The Numbers Behind OpenStack's Success

At the OpenStack Summit in Tokyo, statistics are revealed that shows just diverse and large the project really is.

TOKYO - The numbers don't lie, OpenStack is the most active open-source cloud project and perhaps the most active open-source effort of all time. In a session at the OpenStack Summit in Tokyo, Jesus Gonzalez-Barhona, co-founder of Bitergia, detailed the quantitative state of the Open Cloud.

Bitergia has been providing and analyzing data analysis reports to the OpenStack Foundation's Activity dashboard for several years. Gonzalez-Barhona explained that when analyzing the open cloud, first he runs a transparency analysis to see how much information is publicly available. After that he uses the open source Metric Grimoire tools to mine data sources for information and then built the data analysis charts.

As part of his analysis, Gonzalez-Barhona looked at multiple open-source cloud projects, including OpenNebula, CloudStack,Eucalyptus and of course OpenStack.

"OpenStack stands out by an order of magnitude," Gonzalez-Barhona said.

From July to October, Gonzalez-Barhona tracked 164,184 commits made to OpenStack. In contrast, CloudStack had 42,066. The developer communities are also different, with OpenNebula having 88 developers, Eucalyptus 22, CloudStack 326 and OpenStack has 3,972 developers.

Going a level deeper, Gonzalez-Barhona looked at the number of core contributors, that is, developers who make the majority of code contributions. In OpenStack, 337 developers make 80 percent of the code contributions.

The data analysis also shows what time of day and where in the world development is taking place. Gonzalez-Barhona noted that OpenStack development is very diverse with development happening around the world, and around the clock. He added that four years ago, the bulk of development in OpenStack was just North America, but now Europe and Asia are well represented.

There is also a lot of corporate diversity in OpenStack today. Gonzalez-Barhona said that it's important to understand corporate participation as depending on just a single company isn't necessarily a good thing for open source.

For OpenStack, Gonzalez-Barhona said that there are now over 50 companies contributing to OpenStack every month. Looking deeper into the data, Gonzalez-Barhona looked to find what he referred to as the 'Elephant Factor' – the big companies that dominate with activity by code commits.

"For OpenStack as a whole, the elephant factor is six," Gonzalez-Barhona said. "That means six companies are doing half the work."

OpenStack is made up of many different projects and the Elephant factor varies. For example, of the Nova compute project there are four elephants, including IBM, Red Hat, NEC and HP. For the Heat orchestration project there are just two elephants, Mirantis and Red Hat.

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

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Tags: cloud computing, OpenStack

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