On Monday, Intel announced its intent to lead a $100M capital raise for Mirantis, one of the few pure play commercial OpenStack vendors in the market today. Intel leads the investment alongside Goldman Sachs and existing investors August Capital, Insight Venture Partners, Ericsson, Sapphire Ventures and WestSummit Capital. The investment marks the second $100M capital raise on the part of Mirantis in the space of a year given that Insight Ventures led a $100M funding round with Mirantis less than a year ago. The October 2014 $100M capital raise led by Insight Ventures represented the largest funding raise in the history of open source computing and, as such, this year’s investment marks another notable milestone in the history of capital raises for open source-based technologies. Intel’s decision to lead the $100M capital raise builds upon its support of OpenStack as a Platinum member of the OpenStack consortium as of 2015. Today’s investment constitutes another emphatic affirmation of OpenStack that promises to transform the cloud computing landscape significantly by giving Mirantis the capital to innovate with respect to its commercial distribution of OpenStack. As one of the only remaining pure play OpenStack vendors in the marketplace, the investment bolsters the valuation of Mirantis and empowers it to consolidate its positioning as a distributor of an enterprise grade platform for building private, IaaS clouds that interoperate with other OpenStack-based cloud platforms.
Platform9 recently announced the release of Platform9 Managed OpenStack for VMware vSphere as a SaaS solution. Platform9 Managed OpenStack for VMware vSphere facilitates the deployment of OpenStack private clouds that leverage VMware vSphere virtualization technology. By using a virtual appliance to integrate OpenStack with vSphere resources, VMware enterprise customers now have the ability to spin up an OpenStack-based cloud that integrates with VMware vSphere resources. Developers interested in self-provisioning resources or accessing their applications will interface directly with the OpenStack cloud, whereas IT and Sys Admins will work on vSphere infrastructure resources. The Platform9 solution empowers developers to build automation into their workflows and applications in addition to using orchestration tools and APIs to construct relationships between workflows. Most importantly, however, the solution boasts 100% interoperability between VMware vSphere and OpenStack and supports vSphere-based API automation and compatible third party products. Overall, Platform9’s support of VMware vSphere represents an important milestone in OpenStack’s trajectory, particularly given the way in which the acquisition of OpenStack startups such as Cloudscaling, Metacloud and Piston Cloud Computing by the likes of EMC and Cisco threatens to slow the pace of innovation within the OpenStack space. Platform9’s ability to deliver OpenStack via a SaaS interface and give customers an unprecedented degree of flexibility regarding the configuration of their deployments. Expect the industry to deepen the integration between VMware and cloud-based environments as more and more cloud platforms come to terms with the reality that enterprises based on VMware vSphere prefer to maintain their fleet of virtualization infrastructure resources while they expand their investments in private and public cloud deployments.
After exiting from stealth in June, infrastructure analytics vendor AppFormix today announced a partnership with OpenStack vendor Mirantis. AppFormix will integrate with IaaS deployments based on the Mirantis OpenStack distribution to deliver analytics about resource utilization and performance in addition to identifying resource bottlenecks and remediating resource contention. Given its focus on understanding how infrastructure components perform within a larger ecosystem of infrastructure, applications and data feeds, AppFormix fills a critical niche within the OpenStack community with respect to real-time analytics related to infrastructure. In addition to delivering timely analytics about OpenStack infrastructure, AppFormix gives customers data-driven recommendations about how they can reconfigure or tweak their deployments to optimize infrastructure and application performance. As told to Cloud Computing Today in an interview with AppFormix CEO Sumeet Singh, AppFormix also provides a rich visual interface that provides customers with real-time experience regarding the status of infrastructure and its consumption of application and data-related resources. The partnership between AppFormix and Mirantis positions AppFormix strongly to take a leadership position with respect to infrastructure analytics for OpenStack although, as Singh noted, Mirantis represents the only free standing commercial OpenStack vendor in light of the acquisitions of startups such as Piston Cloud Computing, Cloudscaling and Metacloud. In the meantime, AppFormix plans to further develop the capability of its platform to support infrastructure analytics in other cloud environments as it continues to reinforce the value of real-time data about cloud and container infrastructures.
Here are three quick thoughts on Google’s recent decision to become a corporate sponsor of OpenStack:
1. Google’s support of OpenStack marks one of the biggest endorsements to date of OpenStack, and as such, bolsters the credibility of the platform even further. Even though OpenStack is currently endorsed by the likes of Platinum Members Red Hat, IBM, HP and Rackspace, Google’s announcement constitutes an especially significant announcement given its ownership of a competitor public cloud IaaS platform in the form of the Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Google’s endorsement suggests that the days of OpenStack’s segregation from proprietary public clouds such as the Google Cloud Platform, AWS and Microsoft Azure may well be numbered and that the IaaS space may well end up developing APIs from proprietary platforms to OpenStack in the foreseeable future.
