The Cloud revolution will develop faster than any previous industrial revolution. Every tech corporation knows this, and also knows that everything’s on the table: poor judgment married to bad luck could land them a last rites appointment with the liquidator.
The competition then will be fierce and while this is good for customers it also brings counter-intuitive dangers to the tech sector.
Competition can provide all sorts of market goods but in an informatics revolution it can also mean isolation which is commercial death.
Co-operation and collaboration are critical in this industry like no other. Firstly, company offerings have to be compatible with all major, and many minor, technologies in the market. Secondly, this is an informatics contest, knowing what’s going on at all times and across a global front is the difference between being Goldman Sachs and Lehman Bros,
This might go some way to explaining why VMware has become a gold member of the OpenStack foundation, with which it previously was in competition.
OpenStack itself is bouncing back after losing a founding partner earlier this summer when NASA announced that it will no longer be using the opensource cloud control layer in their data centres.
And as a Parthian shot, NASA said that they would be using
OpenStack’s Amazon rival operating system because it provided “an
interoperable, standards-based, and secure environment”. It also leaked
out later that NASA was pursuing a more budget friendly option. Ouch!
But with the VMware news this was 2 steps-backwards-3-steps forward for OpenStack.
VMware’s own cloud OS, Vsphere, is a rival to OpenStack but this latest move might be an acknowledgement that even for a primal force in cloud computing like VMware, it has to concede to the market logic of a free, multivalent offering like OpenStack.
Apparently, from this news VMware’s calculus seems to be the more powerful a competitor is the closer you have to keep them. In this way VMware will know what OpenStack is planning next and might even position itself to influence that strategy.
Another benefit for the virtualisation giant in joining the OpenStack foundation is that it gives it a more secure base to compete with Citrix’s cloud platform, CloudStack.
Citrix had earlier backed OpenStack but surprised the industry when it pushed its own platform forward at the expense of its previous allegiance. VMware might have seen a great opportunity to cause its rival a lot of discomfort.
Regardless of VMware’s Cloud strategy, this story illustrates just how much more complex the IT industry is to navigate for companies: no other business sector has a disruptive anarchic tendency that seeks to give product away for free just to be…well…disruptive.