In March, OpenStack had 30 percent more topic discussions, or threads than CloudStack, with about 250 topics being posted, compared to just over 200 for CloudStack, about 175 for OpenNebula and around 75 for Eucalyptus. OpenStack had, by a wide margin, the largest number of messages to those threads, with more than 1,200 responses from community members, which is 150 percent more than CloudStack's 600 messages, OpenNebula's 400 messages and Eucalyptus's 200 messages. One factor that could have contributed to the large number of messages and posting in March could be the release of OpenStack's software update, code named Essex, which is set for this week. In the past month, developers have been working to fix bugs in the code in preparation for the release.
That could also be the reason for the higher participation rate in the OpenStack community. As Qingye notes in his blog post, if there are more discussion topics than there are messages, that can be a sign of an inactive community. OpenStack, he notes, has a participation rate that is nearly double the other three. Meanwhile, the number of participants in the OpenStack and CloudStack communities are increasing month over month, while there are declining numbers of participants in Eucalyptus. Because of the growth, Qingye predicts that within six to nine months OpenStack and CloudStack could surpass the OpenNebula community and within 18 to 24 months, they could pass Eucalyptus.
But, Qingye qualifies the point to some extent. "If we remember that OpenStack's investment in advertising, public relationship, marketing, and partnership is 10 times bigger than its competitors, it would be reasonable to expect a better ROI," he writes. "From a long-term perspective, the OpenStack community has been around for 21 months, and its population is only 60 percent of the Eucalyptus community at 21 months. It is obvious that OpenStack is being propagated and accepted at a slower pace that Eucalyptus at its early stage."
But, those dynamics could change. With CloudStack now being an Apache project, it could benefit from a much larger community of developers already working on other Apache projects. Eucalyptus, meanwhile, may have gotten a shot in the arm in some sense with its recent AWS announcement. And OpenStack is holding its major developers conference in the coming weeks to plan the road map for the project's future development. So, it appears the open source cloud movement is just getting started.
Network World staff writer Brandon Butler covers cloud computing and social media. He can be reached at BButler@nww.com and found on Twitter at @BButlerNWW.