises in most verticals, I’m certain your opinion would change.

  • 12 Not Everyone Believes That OpenStack Has Succeeded | debexpert   November 20, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    [...] though, Gartner Research Director Allessandro Perilli, is out with an essay that paints a much gloomier picture of actual OpenStack deployments. Perilli was at OpenStack [...]

  • 13 Alessandro Perilli   November 20, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    Greg,
    in my previous post (linked at the beginning of this one) I provided better context about what I do at Gartner. I’ll paste here:

    “…At Gartner, I focus on private cloud computing in the Gartner for Technical Professionals (GTP) division and in the last three years I interacted with many hundreds of large scale enterprise organizations, most in the Fortune Global 2000 group. The number of inquiries I get from this audience continues to grow exponentially, albeit most questions continue to focus on clearing up the confusion about OpenStack and understand its technical capabilities, maturity, and long term viability…”

    So I actually talk to the large enterprise clients I refer to in this post. And I also talk to tens (close to a hundred) vendors, including the ones that operate in the OpenStack market (or at least the ones that care to reach out and brief me, or the ones that answer my briefing requests).

    I am exposed to both market constituencies, and I simply don’t see the numbers. This is not religious war. There is no bias in my position. It’s just a matter of data points.

    When you say that your clients are *building* it’s good news, but I invite you to provide more context. *Building* is different than *built*, and *built for a pilot* is different than *built in production*. And *built in production* is different than *built in production but had to throw everything away after just six months*.

    When I’ll see some significant OpenStack production cloud in the large enterprise market, I’ll be more than happy to change my position.

  • 14 Why Vendor’s Can’t sell OpenStack – Virtual2privatecloud.com   November 20, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    [...] Very interesting article on OpenStack with different perspective. This article is written by Alessandro Peril Director at Gartner. Read the full article here [...]

  • 15 Not Everyone Believes That OpenStack Has Succeeded | PHP World   November 20, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    [...] though, Gartner Research Director Allessandro Perilli, is out with an essay that paints a much gloomier picture of actual OpenStack deployments. Perilli was at OpenStack [...]

  • 16 Steve Strutt   November 20, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    Great points Alessandro. But before I weigh in on the topic, I must declare my IBM allegiance. IBM being one of the key movers behind the creation of the OpenStack Foundation and is currently investing significant time and money in making it fit for the enterprise. I note the dislike of contributor bragging rights, but we were the #2 core contributor to Havana.

    The OpenStack community is definitely varied and there are polar opposites in terms of approach and philosophy. I look at OpenStack today as being where Linux was 10 years ago. At that time IBM chose to invest time and energy into Linux to make it a viable option for enterprises and provide a real alternative in the x86 operating system space. It is now hard to doubt the success of Linux in the enterprise, but back then?

    OpenStack is not a full CMP and my crystal ball doesn’t say whether it will have all the CMP features even in 10 years. I doubt it. In my view enterprises are more likely to go with an open-core solution which is wrappered with patching, compliance and orchestration solutions, rather than the straight open source. However what they do want is the vendor independence that the OpenStack APIs offer them to avoid lock-in. Either northbound or southbound.

    I did meet with one international bank this week, who are planning to go OpenStack end to end. They already have parts of test/dev on openstack and as it matures and the features that make it enterprise capable are delivered they will roll across the organisation. They are however unusual in having a large open source development team, but they are considering working with a tier one vendor to enable them to focus on the value add they can put on top of the platform.

  • 17 Letting go of Openstack | wonky.net.au   November 20, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    [...] I’ve decided its time for me to let go of Openstack and move on.  There are a number of reasons but the overarching ones are quite neatly discussed in this news article and the referenced Gartner post from Alessandro Perilli. [...]

  • 18 Whither OpenStack? | Speaking of Clouds - Distributed applications and virtual infrastructures   November 21, 2013 at 1:56 am

    [...] than I, here are a few of the key pieces: to whom it may concern What I saw at the OpenStack Summit Why vendors can’t sell OpenStack to enterprises Not Everyone Believes That OpenStack Has Succeeded Inside OpenStack: Gifted, troubled project that [...]

