OpenStack in China Attracts Big Deployments

The open-source OpenStack cloud platform isn't just a proof-of-concept in China, it's being used on a daily basis to serve hundreds of millions of users.


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HONG KONG - Though OpenStack is only a three-year-old technology, it has found itself a home in China with a number of large scale deployments.

Speaking at the OpenStack Summit in Hong Kong this week, a number of China-based Internet vendors detailed what they are doing with the open source cloud platform. The numbers are staggering.

Mark Collier, Chief Operating Officer of the OpenStack Foundation, said that Beijing alone, China has more OpenStack developers than any other city in the world. Shanghai is also a top ten city for OpenStack developers. Those developers are not just hobbyists either, they are building heavily trafficked web sites and services for China's expanding population of Internet users.

One of China's largest online video service is called iQiyi and it is powered by OpenStack. Jieke Wu, Senior Technical Manager at iQiyi, said that his company generates over 360 million page views per month.

Wu said that iQiyi chose to go with OpenStack about a year ago in order to gain more control and flexibility. Today OpenStack provides iQiyi both computing resource and object storage of video clips.

Qihoo 360

Qihoo 360 is another big online service in China and it provides Cloud-based security and mobile services. Yufang Zhang, System Engineer at Qihoo 360, said that his company has 450 million users in China today. Those users generate more than 2 billion pageviews per day on the company's mobile platform. From a security perspective the cloud anti-virus engine is able to identify 13-15 million files per day.

Zhang said that everyone with a Qihoo 360 account today has OpenStack, as it is the company's core infrastructure delivery technology across 20 data centers. Qihoo started with OpenStack in 2012 as the company sought out a way to have an agile platform.

The core Qihoo platform used the CentOS Linux distribution with the Xen hypervisor as its virtualization choice. Zhang said his company is contributing to the code base and is continuing to add capabilities to its platform.


Another big Chinese user of OpenStack is travel site cTrip, which is the largest travel site in China and is using the OpenStack platform to improve its own infrastructure.

Eric Ye, VP of Technology at Ctrip, explained that his company has used OpenStack to power his company's mobile travel app.

Perhaps even more unique, Ye noted that Ctrip is using OpenStack to transform its call center operations. Ye said that Ctrip is using OpenStack to replace its physical desktops with an OpenStack-based Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) deployment. Ctrip is currently on track to have 13,000 call center desktops on OpenStack by the end of 2014.

Overall, the opportunity for OpenStack in China is large.

"You may not be aware of this but there are already twice as many internet users in China as there are in the U.S," the OpenStack Foundation's Collier said. "It's a massive market and they are embracing OpenStack in a real way."

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

Tags: open source, cloud computing, OpenStack

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