In a move to push OpenStack clouds, VMware has partnered with Canonical to help enterprises deploy various technologies, including VMware vSphere and Nicira NVP, with Canonical's OpenStack distribution.
This looks like a strategic deal for both companies -- and their customers. Canonical's Ubuntu Cloud Infrastructure is the most widely used OpenStack distribution. Through the VMware partnership, it will now include the plug-ins required to use OpenStack with vSphere and NVP.
For its part, Canonical is providing commercial support for OpenStack and will collaborate with VMware on issues related to vSphere or NVP running with OpenStack. VMware also reaffirmed its support of Ubuntu as a fully supported guest operating system on vSphere.
We asked Zeus Kerravala, an analyst at ZK Research, for his take on the partnership. He told us initiatives like the one between Canonical and VMware are important for the software-defined network community at large.
"The whole concept of having a plug-and-play world seems to be further out from where we are today," Kerravala said. "The initiatives that VMware are rolling out can help actually bring some realism and practical use cases to software defined networks."
As part of the OpenStack "Grizzly" release on April 4, VMware contributed code to add vSphere support to the OpenStack Compute project, code-named Nova. These contributions were built on VMware's existing leadership in the OpenStack Networking project -- code-named Quantum -- which focused on Nicira NVP.
The agreement aims to give flexibility to deploy and reliably run OpenStack clouds with Ubuntu Cloud Infrastructure on VMware vSphere while receiving commercial support.
Joshua Goodman, vice president of product management for vSphere at VMware, put it this way: The partnership delivers customer choice by providing a platform for enterprises interested in using the open-source OpenStack cloud operating system.
"Canonical's Ubuntu technology is widely used by those deploying OpenStack," Goodman said, "and joint customers will be able leverage the familiar and proven capabilities of the vSphere infrastructure in which they've already invested."
Canonical and VMware also plan to collaborate on software testing, deployment automation, customer support and reference designs. And VMware pointed out that its continued support of Ubuntu as a guest OS on vSphere makes it possible for customers to run production workloads at the highest virtual machine densities on the world's most battle-tested hypervisor platform.
"Customers in both enterprise and carrier markets are eager to deploy OpenStack in conjunction with their existing VMware vSphere infrastructure," said Chris Kenyon, senior vice president, sales and business development at Canonical. "This joint offering will be a fully supported and certified solution for OpenStack cloud infrastructure that uses VMware hypervisors for compute, combining existing vSphere real estate with Ubuntu's category-leading OpenStack distribution."