Mirantis open-sources its OpenStack cloud management tools

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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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