VMware partners with Canonical to extend OpenStack cloud

Collaboration allows VMware vSphere hypervisor and network virtualization technology to deploy with Ubuntu Cloud Infrastructure

VMware is one of the latest household technology brands to throw its weight behind OpenStack, the open source cloud operating system that launched more than two and half years ago to enable any organization with the opportunity to gain quick entry into the cloud computing market.

Of course, VMware's contribution to the OpenStack community hasn't always been seen in a positive light. The virtualization giant's joining of the OpenStack Foundation was initially met with skepticism since the company hasn't always fully embraced the project. Even more recently, there was an interesting twist of marketing FUD centered on an announcement that PayPal -- and perhaps its parent company eBay -- was ditching VMware in favor of moving to an OpenStack environment.

[ Also on InfoWorld: VMware sells off Shavlik patch management to LANDesk | Piston Cloud unveils enterprise OpenStack 2.0 | Track the latest trends in virtualization in InfoWorld's Virtualization Report newsletter. ]

Ever since VMware's acquisition of networking virtualization startup Nicira back in July 2012, the company has been trying to squash concerns as to whether VMware would truly embrace OpenStack with the same enthusiasm that Nicira had as an independent company.

In an effort to show the company's intentions, VMware and Canonical recently issued a statement that stated the two companies would work together so that organizations would be able to better deploy VMware technologies, including VMware vSphere and Nicira NVP, with Canonical's OpenStack distribution.

As part of the collaboration agreement, Canonical's Ubuntu Cloud Infrastructure, arguably the most widely used OpenStack distribution, will now include plug-ins created by VMware that were contributed to the Grizzly release of OpenStack. Canonical and VMware said they would both support deployments on Ubuntu, which would simplify the lives of administrators with existing VMware ESX real estate who are interested in OpenStack for cloud infrastructure.

Canonical added that it worked with VMware to bring the ESXi server virtualization hypervisor into OpenStack Grizzly -- making it a peer with the KVM and Xen hypervisors. When it comes to networking, the two have also paired and included VMware's Open vSwitch technology and the plug-in for Quantum virtualization networking for the NVP controller (created by Nicira) into Canonical's OpenStack release.

It seems the announcement reflects VMware's realization that its vCloud technology isn't exactly blasting out of the gates and providing the virtualization giant with the same percentage of market share it currently enjoys with its server virtualization technology. As the company looks toward dominating the private and public cloud market in the future, it may need to hedge its bets and work more closely with OpenStack implementations to make it happen. This latest collaboration effort with Canonical may give the company its best chance to do just that since Red Hat's KVM hypervisor is already the native platform in the OpenStack source code and Suse has strong ties with Microsoft and Hyper-V.

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