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Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth takes aim at VMware and Red Hat at OpenStack Summit

Closing out the first day keynote at the OpenStack Summit in Vancouver, Canonical co-founder Mark Shuttleworth hit out at the firm's "more costly" competitors

Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth is urging enterprises to follow the lead of the public cloud community and ditch VMware from their private cloud builds.

Closing out the opening keynote at the OpenStack Summit in Vancouver, Canada, Shuttleworth started out by sticking the boot into VMware, saying some of the public cloud communities biggest players are turning away from its technology because of how costly it is to use.

This feeds into a wider trend, led by public cloud giant Amazon Web Services (AWS) whereby public cloud companies are reaping the benefits of investing in making their infrastructure more efficient, so they can – in turn – pass the savings on to their customers.

“Google, IBM, Microsoft [are] all investing and innovating to drive down the cost of infrastructure. Every single one of those companies engages with Canonical to deliver public services,” he said.

“Not one of them engages with VMware to offer those public services – they can’t afford to. Clearly they have the cash, but they have to compete – and so does your private cloud.”

To capitalise on this trend, the firm is in the throes of rolling out a migration service to help users shift from VMware to a “fully managed” version of Canonical’s Ubuntu OpenStack distribution, which Shuttleworth said costs half as much to run.

“When we take out VMware, and displace VMware, we are regularly told that a fully managed OpenStack solution costs half of the equivalent VMware estate [to run],” he added.

Computer Weekly contacted VMware for a response to Shuttleworth’s comments and was told it had no comment to make at this time.

As well as being half as expensive as VMware, Shuttleworth then went on to say his company is also usurping rival OpenStack distribution provider, Red Hat, in the affections of enterprise IT buyers on cost grounds.

“When we’re invited to bid and present head-to-head with Red Hat, we win four out of five times, including in companies that have never had any other Linux than Red Hat in the building,” he said.

As an example, he cited the cost of running Red Hat’s OpenShift Container Platform, which is pitched as a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering to enterprises.

“A lot of institutions are figuring out that Ubuntu and upstream Kubernetes gives them 80% of what they need from PaaS, while the open Kubernetes ecosystem takes care of the remaining 20%. And that comes in at a third of the cost of Red Hat,” he said.

Google, Microsoft and IBM are also using Ubuntu to underpin their Kubernetes offerings, he added, which is another reason why he said enterprises are favouring its technology over Red Hat’s.

“So if you want to build on your OpenStack service for containers, it makes sense to use exactly the same stack. Half the cost of VMware, a third of the cost of [Red Hat Enterprise Linux] and truly portable multi-cloud Kubernetes,” he said.

Computer Weekly contacted Red Hat for a response to Shuttleworth’s comments at the Summit, but had not received a response at the time of publication.

Read more about Canonical and OpenStack

  • Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth warns legacy tech suppliers may struggle to get the “magic returns” they may be expecting from aligning themselves with OpenStack.
  • The OpenStack Summit revealed details of how the seven-year-old open source platform is overcoming its growing pains and positioning itself for even greater enterprise adoption.

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