OpenStack by the Numbers

I’m an analytics lover for a number of reasons (see what I did there?), so one of the things that enjoy going through is the stackalytics site which displays a lot of great information around the OpenStack ecosystem. To be honest, everything needs to be taken in context, so please be careful when you use any statistics to derive a value. As the famous quote goes:

It has long been recognized by public men of all kinds…that statistics come under the head of lying, and that no lie is so false or inconclusive as that which is based on statistics.” – Hillaire Belloc

That being said, let’s talk about the numbers without driving to much towards opinion on it.

More Contributors = More Gooder

Yes, I know, gooder isn’t a word. But if you’ve been around me long enough, you’ll be used to it. Long story. The power behind OpenStack is the massive community of people who design, develop, deploy, and evangelize the whole open cloud ecosystem. Over the 4 years since its inception as a partner project between NASA and Rackspace, the now widely known open cloud ecosystem has drawn both fans and contributors which have built a strong momentum around it.

In looking at the code contribution specifically, is the fact that since it’s inception there have been nearly 100,000 code commits from 2,736 developers is certainly a good sign.


This is an impressive number, but what is more impressive is the velocity increase with each edition. Just the Juno release alone has had a landmark participation that saw 18,992 commits from 1,433 developers.


The amount of contribution happening from great enterprise vendors as well as the individual contributors is also a really strong sign that OpenStack is gaining footing as a powerful cloud environment.


There is some contention about the way that we use commits as a measurement, so I prefer to not latch onto that as the only metric. Truthfully, a one-line change which could literally be a comment line is considered to be a commit. For this reason I use commits as on part of the way that I evaluate the growth and momentum of OpenStack.

The Audience is Listening

Summit Attendance has also increased as each year has gone by with more customers and developers being a major part of that crowd. At the OpenStack Summit this spring in Atlanta there were 4700 attendees altogether. Recently in Paris, there were approximately 4600 people in attendance which is a strong number considering the location and effect it could have on North American audiences who may not be able to travel to both conferences.

As we are already ramping up for the upcoming OpenStack Summit in Vancouver, BC, there are hopes of reaching and exceeding 5000 attendees. The real question about the number of attendees is around what the demographic is. That is where I see some interesting changes happening.

The focus at Atlanta was around what we call the superuser. This gave the actual user’s view a strong presence as the foundation and organizers brought forward stories from the field of how OpenStack is being utilized and leveraged across different industry verticals and with different use-cases. Paris continued this, but there was also a strong presence of enterprise customers and the operations focus gave a new way to dive deeper into the real user experience as a systems administrator and OpenStack operator.

Kilo to Continue the Momentum

We are already seeing some serious activity on the Kilo release, slated for April 30, 2015 ( The contributions are being measured and show us again that the projects are all very active and that both vendor and individual developers are working together tightly to increase the features, functionality, and resiliency of OpenStack.


This is a sign of things to come if you ask me. By the time that Kilo is released, we should also see the release of the VMware VIO GA edition, more information on the EMC offering will be available, Red Hat, Mirantis, and others will also be opening the doors to new iterations of their products and services. All in all this is a good time to be in the OpenStack community.

If you’re looking for more information about OpenStack and what it could mean for you and your organization, I’m always up to chat on it. I hope to see as many people as possible in Vancouver in April!

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