Just how much can OpenStack compete with big players like Microsoft, Google, or Amazon? At this moment, the future of OpenStack remains uncertain—especially when compared to competitive solutions.
OpenStack gained followers in the open source movement partly because of its cost-effectiveness and partly because of its ease of use. Users appreciated being able to make changes to the OpenStack code as needed and being able to share these changes with others in the industry. Soon, many were using OpenStack’s tools to build and support platforms in the public and private Clouds.
Will all of this change? Mapping out the benefits and drawbacks of using OpenStack might help provide clarity to that question.
Benefits of OpenStack
Users have cited the following benefits when using OpenStack:
- Security groups: These cohorts give IT administrators an easy way to control access to the platform.
- Base Control: This allows IT administrators to designate security for each user. For example, those dealing with the company’s financial information wouldn’t need access to the organization’s marketing plan. Controlling access limits security risks.
- Flexibility: OpenStack has no software requirements, which makes it ideal for organizations looking to integrate systems with third-party platforms.
- Innovative Dashboard: This gives administrators a look at the size of their Cloud and helps them set limits on their resources through the OpenStack web application.
These tools make it easy for administrators to designate employee access, view their Cloud usage, and take appropriate steps to ensure that security measures are implemented.
Drawbacks of OpenStack
While there are multiple benefits to using OpenStack, businesses should also consider the drawbacks.
Companies that have used OpenStack remark on several issues they encountered. Here is a look at the issues:
- Bloomberg noted that the company had to solve many of the problems it had with OpenStack on its own. Companies need to contract with an OpenStack distribution vendor for ongoing support.
- Samsung told Search Cloud Computing that when the company used OpenStack, the platform was complex and error-prone. Also, in between releases, it was difficult for Samsung to upgrade, which resulted in the company occasionally having to rebuild components in its OpenStack Cloud platform.
These businesses show that OpenStack isn’t a perfect platform for everyone. For its part, OpenStack has a vibrant open source community that continually improves the platform and whose members include significant industry players.
OpenStack faces tough competition from rivals like Google and Amazon. The latter is an especially fierce competitor because of its dominant position and reputation in the marketplace—especially among those in open-source communities.
Overall, OpenStack does offer promise, but it has much work to do. While OpenStack has benefits like flexibility and interoperability, businesses need to be prepared for the challenges that accompany the use of a developing technology.