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Larger companies are maintaining investments made in OpenStack, according to a recent survey of tech professionals. (Cloudify Photo)

Cloud computing was supposed to simplify the process of deploying enough infrastructure to support a company’s business applications, but it’s getting complicated as companies employ multiple cloud vendors and try to get a handle on multiple cloud services.

That’s according to the results of a recent survey of tech professionals conducted by Cloudify and IOD Cloud Tech Research, released Tuesday. Half of all respondents now run workloads at more than one cloud vendor’s facilities, and of those, most are using Amazon Web Services and Azure as part of their multi-cloud strategy.

Interestingly, respondents reported running OpenStack, the beleaguered open-source cloud software that runs private clouds and a shrinking number of public clouds, as often as AWS. That suggests that larger companies are maintaining private cloud investments made in OpenStack a few years back: AWS was much larger than OpenStack among companies with under 500 employees, while OpenStack beat AWS among companies with more than 5,000 employees.

So how do you manage these multiple clouds? Containers are the most popular answer, with 26.6 percent of respondents citing that technology as the most interesting emerging enterprise technology, with microservices coming in behind at 20.1 percent. Serverless technologies were much farther down the list, with only 10.7 percent of respondents reporting interest in using that emerging technology.

Respondents cited operational efficiency and the opportunity for business innovation as their primary reasons for moving to the cloud, while cost savings — the traditional answer — was way down the list. Cloud users appear to be wising up to the fact that cloud computing might not always be the most cost-effective way to run stable, predictable workloads, but serverless technologies could change that equation as they mature by letting companies bill their vendors by the second.

Cloudify and IOD Cloud Technologies Research surveyed around 700 tech professionals spread evenly across company size, although most of those companies were in the technology business to some extent. If you’d like, you can trade your email address for a copy of the survey here.

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