The Red Hat-founded oVirt open virtualization platform project is making serious inroads, with the addition of Canonical, Cisco Systems, IBM, Intel, NetApp and SUSE signing on to form a development and promotion community. And while oVirt can crack philosophical about the importance of an open stack openly governed to manage the KVM hypervisor, it's pretty obvious these companies are really banding together to erode VMware's virtualization market dominance.

In its press release, oVirt describes itself thus:
The oVirt project was formed to deliver and establish a development community around an integrated virtualization platform that offers advanced virtualization management capabilities for hosts and guests, including high availability, live migration, storage management, system scheduler and more.

The lynchpin of the oVirt stack is the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization solution, which the company has open-sourced with this announcement. Red Hat's technology is combined with existing open technologies, including the aforementioned KVM kernel-based hypervisor, libvirt and v2v, not only to provide a complete stack and reusable components for virtualization management but also to make it easier to build public and private clouds.

Intriguingly -- and logically -- oVirt is allied with the vision of the Open Virtualization Alliance (OVA), which aims to provide a standard format for virtualization itself. The two groups have a shared vision of a world without cloud vendor lock-in, so an alliance only makes sense.

And with the OVA's alliance with the Open Data Center Alliance (ODCA) -- not to mention the OpenStack project -- it looks as though the lines are being drawn in the sand between the vendors with open cloud vision and those that are relying on proprietary technology.

The potential benefit to cloud service providers of all these open moves? A world where users potentially can build a complete cloud delivery platform, from the data center it's hosted in to the underlying platform and beyond.