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A whirlwind tour of open cloud trends in China with UMCloud

Randy DeFauw - April 11, 2017
Recently I had the pleasure of making my first visit to China to visit Mirantis’ partner, UMCloud.  Along with Greg Elkinbard, Mirantis’ senior technical director for NFV technologies, we visited Beijing, Suzhou (a gem of a city I was not familiar with before), and Shanghai.  
Over the course of the week we visited with several large firms that have or are planning some significant OpenStack deployments.  Several trends caught my attention.
  • Open platforms resonate in this market.  The phrases “pure play” and “no vendor lock-in” are tangible considerations for many of the firms we spoke with.   These firms want an open platform that lets them work with many partners and adapt to changing conditions.  Many deployments will include multiple options for SDN or other components as a way to future-proof the deployment.  This trend is reflected in the strong participation in communities like OpenStack, OPNFV, and ONAP by Chinese firms.
  • These clouds are big.  We talked to several firms who are planning or already running clouds of several hundred or even a few thousand nodes.  These operators have made big clouds work after significant investment, and now they’re looking to standardize and improve the operational aspects.
  • These clouds are broad.  The big clouds are not dedicated to a single vertical such as service providers or media providers.  While these are represented, we also heard from firms that are running big clouds for general IT workloads.  There’s also significant interest in Big Data and IoT workloads.
  • OpenStack has a healthy ecosystem in China.  The strong demand for OpenStack has spurred a healthy crop of OpenStack-focused companies.  
Finally, many thanks to our colleagues at UMCloud for all of their hospitality.  Until next time!

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