VMware Joins Open Source Advocacy Group, Targets Government Agencies

VMware is joining as a Platinum member, which according to the OSSI Website, entails paying an unspecified annual membership fee, participating in advisory boards, planning events and providing speakers. Other Platinum members include Red Hat, Suse and Sqrrl, while Oracle is a Gold member.

John Weathersby, executive director and founder of OSSI, praised VMware for having helped drive open source into the government IT mainstream over the years. "VMware uses open source technologies in conjunction with their unique offerings to provide solid solutions for public and private sector clients," Weathersby said in a statement.

[Related: VMware's New Federal Chief Cloud Executive Has Proven Cloud Chops ]

Steve Kaplan, an industry analyst focused on the data center market, says open source plays a key role in VMware's broader push into cloud computing. "As cloud becomes more pervasive, open source is going to become a lot more important for VMware," he told CRN.

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Doug Bourgeois, vice president of VMware's public sector cloud business, described the move as "another important step" in VMware's open source advocacy mission.

"VMware has a long history of support for open source software and collaborating with the open source community through projects like VMware Infrastructure Java API, Open VM Tools and others," Bourgeois said in a statement.

Prior to joining VMware in 2010, Bourgeois spearheaded a large-scale cloud deployment to the National Business Center, a government agency that acts as a service provider for the U.S. Department of the Interior.

The project, which included IaaS, PaaS and SaaS components, yielded major costs savings. But, it also suffered a 24-hour outage that took down core financial applications for 38 government agencies, impacting some 300,000 employees, Bourgeois told CRN in a 2010 interview.

VMware has been making an increasing amount of noise in open source, and in 2011 it launched a version of its Cloud Foundry platform-as-a-service under the Apache 2 license.

Last year, VMware joined OpenStack, the open source cloud consortium that was founded in large part as an alternative to its own proprietary cloud infrastructure. That came two months after VMware spent $1.2 billion to acquire network virtualization startup and OpenStack member Nicira.