Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Cloud Open Source

VMware CEO: OpenStack Is Not For the Enterprise 114

coondoggie writes "VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger says he doesn't expect open source cloud project OpenStack to catch on significantly in the enterprise market, instead he says it's more of a platform for service providers to build public clouds. It's a notion that others in the market have expressed in the past, but also one that OpenStack backers have tried hard to shake."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

VMware CEO: OpenStack Is Not For the Enterprise

Comments Filter:
  • by TheReaperD ( 937405 ) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @03:22AM (#44571603)

    Big corporate CEO says open source projects are only for geeks, children and people who can't afford it. News at 11.

    I'm pretty sure that CEOs have been feed this so much by their marketing executives whose paychecks are on the line that they truly believe it. It just makes it so much more fun when they file bankruptcy or get bought out and the new company cans them without their golden parachutes.

    • Or the cynic in me feels they are contributing to the project so they can copyright and patent the hell out of it.

      That would fulfill his argument on it being a toy for poor people and if you want to not have a liability than pay me ala SCO/Oracle.

    • by CodeBuster ( 516420 ) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @03:33AM (#44571641)
      Part of the job of any CEO is to publicly promote the company and make bold statements not just in support of the company and its products but also against the competition and their products. He's just doing his job.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        > Part of the job of any CEO is to publicly promote the company and make bold statements not just in support of the company and its products but also against the competition and their products

        Nope. It's not part of his job to spread FUD. It just happens that people think this is a good strategy. If they didn't, he wouldn't do it. His job is to enact the will of the board and handle day-to-day details. It's almost like you believe that this is the only way to do business.

        • It's not part of his job to spread FUD. It just happens that people think this is a good strategy.

          I'd say it is a good strategy as it has worked (to considerable effect) for decades in advertising. And because it has a track record, our insane laws in this country all but force a CEO to pursue any possible working/legitimate strategy to help the company succeed. Should it be that way? No, of course not.

          But it is.

      • by vux984 ( 928602 )

        Yeah, if your CEO is saying something like this...

        "Oh crap, this free product is going to eat our lunch and we'll be bankrupt by 2018, unless we can figure out how to make our product substantially more compelling real quick. And to be honest, we haven't got the faintest idea how to do that at this point."

        you probably need a new CEO.

    • Gelsinger should shut up and get down to the hard work of delivering a compelling cloud platfom from his own company.

    • One of the reasons my company uses cloud systems is that we don't have to deal with all the hardware stuff anymore. Running our own cloud would be counter-productive, as it means that we get the worst of both worlds - we still have to deal with the hardware, and we get the added complication of dealing with a more complex system. We don't get the rapid scalability of cloud systems, because we lack the economies of scale that lets cloud providers have spare capacity ready to deploy at a moment's notice.


      • by DarkOx ( 621550 ) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @06:06AM (#44572051) Journal

        Going virtual makes everything easier not harder. You have to be a very small shop before the costs out weigh the gains. The first time you really have to worry about uptime, backups ( that you actually test ), unanticipated needs of disparate project teams, or disaster recovery; you will find your private cloud makes it all virtually push button. If that sounds like marketing babble suit yourself, but I have seen multiple shops transform form the mix of single servers and standalone vm hosts to more integrated farm solutions from VMware, Citrix, and open source; and none of them regretted it.

      • Running your own cloud gives you a cost savings that could be significant, as it lets you consolidate hardware. More importantly, running software on virtual machines makes replacing or upgrading the actual hardware much less painful. And depending on your setup, provisioning new machines for projects is a lot faster if these machines are virtual. Enough benefits for my current client to make the switch (even though they outsourced the datacenter later on)
    • That's not really what he said. As a decision maker a corporation has many options to pick from. Open Source is a great option when looking at budget but there is no support infrastructure outside the community. If you hit road blocks who's accountable to help you? Will anybody really care about your problem? That's the issue with Open Source software.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    CEO says: "You should pay for my product, instead of using that free shit". Film at 11.
  • He is right (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I work for a cloud storage provider and have vSphere and OpenStack clusters and there two are for different tasks. The 'fighting' over the two is comparing apples to banana peels.