  • 19 The 4th Tenet of OpenStack: Open Source Projects Are Not The Same as Products | tentenet.net   November 21, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    [...] analyst Alessandro Perilli recently wrote an article, Why Vendors Can’t Sell OpenStack to Enterprises.  In that article, he lists four challenges for vendors selling OpenStack and why enterprise [...]

  • 20 Bryan Che   November 21, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    Good post, and I agree with your challenges for enterprise vendors around OpenStack. Here is how Red Hat is addressing them: http://tentenet.net/2013/11/21/the-4th-tenet-of-openstack-open-source-projects-are-not-the-same-as-products/

  • 21 Pourquoi OpenStack peine à entrer dans l’entreprise | Evanade   November 22, 2013 at 2:24 am

    [...] selon l’analyste Alessandro Perilli, les éditeurs ne savent tout simplement pas comment vendre OpenStack aux entreprises. « Ne croyez pas le battage médiatique généré par la presse et le marketing [...]

  • 22 Scenic BGP Route | TechSNAP 137 | Jupiter Broadcasting   November 22, 2013 at 3:21 am

    [...] Gartner says OpenStack lacks clarity and will be hard to sell [...]

  • 23 #Gartner analyst slams #OpenStack, again – #IaaS | The IT Melting Pot!   November 22, 2013 at 6:50 am

    [...] a blog post reviewing his experience, the analyst – who focuses on studying cloud management tools [...]

  • 24 Anders   November 22, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    It seems to me the key issue is focus and raison d’etre.

    When RAX initially announced their thoughts around the project it was focused on the Public Cloud space. Behind the scenes they were hoping that OpenStack would gain wide adoption with Service providers, MSP’s and telco’s and that by creating a standard across xSP land they would be able fight AWS and lower migration/entry barriers to the RAX OpenStack services.
    With less than 100 OpenStack public cloud adoptions that strategy did not work out well. And as it turned out the service provider market is now pretty much ‘owned’ by OnApp and their public cloud/cdn/storage platform (disclaimer: the telco I work for use OnApp for their solutions).

    Then private cloud and enterprise became the prime target for OpenStack, but the immature nature of the framework (that’s what it is, a framework’) just doesn’t cut it in that world. There are factores more important than price and VMware, CA, Oracle etc understand that market way better.

    What’s next?

  • 25 Matt Micene   November 22, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    **This is my opinion and not that of my employer**

    Alessandro,

    Point 4 has nothing to do with ‘purists’ but architecture. A ‘general purpose cloud’ hosting traditional multi-tier applications is not a cloud. It’s traditional virtualization. Traditional LoB applications will not fare well in any cloud environment.

    Cloud, by definition, is an architecture designed around ephemeral compute and network resources for elastic scalability. Layering a management platform on traditional hypervisors and claiming a cloud does not a cloud make. Claiming that a cloud platform is insufficient for an architecture it wasn’t designed for and therefor not a worthy cloud is a false distinction.

    The distinction between virtualization and cloud is important from an architecture case. Hosting a latency sensitive application with traditional HA tooling in any cloud environment will not perform well. Clarification about architecture, intent, and design is required to make sure the enterprises use the right tooling for the job at hand.

  • 26 The {Private} Cloud of Despair | CloudBzz   November 22, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    [...] been some recent noise about the gap between OpenStack hype and actual enterprise adoption. Perhaps many IT organizations are struggling with the tension between their desire to build and [...]

  • 27 Will OpenStack fail to win enterprise market, as Gartner says? - UnitedStack   November 25, 2013 at 9:21 am

    [...] Days ago, Gartner posted an article questioning OpenStack on enterprise market. Why vendors can’t sell OpenStack to enterprises [...]

  • 28 Red Hat Official Responds to Criticism of OpenStack | debexpert   November 25, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    [...] and immature. The post was prompted when Gartner Research Director Allessandro Perilli came out with an essay that paints a very gloomy picture of actual OpenStack deployments.  Now, officials from Red Hat and [...]

  • 29 Red Hat Official Responds to Criticism of OpenStack | PHP World   November 25, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    [...] and immature. The post was prompted when Gartner Research Director Allessandro Perilli came out with an essay that paints a very gloomy picture of actual OpenStack deployments.  Now, officials from Red Hat and [...]