2. The cloud computing industry is increasingly coming to terms with hybrid cloud infrastructures and the necessity for interoperability across different cloud ecosystems. By supporting OpenStack, Google embraces cloud hybridity and in particular, the necessity for Kubernetes to integrate deeply with the OpenStack ecosystem. Given that enterprises almost invariably embrace some combination of private and public clouds as part of their larger cloud strategy, Google’s support of OpenStack constitutes an emphatic affirmation not only of OpenStack, but also of the criticality of hybrid cloud infrastructures and management frameworks at this stage of the evolution of cloud computing.
3. Google’s collaboration with OpenStack on the Kubernetes project underscores the emerging ascendancy of containers to contemporary cloud computing as an alternative and complement to virtual machine based computing. By working with OpenStack to ensure the compatibility of Kubernetes as part of Project Magnum, Google is betting big on increased adoption of container technology throughout the industry. Furthermore, Google is placing its bet that Kubernetes, as opposed to other container management frameworks, has the pizazz to emerge as one of the premier container management frameworks in the industry, particularly in light of its forthcoming, deepened integration with OpenStack.
On Thursday, Google announced its sponsorship of the OpenStack Foundation as a corporate sponsor. As noted in a blog post, Google’s decision to join the OpenStack Foundation is motivated by industry trends toward adoption of hybrid clouds and container-based application development. By sponsoring OpenStack, Google is expected to contribute heavily to OpenStack Magnum, the project that aspires to ensure the compatibility of container orchestration platforms such as Docker and Kubernetes with OpenStack. Google’s contribution toward the integration of Kubernetes with OpenStack is expected to accelerate the adoption of container technologies and thereby facilitate development of more robust hybrid cloud infrastructures marked by the union of increasingly heterogeneous computing infrastructures. Google’s sponsorship of OpenStack represents a huge coup for the OpenStack Foundation and marks another notable twist in the ongoing battle for cloud market share amongst the likes of Amazon, Microsoft and Google.
In a presentation from Day 1 of the OpenStack Summit in Vancouver, Jonathon Bryce, Executive Director of the OpenStack Foundation announced the rollout of the initial round interoperability protocols and testing to ensure that OpenStack distributions successfully interoperate with one another. Currently, 16 companies have interoperability testing results available and the OpenStack Foundation plans to ensure the application of its interoperability testing on all OpenStack-branded products during the remainder of 2015. Bryce also notes that over 30 OpenStack products and services in the marketplace have pledged to support federated identity. Bryce’s elaboration on the aggressiveness of the OpenStack Foundation’s efforts to ensure the development of a common OpenStack core stack across all distributions suggests that OpenStack is likely to live up to the promise of interoperability and open standards that constituted part of its core vision as an open source IaaS platform that allows customers to migrate workloads from one OpenStack environment to another with ease. Companies that have produced live interoperability results at present include IBM, SwiftStack, Red Hat, Bluebox, Rackspace and Mirantis.
Pivotal and Mirantis recently announced a partnership whereby Pivotal will support deployments of Pivotal Cloud Foundry on the Mirantis OpenStack platform. Meanwhile, Mirantis will resell Pivotal Cloud Foundry to its IaaS customers. The partnership between Pivotal and Mirantis reinforces the integration between OpenStack and Cloud Foundry by bringing together two leading open source technologies in the cloud computing space and delivering a full stack marked by infrastructure provisioning and management capabilities in addition to agile application development functionality. As noted in a Pivotal blog post, customers can deploy Pivotal Cloud Foundry on Mirantis OpenStack by following a runbook that streamlines its deployment. The collaboration between Pivotal and Cloud Foundry underscores the ascendancy of open source cloud computing technologies that are predicated upon transparent governance frameworks and the contributions of developers and organizations from all over the world. By offering Pivotal Cloud Foundry on top of Mirantis OpenStack, Pivotal and Mirantis render available an on demand solution that absolves companies of the hassle of integrating an application development platform into an infrastructure deployment. The partnership gives Mirantis the feather in its cap constituted by an enterprise-grade PaaS in the form of Pivotal Cloud Foundry. Correspondingly, Pivotal benefits from the increased sales channel exposure enabled by access to Mirantis customers. The real winner from this partnership, however, is OpenStack insofar as it continues to cement its reputation for having the ability to integrate with major PaaS, database and Big Data technologies as recently exemplified by the agreement between Oracle regarding its Database as a Service and Mirantis, and Piston Cloud’s announcement of Piston OS 4.0.