BT Group may give OpenStack the boot

It will adopt a proprietary alternative if six key issues can't be resolved, an executive said

OpenStack has gained considerable popularity over the years for its open-source cloud platform, but this week it looks like one major user is seriously considering dropping the technology in favor of a proprietary alternative.

U.K.-based telecom giant BT Group said it will switch to a different option for delivering virtual enterprise services, according to a Wednesday report in Light Reading, unless OpenStack can address its concerns regarding six key areas: virtual network functions, service chain modification, scalability, security, backward compatibility and what's known as "start-up storms" when numerous nodes all come online at the same time.

"If these six issues are not addressed, we will not use OpenStack for virtual enterprise," Peter Willis, BT's chief researcher for data networks, said at the SDN & Openflow World Congress going on this week in Germany, according to the report.

BT did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The OpenStack Foundation has not worked directly with BT, but it has invited Willis and his team to an upcoming OpenStack Summit in Tokyo, said Lauren Sell, OpenStack's vice president of marketing and community services.

"We’ll be working on the roadmap for future OpenStack software releases and spending a lot of time on NFV," she said.

NFV, or network functions virtualization, is an initiative to replace much of the specialized hardware that now delivers network services with virtualized technology instead.

"Getting feedback from the operator community into the development roadmap is extremely valuable," Sell added.

NFV is still an young movement, but AT&T, Comcast, Deutsche Telekom, NTT, SKT and Telefonica are among the carriers working in the open-source community alongside technology providers like Cisco Systems, Ericsson, Huawei and Red Hat to support NFV requirements, she said.

"This is sort of an open-source software check on OpenStack," said Jay Lyman, a research manager with 451 Research.

Although many issues have already been resolved collaboratively by the community, "there is still plenty of work to do," Lyman said.

OpenStack is "still a very complex, multi-component IaaS software," he added. "It is still often difficult to implement, and it requires a good deal of experience and expertise."

Meanwhile, although a growing number of large enterprises are implementing OpenStack, alternatives from cloud providers like Amazon, Microsoft and Google are getting better, he said.

"There will continue to be pressure on the OpenStack community to scratch the right itches and respond to end users," Lyman said.

It's an expansive project, IDC analyst Al Hilwa said. "Ensuring that all stakeholders get their needs met is a governance and R&D challenge." 

While proprietary solutions may offer an approach that suits a specific implementation better or sooner than OpenStack can, "OpenStack is the only solution of its kind with such a high level of community traction," Hilwa said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Katherine Noyes

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?