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Summary:

Mirantis, the OpenStack system integrator to the stars, is making its “Fuel” OpenStack automation libraries freely available under the Apache 2.0 license.

fuelpic2
Mirantis CEO Adrian Ionel

Mirantis CEO Adrian Ionel

Mirantis, a startup which has made a name for itself by mixing and matching the best OpenStack components from multiple vendors into cloud solutions for customers, is now making its own library of configuration and deployment tools available to the masses, under the Apache 2.0 license.

“We are releasing the secret sauce — the automation library — that we used to set up some of the largest OpenStack adopters — Paypal, Webex, The Gap and others,” Mirantis CEO Adrian Ionel said in an interview.

According to Mirantis VP Boris Renski, the big automated payment provider has massive infrastructure of about 15,000 physical nodes and another 65,000 or so physical nodes for parent company Ebay.

“They have a very large VMware vSphere footprint but, at this, point they want to go beyond just vSphere virtualization and implement orchestration — [they want] agile, cloud infrastructure to accelerate their time-to-production cycle on new apps and website features and they want to standardize across the board,” Renski said.

PayPal, like other companies in the same boat, can go in one of two directions, he said. It can invest more in VMware and standardize on it — by buying vCloud Director — or it can go the open-source, open-standards route.

“With the project we are involved in, they are making giant strides towards the latter. The work is not 100 percent done and there is still a chance that it won’t succeed. They have several thousand instances running on OpenStack and several production workloads today. The plan is to go to 10K physical nodes by summer time.”

If everything continues to track well, he said, they’ll roll OpenStack across all of Paypal and possibly eBay infrastructure and do away with VMware, he said.

Paypal itself was more circumspect on its plans. Asked about its OpenStack plans, Saran Mandair, senior director of platform engineering and operations, said via email that the company is committed to collaborating with the open-source community to drive innovation:

“It is working with Mirantis to leverage OpenStack to help transform our global infrastructure into an agile and open cloud platform … Our OpenStack project uses the Fuel library by Mirantis, which has dramatically accelerated our OpenStack deployment with robust, production-grade architecture while giving us the flexibility to tailor OpenStack to our needs.”

But a spokeswoman, unsurprisingly, said the company will continue to use VMware as well.

VMware, which is actually now a member of the OpenStack Foundation, will, of course, also continue to plug the vSphere- and-vCloud-Director tandem to companies with existing workloads. And, earlier this month, it also said it will host its own public cloud infrastructure, which is also based on its existing vSphere code.  The company said it is committed to customer choice.

Most onlookers, however, still see VMware vCloud Director as a closed and expensive ecosystem that OpenStack itself was set up to depose.

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  1. Marko Locher Monday, March 25, 2013

    What is this article actually about? The title says it’s about Mirantis open sourcing it’s tools, which is told in the first two paragraphs in about as much detail as it is in the title.
    The remaining article is about Paypal (and ebay) using OpenStack, which of course is interesting and fantastic news, but has nothing to do whatsoever with what is told in the title.

    Simply copying and pasting a short text from another source, reading the first few sentences and picking a title is not really enough. I mean, there isn’t even a link to the tools mentioned in the title. Disappointing, to say the least!

    1. Nothing in this article was cut and pasted except from my own notes in Word from the conversation i had with Mirantis. The quotes from paypal, were in fact, emailed unfortunately, becuase PayPal didn’t get on the phone.

      Sorry you are “disappointed,” but i can’t let that comment pass.

  2. My guess is that we are going to see a lot of people moving off of Vmware for two reasons.

    1) Vmware is an expensive closed source offering (which means you are locked in). Its a no-brainer to replace this with a more cost effective and open solution such as OpenStack. Its the same reason why more and more enterprise work has shifted to Linux over the years.

    2) Vmware just announced recently that they will be getting into the public cloud market. This will put them into direct competition with the Service Providers that purchased Vmware for running their own businesses. A lot of these Service Providers are not going to want to pay Vmware for software while competing with Vmware. They will probably move to OpenStack or one of the other open source cloud initiatives.

  3. @jhesr. Agree that VMware is under pressure. It will compete more and more with its own SP partners — most of which offer vCloud Director but other cloud options as well. If i’m a Service Provider, which stack will i lead with? One that i’m competing with (vCloud Director)? Or one that I can compete with (OpenStack or CloudStack or whatever?) No brainer.

    Having said all that, OpenStack isn’t all cooked yet … and i wonder how long it will take for companies to run it in production environments.

  4. So what Hypervisor is Paypal planning to use? As I understand the comments in the article, they are planning on using OpenStack for orchestration instead of vCloud Director, but do they intend to continue using the vSphere line for the actual hypervisor?

    Choosing a different orchestration tool is interesting, but not amazing.. Replacing VMware at the hypervisor level would be a much bigger hit to VMware, I’d think.

  5. Yes, I have reading all these articles but no one says what hypervisor they intend to use. Many of the articles are using the term, “dump vmware.” I am not sure the authors fully understand the difference between the hypervisors and the management/orchestration piece. Perhaps that information has not been released by Paypal/eBay but either way, the authors are not posing that important question.

    If anyone finds out, I’d love to know.

    Cheers,

    Richard

  6. the reason I didn’t report that is that Paypal really isn’t saying much of anything. They emailed an initial statement about the work w/ Mirantis. then when i followed up w/ a q about their virtualization/hypervisor choice, they replied only that they’re going to still use Vmware. No parsing on their part. i’ll keep trying.

  7. Paypal got back to say they do not disclose details of what hypervisor(s) they run

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