VMware has found in public cloud provider CSC a strong partner to deliver OpenStack as a service.
A year ago, CSC and Amazon were the only occupants of Gartner's "leaders" quadrant in its Cloud Magic Quadrant. It was a short-lived reign. This year, CSC tumbled down into the "visionaries" quadrant, below "challengers" but ahead of "niche players."
Now CSC, the former Computer Sciences Corp., is back, sort of. At VMworld Europe, VMware announced that CSC will offer public cloud services using VMware's version of OpenStack, known as Integrated OpenStack. Unlike Rackspace or HP OpenStack clouds, which use OpenStack's default hypervisor, KVM, Integrated OpenStack uses VMware's ESX Server as the default hypervisor.
CSC is a reputable public cloud partner to offer the VMware-defined version of OpenStack, and one of the few to do so. With CSC as a partner, VMware can encourage enterprises that have virtualized their data center operations with VMware products to consider building out their private clouds on VMware Integrated OpenStack. It's an option for those companies that don't want to stick strictly with VMware's own cloud software, such as vCloud Director and vCloud Automation. It gives them an open source option, while keeping virtual machine operations all in the family.
[Want to learn more about how OpenStack may evolve? See OpenStack Can Be Rosetta Stone of Cloud.]
Having both a private and public cloud option using similar architecture gives VMware a stronger case for saying it is the right source for hybrid cloud operations, where part of a data center's workloads migrate out into a public cloud to slow data center growth or supplement existing capacity.
VMware continues to offer its own hybrid cloud option, vCloud Air, but its genuflection to OpenStack is tacit recognition that not all its enterprise customers are willing to blindly follow it from data center virtualization into hybrid cloud operations, with a long list of VMware products added to their already groaning shopping lists.
CSC calls its public cloud service the Agility Platform. It's "the perfect complement to VMware's software-defined data center portfolio, empowering customers to manage, monitor, and govern their cloud environments," said Gary Budzinski, executive VP and general manager of CSC Global Infrastructure Services.
CSC was already an early cloud partner of VMware in another way. It built out its public cloud capacity quickly using VCE Vblocks, or converged infrastructure from Cisco running VMware virtualization. Intel and VMware are investors in VCE, with EMC and Cisco providing the hardware elements and running VCE as a subsidiary.
Firms already committed to VMware's notion of a software-defined data center needed a way to link that commitment to a cloud strategy. With CSC as its partner, VMware can guarantee they will have a public cloud option that makes use of software-defined networking in a manner similar to the way the software-defined data center, as defined by VMware, does.
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