VMware has been one of the top contributors to the open-source OpenStack cloud platform over the last several years, and now the company is taking the next logical step by announcing its own OpenStack distribution.
The new VMware Integrated OpenStack (VIO) offering, formally announced at the VMworld conference Aug. 25, provides a new option in the increasingly competitive space for OpenStack products and services. Dan Wendlandt, director of product management for OpenStack at VMware, is helping to lead the new VIO effort. Wendlandt is a well-known name in OpenStack circles, having helped get the OpenStack Neutron networking project started (originally under the name Quantum) back in 2011.
In addition to its leadership in OpenStack networking, VMware has made multiple contributions to other areas of OpenStack, including compute and storage, over the years.
VMware has been supportive of OpenStack for years at the highest levels of the company. In 2012, then VMware CTO Steve Herrod publicly expressed his support for VMware technologies running OpenStack. And VMware's current CEO, Pat Gelsinger, commented in August of 2013 that he saw OpenStack as being highly complementary to VMware and that his company would be building out additional support.
Wendlandt told eWEEK that in the past, VMware had only talked about its community contributions to OpenStack but is now taking its involvement to the next level. For VMware, OpenStack is all about enabling choice for its users.
"The goal with VIO is to make OpenStack an extremely well-integrated aspect of the VMware product portfolio," Wendlandt said.
What VIO is in a nutshell is the open-source OpenStack code with VMware drivers, as well as an OpenStack-specific management tool and reference architecture. Wendlandt explained that the management tool handles installation and upgrades. Additionally, VMware's management suite, including vCenter Operations Manager and Log Insight, will gain OpenStack awareness, providing new visibility for users into OpenStack environments.
"The key thing here to note is that OpenStack itself isn't solving all enterprise use cases and requires additional management wrapped around it," Wendlandt said. "That's why we're delivering an entire package, providing customers with a single contact for support."
VMware integration into OpenStack itself is not a new thing. Multiple existing OpenStack distributions including Piston, Suse, Ubuntu and Mirantis all support VMware technologies running on OpenStack. All existing vendor partnerships for OpenStack support on VMware will continue, Wendlandt said.
"What the other OpenStack distribution support represents is the ability to use OpenStack as a framework to combine loosely coupled components," he explained. "VIO is about giving our customers an option for a much more tightly integrated product, a single contact for support and deep management integration to simplify installation."
Wendlandt stressed that VIO as well as the various OpenStack distributions that also support VMware are all based on the same upstream open-source code. VMware's goal is not to provide different OpenStack bits, but rather to deliver a specific package focused on VMware technologies.
While VMware is announcing its VIO product today, it is not yet announcing packaging options or pricing at this time.
"What we're announcing is the availability of a private beta, but broader pricing and packaging will not be announced until we're ready for a General Availability [GA] release," Wendlandt said.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.