  • 30 The most skilled Openstack member in LATAM | Your Advantage is Temporary   November 26, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    [...] Cloud today is defined on SEXY words like Automation, Orchestration, online Chargeback and immediate Elasticity. Nowadays the go-to market for this sort of services need to be in just months or even weeks. The best way to do that, IMHO, is not reinventing the wheel butbuild our solutions based on standards and proved technologies. Openstack doesn’t need to show anything else to fit on this statement and to prove that it is a platform with high potential for any company. Companies such as IBM have seen that and have decided to base their developing of converged infrastructure on this technology, in spite of what Mr. Perelli has written on his blog. [...]

  • 31 Andrew Trossman   November 27, 2013 at 5:03 am

    I understand your traditional enterprise perspective – but there’s something different here – and you should be preparing your customers. I get that you don’t want to talk about adoption until it’s been in production for many months. But if you recall, x86 virtualization took several years to get firmly entrenched in production. VMware started in the test and support labs years before enterprises ran production workloads in x86 virtual machines. Not surprising it’s development and test that we’re seeing lots of enterprises start with Openstack.
    What’s different this time is that enterprises are also adopting cloud native application architectures, devops practices, and Openstack clouds all at the same time. In fact, the adoption rate seems far greater than most previous industry trends. And each of these has a strong open source affinity. Together, enterprises are desensitizing and embracing open source at an alarming/ exciting rate.
    Combined, these factors are accelerating this new class of it organization, you clearly described in your previous post. By the time we see traditional maturation and production adoption, the growth rate will be huge due to all the upstream adoption in flight today.
    Your assessment misses this point which could leave your customers in an awkward position being years behind their competitors. The industry is changing faster than it ever has before. Id hate to see your customers left behind.

  • 32 Franco F.   November 27, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    I do not agree with this post for several reasons – some of them are already highlighted in other comments of this post. But just the title is really misleading as it says that ‘vendors cannot sell’ but in the end enterprise customers will decide what to buy and many vendors have already OpenStack in their products- some of them moreover are providing a more refined and completed version of the basic OpenStack – like the experience with Linux: distributions.

    Finally not all the analysts have this opinion…

    http://www.networkworld.com/news/2013/112513-hp-private-cloud-276344.html

    http://www.informationweek.com/cloud/cloud-storage/hp-cisco-microsoft-ranked-top-private-cloud-vendors/d/d-id/1112811

    The Forrester report refer to the OpenStack based version of HP CloudSystem.

  • 33 Openstack being slammed yet again… | cloudanalyst.net   November 27, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    [...] further reading, please take a look at Alessandro Perilli’s Blog “Why Vendors Can’t Sell Openstack”.  It takes a more business model approach to supporting this stack as opposed to how I took it as [...]

  • 34 RedHat refutes Gartner's OpenStack criticisms - Virtual2PrivateCloud   November 28, 2013 at 10:05 am

    [...] analyst Alessandro Perilli recently wrote an article, Why Vendors Can’t Sell OpenStack to Enterprises.  In that article, he lists four challenges for vendors selling OpenStack and why enterprise [...]

  • 35 Red Hat slår tillbaka om Openstack | Dator Kunskap   November 29, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    [...] LänkarPerilis analysBryan Ches svarOpenstack [...]

  • 36 Responses to Gartner Criticism of OpenStack Continue to Roll In | debexpert   December 4, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    [...] post was a response to an online note from Gartner Research Director Allessandro Perilli, who came out with argumetns that paint a fairly gloomy picture of actual OpenStack [...]

  • 37 Responses to Gartner Criticism of OpenStack Continue to Roll In | PHP World   December 4, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    [...] post was a response to an online note from Gartner Research Director Allessandro Perilli, who came out with argumetns that paint a fairly gloomy picture of actual OpenStack [...]

  • 38 Reading the Tea Leaves For a Living | The Cloud Evangelist   December 7, 2013 at 8:38 am

    [...] this was disproved when an earnest attempt at editorial insight appeared attacking OpenStack appeard from the same analyst. This was closely followed by a write up from Bryan Che offering an [...]

