VMworld 2014 Wrap-Up: The open source side

As we mentioned last week, VMware used the stage of VMworld 2014 to “remind” its audience how deeply the company is involved in the open source community.

The company took this opportunity to announce its OpenStack distribution, named VMware Integrated OpenStack, alongside with the new Gold Level Membership in the Open Compute Project.

To quickly recall, the Open Compute Project was launched by Facebook in 2011 and its mission is to design and enable the delivery of the most efficient server, storage and data center hardware designs for scalable computing and rely on a foundation that believes in openly sharing ideas, specifications and all the other intellectual properties.

Generally speaking, this new open source involvement has been received with a bit of suspicion from the community, a reasonable reaction considering that VMware’s general perception has always been of a company with its finger on the “vendor lock-in trigger”.

If we look at VIO (VMware Integrated OpenStack), for example, is hard to imagine the coexistence, within the same vendor, of an open source not-so-enterprise-ready cloud orchestration solutions, that implies a low entry cost versus high running costs, and a proprietary not-so-integrated suite that has been sold until yesterday as an higher price, enterprise, comprehensive solution.

We just have to look at VMware’s short-term strategy, for which, in my opinion has only two alternatives: run after other vendors, like Red Hat, and bring OpenStack inside its enterprise customers or use OpenStack as a lockpick to enter open source-oriented companies and colonize them from the inside.