Red Hat snipes at VMware, calls cloud vision “fundamentally flawed”

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Open cloud provider Red Hat has hit out at end user computing giant VMware in a blog post, describing its recently outlined hybrid cloud vision as “appealing” but “fundamentally flawed in implementation.”

The post, written by Red Hat cloud product strategy general manager Bryan Che, argues VMware’s vSphere and virtualisation technology is not as effective at scaling out cloud apps compared to OpenStack, adding that while you can run both cloud-native and traditional apps with OpenStack on top of vSphere, it doesn’t do either particularly well.

“Virtualisation infrastructure – whether with VMware vSphere or Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization – is not designed to scale out but to scale up traditional applications,” Che wrote. “When these traditional applications need additional capacity, you give them bigger virtual machines. And these workloads depend upon the underlying virtual machines being resilient and never going away.

“The problem then, with running a scale-out cloud like OpenStack on a scale-up platform like vSphere is that vSphere has limited capacity to scale out,” he added. “Once you run so many virtual machines in vSphere, you reach the limit of your cluster.

“This inherently limits the ability of cloud-native apps on OpenStack to scale out horizontally because they will run into the cluster size constraints of the underlying vSphere platform.”

As this publication noted, VMware has unleashed a series of announcements in recent days, launching what was claimed to be the industry’s first unified platform of virtualised compute, networking and storage for the hybrid cloud, alongside a series of new collaborators for its Partner Network. Not everyone was convinced, however – not least because VMware still has plenty of work to do to convince the wider community of its cloud-first vision.

Not surprisingly, Red Hat advocates its own solution, through an open hybrid cloud approach, as superior. “By providing native platforms suited to their particular workloads and the ability to bridge these environments together, an open hybrid cloud offers a no-compromise approach to cloud: optimised traditional apps, optimised cloud-native apps, and a unified experience across them,” Che wrote.

Red Hat uses its blog as a semi-informational, semi-propagandist tool. CEO Jim Whitehurst penned a few thoughts in September over the “huge opportunity” to become the leader in enterprise cloud, for instance. It’s not the first time rival vendors have taken a pot shot at VMware’s strategy, either; following the acquisition of enterprise mobility provider AirWatch in January 2014, Citrix senior director Chandra Sekar posted a rebuttal describing VMware’s vision for end computing as “laughable on many counts”; however, the post was swiftly rubbed out.

There’s at least one body which thinks VMware is doing something right, however – and it couldn’t be any bigger. The White House announced earlier this week that VMware CIO Tony Scott has been appointed the next US CIO.

Read the full Red Hat blog post here.

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