Never say never. VMware is about to join the OpenStack Foundation, a group initially backed by other industry giants as a counterweight to VMware’s server virtualization dominance. Intel and NEC are also on deck to join as Gold OSF members.
A year ago, a VMware-OpenStack hookup would have been seen as unlikely. When Rackspace and NASA launched the OpenStack Project more than two years ago, it was seen as a competitive response to VMware’s server virtualization dominance inside company data centers and to Amazon’s heft in public cloud computing. Many tech companies including but not limited to Rackspace, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Citrix, Red Hat and Microsoft saw VMware as a threat and were bound and determined to keep the company from extending its virtualization lock into the cloud.
But, things change. VMware’s surprise acquisition of Nicira and DynamicOps last month, showed there might be a thaw in the air. For one thing, Nicira is an OpenStack player. By bringing Nicira and DynamicOps into the fold, VMware appeared to be much more willing to work with non-VMware-centric infrastructure, as GigaOM’s Derrick Harris reported at the time.
This is a symbolic coup for OpenStack and its biggest boost since IBM and Red Hat officially joined as Platinum members in April. And it’s especially important since Citrix, a virtualization rival to VMware undercut it’s own OpenStack participation last April by pushing CloudStack as an alternative open source cloud stack.
OpenStack Gold members, which include Cloudscaling, Dell, MorphLabs, Cisco Systems, and NetApp, pay a fee pegged at 0.25 percent of their revenue — at least $50,000 but capped at $200,000 according to the foundation wiki. (VMware’s fee will be $66,666, according to the application, submitted by VMware CTO Steve Herrod, which is linked on the wiki post.) Platinum members — AT&T, Canonical, HP, Rackspace, IBM, Nebula, Red Hat, and SUSE – pay $500,000 per year with a 3-year minimum commitment.