Click here to close now.


Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Open Source Cloud

@CloudExpo: Blog Post

Balance Between User Base and Community in OpenStack and OpenNebula

Market Share versus Investment

This post is a reprint of a post at

In our last post "OpenNebula vs. OpenStack: User Needs vs. Vendor Driven" we stated that"OpenStack penetration in the market is relatively small compared with the investment made by vendors and VCs". We have received several emails from people asking for the numbers that support this statement. This conclusion arises from the comparison between OpenNebula and OpenStack user base, a well as between the resources invested in development and marketing by each of them.

User Base
OpenStack is experiencing explosive growth in the number of developers, with more than 200 companies contributing code, 15,000 people and 850 companies involved according to its web site, and almost 1,000 developers involved in its latest release. However, the number of users and the size of the deployments are not that impressive, at least compared with this software development force.

Let us compare the user base of OpenNebula and OpenStack by using their latest surveys:

  • According to the most recent OpenStack user survey (November 2013), they received 827 responses, and 387 were deployments. In the 80% of these deployments the number of nodes was below 100, and only 11 deployments with more than 1,000 nodes (hypervisors).
  • On the other hand, in the latest OpenNebula survey (November 2012), OpenNebula received 2,500 responses, 820 of these were deployments. In the 70% of these deployments the number of nodes was below 100 nodes, and 99 deployments have more than 500 nodes (hypervisors).


We avoid giving references to featured users, both projects could put on the table good references of large-scale cloud deployments. The surveys show that OpenNebula and OpenStack are achieving a similar level of deployment. However, OpenStack presents a ratio 1/40 between deployments in the survey and number of people involved, a ratio 1/3 between deployments and developers, and a ratio 1/2 between deployments and companies involved. Not every company contributed to the survey?.

We could also use the volume of web searches according to Google Trends to compare the impact of both projects. The ratio in the number of searchers between OpenNebula and OpenStack during the last 12 years is 1/20. This mainly reflects the successful marketing of OpenStack. OpenNebula mainly invests its resources in developing technology and serving its users, being really vendor agnostic and free of marketing.

There is also a quarterly comparative analysis of the community activity (mailing lists traffic mostly) of the four main open-source cloud management platforms: OpenStack, OpenNebula, Eucalyptus and CloudStack. The number of threads and participants in OpenStack is one order of magnitude higher than in OpenNebula. This mostly reflects a higher number of developers. Moreover, it is also worth noting that development coordination in OpenNebula is done through a redmine portal and not through a mailing list.

Resources Invested
We conservatively estimate the investment in OpenStack in approximately 300 million per year:

  • OpenStack Havana involved 950 developers almost completely hired by vendors. This is approximately $150 Million per year
  • OpenStack Foundation budget is approximately $10 Million per year
  • Just seven of the many start-ups involved in OpenStack have raised $120 million from VC. Assuming this is for 3 years. This is approximately $40 million per year
  • There are other direct costs from other many companies, there are almost 1,000 companies involved, that are also allocating resources to development, training, documentation..., a big overhead in indirect costs, and of course opportunity costs.

So $300 million per year is a good conservative estimate. We have seen other estimations above $0.5 billion per year, some reaching to $1 billion per year. In any case, over a few years, it's billions. Are these companies getting this money back?. I see VC's starting to ask "Where's our future money?". Summarizing, a relatively small user base, and so penetration in the market, compared with the investment made by vendors and VCs. OpenNebula, with a budget at least two orders of magnitude lower, is achieving a similar user base. You can draw your own conclusions.

More Stories By Ignacio M. Llorente

Dr. Llorente is Director of the OpenNebula Project and CEO & co-founder at C12G Labs. He is an entrepreneur and researcher in the field of cloud and distributed computing, having managed several international projects and initiatives on Cloud Computing, and authored many articles in the leading journals and proceedings books. Dr. Llorente is one of the pioneers and world's leading authorities on Cloud Computing. He has held several appointments as independent expert and consultant for the European Commission and several companies and national governments. He has given many keynotes and invited talks in the main international events in cloud computing, has served on several Groups of Experts on Cloud Computing convened by international organizations, such as the European Commission and the World Economic Forum, and has contributed to several Cloud Computing panels and roadmaps. He founded and co-chaired the Open Grid Forum Working Group on Open Cloud Computing Interface, and has participated in the main European projects in Cloud Computing. Llorente holds a Ph.D in Computer Science (UCM) and an Executive MBA (IE Business School), and is a Full Professor (Catedratico) and the Head of the Distributed Systems Architecture Group at UCM.