  • What a dumbass (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mr_Plattz ( 1589701 ) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @03:41AM (#44571675)

    He may be right that it's only public cloud adoption *now*, but we (enterprises) are looking at the following as our 3 years road map:

    1. Implement Open Stack internally, under a hybrid cloud model
    2. Use this as the opportunity to bring elastic services to internal enterprise systems (OSB, Salable web apps etc) by making key technology discussions that do not pair us to monolithic vendors (Oracle)
    3. Then, when we have the economics and business maturity we can easily migrate our compute sideways into 'any' public cloud

    The big problem we have right now is that it's hard, if not impossible, for us to take our big, giant, poorly design monolithic application into the public cloud. We need to implement the cloud methodologies and characteristics internally (elastic, scalable, on-demand etc) before we migrate that compute to a pay per cycle model.

    In three years time when we've done the above - I can only imagine how much more stable and mature OpenStack will be.

  • by whois ( 27479 ) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @03:52AM (#44571711) Homepage

    He may be right, right now.

    That's because people have historically coded their apps with the assumption that the database/hard drive/web server/IP address would always be there to write to or read from. They're also written with vertical scalability, i.e., if things are slow then throw faster hardware/more IOPS at it. All of these criteria vmware is good at handling.

    People are now writing simple apps that use ridiculously complicated frameworks to ensure things work even when they're pear shaped. Most of those apps are written so scalability is horizontal. More speed comes from throwing more hardware at it. This also increases reliability.

    These are usually done by new startups because they have specific needs (avoiding paying a SAN vendor) and skillsets (coders who don't understand, or don't know about the availability of a hardware solution so they code something in software.) The thing is, yesterdays startup is tomorrows enterprise. They won't migrate away from whatever cloud stack platform they're running without serious thoughts to the problems it may cause.

    I'd guess one of the reasons a vmware CEO would say openstack isn't a competitor is they're owned by EMC, a SAN vendor.

    Having said that, we evaluated openstack for our business and didn't like the rough edges in places. We're using a mix of vmware and proxmox right now.

  • I sense a wordplay on denial here. If a service provider providing public cloud systems isn't an enterprise level deployment of OpenStack, what is?

    I know, support, blah, blah, scaling, blah, blah. I still think he is admitting it is enterprise scale, but directly denying it so that sales managers can point IT managers to "not enterprise" and have to buy his product.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by EvilSS ( 557649 )
      I do consulting (including a lot of work with Xen) and there are more differences than commonalities between hosting providers and SaaS companies and internal corporate IT (aka enterprise). Vastly different priorities, skillsets, requirements, etc. They truly are different beasts.

      What we are seeing is that the hosting companies love Xen because it's cost effective and flexible, while enterprises really don't like the learning curve and management limitations, and almost all of them have VMWare skillsets
      • I agree with differing skillsets. A dev shop can hire the people that know the tech they want. A enterprise can in theory too but they are much more limited because rather than having say 50% technical staff they'll have more like 2-5% so each person they pick has to have a little knowledge of networking, windows servers, linux servers, sans, client cloning, business apps etc. Keeping the existing business systems working is more important as a hiring criteria and as a work practice than learning a new tech

  • by rusty0101 ( 565565 ) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @04:04AM (#44571743) Homepage Journal

    Look at e-mail as an example. Globally and between corporations people have long used free/open standards, protocols and applications, sendmail, smtp, postfix, etc. However a growing number of users are moving from stand alone e-mail clients to web based e-mail platforms such as hotmail, yahoo mail, gmail, and so on, each of which have the option of being accessed through stand alone clients, or through their web interfaces.

    When you enter the corporate environment you largely switch to comercial web server and clients. Perhaps most often Exchange and Outlook, respectively.

    That said, many compaies are using open source platforms as their interface to the rest of the world. Whether that server is between firewalls in a DMZ, on some external service provider is irrelevant.

