Happy Birthday OpenStack!

openstack-3rd-anniversaryOpenStack turned 3 today – a big milestone indeed! Lot of excitement, celebrations worldwide, enthusiasts and believers more gung-ho than ever, some pundits/ analysts/ non-believers claiming its doom – lot of activity for a 3 year old!

Personally these 3 years had been very exciting for me, left Microsoft, had a great stint at ComputeNext, and some entrepreneurial pursuits. I have also been involved directly or indirectly with OpenStack for more than 2 years now. I am writing this post to reflect on my personal journey with OpenStack, comparing its growth to what I have also experienced in the same time – watch the startups I have been involved with grow from prototype to live products. No punditry/ predictions here, purely personal.

Before the comparisons, some stats about OpenStack here and here.

If OpenStack project were a Startup

Granted the core of  OpenStack project was a startup before Rackspace acquired them, and since then had major supporter in the form of Rackspace and now scores of companies supporting and contributing to it, considering it to be a startup isn’t a far off comparison. If OpenStack were a startup on its own,

– This startup would have released 7 version in 3 years. New version every 6 months! I am not talking about bug fixes, iterations, a new VERSION every 6 months.

– This startup would have grown in size from 20 members to 200 in first year, to 550 in second year, and to 1000 in third year. That is a 50X grown in 3 years!  Some pundits might call this growth is counter-productive for a startup or question full-time contributors or not – I am going to ignore that:). 50X growth is something a CEO would drool for (Compare Twitter’s growth in its first 3 years here).

– This startup would have acquired external customers as early as its first year, no later than 18 months.  That is in its first year, an external customer started using it and within its first 18 months, the customer was able to run their production environment using OpenStack. It is an excellent customer traction for a startup in its first 18 months.  [Use case cited is of MercadoLibre which had a production deployment using Diablo (4th ) version. There were customers before that, I am not able to find links to add. If you know of one, please leave a comment or tweet, I will be happy to update].

– Developers in this startup would have munched about 100K LOC in its first year, and about 1.3M LOC in 3 years. I don’t necessarily believe in LOC metric to extoll a product’s virtue, but consider the CI efforts behind this huge code base. This startup has got it right even considering it’s distributed work force.

–  This startup would have had its customers driving feature requirements, corporates funding it, deployments globally, user communities across the world, enabling millions of revenue – how can one not want to be part of this? Join the Open Cloud Revolution now!

Happy Birthday OpenStack!


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