Should VMware be jealous?

EMC: OpenStack is the new Linux, so we’re jumping on board

Elliot Bentley

“The surprising thing is just how much serious interest has emerged in the last six months or so,” says marketing CTO.

industry giant has jumped on board the OpenStack bandwagon, joining
HP, IBM, RackSpace, Red Hat and many

This time it’s memory specialists EMC, who as of yesterday are
now ‘Corporate Sponsors’ of the OpenStack Foundation.

This isn’t the group’s first foray into OpenStack: in September,
its subsidiary VMware was
controversially approved as a gold member
– despite many
feeling that OpenStack directly competes with its products.

In a refreshingly frank
blog post
, VP Global Marketing CTO (no, we’re not sure what
that title actually means either) Chuck Hollis explains the
reasoning behind the move:

Over the last year, we’ve been informally talking with customers
and partners about their interest in OpenStack. The surprising
thing is just how much serious interest has emerged in the last six
months or so.

Essentially, if EMC’s customers are increasingly running
OpenStack, then the company must support the cloud platform, too.
Hollis also covers the thorny issue of a potential conflict of
interests with VMware, insisting that “markets demand choices” and
pointing out that EMC has already integrated their tech with
Microsoft’s cloud stack.

The blog post doesn’t suggest that EMC will be producing their own
distribution, but instead utilise their membership to ensure their
memory hardware works well with existing elements of OpenStack such
as block storage project Cinder.

He then goes on to emphasise the parallels between OpenStack and
Linux, in the way that it has become a solid base for a variety of
products which EMC will soon be expected to support:

Much like Linux has matured into a serious enterprise operating
environment, OpenStack is visibly on much the same trajectory. And
the OpenStack Foundation is the key industry nexus point for the
evolution of a growing number of different-flavored distributions
and editions.

Hollis is far from the first person to describe OpenStack as the
‘Linux of the Cloud’. But he also holds a unique perspective,
having worked at EMC for sixteen years and having spearheaded EMC’s
initial adoption of Linux in the early 2000s.

Again, this comparison could be seen as a snub to VMware, whose CTO
repeatedly stated
that Cloud Foundry’s goal is to be the ‘Linux
of the cloud’. Or perhaps it is simply a sensible business decision
based on consumer preferences: after all, VMware is a tiny slice of
EMC’s multi-billion-dollar business.

Photo by Dave

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