Open source vendor battles VMware lock-in no one else sees
Cloud.com adds support for Hyper-V to OpenStack, cites anonymous users as source of VMware rebellion.
Open-source developer Cloud.com announced this morning it is now possible to run Microsoft's hypervisor with an open-source cloud-computing platform in order to combat the homogeneity and vendor lock-in that would go along with cloud solutions from leading virtualization vendor VMware.
Cloud.com Chief Marketing Officer Peder Ulander said the company started work on an abstraction layer that would allow Hyper-V to work with the OpenStack cloud platform at the request of a user who was concerned that VMware's vCloud platform would be too limiting for a large corporate IT operation.
Ulander said he could not name the user company involved because it preferred to remain anonymous, but was also unable to cite analysts or other sources as consistently voicing concern about a VMware monopoly or lock-in.
"There are a lot of people talking to us about it who don't necessarily want to talk publicly," he said.
Cloud.com has released the Hyper-V-enabling code to OpenStack, and it will appear in the next available overnight build, Ulander said.
It's good to have more options, but there is currently no broad-based user pushback against the homogeneity or potential vendor lock-in from VMware, according to Burton Group/Gartner virtualization and cloud guru Chris Wolf.
Wolf, covering a market that is heavy in partisanship and trash-talking among the major vendors -- VMware, Citrix and Microsoft -- was the first analyst to acknowledge that even companies that rely heavily on hypervisors from one vendor can and should run a competitor's hypervisor where it filled a need more effectively.
Large companies are always wary of vendor lock-in, but so far there's no sign VMware poses such a threat.
"With infrastructure products there's always a certain amount of lock-in you have to accept to have something fulfilling that function, and a certain exit cost, but I don't hear complaints or worries about that from clients about VMware right now," wolf said
Even among the network of hosting companies and service providers tha t build their own cloud services on top of VMware products, "it's too simple to say that the VMware cloud infrastructure is just generic," Wolf said. "All those service providers are trying to build in their own value-add to draw in customers, so there's a lot of variability in what's available."
OpenStack is one of a number of efforts to create common ground among cloud computing platforms, that includes Red Hat, the Open Cloud Consortium, and Desktop Management Task Force, though none has gained significant traction yet, according to Bernard Golden, CEO of consultancy Hyperstratus, who blogs on cloud computing for CIO.com.
OpenStack is an open-source cloud-computing platform being developed by Rackspace and NASA, with participation of a range of other developers . It is designed to be an abstraction layer that allows organizations to build cloud computing platforms that may include a variety of hypervisors underneath. Currently it supports only open-source hypervisors including Xen, KVM, QEMU and User Mode Linux.
Cloud.com sells a version of OpenStack called CloudStack that includes its own support for VMware, Citrix and KVM hypervisors as well as the ability to integrate with Amazon's EC2, Citrix Cloud Center, and VMware's vCloud-based cloud services.