Feeds

VMware douses open source with waterfall of nonsense

Peace, love and lack of innovation

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

With groin stimulating IPOs comes great responsibility.

Ah, let's be serious. With ludicrous IPOs, comes great nonsense.

For example, our recent interview with VMware CEO Diane Greene took place in the company's new waterfall room. This magical room is just like your average conference room except it has a large glass plate at one end with water constantly rushing down its face. This is the kind of thing you put in a conference room after you've spent millions on a new headquarters and conquered Wall Street.

The waterfall, however, is so damned loud that VMware has to turn it off when they have conference calls. It also trampled all over our audio collection of Greene's thoughts.

This is all a long way of saying that VMware tolerates nonsense in its offices but not in its code. Greene flat out dismissed our proposal that the company fly the freak flag by open sourcing its flagship code.

"There is still a lot of innovation going into our hypervisor," Greene told us. "As long as there is a lot of innovation going in, (open source) is not the right model.

"What we want to do is fund ourselves to be able to build new stuff. If you're purely open source, there is no way you can do new stuff."

Greene also added that VMware readily shares its APIs with partners and gives away free versions of its best-selling server virtualization software.

We've long thought VMware's position as a proprietary software maker will hurt it eventually. Part of VMware's charm comes from adding flexibility in the data center and routing around Microsoft's locks. But should VMware's popularity and dominance only grow, the company would seem to resemble Microsoft more and more.

In addition, VMware has an aura of serious computer science around it. The majority of people we talk to in the computer science field tend to have open source leanings. This is why Xen jumped out of nowhere to receive so much press and praise before its products let everyone down. Why fight against this crowd when you could be a shining example of open competition?

Greene, of course, has the luxury of playing things exactly how she prefers at the moment. VMware does not need to inspire interest in its products or tolerate the open source bandwagon nonsense.

We're quite sure that a company such as Sun Microsystems and maybe even Red Hat would take umbrage at Greene's suggestions that innovation cannot happen under the open source model. Both Sun and Red Hat "build new stuff" and hope to profit from it.

And with Sun you find an open source company that hopes its new stuff will be the very code that pulls people away from Linux's new stuff.

So, will VMware open source its code before it gets rid of the waterfall? Er, we doubt it. ®

Bootnote

We'll be discussing VMware's open source plans and much, more more on the upcoming edition of Open Season. Sponsors welcome. Also, in case you haven't noticed, we're having a virtualization e-Symposium next week. Do yourself a favor and attend. Click on any of the, oh, 200 ads around this story.

Register hack Ashlee Vance has just pumped out a new book that's a guide to Silicon Valley. The book starts with the electronics pioneers present in the Bay Area in the early 20th century and marches up to today's heavies. Want to know where Gordon Moore eats Chinese food, how unions affected the rise of microprocessors or how Fairchild Semiconductor got its start? This is the book for you - available at Amazon US here or in the UK here.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
IBM storage revenues sink: 'We are disappointed,' says CEO
Time to put the storage biz up for sale?
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
'Urika': Cray unveils new 1,500-core big data crunching monster
6TB of DRAM, 38TB of SSD flash and 120TB of disk storage
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?
This time we play for ALL the marbles
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.