Yesterday was an exciting day for Team OpenStack at VMware. Our CEO Pat Gelsinger used the VMworld opening keynote to make two exciting announcements that surely caught the attention of developers, IT and the technology community at large. First, he announced VMware Integrated OpenStack, our new distribution of the open source OpenStack code. Then, Pat announced a new collaboration with Google, Docker and Pivotal highlighting our commitment to making sure container-based solutions run great on VMware infrastructure.
OpenStack distributions? Open source software partnerships? This doesn’t seem to fit the oversimplified story you often hear in the media about “open source vs. VMware.”
In reality, the story is more nuanced, and in fact, over the past few years, VMware has developed a track record of embracing open software frameworks where they provide clear value to our customers. To understand the bigger picture, we first need to talk about the key role open frameworks are playing in the new era of software development.
Enabling Developer Agility Through Open Frameworks
Developers of next-generation applications have embraced a fully automated model of accessing data center infrastructure via APIs. When building these new apps, they use APIs to provision their apps, APIs to scale those apps up and down, and APIs to release the resources when they are done. Ultimately, this is about enabling agility: allowing them to build and modify their applications more quickly, thereby moving their business forward faster.
To simplify their lives, developers of modern apps don’t want to deal with the data center infrastructure directly. Rather, they want to leverage a framework that layers on top of that infrastructure, and gives them a more abstract model against which they build their application. These frameworks are often open standards or based on open source, because open frameworks have an easier time establishing mindshare and creating an ecosystem of associated tools, libraries, etc. and because open frameworks carry the potential to offer significantly improved workload portability across varied types of infrastructure.
Open frameworks come in all shapes and sizes, including Java frameworks (e.g., Spring) to data analytics (e.g. Hadoop), Infrastructure-as-a-Service (e.g., OpenStack), Platform-as-a-Service (e.g. Cloud Foundry) and containers (e.g. Docker). VMware has helped lead the creation of several of these frameworks while others are examples of where we recognized good work started elsewhere and moved to add support within our solutions. Either way, if our customers see strong potential in a framework, we have taken steps to enable them through products such as the vFabric Suite (Spring), vSphere Big Data Extensions (Hadoop), Pivotal CF (Cloud Foundry), and now VMware Integrated OpenStack.
VMware’s OpenStack Involvement
Part of enabling any open framework for customers is having skin in the game. VMware is investing its own development resources to help build the OpenStack framework. VMware has been a gold member of the OpenStack foundation since 2012, we are one of the largest companies contributing to OpenStack, adding code to integrate our technologies such as VMware vSphere and VMware NSX™ and enhance the project as a whole. In fact, in the latest release of OpenStack (Icehouse), VMware was the #4 contributor to the official set of “integrated” OpenStack projects, which are the core OpenStack projects like Nova, Neutron, Cinder, Glance, Keystone, Horizon, Swift, etc. that most people recognize. While such numbers only tell part of the story, it’s an indicator that VMware is investing considerably in OpenStack integration, and that data is available for all to see here.
VMware is committed to making sure that the best way to run OpenStack is on VMware. Whether a customer wants to consume VMware technologies as components along with the open source code or a partner OpenStack distribution, or chooses to use VMware Integrated OpenStack, they will achieve a new level of agility for developers by offering them powerful, vendor-neutral OpenStack APIs on top of VMware’s enterprise-class infrastructure.
Director of OpenStack Product Management