Last week at VMworld, VMware’s biggest event of the year, I attended a few sessions with various topics related to open source, and was impressed with the number of people who showed interest those sessions. Our customers are looking to leverage open source products on top of VMware technologies, and VMware is more active in the open source community than one might think.
We, at VMware, use open source in our products, make thousands of contributions every year to many upstream projects, and create new open source projects that are being used by many. Some of the open source projects created by VMware include:
- Cloud Foundry – PaaS for developers
- Clarity – a software design tool
- Admiral – container management platform
- Harbor – container registry for Docker images
And the list goes on. You can learn about additional projects here. VMware’s investment in open source makes a lot of sense when you think about it. First, we would like to influence and engage with our customers, who might be looking at open source projects to improve the way they do stuff (see Clarity for example). Second, we would like to improve our products and tools based on feedback and support from the community. And lastly, a lot of growth is happening at the edge of the technology and we want to leverage the opportunity.
One of the most important open source projects VMware is involved in is OpenStack. At VMworld last week, we announced our new release of VMware Integrated OpenStack, the OpenStack distribution from VMware. In the last few years we have been working hard to deliver an OpenStack distribution that would seamlessly work on VMware SDDC, without you having to spend hours on customization or professional services.
History of Working with the OpenStack Community
VMware has a history of open source contributions to the OpenStack community starting in 2010. Initially it was via the Nicira team’s work on Open vSwitch (OVS) (Niciria was acquired by VMware). Later, it was via other projects including Nova, Neutron, Cinder, Glance and Ceilometer. We are the #1 contributor to the Neutron project, and the #6 contributor to the Nova project. In addition, we share all the Compute, Network, and Storage drivers with the community.
Compliance with Interop Working Group guidelines
VMware Integrated OpenStack complies with the interoperability guidelines defined by the OpenStack Interop Working Group. This group drafts the guidelines that include a list of capabilities that a “true OpenStack” cloud must expose to end users, a list of tests they must pass in order to prove it, and a list of designated sections of the upstream codebase they must use to provide those capabilities. For example, automation tools that leverage the OpenStack APIs should work on VMware Integrated OpenStack as they would on any other OpenStack distribution. Interoperability prevents vendor lock-in because it allows you to easily switch from your current OpenStack deployment to a different vendor’s distribution.
One area where developers may have been concerned in the past is image formats, since the VMware platform currently utilizes OVA, VMDK, and ISO disk formats with Glance. However, tools exist to convert from other formats to the formats we have adopted (for example: qemu-img to convert qcow2 to VMDK). In addition, significant community work in the area of image building with projects like Diskimage Builder and Packer enables users to auto-generate a VMware-compatible image relatively quickly.
VMWare is committed to keeping VMware Integrated OpenStack open by ensuring all its drivers are open source, ensuring vendor interoperability based on InterOp Working Group guidelines as well as being a very active participant in the OpenStack community.