OpenStack is already being used by some big-name public cloud providers -- such as Rackspace and HP -- to launch public cloud services. That puts it in direct competition with VMware's vCloud Director.
A variety of other OpenStack companies, such as Piston Cloud Computing, CloudScaling and even Canonical and Red Hat are packaging OpenStack code as a private cloud management platform that could represent competition for VMware's vSphere product line.
Chen says VMware wants to be able to support customers who are using non-VMware products, as evidenced by the company's purchase of DynamicOps, which allows users to manage heterogeneous workloads. The company integrated that technology into its offering in recent weeks.
But Chen doesn't expect VMware to be pushing customers to use OpenStack, VMware is more just supporting customers who've decided to use the open source code.
More complete support for ESX has been a desire for OpenStack customers, says Joshua McKentry of Piston Cloud. Now that VMware has extended initial support of vSphere in OpenStack, he expects there to be further integrations with the code. Herrod points out that the integration so far is around OpenStack supporting the ESX hypervisor, but not allowing vSphere to run OpenStack clouds.
VMware is in a way "sheathing the sword," after earlier comments from the company in which its cloud director Mathew Lodge equated OpenStack and other open source platforms as the "ugly sisters."
In addition to announcing the ESX support, Herrod also ran through VMware's other involvements in OpenStack, including Nicira's work in the virtual networking Quantum project, and the effort of integrating its Cloud Foundry platform as a service into OpenStack, which it has partnered with Piston Cloud on. VMware's RabbitMQ, an open source middleware-type application deployment project, is also used heavily within the OpenStack community, Herrod notes.
Network World staff writer Brandon Butler covers cloud computing and social collaboration. He can be reached at BButler@nww.com and found on Twitter at @BButlerNWW.