Latest Stories
Organizations already struggle with the simple collection of data resulting from the proliferation of IoT, lacking the right infrastructure to manage it. They can't only rely on the cloud to collect and utilize this data because many applications still require dedicated infrastructure for security, redundancy, performance, etc. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Emil Sayegh, CEO of Codero Hosting, will discuss how in order to resolve the inherent issues, companies need to combine dedicated a...
The modern software development landscape consists of best practices and tools that allow teams to deliver software in a near-continuous manner. By adopting a culture of automation, measurement and sharing, the time to ship code has been greatly reduced, allowing for shorter release cycles and quicker feedback from customers and users. Still, with all of these tools and methods, how can teams stay on top of what is taking place across their infrastructure and codebase? Hopping between services a...
For almost two decades, businesses have discovered great opportunities to engage with customers and even expand revenue through digital systems, including web and mobile applications. Yet, even now, the conversation between the business and the technologists that deliver these systems is strained, in large part due to misaligned objectives. In his session at DevOps Summit, James Urquhart, Senior Vice President of Performance Analytics at SOASTA, Inc., will discuss how measuring user outcomes –...
Clearly the way forward is to move to cloud be it bare metal, VMs or containers. One aspect of the current public clouds that is slowing this cloud migration is cloud lock-in. Every cloud vendor is trying to make it very difficult to move out once a customer has chosen their cloud. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Naveen Nimmu, CEO of Clouber, Inc., will advocate that making the inter-cloud migration as simple as changing airlines would help the entire industry to quickly adopt the cloud wit...
While testing is often ignored when it comes to DevOps - it could be the most important aspect of achieving true DevOps success. Without rethinking automated testing from the ground-up, the entire DevOps productivity gain cannot be realized. Large tech companies build their own rapid test automation that runs in minutes across functional, performance, security and other tests. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kevin Surace, CEO of Appvance, will discuss how we learn from these real-world succe...
SYS-CON Events announced today that VividCortex, the monitoring solution for the modern data system, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The database is the heart of most applications, but it’s also the part that’s hardest to scale, monitor, and optimize even as it’s growing 50% year over year. VividCortex is the first unified suite of database monitoring tools specifically desi...
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate at IBM Cloud Data Services, will demonstrate techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, ...
Interested in leveraging automation technologies and a cloud architecture to make developers more productive? Learn how PaaS can benefit your organization to help you streamline your application development, allow you to use existing infrastructure and improve operational efficiencies. Begin charting your path to PaaS with OpenShift Enterprise.
“All our customers are looking at the cloud ecosystem as an important part of their overall product strategy. Some see it evolve as a multi-cloud / hybrid cloud strategy, while others are embracing all forms of cloud offerings like PaaS, IaaS and SaaS in their solutions,” noted Suhas Joshi, Vice President – Technology, at Harbinger Group, in this exclusive Q&A with Cloud Expo Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Agema Systems will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Agema Systems is the leading provider of critical white-box rack solutions to data centers through the major integrators and value added distribution channels.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Raxak has been named “Media & Session Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Raxak Protect automates security compliance across private and public clouds. Using the SaaS tool or managed service, developers can deploy cloud apps quickly, cost-effectively, and without error.
DevOps is gaining traction in the federal government – and for good reasons. Heightened user expectations are pushing IT organizations to accelerate application development and support more innovation. At the same time, budgetary constraints require that agencies find ways to decrease the cost of developing, maintaining, and running applications. IT now faces a daunting task: do more and react faster than ever before – all with fewer resources.
SYS-CON Events announced today that ProfitBricks, the provider of painless cloud infrastructure, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ProfitBricks is the IaaS provider that offers a painless cloud experience for all IT users, with no learning curve. ProfitBricks boasts flexible cloud servers and networking, an integrated Data Center Designer tool for visual control over the...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Key Information Systems, Inc. (KeyInfo), a leading cloud and infrastructure provider offering integrated solutions to enterprises, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Key Information Systems is a leading regional systems integrator with world-class compute, storage and networking solutions and professional services for the most advanced softwa...
Mobile messaging has been a popular communication channel for more than 20 years. Finnish engineer Matti Makkonen invented the idea for SMS (Short Message Service) in 1984, making his vision a reality on December 3, 1992 by sending the first message ("Happy Christmas") from a PC to a cell phone. Since then, the technology has evolved immensely, from both a technology standpoint, and in our everyday uses for it. Originally used for person-to-person (P2P) communication, i.e., Sally sends a text...