Open Source Clouds Boost Business Innovation: Report

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Costs, vendor neutrality and scalability cited as main benefits of open cloud strategies

Almost three quarters of UK IT managers believe open source cloud technology could boost innovation within their own organisations, according to a new report.

The research, carried out by Vanson Bourne and commissioned by cloud provider Rackspace, found that 74 percent of respondents found that using open source cloud technology made their business more innovative.

The study also found that cost efficiency, vendor neutrality and scalability were stated as the main benefits that help to drive this innovation by 65 percent, 52 percent and 37 percent respectively.

Adoption attractions

The survey of IT managers from 250 UK enterprise and public sector organisations that currently outsource IT services also found that the benefits associated with open source technology are encouraging greater adoption.

Over half (56%) of those using open source cloud said usage is increasing. This was particularly true in the retail and financial services sectors (70%) and (69%) both noting a significant increase in open source cloud adoption.

Among the main open cloud benefits stated by all sectors was lower total cost of ownership, no vendor lock-in, the ability to move applications between different clouds, and being able to run internal and external clouds on the same open standards.

The study also revealed a greater use in multiple clouds within organisations. Over 50 percent of respondents said they were working with two or more cloud providers. But the research also found a lack of knowledge about multiple clouds with over a quarter (28%) of respondents saying they either cannot, or do not, know if they can host their information and applications on multiple clouds.

Rackspace chief technology officer John Engates said that multiple clouds within organisations will become increasingly commonplace.

“It is therefore vital that applications deployed in different clouds can ‘talk’ to each other and those of partners and customers,” said Engates. “Open source platforms provide the easiest way of enabling this collaboration in addition to enabling businesses to avoid vendor lock.”

He added that by choosing an open cloud, such as Openstack – now administered by its own foundation of which Rackspace is a key backer – businesses avoid “being locked-in to one technology and gain the freedom to move their data and applications between, public, private and hybrid cloud models as required”.


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