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HPE outsources its OpenStack project to MicroFocus

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November 17, 2016

About a year ago, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise was one of the largest single contributor to the OpenStack project. But today, HPE is outsourcing the overall responsibility of its OpenStack department to MicroFocus, under an agreement announced about nine weeks ago.

HPE has dismantled a team already working on a previous project called Workloads and redirected the engineers affected to the project to work on Kubernetes while it's dramatically re-architecting its Fuel OpenStack management for a new release in the first quarter of 2017.

HPE said its offloading of OpenStack engineers is part of "a previously announced restructuring phase". It announced HPE Helion OpenStack 4.0 and Stackato 4.0, for PaaS using Cloud Foundry in October.

HPE told us it's finalizing its partnership with MicroFocus as its "strategic technology partner" for OpenStack and Cloud Foundry.

Technically, it would obviously be a rough simplification to give it too much importance to such events, given that HPE and Mirantis (the previous partner firm) are separate companies with different agendas.

But there's also an increasing sense that the rapidly-growing, anything-goes days are over and that a shakeout is duly in progress, with even more exits expected.

Since mid-2009, OpenStack seems to have found its own level with various deployments settling into a familiar pattern.

For example, about 95 percent of users are utilizing Nova, Neutron, Cinder, Keystone and Lance. About 52 to 58 percent run Metal or Ironic, pointing to a relatively rapid adoption of OpenStack for micro services and with containers.

Jonathan Bryce, OpenStack Foundation executive director, says that a misconception had grown around what he called the big tent nature of OpenStack-– that the projects that arrived there were destined for traction.

For its part, Canonical and Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth told us that the big tent had contained "froth and noise" until recently. The reason being a rush of legacy technology firms and startups to whom OpenStack was the answer.

According to Shuttleworth, there's now a broad acceptance about what OpenStack is. It is infrastructure as a service, he asserted.

Arguably, few were as responsible for churning the OpenStack froth as HPE. The company was to become a provider of public and private cloud services for everybody.

HP in 2014 surpassed Red Hat to become the single largest vendor committing code to OpenStack-– 19 percent, versus Red Hat's smaller 17 percent.

It then followed a plan to spend about $1 billion on R&D on OpenStack to build its Helion over two years. What's important to note here is that HP has invested heavily in the management layer of the product.

Source: HP Enterprise.


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