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NASA and Rackspace spun up OpenStack as an open-source alternative to VMware for spinning up clouds two years ago. Now VMWare has applied to become a full OpenStack member with a decision to be taken at the OpenStack group’s first full board of directors’ meeting today.

Intel and NEC will also apply to join OpenStack at the meeting.

VMware has applied for gold-level membership, meaning the company will have to cough 0.25 per cent of revenue, capped at $200,000; in VMware’s case that means $66,666.67 according to its application signed by company chief technology officer and research and development vice president Stephen Herrod. There was no word in VMware's application on why it's joining, though... Intel and NEC, meanwhile, will pay $200,000 as gold-level members.

Other companies with gold-level membership include Cisco, Dell, NetApp, Piston Cloud and Yahoo!

VMware moved closer to OpenStack earlier this year with its proposed purchase of cloud-based virtualised network provider Nicira, an OpenStack member, for $1.05bn.

VMware said at the time that the deal would expand its networking portfolio of vCloud Director, vShield Network and Security, and the VXLAN protocol. The idea driving the acquisition is that VMware wants to virtualise servers, storage, and all layers of the network and control it programmatically with out-of-band management.

VMware and OpenStack compete on the hypervisor, but it seems VMware and companies in the OpenStack project see an opportunity for their apps and APIs to work together.

OpenStacker Piston Cloud has already been working with VMware to improve support for OpenStack in VMware's Cloud Foundry, while competing against vCloud. Piston Cloud will be attending VMWorld this week in San Francisco, California.

Cloud Foundry is VMware’s Platform as a Service (PaaS) that runs on vSphere and vCloud, but which runs open-source apps and languages, such as Spring, Java, Ruby and Node.JS.

Piston Cloud co-founder and chief executive Joshua McKenty told us of the relationship with VMware: “It gets a little nuanced... VMware, Microsoft and Citrix and others all realise the hypervisor is not where the value is anymore.

“That market has matured and capped out in terms of numbers of dollars you can squeeze out - they have to go up the value chain. We partnered with VMware to build the OpenStack support - they know Cloud Foundry needs to be multicloud.” ®

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