Bragging rights to Big Red

Red Hat still hold the OpenStack power, new stats show

Chris Mayer

An open source data visualisation tool from Mirantis drills down into every single OpenStack commit by release, company and developer.

With more and more companies signing on to the benefits of OpenStack, keeping track on who contributes the most is going to become increasingly important with each major release. Especially with each vendor proclaiming themselves to be OpenStack’s MVP.

One of the cloud infrastructure project oft-cited criticisms is that certain vendors are putting more in than others, thus creating an unfair marketplace where the larger companies have more sway in the development process.

Red Hat in particular have upped their contributions significantly since the Essex release in April 2012, with CTO Brian Stevens telling us prior to Folsom that he believed “the future’s been already written, and it’s going to be OpenStack.”

To help keep tabs on this, Mirantis, an OpenStack Foundation Gold member, have launched a new open source project in Stackalytics, a data visualisation tool powered by GitHub data. Stackalytics breaks it down further into companies, projects and contributors and you can even track commits and overall lines of code.

Unsurprisingly Big Red still hold the balance of power, when it comes to the upcoming release Havana, providing 22% of commits thus far which amounts to over 120,000 lines of code. IBM are the next closest with 13%, a significant rise in commits since pledging in March to focus on OpenStack.

However, Red Hat’s share has dipped in the last few releases, as the figure for Folsom was 37%, while for April’s Grizzly, this was down to 28%. In the past six months, Red Hat account for almost a quarter of all activity. Combine this with IBM’s work and the figure rises to over a third. Is this truly healthy for OpenStack to be so reliant on two vendors?

OpenStack Foundation Executive Director Jonathan Bryce told JAX Magazine just after Grizzly’s Design Summit that Red Hat were “extremely committed” in pushing all their code upstream into the main project.

“People say how do you keep them [OpenStack Foundation members] all aligned – how can that work? Every one of them has been committed to putting that work back into the codebase, so they’re all working off the same bits. I think at this point, they realise that the community as a whole is moving a lot faster than any of them could by splitting off,” Bryce argued.

“To have Red Hat come out and say that they [are committed], as one of the largest contributors to the project and a major force in the enterprise, is a really strong statement,” he added.

Historically Rackspace and Nebula (the original NASA project) have been top of the pile, as they were the two founders of the project. However, their contributions have tailed away, with Rackspace contributing just 9% in the past six months, following their relinquishing of control of the project to the OpenStack Foundation back in September 2012.

The good news for the OpenStack Foundation, is that there are 62 different companies involved with Havana, with some names you wouldn’t necessarily consider with the project. The Guardian, The University of Melbourne and CERN have all offered a solitary commit for example, suggesting a diverse community.

One of Havana’s highlight features, orchestration engine Heat is getting plenty of attention ahead of September’s release date, with 25% of contributions. The other new major feature, metering module Ceilometer, has less love with 5%.

Mirantis say they plan to add the option to review statistics, a new API to leverage Stackalytics data and complementary embeddable widgets in the near future.

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