VMware and OpenStack

VMware and OpenStack
There has been a lot of talk about VMware and OpenStack during the VMworld 2014 keynotes this week.  I attended a breakout session specifically about the topic to see what other details could be gathered on the integration, and how it all is supposed to work.
I found it interesting that, even in the breakout session, somewhat backhanded comments were made and negative slides were shown about OpenStack (Keynote Smack Talk). The indirect message was, “you need a army of developers to get OpenStack to work, but, no fear, VMware is here—announcing its own OpenStack distribution!”
With VMware’s distribution, the total number of major OpenStack distributions has grown to eight. For me, one of the challenges with OpenStack is everything is so piecemeal. With eight distributions and 11 components making up the stack—all at difference phases of adoption—it is painfully hard for anyone to run OpenStack in production, unless your organization has an ongoing development team keeping things in sync. VMware said that some of the eight distributions plan on self-committing VMware code changes, but I question the sustainability of this plan.

Cost and Performance

VMware spent some time comparing the performance of RedHat Storage running OpenStack to VMware’s vSan running the same. They noted how much faster and better they are than RedHat, then went on to compare cost over time:
“In our testing, the VMware vSphere with Virtual SAN solution performed better than the Red Hat Storage solution in both real world and raw performance testing by providing 53 percent more database OPS and 159 percent more IOPS. In addition, the vSphere with Virtual SAN solution can occupy less datacenter space, which can result in lower costs associated with density. A three-year cost projection for the two solutions showed that VMware vSphere with Virtual SAN could save your business up to 26 percent in hardware and software costs when compared to the Red Hat Storage solution we tested.”


OpenStack adoption is gaining momentum, but the platform still needs to mature. I look at OpenStack like aged cheese: the longer it ages, the better it gets. VMware’s new distribution, added awareness, and increased contributions will only help OpenStack grow. However, I question if adding one more player will really help the technology age more quickly to the point it is ready to be consumed by all types of business, with or without hands-on development teams.  As it sits now, VMware has given OpenStack some backhanded compliments while still trying to tempt enterprises to consider the platform as an option when VMware is under the hood.

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