After years of insisting it wouldn’t go there, VMware will finally offer customers a way to manage third-party hypervisors, but not because it wants its customers to run Hyper-V; it comes as part of a strategy to help the company compete in the cloud.
VMware Inc. said on Monday it will acquire DynamicOps, Inc., maker of cloud management software capable of commanding multiple hypervisors, physical infrastructure and public cloud services.
For some VMware customers, the news came out of left field, but most saw it as the inevitable result of increasingly heated competition in the cloud management market where Cloudstack, OpenStack, Red Hat, Eucalyptus and other providers all support multiple hypervisors.
VMware really blew a chance at taking center stage by not offering it out of the gate with vCloud Director.
John Bythrow, systems and solutions engineer for Open Sky Corp.
“With open source, multi-hypervisor, cloud management platforms sprouting from the ground, VMware simply has no choice,” said John Bythrow, systems and solutions engineer for Open Sky Corp., which consults with large firms in the Hartford, Conn. area. “VMware really blew a chance at taking center stage by not offering it out of the gate with vCloud Director.”
Others agree it’s a move VMware had to make.
“I think it fits in the category of ‘if you don't cannibalize your own market, someone will do it for you’,” said Bob Plankers, a virtualization architect at a Midwestern university. “And it's better [for VMware] to be part of someone's infrastructure than not.”
This news also represents a shift in posture for VMware.
While there had been some toying around with support for other hypervisors such as Microsoft’s Hyper-V, VMware CEO Paul Maritz said emphatically at the launch of vSphere 5 last year that there were no plans for multi-hypervisor management. The company has also expressed uneasiness with physical infrastructure management. Until now, the company was steadfast in marketing a soup-to-nuts software offering that didn’t take into account any competitors’ products.
Now, VMware has admitted that at least some of its customers are using hypervisors and cloud infrastructures other than its own.
“A number of customers have told me that … they have … pockets of other hypervisors for various reasons, and they are looking for a multi-hypervisor management solution,” wroteRamin Sayar, vice president and general manager, cloud infrastructure and management for VMware, in a blog post about the acquisition.
Burlington, Mass.-based DynamicOps, founded in 2008, has been a VMware partner for about two years, and also has partnerships with Amazon Web Services, Citrix, Microsoft, Red Hat and Sun Microsystems, Inc. Almost all of its 100 customers to date, which include Dow Jones, News Corp., the Internal Revenue Service and investment firm Man Group, are VMware users, according to DynamicOps officials.
In a separate interview, Sayar emphasized VMware “still fundamentally believe[s] that the best option is a standardized vSphere infrastructure,” but the company is offering users the option of heterogeneous management if they choose it.
DynamicOps to integrate with VMware tools
VMware will first integrate DynamicOps’ software, which is built on the Microsoft .NET framework, with the Linux-based vCloud Director to “provide a policy automation and integration layer” and “a single cloud storefront across heterogeneous infrastructure pools,” according to Sayar’s blog post.
VMware needs to make sure it doesn't allow development to stall and irk users while it wraps everything together in a bow.
Carl Brooks, analyst at 451 Research
VMware’s vCloud Director is already integrated with DynamicOps through the vCloud API at joint customer sites today, but the company would work to “productize” this integration over the next two quarters, Sayar said. vCloud Orchestrator integration will be similarly packaged for sale to the masses.
Following that will be integration with vFabric Application Director, vCenter Operations Manager and finally with the IP VMware acquired with Digital Fuel for IT business management, according to Sayar.
“Integration of DynamicOps with VMware's core products is going to be an interesting process,” said Carl Brooks, analyst with 451 Research based in Boston. “VMware needs to make sure it doesn't allow development to stall and irk users while it wraps everything together in a bow.”
The acquisition is expected to close this quarter. Integration will be ongoing through the second half of next year, Sayar said. Financial terms of the deal for DynamicOps were not disclosed.