VMware Makes Big Bet on Its Own OpenStack Distribution

In terms of infrastructure, VMware will provide its own OpenStack distribution that still integrates deeper into the VMware architecture. At VMworld 2014, VMware announced the new VMware Integrated OpenStack (VIO) offering putting intelligence in the hardware versus software in the level of automation.

Based on the OpenStack Icehouse release, VIO integrates OpenStack APIs and tools build into vCloud Suite Infrastructure-as-a-service and vSphere platforms. VMware says that organizations, particularly enterprises, have found deploying OpenStack can be time and resource intensive, and the underlying infrastructure does not always meet their requirements for security, resilience and performance.

The aim is to simplify the deployment of OpenStack layer in companies that often lack expertise on this subject. IT managers will now be able to use tools such as VMware vSphere or vCloud Suite to drive the OpenStack framework. In addition, data centers driven by VMware solutions can better interact with datacenters integrating OpenStack. VIO is currently available from some customers with the official availability slated for early 2015.

A particular focus of VIO is on the cloud management using existing VMware Tools. For now, only the ESX hypervisor is supported. However, it could also fit into VMware’s strategy to decouple the management tools gradually from its own hypervisor. This would also correspond to the march direction away from virtual machines and towards the Software Defined Data Center.

This strategy to marry the Open Source OpenStack platform is due to two considerations. The first is the position of VMware in the OpenStack project. Realizing in 2012, with the acquisition of Nicira, SDN specialist, VMware has set foot in OpenStack and recently becoming a Gold member of the Foundation. The other consideration is competitive order. Several players were also positioned to provide solutions to the attention of businesses to more easily deploy OpenStack. HP with its HP Helion provides OpenStack distribution. IBM is not outdone by expanding its offering SmartCloud Orchestrator to manage under private OpenStack Cloud.

OpenStack is the tool to manage virtualized data centers, originally developed in a collaboration between NASA and Rackspace. Today, OpenStack has become a popular way to manage their virtualized servers, often with a free alternative to VMware’s software. VMware and OpenStack have nurtured strong opposition, the OpenStack community considering VMware as a sort of evil empire who chained businesses by imposing high licensing costs and locking portability.

Last week, OpenStack launched the hosted private cloud for users to evaluate different OpenStack deployment options that best meet their requirements. The new Hosted Private Cloud category offers an open and transparent means to evaluate the full spectrum of OpenStack deployment options.

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