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Cloud Virtualization

OpenStack Board Member Says Adding VMware Was a Mistake 64

Posted by timothy
from the nomenclature-and-differentiation dept.
BButlerNWW writes "VMware is in OpenStack now, but not everyone thinks that's such a good idea. One member of the newly created OpenStack Board of Directors says allowing VMware into the open source cloud project was a 'huge mistake' that could damage the project's market perception. Boris Renski is co-founder of OpenStack integration consultancy Mirantis and he says every enterprise he's worked with so far has been interested in OpenStack because they view it as an alternative to VMware. The board's vote earlier this month has now muddled the differences, he says. 'If OpenStack isn't an alternative to VMware, then what the hell is it?' Renski says."
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OpenStack Board Member Says Adding VMware Was a Mistake

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  • Devils Advocate (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kylegordon (159137) on Monday September 17, 2012 @03:03PM (#41365749) Homepage

    It's comical and a bit sad to think that the board fell for it. The very act of VMware signing up and sitting there to play devils advocate is causing confusion for potential customers. Either way, VMware wins.

    • It all comes down to what a Gold Member (VMware..err EMC) can do to clock block your project 10 years longer than first anticipated.

      In the end EMC does want to be compatible with others, else people will not use their server virtualization products if you are truely locked in. They just want to have first pick and mind-share of the market which is willing to pay. with mind-share, you have lock-in.

  • Answer (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Monday September 17, 2012 @03:16PM (#41365883)

    'If OpenStack isn't an alternative to VMware, then what the hell is it?' Renski says."

    A: A tool.

    IT professionals, well, experienced ones anyway, don't care what the name is on the tin, as long as it does what it says on the tin. If it does its job well, it will succeed. If it does not, well... there are alternatives.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      That's over-simplified. Are you familiar with the phrase "Nobody ever got fired for going with [large vendor]?"

      • Re:Answer (Score:4, Insightful)

        by LordLimecat (1103839) on Monday September 17, 2012 @03:56PM (#41366447)

        Perhaps instead of "experienced IT professionals" he should have said "competent IT professionals".

        • by Sir_Sri (199544)

          Who regularly get fired for being able to do in 20 minutes what takes incompetent people 2 weeks. And then one party looks like they're working their arses off to get stuff done, and the other guy looks like he sits around all day reading /.

          • by jmcvetta (153563)

            And then one party looks like they're working their arses off to get stuff done, and the other guy looks like he sits around all day reading /.

            I used to work with a guy who spent a good part of his day literally asleep at his workstation. However, at any time he could be woken up, and with wizard-like acuity fix the problems that were his to fix. The bossman was well aware of his slumber habits. Yet he was considered a very valuable member of the team, by his coworkers and management alike.

            YMMV.

    • by rathaven (1253420)
      That's always assuming that they give it a chance in the first place. Small vendor/open source vs Safe Big Vendor - easy to see where the IT Managers who buy into the big names are safe/good products are going to put their money.
    • The whole point of openstack is to be agnostic to the software that provides the service. You can run KVM, Xen, a full citrix XenServer, and a few other pieces of virtualization software on the nodes. Why should they care, as long as VMWare provides the correct API's, which vendor or tool is running it?

    • IT professionals, well, experienced ones anyway, don't care what the name is on the tin, as long as it does what it says on the tin. If it does its job well, it will succeed. If it does not, well... there are alternatives.

      Holy Testical Tuesday that's a dangerous decision making process. Have you never had to deal with migrating away from a proprietary vendor after being successfully locked-in to their product(s)? It's not a very fun process, I'll say. I just had the joy of doing this with VMWare, interestingly enough. I will gladly put in the extra work required to deploy a solution if it preserves my freedom of choice later on down the road, should I ever need to make a change.

  • What is openstack? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vlm (69642) on Monday September 17, 2012 @03:20PM (#41365927)

    What is openstack? Other than something with a board of directors, that per the front page is "simple to implement, massively scalable, and feature rich". Thats great, so is EMACS and apache and linux.

    I clicked around and it uses git and the install instructions show it fdisks something, presumably my hard drive (whoa there nellie) and uses mysql as a backend and whatever keystone and glance and nova and horizon might be, their installation is pretty easy. But what is openstack? Basically a linux distro that installs that stuff, or ... ?

    Note that I'm no noob... its just that I can't figure out what openstack is. I've done tons of NFS/AFS/Samba over the decades and some virtualization stuff with vmware and I have a little 4 node 20-30 LXC image "cluster" at home. LXC because its simple and the hardware is ancient aka free so I can't do "fancy" hardware virtualization.

    • by Pinhedd (1661735) on Monday September 17, 2012 @03:27PM (#41366011)
      I couldn't possibly agree more. I hate when I get directed to a project website and get bombarded with page after page of non-statements that say absolutely nothing about the project. The first two things I want to know are "what is it?" and "why should I care?". Save the marketing drivel.
      • by msk (6205) on Monday September 17, 2012 @03:31PM (#41366071)

        You, too, can get rich with this product! I'll tell you how for only $9.99.

