VMware Integrated OpenStack – Completing SDDC and Cloud Strategy?

VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger, and CTO Ben Fathi recently announced the launch of VMware Integrated OpenStack (VIO) at the VMware Partner Exchange 2015. What is driving this move?

VMware has been executing on a broad cloud strategy to address multiple shifts in the IT infrastructure industry and possible movement within their own customer base from private through public cloud.

VMware Customers Adopting OpenStack Cloud

OpenStack is a leading Open Source software for creating private and public clouds. It can help enterprises manage compute, storage, and networking resources throughout a data center. OpenStack features a dashboard and has a rich set of APIs to integrate with other data center technologies.

openstackmktThe technology has gained significant adoption over the last several years and per 451 Research, the OpenStack market, which is still in its nascent stage, will grow from $883 million in revenue in 2014 to $3.3 billion in 2018, as enterprises and vendors increasingly adopt the open-source platform for developing and deploying cloud services. That represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40% for the six years ending in 2018.


Source – VMware


OpenStack works with multiple hypervisors and can operate on heterogeneous virtualized infrastructure. In cases where VMware’s current customers are adopting OpenStack as a private cloud management tool, there is high probability that customers might want to take a second look at their virtualized infrastructure and switch to a completely open source system or use Red Hat or other less expensive alternatives than paying for VMware licenses. VMware wants to ensure that the underlying cloud infrastructure is still running on VMware technologies. Therefore, VMware has developed an integration with OpenStack that enables IT administrators to deploy and manage OpenStack quickly and easily on top of their existing VMware infrastructure. This gives VMware the ability to protect their install base and also move other products from within their portfolio. One such product is VMware vRealize Operations Insight which in an OpenStack environment with the new integration could deliver intelligent operations of OpenStack dedicated VMs and can be used for performance management, capacity optimization, and real-time log analytics etc. This could be a great upsell opportunity for VMWare.

In a blog by VMware Product Marketing Manager Amr Abdelrazik, he highlights that the VIO will be available for use, free of charge, with VMware vSphere Enterprise Plus, vSphere with Operations Management Enterprise Plus and all editions of vCloud Suite. VIO is designed to be available as a virtual appliance and managed through the vSphere Web Client. VMware has focused on ease of deployment and simplification of OpenStack operations – this is extremely important as OpenStack has had the reputation of being hard to deploy and supposedly requires advanced IT infrastructure expertise.

OpenStack on VMware’s Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) Infrastructure 

VIO can run on VMware Software Defined Data Center infrastructure and can benefit from multiple virtualization technologies that VMware offers. VIO will support VMware vSphere options such as Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS), vMotion, High Availability etc. Additionally, per Abdelrazik’s blog, VMware NSX can provide a highly scalable network virtualization platform with rich features such as private networks, floating IPs, logical routing and security groups that can be consumed through Neutron the OpenStack networking service. On the storage side, VMware’s Virtual SAN which uses server disks and flash to create simple, high performance, resilient shared storage can be utilized to create a fully functional OpenStack ready SDDC.

So How About VMware Customers Moving to Public Cloud?

To compete with vmw-scrnsht-vcloud-graphic-lgAmazon Web ServicesMicrosoft Azure and other public cloud providers, VMWare’s cloud strategy is to focus on offering hybrid cloud products and services  i.e. VMware vSphere, vCloud Suite as well as VMware hosted vCloud Air. With the recently announced OpenStack integration, it appears VMware’s customers running OpenStack private cloud on VMware infrastructure should be able to connect to VMware hosted vCloud Air based cloud infrastructure.

The company has also struck some key partnerships – with Rackspace to deliver services based on vCloud Air and with Google to augment big data analytics capabilities to vCloud Air, another way to extend and differentiate their cloud offerings.

VMware’s latest announcement highlights their strategy as ONE CLOUD, ANY APPLICATION. Mark Lohmeyer, vice president of vSphere product management and marketing positioned this as being an initiative to deliver a consistent environment for building, running and managing any cloud-native or traditional application, through a software-defined platform that spans private and public cloud environments. The recent OpenStack integration is a step in executing this vision.

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