The Open Virtualization Alliance, a consortium committed to fostering the adoption of open virtualization technologies, today announced total membership of more than 200, up from 65 in just over three months. New members include CA Technologies, DataStax and Jaspersoft.
I spoke with Scott Crenshaw, VP and GM of Cloud for Red Hat, who told CNET that infrastructure as important as virtualization needs an open alternative. And Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) has emerged as a strategic initiative at many large companies, including Intel and HP. KVM is a full virtualization solution for Linux on x86 hardware that provides for multiple virtual machines running unmodified Linux or Windows images.
According to a recent member survey, more than 50 percent of OVA members are focused on cloud computing, and virtualization is a key component of every cloud. Open virtualization and KVM can help reduce costs, increase virtual machine density, and improve performance and scalability.
Crenshaw noted that for adoption to grow, users need to know that there are a large number of vendors supporting the initiative. Not only do people need to be educated, but there needs to be benchmarking and implementation guides that make the technology readily consumable.
When asked why companies might choose KVM over VMware, the dominant virtualization vendor, Crenshaw suggested two primary motivators:
- Economics--VMware currently controls pricing. Having a credible choice gives customers an ability to negotiate with their vendors. An open alternative gives more leverage.
- Performance and capabilities--Red Hat (and others) believe that development in the open means faster innovation.
Red Hat itself is seeing customers trying to virtualize very difficult workloads--for example applications that are processor-intensive. They are also seeing customers moving from testing private clouds to starting to deploy automated, standardized infrastructure at scale.
Open virtualization is just another step on the evolutionary computing scale as users become more interested in cloud-ready implementations. And while I don't think VMware is too worried, there are a number of use cases that make KVM and other open virtualization tools appealing for both vendors and customers.