Finally! VMware joins the OpenStack Foundation, this time for real

VMware(s vmw) is now officially a Gold member of the OpenStack Foundation, along with Intel(s intc) and NEC. The OpenStack board met Friday afternoon to consider their applications, which were held over from the last seven-hour board meeting.

Judging by the Twitter accounts, the meeting was not without drama — some participants were apparently surprised and nonplussed that their votes would be public.

The notion of VMware joining this open-source cloud effort still strikes some as incongruous since OpenStack launched two years ago to build a technology stack to compete with proprietary cloud software — namely VMware’s vCloud. Many vendors, including Rackspace(s rax), HP(s hpq), and Cisco(s csco), backed OpenStack as a hedge against both VMware and Amazon(s amzn).

But since then, VMware’s stance has evolved. It is fielding Cloud Foundry as an open-source platform as a service and it just completed its purchase of Nicira, a software-defined networking vendor that has been an active OpenStack participant.

There is still some anxiety that VMware will be a fox in OpenStack’s hen house, though. There was also some chatter that the rival Apache CloudStack Project backed by Citrix(s ctrx) and others might be the more open and transparent cloud option.