The human resources leader deploys private clouds in every data center, with virtual machines (VMs) and bare metal.


Workdaya leader in human resources software-as-a-service (SaaS)has been active in the OpenStack community for many years. You may have read Superuser articles and watched past OpenStack Summit videos by Edgar Magana, senior principal software development engineer at Workday and a long-time member of the OpenStack User Committee. But how much do you know about how and why Workday uses OpenStack for both development and to run production applications and services?

In an in-depth case study, written in conjunction with members of the OpenStack Enterprise Working Group, Magana shares how Workday stays atop technology to bring new innovations to customers while achieving substantial benefits.

The team has:

  • Consolidated five deployment systems to one
  • Automated application and patch deployment across multiple environments, ensuring all users have exactly the same services at all times
  • Increased ratio of nodes per operator from 500:1 to 10,000:1
  • Reducing the expense of scalability testing

The case study details Workday’s phased migration to OpenStack in every data center, their high availability architecture, CI/CD workflow, current applications and future plans. At the end of 2016, Workday had over 650 servers running OpenStack with more than 50,000 cores of total capacity. By the end of 2018, they will triple their capacity.

By shifting to OpenStack, Workday gains many operational improvements for development, deployment, scalability, usability, onboarding, network isolation, security and automated continuous improvement. The case study elaborates on how each benefit is achieved.

Workday feels strongly that open source is not just about using the software, but also actively participating in the communities, detailed by Magana in an article. Briefly, the team’s contributions to OpenStack range from coding and code reviews to governance. Many of their contributions have been focused on fulfilling security requirements for enterprises. Workday engineers speak regularly at the bi-annual OpenStack Summits, sharing their experiences with other users and collaborating on requirements with OpenStack developers, including the upcoming OpenStack Summit, November 6-8. In Sydney, Workday will be speaking on performance and containerizing the control plane.

OpenStack improvements and enhancements translate into cost-savings and significant business benefits that contribute to Workday’s continued growth.