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Dell Keeps a Toe in the OpenStack Camp

Dell has been an active sponsor of OpenStack for almost three years and holds two seats on the OpenStack board

After trashing its public OpenStack cloud efforts Monday in favor of reselling third-party widgetry – and reportedly canning workers in the 300-man group according to TechCrunch – Dell folk who are left were anxious to say that Dell is still in the private OpenStack game, pointing to another press release put out Monday saying that Dell will enable Microsoft’s Windows Server Hyper-V as a viable hypervisor on the OpenStack cloud platform.

The press release says it’ll be the first instance of a leading technology vendor enabling Hyper-V on OpenStack for private clouds, giving customers additional flexibility for running OpenStack workloads within their existing Windows Server environments.

Dell means to enable key features of the Windows Server 2012 virtualization platform on the open source widgetry, including network virtualization, policy-based isolation, Quality of Service (QoS) and multi-tenancy.


The OpenStack Foundation was Diamond Sponsor of 11th Cloud Expo (November 2012)

It’s also working with other OpenStack members to optimize OpenStack components like OpenStack Compute for Hyper-V, OpenStack Block Storage for Windows and its own Dell Crowbar provisioning.

It’s hoping to have initial functionality working in “an upcoming” OpenStack release. It didn’t say which release.

Microsoft is working with Dell to enable interoperability. Dell means to federate Microsoft’s System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager with OpenStack’s Image Manager. Federation will minimize OpenStack’s synchronization issues in a hybrid environment.

Dell, which needs to collect handsome support and software revenues, has been an active sponsor of OpenStack for almost three years; holds two seats on the OpenStack board; and reportedly had its public cloud out with some testers.

Michael Dell has also lined up a $2 billion loan from Microsoft to pull off his Carl Icahn-challenged buy-out of the company.

Observers blame the buy-out and Dell’s plans to go private for the public cloud pull-back.

The Register thinks Dell backed off the cloud so it can sell more hardware to other cloud purveyors and can’t think of anybody doing particularly well with OpenStack. Not HP – which is supposed to be in beta with the stuff – and has few features or potential customers nor OpenStack ringleader Rackspace, whose cloud revenues appear to be slowing compared to Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

Dell’s move puts potential pressure on its two-week-old acquisition of multi-cloud manager Enstratius to measure up. Dell has also partnered with OnApp, which has a platform for companies to build their own public cloud services.

Dell’s private cloud will probably come with Ubuntu.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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