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OpenStack community tackles skills shortage; Mirantis trains 5000 students

Nick Chase - January 26, 2016
Ninety-six percent of companies agree that private clouds can bring benefits of reducing costs and increasing agility and innovation, but more than have have had trouble implementing OpenStack, held back by, among other things, a lack of trained professionals, according to a survey by Suse. Fortunately, that seems to be changing; Mirantis reports having trained more than 5000 students in 2015, and those numbers are growing throughout the industry.
According to Suse, "as enterprises increasingly look to OpenStack for their private cloud investments, they are also wary of challenges and complications, including:
  • High degree of difficulty: Half of all enterprises that tried to implement an OpenStack cloud have failed, and 65 percent of companies report they have found the implementation experience difficult. In addition, nearly half (44 percent) plan to download and install OpenStack software themselves, potentially adding to the degree of difficulty.
  • Vendor lock-in constraints: 92 percent of respondents have concerns about vendor lock-in when it comes to choosing a private cloud infrastructure solution.
  • Skills shortage: 86 percent of respondents said the lack of skills in the market is making their companies reluctant to pursue private cloud. In addition, 78 percent of companies that have yet to adopt private cloud are deterred by the skills shortage."
All of this does appear to be changing, however; the OpenStack community has made significant strides in the last few months in terms of compatibility between releases, and "pure play" distributions such as Mirantis OpenStack (disclosure: Mirantis sponsors OpenStack:Unlocked) do exist.

Moreover, the industry has been making headway on the skills shortage issue; Mirantis, one of the leading players in the OpenStack training space, reported that it had trained 5000 students in 2015, doubling the number of students trained since 2012.  The company also added two new courses and 15 new locations last year.  In addition to training courses, the company also offers two different OpenStack certifications.
According to the OpenStack Foundation, since the launch of the OpenStack marketplace in September 2013, training offerings grew from 17 unique courses in eight cities to 119 courses in 99 cities. In fact, the OpenStack Foundation has launched its own certification exam, as has the Linux Foundation.
"Training is often a leading indicator to a technology's impact. In 2015 OpenStack advanced beyond early adopters, and we saw an uptick in individuals and businesses scrambling to develop OpenStack skills," said Mirantis Head of OpenStack Training Services, Lee Xie. "Students choose Mirantis Training because our courses cover vanilla OpenStack, equipping them with true technical understanding of what it's like to deploy and operate OpenStack in the real world."

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