VMWare Cloud Technology Bows To Open Source

| About: VMware, Inc. (VMW)

Shares in cloud software company VMWare (VMW) fell yesterday as the company's CFO quit and the company reaffirmed earlier earnings guidance.

But there was bigger VMWare news yesterday.

Cloud is the first new enterprise technology built in the era of open source, and open source - which lets anyone see and edit the relevant code - is key to its progress as a technology.

VMWare's biggest problem is that when competitors talk about it they treat it like Microsoft or Oracle. As proprietary.

Many aspects of VMWare's software are proprietary, but on the first birthday of its Cloud Foundry cloud platform project the company released an open source tool for deployment and lifecycle management of clouds called BOSH.

Reporters immediately began confusing the acronym BOSH (Bidirectional-Streams over Synchronous HTTP) , which is based on a data-oriented markup language called YAML, with Miami Heat center Chris Bosh, failing to use ALL CAPS as VMWare did.

BOSH is a technology. Bosh is a basketball player. (And Bosch is a German washing machine.)

VMWare also moved the Cloud Foundry platform web address from Cloudfoundry.com to Cloudfoundry.org, marketing it as "the Linux of the cloud" (Linux equals open source, right) and introducing a new process for contributions based on structures popular with open source programmers.

VMWare summarized it to ZDNet this way:

The new .org platform is built upon the same stack as OpenStack and Google and open source - the way it needs to be to get developer buy-in, executives noted.

We are used to comparing cloud infrastructures - Cloudstack vs. OpenStack - and seeking to build on top of them. Cloudfoundry is a platform (including development tools) that might sit over all of them, and if VMWare succeeds with it this will be a powerful profit driver for the future.

But the key to getting anything done is developer loyalty, and the ante for that loyalty is open source. VMWare has now acknowledged this.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.