VMware's Love/Hate Relationship with Open Source

Is it whatever suits them at the moment or just confused?

It would seem that VMware has a love/hate relationship going on with open source and the cloud. As my fellow Network World writer, Brandon Butler wrote about last week the VMware folks have taken to blogging fairy tales calling OpenStack, CloudStack and Eucalyptus the three ugly sisters, while VMware's Cinderalla rides off with Prince Charming.

Of course the problem with being Cinderalla is what happens when the clock strikes midnight. Who wants to be stuck holding the bag when VMware's closed source VCloud IaaS turns back into a pumpkin because it is not interoperable with the open APIs and open source clouds being built on the three sisters?

Now, VMware will tell you that the clock has stopped because so many providers have adopted VCloud that any VCloud user will have plenty of choices. To me that sounds like "sorry Charlie, Starkist wants tuna that taste good, not with good taste". Saying that VCloud gives you the same choice as open source solutions do because of the amount of providers using it sounds like the choice you really have is VCloud, VCloud or if you don't like that, you can have VCloud. That is no choice at all.  Lets not confuse choice of providers with choice of platform.

I get that the three sisters have been getting a lot of press and attention lately. I also get that VCloud has signed up lots of providers and VMware is very proud of the accomplishment.  But dissing the competition and stretching a story to make choice of provider equate with choice of platform is not the right way to go about this.  Being a hater is not the way to play this game.

On the other hand at virtually the same time, VMware was praising  that same open source system to celebrate the one year anniversary of its own open source PaaS system CloudFoundry. Many of the same arguments they used against the three sisters, apply to CloudFoundry as well.

CloudFoundry prides itself on supporting a wide range of languages and interfaces. Is the PaaS marketplace that much different than IaaS?

So what is it VMware? Are you on the open source bandwagon or not? Is it OK when it is convienient to your business goals and not when it is not aligned with your goals?  I say you can't have it both ways.

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