    Similarly tremendous portions of internal corporate networks are running Microsoft web servers to host content internally, and managing content with Sharepoint. While there are some examples of each on the Internet, most corporate public interfaces and a the vast majority of other available servers are open source / free Apache, and other servers, with open source php, postgres, python, and so on backing it up.

    Based on that model, VMWare and Zen instances will be widely used within corporate environments, however I strongly suspect that OpenStack will be largely used on the Internet in general.

    The hazard with saying it will only be used by 'hobbiest' and 'geeks' is that when you get down to it, two of the largest entities on the Internet today, namely Google and Facebook, were started by hobbiest and geeks. And both started with free/open source, software, and are largely using that to this day. In other words people experimenting with new ways of making the Internet work for them are going to do so using the resources they can get the most value for their dollar from, and that's far more likely to be OpenStack than it is VMware or commercial instances of Zen.

    • but I'm certainly hobbier than most of my friends.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    IBM and Rackspace both compete with Cisco in the Enterprise cloud market. Specifically IBM has committed to on-premises OpenStack powered by their PureSystems hardware platform. This is as enterprisy as it can get.

    Disclaimer: I work for IBM, but not in the PureSystems/OpenStack part of it

  • If I google "openstack" the first item is an ad that links to That tells me that VMware does think that they are equivalent, why else pay for the advert?

    • because lots of people like you google "openstack" so they buy a keyword because its popular.

    • actually, I just tried this, I get no ads about vmware. Just a Redhat one and Perhaps you're being targeted by vmware for other things you do that google know of.

    • Or they want to capture people who think that they are equivalent and pitch to them why they aren't and why VMWare is actually what they need. Just because something isn't equivalent doesn't mean it's not relevant. If you search for "Hotel" it would make sense for homeaway to also advertise its home sharing service. They aren't really the same thing but they are related to someone's need which is shelter. If you are googling openStack you probably are trying to figure out how to virtualize your infr

  • FUD (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dutchwhizzman ( 817898 ) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @04:52AM (#44571879)

    The usual FUD reaction when they see an open source technology compete with their core business. Free Hypervisors made them lose money on just providing those. Now they need to get the money from the enterprise management system tools they made. Unfortunately, open source tools try and manage them all, while their business is based on managing mostly their own hypervisor offerings and not the open source ones, or the ones from their competitors.

    RedHat is in on OpenStack and they're putting big bucks behind it. Give it a few years, and VMWare will be the one that has to catch up on Enterprise readyness. Just managing a single group of KVM or XEN hypervisors is already working just fine if you use RHEV (the paid and supported version of oVirt) and I have no doubt that managing clouds will be on par shortly now that big money and many developers are being deployed.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    VMware is digging it's own grave. Pricing changes, licensing and EULA changes, and stupid statements like this are why I don't do business with them anymore.

  • by rainer_d ( 115765 ) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @05:11AM (#44571903) Homepage
    THB, I'm trying to make-up my mind on OpenStack.
    We already have a large VMware installation - and due to the way our business works (customers work with us and the servers we provide for them for years instead of months or weeks, almost no "peak load" stuff that requires dynamic provisioning...), I feel we don't really need a scale-out platform (which OpenStack seems to be) but rather a virtualization-platform.
    If we were to implement OpenStack, we'd have to build in parallel:
    • -a new storage platform (like ceph or gluster, which we know nothing about, obviously)
    • -a new backup platform (equivalent of veeam?)
    • -most likely a separated switching (going 10G)
    • -and probably duplicate a lot more things that are on VMware currently

    Add on top of that the fact that it usually requires a lot of time and effort to get anything built "right" (and seldom on the 1st attempt), I doubt we'd make a lot of savings over VMware even in the medium term.
    Even more concerning in my view is the fact that most of the corporate "backers" of OpenStack sell public "Cloud-Services" themselves - we have already learned the hard way (via a different "cloud" product) that when for these companies the need to choose between customers of such a public service and those with a "private cloud" installation arises, they will most likely tend to favor their public cloud customers (or whichever business is bigger).
    Coupled with that comes my prediction that OpenStack will "fragment" rather sooner rather than later, with each of its backers offering some sort of "enhanced" ("enterprise") version (with stability patches and some additional features) that may or may not be a bit cheaper overall than VMware (all things taken into account), leaving you with a solution that works "almost like VMware, for almost the same price".
    Am I too pessimistic?

