Red Hat declares war against VMware on cloud front

Red Hat declared war against VMware on the cloud front today, noting that the rapid expansion of OVA and its own expanding open source platform for cloud computing threatens VMware's Cloud Foundry
Written by Paula Rooney, Contributor

Red Hat declared war on VMware's Cloud Foundry today, announcing that 65 new companies have joined the Open Virtualization Alliance backing KVM in a month's time.

In May, Red Hat, SUSE, BMC Software, Eucalyptus Systems, HP, IBM and Intel, announced the formation of the Open Virtualization Alliance.

As of today, 65 new members have joined, including Dell. Scott Crenshaw, who leads Red Hat's cloud effort, denounced what he called VMware's proprietary cloud platform.

Red Hat has backed and been evangelizing the open source hypervisor since buying Qumranet several years ago, and offers significant KVM support in its Enterprise Linux 6.1. The company also recently announced a number of multi-platform cloud products based on KVM including its OpenShift PaaS and Cloud Forms IaaS.

KVM is incorporated in the Linux kernel and is backed by some open source advocates while others prefer Xen. (Interestingly, the two Xen.org founders left Citrix yesterday to launch a startup). Still, it's been an uphill battle -- and a development challenge -- for the lesser known KVM open source hypervisor to make headway in the enterprise market.

At the recent Red Hat Summit, execs insisted that KVM is enterprise ready. Today's announcements -- including the release of Red Hat's MRG 2.0 -- are designed to further that goal.

"The floodgates have been lifted and [there's] a massive wave of support for KVM and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization," said Crenshaw, vice president and general manager of Red Hat's cloud business. "Lock-in doesn't benefit anyone but VMware ... the tide is rising against VMware's hegemony."

He said VMware's Cloud Foundry purports to be open but claimed that at its core it is based on VMware's proprietary ESX virtualization technology. He also said Microsoft's claims of openness and no cost for Azure are not yet proven.

The full list of OVA announced today is packed with many open source companies, includes Abiquo, AdaptiveComputing, Afore Solutions, Arista Networks, Arkeia, autonomicresources, B1 Systems, BlueCat Networks, Brocade, Carbon 14 Software, Cfengine, CheapVPS, Cloud Cruiser, CloudSigma, CloudSwitch, CodeFutures, CohesiveFT, Collax GmbH, Convirture, Corensic, Censtratus, EnterpriseDB, Everis Inc., Fujitsu Frontech, FusionIO, Gluster, Inc., Grid Dynamics, Groundwork Open Source, HexaGrid Computing, IDT us, Infinite Technologies, Information Builders, Killer Beaver, LLC, Likewise, Mindtree Ltd, MontaVista Software, Morph Labs, nanoCloud, Neocoretech, Nicira Networks, Nimbula, novastorm, One Convergence, OpenNebula / C12G Labs, Providence Software (XVT), Proxmox Server Solutions GmbH, Qindel, RisingTide Systems, ScaleOut Software, Sep Software, Shadow Soft, Smartscale, StackOps, stepping stone GmbH, Storix, UC4, Unilogik, Univention, Usharesoft, Virtual Bridges , Vyatta, Weston Software Inc, XebiaLabs and Zmanda.

KVM once battled to be a serious contender to Xen.  Now, its chief commercial backer -- Red Hat -- is taking on the behemoth -- VMware -- for the Virtualization 2.0 dollars.

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