Survey shows OpenStack and Docker as top open source cloud projects

Survey says: OpenStack and Docker top cloud projects

Lots of hands trying to climb a ladder
Image by :

Subscribe now

Get the highlights in your inbox every week.

When it comes to open source cloud projects, everybody has an opinion. A new survey attempts to take a broad look at those opinions and learn something about the state of the state of the open cloud and where it is headed.

Conducted in partnership between and the New Stack, the survey gathered information from more than 550 participants, and the results were released at the CloudOpen North America event taking place this week in Chicago.

For the headlining result, best overall open source cloud project, votes were weighted, giving each first-choice three votes, two votes for second choice, and one vote for third. The combined results show infrastructure project OpenStack leading the pack, with container project Docker about a hundred votes behind.

  1. OpenStack (389 combined votes)
  2. Docker (284 combined votes)
  3. KVM (212 combined votes)
  4. CloudStack (190 combined votes)
  5. Ceph (171 combined votes)

The survey also looked at a number of project categories individually, including best open source hypervisor/container, infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), configuration and management tools, and storage solutions.

Within the hypervisors category, KVM was the dominant choice with 48% of the voters selecting it at their top choice, followed by Docker at 28%, and a little further down Xen at 15%. IaaS was dominated by OpenStack, receiving more than three times as many votes as the next runner up, CloudStack, with Open Nebula and Eucalyptus also receiving a lesser number of votes.

The PaaS category was dominated by the two best-known projects, showing OpenShift as the top choice, followed by CloudFoundry, with few votes for any of the competitors in the category.

Management tools was perhaps the most interesting thread to follow, with the greatest number of choices being available. While Puppet placed first, there was a wide spread across all of the choices, with Ansible and Salt coming in second and third, respectively, but with quite a few votes registering for other choices as well. Juju, Chef, Mesos, Vagrant, and OVirt all received significant votes, and Foreman was added to the named results as a popular write-in.

Finally, in the open source cloud storage category, Ceph led the way with almost 50% of the votes, with Gluster and Swift placing second and third.

The survey also collected a number of responses about contribution rates, development tools used, barriers to participation, and which projects participants would most like to contribute to that they're not currently. The full results are definitely worth taking a look at.

Which open source cloud projects are at the top of your list? Let us know in the comments below.

About the author

Jason Baker - I use technology to make the world more open. Linux desktop enthusiast. Map/geospatial nerd. Raspberry Pi tinkerer. Data analysis and visualization geek. Occasional coder. Cloud nativist. Civic tech and open government booster.