    • by isama ( 1537121 )
      Openstack already has it's storage built in in the swift component AFAIK. That's one off your list :)
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Swift (last time I checked, which was 2 releases ago) is one form of storage, more of an Amazon S3 clone, but they do have the block stuff (now called Cinder as I understand?) for the "EBS" type of volumes. There's still a question about the backing store for the live VMs' ephemeral storage, and clustered storage environments like gluster enable an openstack environment where you can live-migrate VMs around... important for maintaining a reliable environment IMO.

    • by j0el ( 154005 )

      For your situation it depends on a few things. First is how your overall business works. If the server farm is just a small part of the cost of your business, and your product is strong, saving a few bucks on the servers won't matter. But if your business is mostly driven by the server farm and it is a large percentage of your companies expense, you will find out if you are right soon enough. What will or will not happen is that one of your competitors will use an OSS implementation to lower their costs

      • For your situation it depends on a few things. First is how your overall business works. If the server farm is just a small part of the cost of your business, and your product is strong, saving a few bucks on the servers won't matter. But if your business is mostly driven by the server farm and it is a large percentage of your companies expense, you will find out if you are right soon enough..

        I'm not sure, actually. There aren't that many physical servers (a couple of hundred - vmware has helped reduced than a lot, already). We are a bit of a "boutique"-ISP in that some of our customers are not price-sensitive at all. Which is good, because we can't compete on price anyway - we compete on flexibility, knowledge, reaction-time. We usually build multi-server, often multi-site, multi-network solutions in heterogeneous environments with high availabilty demands....
        Salaries are probably at least as

    • by DF5JT ( 589002 )

      Coupled with that comes my prediction that OpenStack will "fragment" rather sooner rather than later, with each of its backers offering some sort of "enhanced" ("enterprise") version (with stability patches and some additional features) that may or may not be a bit cheaper overall than VMware (all things taken into account), leaving you with a solution that works "almost like VMware, for almost the same price".

      Am I too pessimistic?

      I believe you are.

      With Red Hat having jumped on board, Open Stack is going into a new direction that will not lead to fragmentation, but to consolidation. Red Hat's is one really good player in terms of Open Source. They throw resources at projects and they always do this upstream, delivering patches, enhancements, integration bits right where they belong and where they help the community best.

      Red Hat is a guarantee that Open Stack will evolve into the next generation enterprise platform and VMware's CEO is

  • by Anonymous Coward

    “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.”

  • The fact VMware is playing OpenStack down and bothering to comment about is shows it's definitely going well on the OpenStack side.

    Good news, OpenStack is open, it can be built to fit whatever purpose because anyone can come and play.

    Closed source corp says open source stuff is not for serious people...yeah I guess that makes sense for them to say so.
  • by ILongForDarkness ( 1134931 ) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @08:24AM (#44572465)

    you guarantee you'll lose. MySQL isn't for the enterprise. Linux isn't for the enterprise. Hadoop, SaaS offerings like Salesforce, GDocs, etc. Once you say something isn't for the enterprise you almost guarantee that it will be a > $1B business (or fundamental tech used in a $1B business) in the next couple years.

    • I think the problem comes from the extremely questionable definitions of "enterprise" floating out there at this point. Some of them are common sense, some are pure nonsense, and some of them are downright hypocritical.

      • Sales droids use enterprise thinking it means stable, mature, proven.

        When I hear enterprise I hear overpriced, rented, mediocre quality.

