It's no secret that OpenStack is catching on and growing in its adoption in the cloud computing space. For the most part, though, it's believed that OpenStack deployments are being rolled out mainly to serve public cloud needs. But a survey from Ubuntu shows that the private cloud element of OpenStack is growing by leaps and bounds.

This year's Ubuntu Server and Cloud Survey got responses from more than 5,800 Ubuntu users, and at least according to that population of open source cloud platform users, 41 percent are currently using private clouds and 27 percent are using public clouds. It would be interesting to see the breakdown of demographics of the respondents.

In relation to OpenStack, of the survey respondents who indicated they were using private clouds, 42 percent noted that OpenStack was their private cloud platform of choice. Contrast that with the 30 percent who said they preferred VMware vCloud. Probably of little surprise considering it was a survey of Ubuntu users, 75 percent of respondents said they have near-term plans to deploy more Ubuntu servers.

For cloud builders, it's an interesting—albeit perhaps a touch biased—statistic. No matter how skewed the results may be because of the demographic surveyed, there is clear evidence of growth of OpenStack and open source in the cloud world. Although much of that is in the public cloud space, it's interesting to see how much the open source cloud platform is being adopted for private cloud services.

The opportunity is going to grow even more so over the next few years. Those getting into building clouds will have an interesting choice between platforms—either going along the lines of VMware vCloud or choosing an open source platform such as OpenStack. Which is going to win out overall is a good question.

The survey also showed that as the worldwide cloud market continues to grow to be a projected $131 billion industry this year, there are key changes in what applications are being pushed into the cloud. Instead of just email and non-mission critical apps, businesses are increasingly migrating their mission-critical apps to the cloud, the survey found.

According to Ubuntu, 64 percent of respondents are already deploying or plan to deploy workloads to the cloud, and 55 percent are considering cloud environments for mission-critical workloads. That's a significant increase from the 22 percent who indicated last year they were thinking about putting mission-critical apps in the cloud.