Back in June, I theorized that VMware would release it’s own distribution of OpenStack. I coined it vOpenstack. I basically argued that VMware’s participation in the OpenStack Foundation was a way to be able to sell more vSphere. I don’t think VMware’s strategy is very complex. If it can’t own all of your virtualization and cloud stack it wants to own as much as possible. So, if a customer’s use case lends itself to OpenStack vs. vCloud then VMware would be more than happy to support vSphere on an OpenStack environment. For most, VMware’s participation seemed strange. However, it made sense to me as vCloud and OpenStack support two different use cases.
VMware purchase of Nicira guaranteed them a seat at the OpenStack table, at least from a network stack perspective. VMware has continued to be a major contributor to OpenStack and contributed much more than just network virtualization code to the project. They have greatly increased their support for running OpenStack in a vSphere environment using the vCenter API’s. So, I was pleasantly surprised and felt a little vindicated when Mirantis announced that their OpenStack distribution would be tightly integrated with vSphere. That’s right this is the same Mirantis that incorrectly hinted that Paypal was abandoning vSphere for OpenStack just a few shorts months ago. Again, this is the same Mirantis that was skeptical about VMware’s membership in the OpenStack Foundation.
This isn’t exactly the vOpenStack distribution I was predicting or hoping to see, but it makes sense. VMware has its hands full getting NSX to the level it needs to be successful and is still focused on strengthening its current virtualization and cloud management product line. Getting side tracked with building and supporting an OpenStack distribution my have been too much. But, they did the next best thing to buying Mirantis (maybe they still will?), which is to partner with the leading OpenStack consulting company to ultimately sell more vSphere to companies that can afford professional service dollars to role an OpenStack private cloud.
I’m enjoying seeing VMware’s (v)OpenStack strategy solidify and play itself out. I’m still guessing we are at the infancy of their overall strategy.