The amount of buzz generated by the supposed Paypal exodus from VMware to OpenStack via Business Insider has been interesting to say the least. It sort of reads like one of those Weekly World News parody articles that I used to pick up as a kid for a few laughs. For those not following the adventure, BI basically stated a quote from Boris Renski, EVP at Mirantis, that Paypal is doing a rip and replace of 80,000 servers from “VMware” to OpenStack via FUEL, beginning with 10,000 servers this summer.
I use my magic quote fingers around VMware because this is almost impossible to decipher – you don’t install “VMware” on something. For example – does the article specifically mean the ESXi hypervisor is being replaced with KVM or does the article mean specifically that only vCloud is being removed in favor of OpenStack’s Nova on top of ESXi? The two examples are entirely different and I’m surprised that no clarification was offered in the article by Business Insider. The title of the article could have easily just been “EVP Exaggerates; Film at 11” without being too far off the mark.
Paypal News Updates
It was later revealed by Adrian Ionel, the CEO of Mirantis, that his EVP Renski was in fact “exaggerating the use case” with only second hand knowledge of the project. BI didn’t even bother adding “updated” to their title page, and just snuck it down at the bottom where you may or may not stumble upon it. Fortunately, Forbes is a little better at staying on the ball and understands how to inform their readers that an article has changed after posting it.
VMware later produced a rather classy post on the VMware Executive Team Blog, posted by Bogomil Balkansky, explaining their position on the whole fiasco, despite a $2 Billion dollar dip (and later rise) of VMware’s stock generated by some ham-fisted reporting. One snip in the “Partnership, Choice and the Hybrid Cloud” post resonates particularly well for me:
There is an emerging class of technology providers—like eBay, Google and Amazon—with large-scale engineering organizations developing customized infrastructure solutions. For these companies, their infrastructure is literally their product…and they invest deeply to create solutions optimized for very specific business needs. However, this level of investment in custom solutions is typically not cost effective for most businesses. The commercially supported solutions that serve these customers make the bulk of the market. There is a ton of innovation in this market, which VMware is privileged to serve.
Putting the he-said-she-said, Cloud Wars and supposed lock-in thing aside, this really captures what’s at stake here. Not everyone can afford the blood, sweat, and tears necessary to build a perfect, pretty little snowflake cloud; vCloud Suite does an admirable job of providing a workable, well-worn path from server virtualization to infrastructure as a service and private cloud. And I’m not pulling a Renski here with second-hand speculation – I’ve actually worked with clients to design and implement vCloud Suite for meeting business needs.