      • The web page sucks. The tools, however, are reasonably powerful VM stack controllers that use stuff you probably know, like REST, XML, and communications like marionette and puppet, etc etc. You bring up lots of stuff, make it do work, cough the results into storage, rinse, repeat.

        If you're a developer of systems-grade apps, OpenStack saves you steps, talks to lots of providers (especially AWS and Rackspace) and you get a lot of work done. Don't be superficial and look at the website. Dive deeper and try it

        • by Mattcelt (454751)

          I think you missed the point of the pp's question. What "tools"? What is a VM stack controller, and why/when/where would I need one? What is a VM stack? What are REST, XML, AWS, Rackspace, marionette, puppet, etc.?

          Should I care about OpenStack if I'm not a developer?

          The questions that aren't being answered are a whole lot more fundamental than what you're responding to. Not a critique on what you wrote, just more information - I have the same questions as the pp.

          • Yes, in two vectors.

            If you're looking for production use, OpenStack is a methodology that allows you to deploy VMs, which do work for you, into either your own hosts, or external hosts, in automated ways, with high customization potential (Windows or Linux). These can be persistent or non-persistent apps, on-premises or in the cloud, or both (subject to your security models and HA needs).

            The second angle is to use the method for dumb, simple farm expansion and contraction models. You can add load tolerance

      • But it says right there... Apply directly to the forehead.
    • by Xacid (560407)

      Don't worry, I'm in the same boat too. All I've gathered is that it's The Next Big Thing (tm) and deals with The Cloud (tm). According to them anyway.

      • by atriusofbricia (686672) on Monday September 17, 2012 @03:31PM (#41366073) Journal

        Don't worry, I'm in the same boat too. All I've gathered is that it's The Next Big Thing (tm) and deals with The Cloud (tm). According to them anyway.

        It's a Cloud Management system capable of using multiple back-ends to run the actual VMs. It manages virtual networks/disks and related resources and ties it all together.

        I suppose you could look at it as the glue that takes KVM/Xen/XCP and turns it into a "cloud".

        • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 17, 2012 @04:31PM (#41366897)

          Your explanation is in the right direction but there's an essential part missing. What makes Openstack a cloud platform? It's a cloud because it can run cloud applications. These are ~ new type of applications that are aware they're running in a cloud. Just like classic enterprise apps deployed in an app server, cloud applications are coded against an API, provided by Openstack. The API is designed so that the app can benefit from various services, like structured data storage, but it's also designed to enforce apps that can scale well, with little changes, to very large number of servers. Current apps can't do that in a cost effective manner and that's why a cloud of applications is something that is very valuable for someone looking to build things like the next Youtube, GMail or Dropbox but without Google's unlimited money and human resources supply.

          All that the current VMware toolchain can provide is a cloud of virtual machines. You would be hard pressed to find a whole datacenter running on VMware while also running a single application in all the virtual machines.

          Amongst almost all the other cloud platforms currently on the rise, Openstack is a darling because it promises to have an open API for those cloud apps. This is of tremendous importance to avoid the mother of all vendor lockins. Currently you can't have an app built for one cloud platform and then move it to another cloud. If you build an app for Microsoft's Azure cloud platform you know you won't be able to move it to Google's App Engine or Amazon's Elastic Cloud without running the huge risk of trying to rewrite the app. With an app running on Openstack, you could run it on your own servers for a while and then move it to some Openstack cloud provider. And if you are not happy with that provider after a while, you can switch to another one, etc.

      • Pretty much (Score:4, Informative)

        by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday September 17, 2012 @03:40PM (#41366173)

        We have a research group at work who is constantly chasing the next buzzword and "the cloud" is what they are after now. So they have a bigass IBM blade system they bought for researching it (well actually they bought it for researching "the cluster" but that has changed). What do they want on it? OpenStack. They can't say why, they can't say what they wish to do with it, just that they want the cloud on OpenStack.

        Ok so our Linux guy sets it up for them, and wasn't all that pleased about it (he said it was more difficult than it ought to be and the documentation was wanting). They then start playing with it and can't seem to get it to do what they want. This isn't a surprise, since they don't really know what they want, but they can't make it work, and break the systems repeatedly. Finally we've had enough and give them VMWare, since to the extent they can articulate their needs it is basically "make a lot of VMs" which is something that VMWare does well, and it is easy to use.

        I'm sure OpenStack has something useful it can do (ok, well reasonably sure at least) but it seems to be very buzzwordy, and often attracts people who are big on buzzwords, short on understanding.

        • by lgw (121541)

          I've used VMwares "turn some VMs into a cloud" solution, at least to provision and manage sets of VMs, and while it's primary goal in life is clearly to convince people "this is the cloud!" it is a nice simple, well documented REST API.

