Report: OpenStack Hampered by Skills Shortage

SUSE finds half of attempted OpenStack deployments failed due to lack of knowledge

Christopher Tozzi, Technology Analyst

January 20, 2016

2 Min Read
Report: OpenStack Hampered by Skills Shortage
Stage at the 2014 OpenStack summit in Paris

By The VAR Guy


By The VAR Guy

More than eighty percent of enterprises plan to adopt OpenStack as a cloud computing solution or already have. Yet, half of organizations that have tried to implement it have failed, hampered by lack of open source cloud computing skills. That's according to a survey out this week from SUSE, the Linux vendor, which sheds vital light on current OpenStack adoption trends.

The survey results suggest strong enthusiasm for open source cloud computing, with ninety-six percent of respondents reporting they "believe there are business advantages to implementing an open source private cloud," according to SUSE.

Strong interest in private clouds of the type OpenStack enables is also clear. Ninety percent of businesses surveyed have already implemented at least one private cloud, SUSE reported.

Yet for all that enterprises appear to want to build OpenStack private clouds, many -- specifically, sixty-five percent -- of those that have already done so reported that it was difficult. And, again, half reported having failed in their OpenStack endeavors.

Why this mismatch between will and way? In its report on the survey findings, SUSE chalks the OpenStack difficulty up to three main factors:

  • Forty-four percent of companies say they plan to install OpenStack themselves. That could lead to failure, SUSE says, if the businesses lack in-house OpenStack skills. SUSE implies that OpenStack deployment would be less risky if companies adopt commercial distributions of the platform -- like the one SUSE offers.

  • Almost all respondents report vendor lock-in concerns, which may make them reluctant to implement private clouds despite their desire to do so.

  • Eighty-six percent of respondents said the private cloud skills among engineers in the labor market are not sufficient for allowing them to adopt OpenStack or other private clouds with full confidence.

So that's the state of OpenStack at the beginning of 2016: Everyone wants it, but a skills shortage and a perceived lack of vendor-neutral distributions is stalling adoption.

The numbers reflect a survey of 813 IT professionals in the United States and Western Europe that SUSE commissioned.

This first ran at

About the Author(s)

Christopher Tozzi

Technology Analyst, Fixate.IO

Christopher Tozzi is a technology analyst with subject matter expertise in cloud computing, application development, open source software, virtualization, containers and more. He also lectures at a major university in the Albany, New York, area. His book, “For Fun and Profit: A History of the Free and Open Source Software Revolution,” was published by MIT Press.

Subscribe to the Data Center Knowledge Newsletter
Get analysis and expert insight on the latest in data center business and technology delivered to your inbox daily.

You May Also Like