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Summary:

Mirantis and Canonical pledge fully supported Linux-to-OpenStack configuration for enterprises. Which is exactly Red Hat’s sweet spot with RHEL and Red Hat OpenStack. And so it goes.

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Mirantis, the rabble-rousing OpenStack integrator-turned-OpenStack provider, is partnering with Canonical to make sure Canonical’s Linux distribution runs well on Mirantis OpenStack. The stated goal is to ensure that both Canonical’s Ubuntu Host and Guest OS are supported on Mirantis OpenStack, according to a FAQ provided by Mirantis.

The move contrasts with Red Hat’s stance that it will not support non-Red Hat OpenStack distributions running in Red Hat Enterprise Linux shops.

While that policy is not new, one reason companies look at OpenStack for cloud technology is to free themselves from too much reliance on one vendor. Red Hat is seemingly reinforcing the old bugaboo of vendor lock-in. Red Hat Enterprise Linux leads the market in (natch) enterprise Linux, and obviously wants to parlay that strength in cloud. And that has the other OpenStack players worried — and ticked off. Hence announcements like this one.

The topic of OpenStack deployment and support will come up at Structure in two weeks, where Red Hat CTO Brian Stevens will be on hand.

In its FAQ, Mirantis says it hopes this move will “encourage Red Hat to rethink [its] approach to RHEL support. In fact, Microsoft, the historical king of anti-competitive behavior, has an open SVVP program for certifying third-party virtualization technologies against Windows Server that can serve as a model for Red Hat and the OpenStack community at large.”

Ubuntu Linux is believed to be widely deployed in Amazon Web Services — although it’s not clear how many of those instances are active. An OpenStack Foundation survey in October found that Ubuntu constitutes 55 percent of workloads running in OpenStack.

  1. love-this-photo!

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  2. would like to take a different angle on the Openstack topic, relative to Mirantis, or HP for that matter, which is around where companies choose to try and add value and participate in a new market area.

    In my view, when looking at a new segment (e.g. IaaS, PaaS, Hadoop/BigData, No/NewSQL Data), both existing large companies and smaller for-profit companies need to carefully study and look for the best places and best chance to participate, add value and make money. Also looking to see if there are existing companies that might have a very good shot at winning parts of that new market, and look to avoid or complement those.

    In the case of OpenStack, which is an open-source centric market area, and where the key technologies relies alot on Linux, and to some extent KVM, I would think that people would give Red Hat a pretty good chance at winning the major role in this market. Looking at Red Hat and seeing that they have become the #1 contributor to the project, and given Red Hat’s track record in linux and jboss, and in being able to balance community with commercial open source to profitable success, I would stay away from the key market area that Red Hat is targeting.

    If I add in the fact that openstack, when combined with Linux and kvm is kind of like “Super-sized-Linux” in many ways, and it will require a strong third party ecosystem of hardware and software participants and developers. I would then look and see if players in this market have experience in this area, have existing relationships with ISV’s and IHV’s, and are trusted by the third parties to build a sustainable platform, price it fair and provide updates and support. On that front Red Hat would be in the best position, and maybe IBM has some chops there, and VMWare some, but VMWarer are not fully in with OpenStack from what I see. Given that you have a company in Red Hat, that most all ISV and IHV companies would trust to be a solid, stable company, and have support and technical skills to back up their solution, and open source skills to balance community and commercial interests, I am not sure why people are trying to take the core Openstack part of the business. That is a very tough battle.

    I think it is better to get some concentration of force around one company that can be trusted to drive it forward, and build applications and hardware and software solutions around it. Having 5-10+ OpenStack versions confuses third party ISVs, IHVs and end customers, and kind of plays right into VMware or Amazon or Microsoft hands, as they deliver a more consistent and stable set of offerings to end customers.

    I can see why someone like HP fancies going after this area. They currently have no strategic infrastructure software (i.e. virtualization, operating system, database, middleware), and with IaaS emerging as a strategic new infrastructure technology, I can see why they would want to try it. The challenge is that their ability to attract an ecosystem that includes their head-head system vendors like Cisco, Dell, IBM and others, is very unlikely to happen. I just don’t see it happening.

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  3. Interesting analysis. I agree that there’s no room for 10+ openstack distros and there will be a shakeout…

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  4. Brian Likosar Thursday, June 5, 2014

    You have read Red Hat’s response to your remark about “lock-in” above, right? http://www.redhat.com/about/news/archive/2014/5/on-openstack-and-open-source

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