VCE is kicking the tires on OpenStack

VCE is exploring how customers can use vBlocks to run OpenStack

Engineers at VCE, which is the company formed when EMC and Cisco came together with investments from VMware and Intel to create a converged infrastructure platform, are exploring how VCE vBlocks can be used as underlying hardware for OpenStack clouds.

At the recent Cloud Connect event in Chicago last month, Jay Cuthrell, who works in the office of the CTO at VCE, said that the company has seen interest from some customers to potentially run OpenStack clouds on vBlocks, which are the hardware units VCE sells. Perhaps another reason VCE folks are looking into it is because VCE's sponsors, including Cisco, VMware and Intel, are all backers of the open source project.

"OpenStack as an IaaS baseline is of sufficient interest to customers that we want to make sure that it's an experience for them that's not unlike what they've had before," Cuthrell said.

The news should not come as a surprise to people who have been following OpenStack closely. Last year, VCE's CTO Trey Layton joined the OpenStack community as a member, and VCE is listed as a corporate sponsor of the OpenStack project. But, at Cloud Connect, a couple of OpenStack watchers were surprised to hear about VCE officials expressing such support for the platform.  

All this comes as the OpenStack project in general continues to gain steam as big-name companies keep pouring resources into it. Cisco today, for example, announced that its UCS and Nexus hardware devices will work on OpenStack clouds, and it has added new support options for OpenStack. Companies are lining up to position themselves as a hardware option to deploy Openstack clouds on top of.

Meanwhile, the OpenStack community is its hosting is twice-a-year developer summit in Hong Kong this week - the project's first international summit - to discuss the latest Havana code release and plan for the upcoming Icehouse release next year.  

Senior Writer Brandon Butler covers cloud computing for Network World and NetworkWorld.com. He can be reached at BButler@nww.com and found on Twitter at @BButlerNWW.

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