        There was a time when only IBM was enterprise ready and real mainframes were required for real business work like word processing or simple file serving and inventory management. Zdnet who owns PCMagazine made fun of the first wintel/Novelltel servers calling them PCs on steriods when Compaq invented the filepro or whatever the first server was called. Banks and financial i

        • I agree with your comparisons of meanings, and I think your point about IBM is solid.

          Added to your definitions I'd add "homogenized" on both sides, which has both good and bad, depending on your needs.

          Meanwhile, the NYSE and I believe at least some components of Google run on Gentoo-based customized systems. Seems not everyone drinks that Kool-Aid.

    • by dkf ( 304284 )

      Once you say something isn't for the enterprise you almost guarantee that it will be a > $1B business (or fundamental tech used in a $1B business) in the next couple years.

      Really? Woohoo! Testing and validation and all of those good practical software engineering principles aren't for the enterprise.

      (Please may you be correct!)

  • Ok. Business as usual.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Never underestimate the pride and sense of ownership of OSS. When Technical people embrade OSS in the enterprise frequently the solution is way better than any proprietary product. The reason is that its the technical people that are care and feeding for their baby compared to management buying shelfware. Its way more effect for any organization to have 100% engagement by the staff than it is to buy something and not have engagement.

    The good news is Redhat is about the best corporate steward you

  • ...Ken Olsen says that PCs are just for hobbyists, businesses will stick with Minis and Mainframes.
  • He's right. OpenStack is far from production, not to speak enterprise. I do not expect it get stable and mature with a year or two. Check out OpenStack mailing lists and bug reports. You can't expect reliability from the six months release cycle software when each new release breaks a significant parts of the previous one. Of course you can use it at your own risk. But it require too many efforts to maintain it. It may be cheaper to use some commercial product, depending on your tasks.
  • Sega claims SNES underpowered for core gamers.

  • I used to work at VMware as a tech support engineer. VMware's product has a lot of bells and whistles. Just like Microsoft Office, they keep adding stuff to it that few will ever use. The two most important features in the ESX product are High Availability and vMotion. It's my understanding that Open Stack supports something akin to vMotion, and possibly even vStorage Motion, where you live migrate both the VM to a different host and the VM files to a different data store. That's killer.

    But I don't think Open Stack supports anything equivalent to High Availability, where a VM will automatically reboot on a different host if it's current host goes down. If they could do that, I'd highly recommend everyone sell their VMware stock.

    These two features are the heart and soul of the value in VMware's ESX product. If and when Open Stack can do both of those things, you'll have 90% of what you really need in a VM environment.

    • Except VMware continues to push the envelope by advancing technology. For example: Enhanced vMotion allows you to migrate BOTH the virtual machine AND its files in one operation, meaning you can now do vMotion migrations without shared storage. Also, currently in Tech Preview, which most likely means in full version coming out very soon, is Multi-processor Fault Tolerance. Once this happens, it doesn't matter if competitors have HA, when VMware can provide ZERO downtime protection for VMs in the event o
      • I'm not suggesting that VMware doesn't have a great product, or that the features you mention aren't a great idea. What I said was that 90% of the value in VMware's ESX product are in simple HA and vMotion. Storage vMotion is cool, but it isn't a make or break thing. You can live without it just fine. Multi-processor fault tolerance is cool, but it's EXPENSIVE, both in terms of hardware, licensing and resources used. ***VERY EXPENSIVE***. When people find out just how much it will cost, many will simp
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Actually, that is in the underlying technology for KVM as well and already exists. However, openstack is amatuer hour when it comes to bringing all the capabilities to work.

        FT is, frankly, infeasible except in very limited scenarios. FT penalties and limitations mean that, overhwlemingly, you are better implementing HA at a higher level than VM persistence.

        VMware is in trouble at *least* from hyper-v. They *could* be in trouble from KVM, but openstack isn't quite on the trajectory to directly compete in

  • You cannot survive/succeed in a corporate world unless you're a sociopath.

I am more bored than you could ever possibly be. Go back to work.