VMware & OpenStack Differences in Technology & Philosophy: Q&A with Boris Renski of Mirantis - Page 3
VSM: What types of enterprises are choosing VMware?
BR: The typical VMware customer is an enterprise CIO or IT Manager. As such, its portfolio of solutions is specifically targeted to address the acute pain points of these particular customers. These pain points all revolve around finding productive means to cater to a very diverse set of application workloads, the majority of which were never built for the cloud and were not designed to scale horizontally.
VSM: Who is choosing OpenStack?
BR: Infrastructure clouds in general, and OpenStack in particular, are not a byproduct of layering functionality around the hypervisor; neither were they originally targeted at the CIO or IT manager pain points and, therefore, aren’t held back by having to cater to traditional enterprise workloads. The OpenStack view of the world involves starting from scratch. It is the philosophy where one says “let us forget about all those existing enterprise applications and automate the infrastructure in a way that carries no legacy dependencies”.
IaaS involves a holistic approach to automating the entire infrastructure layer in a uniform way. It is not just about functionality layered around the hypervisor. As such, OpenStack projects are not structured around enterprise pain points such as security (vShield), data availability (Recovery Manager), resource accounting (Chargeback Manager), etc. Instead, OpenStack projects are structured as logical encapsulation units of infrastructure resources that are consumed by the applications: compute, object storage, block storage, networking, etc.
VSM: What’s the bottom line on VMware vs. OpenStack in the marketplace with customers?
BR: VMware is largely about infrastructure solutions catering to two decades of accumulated information technology commonly found today in the enterprise. OpenStack, on the other hand, is a much more elegant solution for greenfield cloud applications.
VSM: What do you see happening with VMware and OpenStack in the coming years?
BR: While the OpenStack approach is clearly different and has powerful momentum behind it, the applicability of this approach inside the enterprise firewall will remain questionable for a while. When it comes to today’s enterprise infrastructure pain points, VMware is still king; whereas, in that same enterprise context, OpenStack is still a solution in search of a problem.
It is unclear if, in the future, the OpenStack philosophy will dominate over VMware philosophy, or, perhaps, the two will converge somewhere in the middle. The only thing that’s obvious is that OpenStack has momentum and it’s different from traditional thinking. It is about a holistic approach to infrastructure automation; it is about open source; it is about business models that aren't based on end-user license agreements.
In the end, while side-by-side comparisons of VMware and OpenStack may be possible across a particular slice of functionality, it is, in my opinion, an irrelevant exercise because of the fundamental differences in philosophy and market vision of the two ecosystems. Looking to replace one with the other is simply the wrong way to think about it.