          If OpenStack doesn't have a similar simple, modern, well documented API for managing swarms of VMs I'm not sure what it has going for it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Thankfully, Google led me to a nice Stack Overflow question asking the same thing, and the first response is pretty helpful.
      http://superuser.com/questions/318103/what-is-openstack-and-how-can-it-be-used [superuser.com]

      "Openstack is basically a bunch of tools to setup a large-scale virtualization environment... where you can quickly create & manage virtual machines through a GUI, and keep track of what is going on. It's another framework similar to Amazon's EC2 and S3 services. There are others similar to this, like Euc

      • by Dishwasha (125561)

        Yes, although not specified on their website, OpenStack's goals have been to create a vendor agnostic public and private cloud system that is API compatible with Amazon EC2 and S3. Inviting VMWare to participate really has no bearing on this goal unless VMWare limit's OpenStack's ability to configure and manage VMWare resources in an EC2 and S3 compatible fashion. VMWare ESXi is freely available, but I believe to get API access to ESXi, you have to get the vSphere (or whatever it's called now) license com

    • by vlm (69642)

      I've gotten a little further along in trying to figure out what "openstack" is.

      Apparently its like the apache software foundation, in that there is no "apache software foundation" code or executable or command line, there are projects such as apache or mod-perl that live under it. So openstack holds a handful of subprojects that theoretically work together. Like an office suite.

      Basically the Nova is a "fabric controller" aside from the fancy name its a GUI on top of the kernel virt layer and sysadmin scri

    • by tattood (855883)
      From the OpenStack docs [openstack.org]:

      OpenStack Compute gives you a tool to orchestrate a cloud, including running instances, managing networks, and controlling access to the cloud through users and projects. The underlying open source project's name is Nova, and it provides the software that can control an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud computing platform. It is similar in scope to Amazon EC2 and Rackspace Cloud Servers. OpenStack Compute does not include any virtualization software; rather it defines drivers that interact with underlying virtualization mechanisms that run on your host operating system, and exposes functionality over a web-based API.

      It looks to me like it does what VMware's VirtualCenter does. It is a central management platform for interacting with whatever Hypervisor(s) [openstack.org] you want to use.

    • OpenStack is a cloud infrastructure built by rackspace to replace the VMWare option--cause they didn't want to pay the licensing fees any more.

    • ...uses mysql as a backend...

      Want to get concerned about something, get concerned about that.

    • by Jawnn (445279)

      Note that I'm no noob... its just that I can't figure out what openstack is. I've done tons of NFS/AFS/Samba over the decades and some virtualization stuff with vmware and I have a little 4 node 20-30 LXC image "cluster" at home. LXC because its simple and the hardware is ancient aka free so I can't do "fancy" hardware virtualization.

      If you can't grasp what Open Stack "is", then you are definitely a noob in the areas where Open Stack plays.

  • by Bogtha (906264) on Monday September 17, 2012 @03:24PM (#41365981)

    Anybody remember OS/2 and how Windows compatibility killed the native OS/2 application market because it was so good? They can use the same mechanism here: "Always choose OpenStack. Where VMWare is the best solution, you can arrive at that solution through OpenStack. Going directly with VMWare limits your options if it turns out it's not the best solution".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 17, 2012 @03:24PM (#41365983)

    How do I buy a license to try OpenStack? Do I get it through my normal VMWare channel or is there another purchase and licensing mechanism I need to follow?

  • by gtirloni (1531285) on Monday September 17, 2012 @03:27PM (#41366009)
    I get a feeling the OpenStack folks somehow hope to bring all competing vendors under the same umbrella and it'll all be ponies and rainbows all the way to cloud nirvana.

    I'm afraid one that tries to pleases everybody, turns into an ugly mess.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Or maybe they were hoping to make cash off the venture as much as the people who founded VMWare did.
       
      Oh, that's right, this is open source so it's all about the technology and not about profits.
       
      Give me a break.

  • by FranTaylor (164577) on Monday September 17, 2012 @03:48PM (#41366295)

    When I buy a tool, I demand that it only works with other stuff from the same vendor.

    It would just be too confusing if I could use the same adjustable wrench for different brands of bolts.

  • If OpenStack isn't an alternative to VMware, then what the hell is it?

    It's a software property owned by the community, what's wrong with that?

  • 'If OpenStack isn't an alternative to VMware, then what the hell is it?'

    It's an alternative to VMware with an easy migration path.

    This isn't difficult ... is it?

  • OpenNebula. We have a large install base where I work, it does a fine job. It's essentially a lightweight management layer over libvirt and KVM for us, although it works with other hypervisors as well.

  • "If OpenStack isn't an alternative to VMware, then what the hell is it? "

    OpenStack is basically an operating system for large clusters. It exposes it's system api's as REST interfaces you can call over http.
    It's components are:
    Nova: handles compute resources, such as VM's (work is underway to handle bare-metal provisioning, too), These can be provided by many hypervisors, such as XenServer, KVM, HyperV and VMWare, or containers like LXC. Nova handles resource allocation across the cluster of hosts. When you

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