I’m impressed with VMware’s VIO (beta) play and believe it will have a meaningful positive impact in the OpenStack ecosystem. In the short-term, it paradoxically both helps enterprises stay on VMware and accelerates adoption of OpenStack. The long term benefit to VMware is less clear.
Why do I think it’s good tactics? Let’s explore an analogy….
My kids think owning a boat will be super fun with images of ski parties and lazy days drifting at anchor with PG13 umbrella drinks; however, I’ve got concerns about maintenance, cost and how much we’d really use it. The problem is not the boat: it’s all of the stuff that goes along with ownership. In addition to the boat, I’d need a trailer, a new car to pull the boat and driveway upgrades for parking. Looking at that, the boat’s the easiest part of the story.
The smart move for me is to rent a boat and trailer for a few months to test my kids interest. In that case, I’m going to be towing the boat using my Volvo instead of going “all in” and buying that new Ferd 15000 (you know you want it). As a compromise, I’ll install a hitch in my trusty sedan and use it gently to tow the boat. It’s not ideal and causes extra wear to the transmission but it’s a very low risk way to explore the boat owning life style.
Enterprise IT already has the Volvo (VMware vCenter) and likely sees calls for OpenStack as the illusion of cool ski parties without regard for the realities of owning the boat. Pulling the boat for a while (using OpenStack on VMware) makes a lot of sense to these users. If the boat gets used then they will buy the truck and accessories (move off VMware). Until then, their still learning about the open source boating life style.
Putting open source concerns aside. This helps VMware lead the OpenStack play for enterprises but may ultimately backfire if they have not setup their long game to keep the customers.