  • 39 Disaggregation in the next-generation datacenter and HP’s Moonshot approach for the upcoming HP CloudSystem “private cloud in-a-box” with the promised HP Cloud OS based on the 4 years old OpenStack effort with others | Experiencing the C   December 11, 2013 at 7:15 am

    [...] traditional multi-tier LoB applications into new cloud-aware applications advocated by purists.- Why vendors can’t sell OpenStack to enterprises [Nov 19, 2013] where he notes that: “In fact, for the largest part, vendors don’t know [...]

  • 40 Dell and Red Hat team to sell enterprise OpenStack – PCWorld | #1 News Online   December 12, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    [...] a recently posted commentary, Gartner research director Alessandro Perilli said that the OpenStack project lacks clarity about [...]

  • 41 Information Technology Fars News   December 12, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    [...] a recently posted commentary, Gartner research director Alessandro Perilli said that the OpenStack project lacks clarity about [...]

  • 42 Dell, Red Hat team to sell OpenStack cloud platform « system-ON-key   December 13, 2013 at 2:02 am

    [...] a recently posted commentary, Gartner research director Alessandro Perilli said that the OpenStack project lacks clarity about [...]

  • 43 William Oppermann   December 13, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Leaving aside the title “why-vendors-cant-sell-openstack-to-enterprises” which may be true today but most certainly won’t be true tomorrow. I think Steve Strutt has made very valid points. Linux exists because of “pragmatic idealists”, opensource is required because all complex ecosystems need some form of “sovereign wealth” available for the benefit of the ecosystem, Linux is a defacto form of OS sovereign wealth, OpenStack will occupy the same space in the Cloud OS. I say cloud OS as it is a platform and not yet a full CMP. OpenStack based CMPs are on the way, I think there are 3 reasons,

    1. There all 17 distributions (18 if you include MPSTOR’s distribution) integrating OpenStack technology with some vendor added value, the opportunity to add value to OpenStack as a CMP both technically and from a business viewpoint is better than any other cloud technology.
    2. The OpenStack technology vision is addressing correctly the issues surrounding SDDC, its available resource pool to execute on this is the best in the world.
    3. The “sovereign weath issue” the cloud like the internet will be woven into the fabric of our society, the “pragmatic idealists” have the nous and clout to make sure the platform building blocks are open, not proprietary with the available space for “value adders” to create a CMP.

  • 44 Dell and Red Hat team to sell enterprise OpenStack | PWRNEWS   December 13, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    [...] a recently posted commentary, Gartner research director Alessandro Perilli said that the OpenStack project lacks clarity about [...]

  • 45 OpenStack keeps gaining momentum, as evidenced by Oracle support, in spite of Gartner opinion | Tissat I+D+i   December 15, 2013 at 11:27 am

    [...] project has a long way to go before it’s truly an enterprise-grade platform. In fact, in a blog post he says that “despite marketing efforts by vendors and favorable press, enterprise adoption [...]

  • 46 OpenStack travels far and fast — Gigaom Research   December 16, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    [...] have been grumblings the last few weeks over the limited number of current successful OpenStack implementations within [...]

  • 47 Memphis Computer Blog | OpenStack Cloud Platform   December 16, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    [...] a recently posted commentary, Gartner research director Alessandro Perilli said that the OpenStack project lacks clarity about [...]

  • 48 Beyond the vanity statistics: What’s the real value for enterprise customers | Red Hat Stack   December 18, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    [...] as some have pointed out, this can quickly become an exercise in “vanity statistics.” What is the real value to enterprise customers of contributions to the [...]

  • 49 Analysts in the Press 11/26/2013 | Thomas Ward Lynch   December 19, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    [...] press and vendor marketing: OpenStack penetration in the large enterprise market is minimal,” Perilli said. “Yes, there are some ongoing deployments that can’t be disclosed yet, but for one [...]

  • 50 “Backbreaking” OpenStack migrations hinder enterprise upgrades — Tech News and Analysis   December 20, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    [...] For more on why OpenStack is a tough enterprise sale, check out Gartner analyst Alessandro Perilli’s take. [...]

  • 51 “Backbreaking” OpenStack migrations hinder enterprise upgrades | 8ballbilliard   December 20, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    [...] For more on why Open­Stack is a tough enter­prise sale, check out Gart­ner ana­lyst Alessan­dro Perilli’s take. [...]

  • 52 “Backbreaking” OpenStack migrations hinder enterprise upgrades | Content Loop   December 20, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    [...] For more on why OpenStack is a tough enterprise sale, check out Gartner analyst Alessandro Perilli’s take. [...]

