IBM: Open source is not winning the war in virtualization, cloud ... yet

One IBM VP said open source is the key to virtualization, the cloud and big data computing but there are still key challenges to overcoming proprietary giants
Written by Paula Rooney, Contributor

Open source is driving much of the innovation in the tech sector but there are key challenges in virtualization, cloud and big data, one IBM exec observed during his keynote at the Red Hat Summit tonight.

"We have to get to open virtualization. There is still a lot of churn in this world and when it comes back to virtualization and the cloud, too many people are trying to control the pieces. A VM is not a VM is not a VM. There are too many variations and clients are struggling with that. KVM here is very important," said IBM Vice President Robert LeBlanc, about the open source hypervisor incorporated in Linux and backed by Red Hat.

"Open virtualization is not winning the war of virtualization. Other innovations are pushing the envelope faster than KVM and we need to bring it to the next level," he said, noting that IBM helped Dutch Cloud move from VMware to a KVM-based infrastructure and the ROI is impressive.

An open cloud is also paramount, he added, noting that the value of cloud computing is clear but the winning technology is not yet decided. "OpenStack is really important," LeBlanc said, noting that Red Hat and IBM are among 178 corporate supporters of OpenStack today. "We'll see more and more client demand for an open world as it relates to the cloud.

"We're just at the cusp of the power of the cloud," LeBlanc said, noting that IBM surveys revealed that only three percent of virtualized servers in a typical data center routinely move virtual machines from one server to another depending on computing needs. "The CEO doesn't know the cloud from an anthill but they know technology is the difference maker."

Open source, namely Hadoop, is the driving technology in the big data front but there are still big challenges in the volume, variety and veracity of that data, he noted.

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