Good article today in SearchStorage about enterprise open source storage software (OSSS) adoption. StorageMojo is quoted, but the I found the survey results from the OpenStack Foundation interesting:

OpenStack’s website lists more than 70 user groups around the world, and the uptake is reflected in a survey of cloud operators and end users done last year by the OpenStack User Committee and Foundation. Based on 822 survey responses, the staff cataloged 387 OpenStack cloud deployments in 56 countries, with storage and backup ranking sixth among the top applications or workloads.

The survey indicated that 173 respondents use OpenStack object storage features. Eight deployments had more than 1 million stored objects, including one with more than 500 million, and 22 implementations had more than 100 TB of block storage.

That’s impressive as a proof of concept alone.

What about uptake?
TheInfoPro’s Marco Coulter wonders if open source storage software will ever find success in the enterprise:

If you think of how it went in the operating system market, Linux crept into the colleges and then sort of crept into the enterprise. Then vendors arrived delivering support of it and making it able to be purchased from a vendor. We’ve never really seen that same pattern in storage. I don’t think it’s a certainty that it will fit for the enterprise.

The StorageMojo take
Three years ago StorageMojo might have agreed with Mr. Coulter, expecting that scale-out storage appliances like today’s Nutanix would vacuum up the market. And while Nutanix will certainly be successful, the dogfight brewing in the IaaS space with Google’s newly aggressive pricing will pressure IT to take another look.

IaaS storage prices are dropping almost weekly. While CFOs probably don’t understand why, they can read a price list. They’ve listened to IT’s justifications for costly storage for years and now they have a simple $/TB comparison.

CIOs may not be comfortable with OSSS, but they’ll have to show the CFO that they can respond to a changing environment. The CIO’s choice is stark: external or internal. And since local control of storage is often key to predictable and reliable performance, OSSS will get another look.

It won’t be easy – few IT shops have the expertise to integrate commodity hardware with OSSS today – but IT shops face a hollowing out as IaaS gets more competitive. If OSSS suppliers can offer one-click installs and reference configurations on standard hardware, they could tip the balance and find much faster acceptance than anyone expects.

Courteous comments welcome, of course.