VMware has contributed plug-ins to the OpenStack Project that guarantees the project's networking platform will recognize and work with virtual machines running under VMware's vSphere management environment and VMware's Nicira Network Virtualization Platform.
VMware acquired startup Nicira last July for $1.26 billion and has made its NVP the basis of future virtualized networking in what it terms "the software-defined data center." The Network Virtualization Platform from Nicira, a leader in OpenFlow network protocol concepts, is also the basis for the Quantum networking platform in OpenStack. Nicira was a heavy contributor to OpenStack before the acquisition, and it remains one now. At the OpenStack Summit on Tuesday, VMware gave these contributions a particular cast. Through close collaboration between Canonical and VMware, they will work inside the Ubuntu distribution of OpenStack, according to VMware's VP of vSphere product management Joshua Goodman.
Suse Linux and Red Hat also have distributions of OpenStack. Red Hat's KVM hypervisor is the one native to the OpenStack cloud open source code. Suse Linux is often cited as the version that works most closely with Windows Server and its hypervisor, Hyper-V. Both are keen competitors of VMware's ESX Server.
[ Want to learn more about how VMware plans to work with the open source cloud project OpenStack? See VMware Does Complicated Dance With Open Source Code. ]
The move also reflects VMware's growing realization that it is likely to need to live with many OpenStack implementations in the future, despite its early hopes that its own cloud software stack, the vCloud Director suite, would be the basis of private and public clouds everywhere. The collaboration with Canonical gives it an OpenStack partner that is less an immediate competitor than either Red Hat or Suse.
VMware contributed the plug-ins for the Grizzly release of OpenStack, which came out April 4. Canonical has not yet included Grizzly in its version of OpenStack, but it plans to do so by the end of the month.
On Wednesday, Martin Casado, founder of Nicira and now chief architect of networking at VMware, posted a blog on the VMware website reading, "The transformation to the software-defined data center will take many forms, and VMware understands that many customers will want to piece together different technologies based on their requirements… "
He said VMware is committed to having its virtualization environment work with OpenStack, despite perceived competition between them, and VMware has "almost doubled the number of developers working on OpenStack" compared to Nicira's previous level of contribution. Through its Nicira-acquired developers VMware was among the top ten contributors of code to the Grizzly release, he added.
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