  • 53 “Backbreaking” OpenStack migrations hinder enterprise upgrades | My Website   December 20, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    [...] For more on why OpenStack is a tough enterprise sale, check out Gartner analyst Alessandro Perilli’s take. [...]

  • 54 “Backbreaking” OpenStack migrations hinder enterprise upgrades | Earthgrid   December 22, 2013 at 7:44 am

    [...] For more on why OpenStack is a tough enterprise sale, check out Gartner analyst Alessandro Perilli’s take. [...]

  • 55 Why OpenStack Needs Red Hat   December 28, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    [...] For one thing, OpenStack is punished by undisciplined product governance. The best open-source projects, like Linux, have a strong, small leadership team that knows the value of saying “No.” But OpenStack tends to say “Yes” to every new feature, not ensuring consistency in the product and not ensuring that the hard and boring problems get solved. This may stem from a lack of coherent vision as to what OpenStack is, and isn’t, according to Gartner. [...]

  • 56 La revue de presse du GEAI – décembre 2013 | Blog technique SII Ouest   December 30, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    [...] Pourquoi OpenStack ne sait pas se vendre ? Un début de réponse dans cet article. [...]

  • 57 Why OpenStack Needs Red Hat | DIGIZENS   December 30, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    [...] For one thing, OpenStack is punished by undisciplined product governance. The best open-source projects, like Linux, have a strong, small leadership team that knows the value of saying “No.” But OpenStack tends to say “Yes” to every new feature, not ensuring consistency in the product and not ensuring that the hard and boring problems get solved. This may stem from a lack of coherent vision as to what OpenStack is, and isn’t, according to Gartner. [...]

  • 58 Enterprise Adoption of OpenStack | Raju Alluri's Personal Blog   January 1, 2014 at 6:38 am

    [...] this Garner Blog Network article (that is almost a couple of months old), Alessandro Perilli discusses various factors that are [...]

  • 59 2014: Year of the OpenStack Ecosystem - ComparetheCloud.net   January 7, 2014 at 11:06 am

    [...] analyst, Alessandro Perilli, wrote another buzzy article.  In this article, he exposes several reasons on why vendors can’t sell OpenStack to [...]

  • 60 Rodrigo Campos   February 15, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    I’ve just done an interesting experiment and I thought I’d share the results.

    Copy and Paste this article (comments are optional), then find and replace all occurrences of Openstack to Linux.

    I’ll save you the trouble and quote some incredibly common factoids that are the outcome of this experiment:

    “Some vendors can benefit from Linux’s complexity by selling professional services”

    “All vendors benefit from Linux’s open source nature by offering enterprise-grade support well beyond the 6-months life cycle of Linux releases.”

    “1) Lack of clarity about what Linux does and does not.”

    “2) Lack of transparency about the business model around Linux.” (laughed hard on this one)

    Pretend it’s the late 90s and read this article once again, and you’ll find the very same FUD that “enterprise consultants” used to brag about back then.

    Now fast forward to 2014, Enterprise Linux is an undeniable reality.

    More FUD, anyone?

  • 61 OpenNebula | OpenNebula vs. OpenStack: User Needs vs. Vendor Driven   February 18, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    [...] OpenStack penetration in the market is relatively small compared with the investment made by vendors and VCs. These vendor specific [...]

  • 62 Understanding and overcoming the obstacles to OpenStack enterprise uptake - Cloud News   February 18, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    [...] asked Perilli. "What is the differentiation between all these distributions? For way too many, it's all about number of code contributors and simplifying the installation process, in this exact [...]

  • 63 Marcelo Dieder   March 3, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    Your article is very interesting , mainly to highlight the great quest of your customers by OpenStack. But you may never find the answer to the title of your post. As Gartner has a role in shaping opinion, I would like to address three points .
     
    a) The model of the OpenStack business maybe never will be clear for the main purpose of profit. The profit is not the goal of OpenStack Foundation. OpenStack is a non-profit project that seeks standardization and interoperability between different solutions and existing suppliers. What is the business objective of Linux?

    b) The OpenStack has a clear vision of delivering a service platform for IaaS, without lock-in . But there is no set specific long-term goals on technologies that change so quickly . VMWARE , Cisco and others have these goals? What are they ?

    c ) OpenStack is still not fully complete, but can now deliver solutions for various clients . We are exactly on the curve of the graph where the OpenStack ceases to be a bet and to become a reality. In addition , he will always have the support of partners to customize solutions for each company or those companies that decide to create its own version of OpenStack .

