Differences Between VMware vCloud And OpenStack

The question now is not whether to use cloud computing for your organization’s infrastructure needs, but rather which providers and services will best meet your needs.

Cloud computing helps companies not pay initial infrastructure costs and allows organizations to focus on core business activities instead of spending time and money on IT infrastructure. Companies can scale their servers up and down according to their needs and pay only for what you use.

Providers offer what is called Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – an online service that provides virtual servers and other resources to help users avoid details such as computer resources, physical, location, data partition, resource scaling, security, backup, monitoring, …

VMware vCloud vs OpenStack

While many vendors have emerged over the years such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, OpenStack, VMware vCloud, Google Compute Engine, and a number of other companies, the popularity of VMware as a pioneer in making Virtualization, which is the foundation of cloud computing and OpenStack – a free and open-source platform for cloud computing has grown exponentially and experts often compare OpenStack and VMware in some following aspects:

vmware vs openstack Differences Between VMware VCloud And Openstack
VMware vs OpenStack

Configuration and Settings

  • VMware

VMware vCloud installation requires downloading, installing, and configuring a lot of different components. Individual products in vCloud Suite distribute into installation packages for Windows or Linux based virtual devices that you can deploy on ESXi servers.

They include a number of components including ESXi, vCenter Server, vCloud Director, vSphere that are very easy to install.

  • OpenStack

OpenStack IaaS is provided through many additional services. Each service provides an API that facilitates this integration. We require some services such as computation, networking, and personalization while some other services such as block storage, DNS, messaging, object storage, and database are optional.

In order to build a basic environment, CLI (Command Line Interface) is the tool for installing and configuring these services – all of which means expert administrators, design, and compatibility complexity, and lots of research and support from the community.


  • VMware

The VMware vCloud software suite is a complete offering – not modular. ESXi is the only virtualizer and is the default. Although ESXi cannot access the API without a license, there is support from a great guest operating system and a large ecosystem on VMware vCloud.

However, there is no support for customizing components or services on demand – the kind of expensive web application server sells all in one feature with no choice. People are less hassle for anyone using vCloud because service classes are tight to integrate. This means there is less platform control when it is necessary to incorporate or expand the organization’s purpose.

  • OpenStack

In contrast, OpenStack is a much more expandable module based on optional services. You can associate components with services, launch them with only a minimal component, or choose how many services you need.

OpenStack is an open-source platform, you also have the option of expanding the source code. It has a certain amount of compatibility with other clouds’ APIs The EC2 API project is compatible with Amazon EC2 and the GCE API project for Google Compute Engine.

OpenStack has support from many OEM vendors and operating systems, the ability to interact with many components, just select and plug it into standard APIs. It supports several variants of Hypervisor and Container such as KVM, Xen, VMware ESXi, Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix XEN, Docker, LXC. All this makes OpenStack more complicated.

Contrary to VMware, very few organizations run the same software when using OpenStack, and integrating several open source products together without the correct documentation and support can be very difficult.

How it works

  • VMware

VMware vCloud has a well-established graphical interface in vCenter for administrators and users to manage virtual machines and centralized ESXi servers. ESXi provides virtualization for servers while vCenter provides a centralized platform for vSphere management. vCloud Director provides the ability to build clouds for secure multi-tenant by aggregating virtual resources into virtual data centers (called Virtual Private Cloud).

Moving virtual machines between different physical servers are supported via vMotion with zero downtime but need to a shared-storage like VMFS, SAN, and NAS. VMware has features like DRS, DRM, automatic monitoring of physical server availability, system health, and virtual machine reboot.

  • OpenStack

OpenStack has its own control panel called Horizon, which uses a graphical interface as well as a third-party control panel and CLI for administrators and users to access, provision and automate cloud-based resources. A control system can launch identification services, image services, mandatory services management, and control panel. The compute button runs the virtualizer that operates the virtualized version.

The block storage and optional object storage buttons contain data for their respective versions and accounts, containers, and objects. Developers can automate access or build tools for resource management using the native OpenStack API or EC2 compatible API.

Moving virtual machines between different physical servers are supported via KVM Live migration with a maximum service downtime of 2 seconds and no shared memory.

However, both solutions can be used to deploy hybrid cloud architecture. With Cloud Space, we have expertise in deploying VMware vCloud Director solutions.


  • VMware

The VMware suite of applications is usually built from scratch, starting with the virtualization suite. The free ESXi virtualization provides a great support structure for other VMware products like vSphere and vCloud Director.

The software is thoroughly tested and has a monolithic architecture. Overall, the product is well documented and has a proven track history – used by high-end customers on a multi-data center scale.

As can be seen, this system is a closed platform and the application development is entirely dependent on the specific goals of VMware, without any control in the hands of the user. VMware is the father of virtualization technology, a mature product, without serious bugs and standard documentation.

  • OpenStack

OpenStack is an open source and no company controls its own destiny. This project has the support of many big companies. Many companies devote resources to OpenStack so it does not depend on one company.

However, the implementation and programming architecture will be more difficult than VMware and references are not always available. OpenStack has a much less complete product due to the platform’s free-flowing nature, relatively less time to market, and the flexibility it has. As a result, OpenStack is more focused on developing services with more users.

Support & Costs

  • VMware

Support for VMware vCloud products can be obtained through a number of support channels. VMware’s certification is proprietary and it requires a strict roadmap for developers who want to develop this product. With VMware, the main costs are expensive licenses and maintenance fees. All vCloud components can be activated through a single license on each processor.

The components of vCloud are also licensed as standalone on virtual machines. However, when these components are obtained through the vCloud suite, they are licensed on each processor. Basic administrative skills are required and it is also quite easy when training materials are needed. VMware is for enterprise virtualization and it will be cheaper for small installations and the value will decrease as the scale grows.

  • OpenStack

OpenStack is an open source platform so it may take time to wait for community support. Developers can fork and modify the existing code base to add new features. Community participation is simple and unrestricted. The support will be through community and suppliers. Certification for this platform is provided by training companies such as Mirantis & Red Hat.

For OpenStack, everything is free, but some may charge maintenance costs when supporting the business. Advanced skills including those related to the system and the network are required, meaning that it is necessary to study and supplement more knowledge even for experienced experts. In short, OpenStack has a higher initial cost, but as the project size increases, you get more value because you don’t have to pay for the license fee.

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