Many MSPs spend much of their time praying for that one magic moment when all the vendors might get along with each long enough for them to implement a service they can make money with that benefits their customers.

The good news is that with the rise of the OpenStack cloud management framework there’s been some progress made of late in the general direction. The bad news is that OpenStack may not live up to being everything expected of it.

In the meantime, Red Hat has made a significant step towards making it easier to actually introduce OpenStack into environment where other management frameworks already exist. This week Red Hat unveiled a cloud management certification under which third-party vendors can certify that their management consoles can support Red Hat’s implementation of OpenStack running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).

HP and BMC jump aboard

The first two vendors to announce support this initiative are Hewlett-Packard and BMC Software. Radhesh Balakrishnan, general manager for virtualization and OpenStack at Red Hat, says both vendors will leverage application programming interface to support Red Hat OpenStack Cloud as a plug-in to the management consoles used in their existing management systems. It’s in the interest of customers and MSPs alike to allow them to standardize on one management console to manage heterogeneous cloud computing environments.

Balakrishnan says it’s more than likely that Red Hat will certify other management platforms in a similar manner in the near future.

Of course, there may come a day when those existing management console get replace by a console optimized for OpenStack. But even then the roles would simply be reversed. The legacy management framework would simply become a plug-in to the OpenStack console.

Red Hat's play

As part of an effort to help MSP strike that balance Red Hat also recently moved to acquire eNovance, an IT services firm that specializes in OpenStack integration, to help MSPs actually automate much of the implementation of OpenStack. Assuming that other vendors follow suit, the amount of time and effort it takes to implement OpenStack should fall considerably in the months ahead.

Can't we all get along?

In the meantime, it appears that vendors are starting to put aside some of their egos to make it easier to deploy OpenStack in existing IT environments. The latest move from Red Hat may not fully qualify as a Rodney King moment for MSPs in terms of everybody actually deciding to get along. But it appears to be a significant move in the right direction.

Mike Vizard is a veteran IT journalist, former Editor in Chief of CRN and InfoWorld, and an IT industry market expert who has chronicled the information technology revolution over many decades, from DEC to Google.