Virtualization giant VMware made headlines this week when it announced it would join the OpenStack Foundation to make its cloud services compatible with the foundation's open-source standards.
While many hailed the move as an extension of VMware's already widespread virtualization and cloud services, Marten Mikos, CEO of cloud infrastructure-as-a-service provider Eucalyptus Systems, holds a contrarian view.
Mikos, in an interview with CRN at VMworld this week, said VMware has a long way to go before it can challenge the leading cloud player, Amazon, and by extension, Amazon partner Eucalyptus.
"Right now there is only one public cloud company and that is Amazon, so that is why we work with them," Mikos said. "VMware wants to dominate, but it doesn’t have any public cloud reference, so it wants to work with OpenStack.
"You'll see a lot of activity with VMware, with the VMworld event, OpenStack, and its recent acquisitions, but they have work to do in implementing their strategy," Mikos added.
VMware representatives could not be reached for comment.
Mikos said the cloud computing model is heading toward hybrid solutions, as businesses choose to keep some of their key applications in a private cloud while bringing others into the public cloud.
That’s why Eucalyptus partnered in March with Amazon Web Service (AWS) to bring its private cloud customers to Amazon’s public cloud.
AWS's application programming interfaces (APIs) will support Eucalyptus so customers can migrate resources between their IT shops and AWS while using common management tools and skills across both environments.
"Enterprise customers will use the public cloud, but they will always have some workloads that will run on-premise in private clouds," Mikos said. "We offer a private cloud software platform and it's compatible with Amazon -- the hybrid solution."
Mikos added that the OpenStack standard has not yet gained critical mass in the cloud market, despite the support of more than 150 companies. Rackspace, an OpenStack leader, only recently offered its cloud platform as a public cloud, and other supporters, such as Dell, HP and Cisco, are "hardware vendors" looking to sell equipment.
He said there are three other open-source cloud providers that are more advanced than OpenStack: OpenNebula, which he said is "more mature"; CloudStack, Citrix's cloud platform given to the Apache Foundation, which is "more stable"; and Eucalyptus.
"The publicity game is one thing, but these others are very focused," Mikos said.
But despite his intense competitive stance, Mikos said there is room for several players in the cloud market.
"This is such a large space, there's probably room for four or five companies," he said.
PUBLISHED AUG. 29, 2012