OpenStack vs Amazon: Where's the Money?

By Sean Michael Kerner  |  Posted 2015-10-27 Print this article Print

VIDEO: OpenStack's top execs detail how the open-source cloud platform measures up to Amazon's cloud revenues.

TOKYO--At the OpenStack Summit here, Jonathan Bryce, executive director of the OpenStack Foundation, delivered the opening keynote address detailing the successes of the past six months. While OpenStack is growing, in the media and analyst question and answer session that followed the keynote, the question was asked how OpenStack compares against Amazon.

Amazon continues to grow its public cloud efforts, and on Oct. 22, it reported its third-quarter fiscal 2015 earnings, with Amazon Web Services (AWS) reporting revenue of $2.1 billion for a 78 percent year-over-year gain. Attempting to measure revenues for OpenStack is not an easy thing to do, according to Mark Collier (pictured, on right), chief operating officer of the OpenStack Foundation.

"One the things that is a bit tricky in open source is we don't know every user and how big their clouds are," Collier said.

Collier noted that OpenStack has the ability to survey its user base on an opt basis to get a sense of how much deployment is happening.

"There is no question that AWS is extremely impressive and doing a great job of creating a market, but I think if you look at public OpenStack clouds, there are more points of presence around the world than Amazon," Collier said. "If you look at private clouds, the largest company in the world, Walmart, is running OpenStack."

Bryce (pictured, on left) chimed in, noting that some of the large companies deploying OpenStack have a total IT spend that is larger that AWS' revenue. Overall, both Bryce and Collier are confident that OpenStack compares very favorably against Amazon in terms of deployments.

"It's hard to do an apples to apples comparison, there are so many different ways that OpenStack gets deployed," Bryce said.

Watch the video of the OpenStack Summit post-keynote session below:

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.


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