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The Open Source Approach to Accelerating Digital Transformation
By Peter Lees, Chief Technologist, SUSE Asia Pacific
Service providers with a history of vendor independence and as a “trusted business advisor” will also benefit most from open source. The research also detected growing adoption of opensource cloud technology in all geographies where local data storage, language, application expertise and customization are key differentiators. Scaling heights over the hyperscalers While the rate of cloud adoption is accelerated by digital transformation, we see most service providers struggling to compete with hyperscale cloud companies on price and available services. OpenStack is the most widely used open source cloud platform to address these two issues head-on. From an investment perspective, OpenStack does not require the expensive licensing cost of commercial proprietary cloud platforms. Due to widespread adoption, most hardware vendors already support OpenStack with drivers and software, which allows you to use your existing infrastructure. In addition, because you can switch distributions, or even “do-it-yourself,” it is very hard for an OpenStack distribution vendor to use lock-in to increase prices. Furthermore, OpenStack is built around policy-defined deployment and automation, so once you’re established, day-to-day operations cost can be greatly reduced. It’s worth noting that a lot of advances and services innovation found in hyperscale cloud companies is actually mostly achieved by leveraging the thousands of developers in the open source community, and OpenStack provides a compatible platform for taking advantage of these, and even more advanced developments. The latest advances in distributed databases, containers, Kubernetes automation and scaling, platform as a service (PaaS), artificial intelligence, machine learning, Internet-of-Things and 5G networks are all available on OpenStack – sometimes long before the proprietary cloud vendors can develop systems to exploit these new technologies and make them available across all geographies. As customers embrace hybrid environments, the same technology that can be offered both online can also be implemented in their own datacenters. Many companies choose to put their variable workloads in the cloud (e.g., development and emergency capacity), while keeping production on-site. This means that service offerings can now include the management of a company’s entire hybrid environment (both on-premise and in the service provider’s data center), enabling customers to place their workloads wherever they make the most sense. Recommendations for service providers OpenStack can enable service providers to reduce cost while accelerating the creation of the innovative services that customers demand. Most providers run OpenStack side by side with their existing architecture to become familiar with the technology. Initially, non-critical workloads are migrated over to take advantage of the cost savings. In a recent Forrester study, the average customer adopting OpenStack showed a 380 percent return on investment, with payback in under six months. While there is an upfront learning curve, with time, as experience and familiarity grow, we believe more and more workloads will move over to OpenStack – treading the well-worn path taken by virtualization as well as most IT initiatives.