After three years, OpenStack has made progress, but there’s still work to do

OpenStack, the open-source software project that lets data center operators turn their gear into scalable clouds, turned 3 years old Friday, and it’s come a long way since launching with contributions from Rackspace, (s rax) NASA, Intel (s intc) and other groups.
To celebrate its own birthday, OpenStack released some numbers showing how complex it’s become and how many people contribute to it. When OpenStack Grizzly hit in April, there were 1,000 contributors and 1.28 million lines of code, up from 20 contributors and 44,000 lines of code at the time of the Austin release. There are 231 companies involved, compared with fewer than 50 at launch.
Lots more functionality has come online over the years. Developers have added more block storage support, as well as networking projects and an identity service, among others. Support for the ESX and Hyper-V hypervisors came with the Grizzly release.
And the OpenStack community claims that now it has “public clouds in more cities than Amazon has regions,” with such big-name users as Best Buy, (s bby) Bloomberg, Comcast, (s cmcsa) Fidelity and PayPal. But the company still has a way to go as far as adoption, as my colleague Barb Darrow mentioned at the time of the Grizzly release:

Here’s the thing though: What folks need to start seeing is real-live end users at companies beyond the tech vendors that support OpenStack as part of their cloud offerings. To claim Cisco/Webex as an OpenStack user does not hold the same weight as saying a huge bank is or a consumer packaged goods company is a customer.

That’s especially important as Amazon Web Services (s amzn) and the Google Cloud Platform (s goog) focus more intently on enterprise adoption, and they can brag about being able to take off of customers’ hands the overhead and complexity of maintaining infrastructure. Microsoft (s msft) is hopeful with Windows Azure, (s msft) and so is VMware (s vmw) with the vCloud Hybrid Service on the way.
And VMware generally poses a challenge to OpenStack for private-cloud deployments and continues to release services that take a competitive stance.
Good thing developers are working on a number of projects to broaden OpenStack, including a Database as a Service (DBaaS) and a non-virtualized option for deployment.
For the time being, though, OpenStack’s 3-year-old birthday is worth celebrating for supporters, who took to Twitter to commemorate the occasion:

A few vendors showed their appreciation, too, including Alcatel-Lucent, Cloudscaling, NetApp (s ntap) and RightScale. Surely they — and many others — have OpenStack to thank for helping them take on more revenue.
Feature image courtesy of Flickr user Aaron Hockley.