    The business model you are looking at OpenStack, you will never find. The model of private business enterprises seek only profit. OpenStack search interoperability.

  • 64 Maybe OpenStack has legs after all: Red Hat taps once-skeptical Gartner analyst to lead group — Tech News and Analysis   March 21, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    [...] First, Red Hat has been trying to replicate its success with Linux in cloud and PaaS with its OpenStack-based hybrid cloud and OpenShift PaaS. Second, Perilli has been very public about his concerns about OpenStack’s suitability for use in enterprise cloud deployments. [...]

  • 65 Maybe OpenStack has legs after all: Red Hat taps once-skeptical Gartner analyst to lead group | VIGALUM   March 22, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    [...] First, Red Hat has been trying to replicate its success with Linux in cloud and PaaS with its OpenStack-based hybrid cloud and OpenShift PaaS. Second, Perilli has been very public about his concerns about OpenStack’s suitability for use in enterprise cloud deployments. [...]

  • 66 Maybe OpenStack has legs after all: Red Hat taps once-skeptical Gartner analyst to lead group | Earthgrid   March 23, 2014 at 7:50 am

    [...] First, Red Hat has been trying to replicate its success with Linux in cloud and PaaS with its OpenStack-based hybrid cloud and OpenShift PaaS. Second, Perilli has been very public about his concerns about OpenStack’s suitability for use in enterprise cloud deployments. [...]

  • 67 Felipe Alfaro Solana   March 31, 2014 at 9:06 am

    So.it’s much better to marry a commercial vendor, like VMware and be bound to it forever. Even when there are multiple OpenStack vendors, they share a common code and common logic.

  • 68 Ubuntu chases enterprise cloud with Server 14.04 release | Ubuntu VPS Hosting   April 16, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    [...] industry watchers are less upbeat about OpenStack’s appeal to business, with Gartner analyst Alessandro Perilli describing enterprise penetration of OpenStack as “minimal&… and saying the community around the platform don’t know how to sell it to [...]

  • 69 Debating the Opportunity for OpenStack in the Enterprise   April 18, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    [...] OpenStack. Some of the more compelling commentary from the Hong Kong Design Summit has come from Alessandro Perilli, Geoff Arnold and Michael Cote. The most constructive dialogues on OpenStack are those that can [...]

  • 70 Fatih Eyup Nar   May 8, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    May 2014; Still serious security bugs/issues within Keystone, Difficult usability of Neutron, issues with Glance’s structured design for external storage type integrations and many more within vanilla version. For sure these issues can be resolved if you have muscle power with right competence. At the end of the day are you ready to spend more money for support, life cycle management of your Cloud Infrastructure than commercial one(s)? Or do you wanna use OpenStack as sidekick to scare your main vendor? :-)

  • 71 skincare   May 16, 2014 at 9:53 pm

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  • 72 Karl Zimmerman   July 13, 2014 at 8:28 am

    First of all, OpenStack keeps moving, and moving quickly. I would say that when this article was written, I had much more serious concerns with the project than I do now. At this point, there is continued development from numerous parties and the project really seems to be maturing at this point.

    It certainly isn’t perfect, to do much of anything you likely still need a development team of your own (or work with/hire one), but it is a great base toolset. There are now plenty of options for organizations that can provide commercial support and development for OpenStack for this sort of thing.

  • 73 Is VMware OpenStack an embrace of open source — or an attempt to extinguish it? — Tech News and Analysis   August 29, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    [...] Heck, Red Hat even hired Alessandro Perilli, who as a Gartner analyst famously pointed out how hard it was to sell OpenStack into the enterprise, to help fix that [...]

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  • 75 Red Hat can’t afford to let HP lead OpenStack | Nagg   September 23, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    […] That’s part of the problem with a community: you get all sorts of definitions of what the product is, and that can lead to disorder in the absence of strong leadership, as Gartner has pointed out[7]. […]

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