While the Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) backed by Red Hat has been around a lot longer than OpenStack, the latter might do a lot more for the adoption of the former than the other way around.
KVM has definitely emerged as a credible virtual machine alternative to VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V and Citrix Xen. But in terms of adoption, it still tends to lag the other three. A big reason for that, says Jim Wasko, director of the Linux Technology Center at IBM, is that KVM up until recently didn’t have much of a management framework that would make it easy for IT organizations to adopt.
As the OpenStack management framework continues to mature, Wasko says that all things being relatively equal, from a management perspective, more organizations will opt to deploy a free KVM on Linux than VMware or any other alternative.
Wasko says OpenStack will make it more attractive to deploy KVM on private clouds running on premise and in third-party data centers. The approach in many instances would reduce the complexity of managing a hybrid cloud computing environment by deploying OpenStack across a common pool of virtual machine resources.
Of course, just how enterprise-ready OpenStack is will be in the eye of the beholder. While OpenStack has made significant strides in 2013, OpenStack is still very much a work in progress. But that said, Wasko contends that customers will come to appreciate not only the lower management costs enabled by OpenStack, but the greater flexibility and customization capabilities that OpenStack will provide in contrast to other virtualization management environments.