VMware, Canonical Teaming Up For OpenStack Compatibility


VMware and Canonical, parent company of Ubuntu Linux, are expanding the scope of their long-running partnership to allow VMware software to run on Canonical's OpenStack distribution.

VMware vSphere and the Nicira Network Virtualization Platform (NVP) are now equipped to run on Canonical OpenStack, the companies said Tuesday at the OpenStack Summit in Portland, Ore.

In the OpenStack "Grizzly" release earlier this month, VMware says it contributed code that allows vSphere to work with Nova, OpenStack's compute component. Canonical's OpenStack distribution supports the vSphere plug-ins that are part of the Grizzly release.

[Related: Red Hat Nudges Its OpenStack Release Closer To Finish Line]

VMware, which acquired OpenStack member Nicira last July and joined the OpenStack Foundation in September, is trying to show the industry it's serious about supporting the project.

Nicira co-founder Martin Casado, now chief architect of networking at VMware, was part of the team that launched Quantum, which broke out networking into a separate component within OpenStack for the first time.

VMware's vCloud Director management tool competes in some ways with OpenStack but is seeing lukewarm adoption, mainly because it's proprietary and difficult to deploy, sources familiar with the matter told CRN.

At this stage, OpenStack and CloudStack have greater momentum, Chris Ward, CTO at GreenPages-LogicsOne, an Alpharetta, Ga.-based VMware partner, told CRN. This is a trend that VMware can ill afford to ignore.

"VMware is having a big adoption issue in the market when it comes to vCloud Director, and they are hedging their bets a bit," Ward told CRN." I think it is smart of VMware to integrate with other cloud management tools that are prevalent in the market."

Canonical is providing commercial support for OpenStack and will work with VMware on issues that crop up with vSphere or NVP running with OpenStack. VMware already supports Ubuntu as a guest operating system on vSphere, and the companies will work together to support Canonical OpenStack users, a spokesperson said via email.

"The teams are already engaged, and prepared to collaborate on any issues that might come up in using the two platforms together," the VMware spokesperson said.

OpenStack is a set of open source compute, storage, networking and identity tools built for cloud infrastructure-as-a-service. Initially conceived as an alternative to proprietary offerings from Amazon and VMware, OpenStack now has more than 150 supporting vendors.

PUBLISHED APRIL 16, 2013