VMware (VMW) is no longer content just to provide the virtualization hypervisors that power open source clouds based on OpenStack. The company is now offering an OpenStack distribution of its own, which it's pitching as a quick and low-cost cloud computing solution for the enterprise.
VMware announced the platform, called Integrated OpenStack, on Monday at VMworld 2014 as part of a series of product introductions and updates that it said will bring new capabilities to the "open, agile, secure software-defined data center."
The company's message surrounding Integrated OpenStack is all about cost and ease of deployment. The platform "will leverage VMware’s proven software-defined data center technologies for compute, network, storage and management to provide enterprise-class infrastructure that reduces capital expense (CAPEX), Operational Expense (OPEX) and total cost of ownership for production-grade OpenStack deployments," according to VMware.
In addition, VMware hopes to attract developers to the OpenStack distribution with the draw of API access to cloud infrastructure. The idea there, again, is to simplify OpenStack deployment and cost of maintenance by making the infrastructure more programmable, reducing the amount of human effort required to keep clouds running.
Yet VMware's OpenStack agenda may be limited. The company has also "partnered with OpenStack distributions including Canonical, HP, Mirantis, Piston, Red Hat and SUSE to make sure those vendors' OpenStack offerings work well with VMware infrastructure," it said, suggesting that it's not seeking to become fully invested in building an OpenStack distribution that can meet the need of every enterprise. Instead, the goal appears to be to demonstrate some direct commitment to OpenStack, while relying on partner networks to keep companies looking to VMware for building the underlying infrastructure when they deploy clouds, even if those companies get their OpenStack from another source.