Mirantis, Dell, Juniper Cook Up OpenStack Appliances
Image: Mirantis

Mirantis, Dell, Juniper Cook Up OpenStack Appliances

Company aims to make OpenStack easier, plans more hardware-vendor partnerships

As part of an effort to make it simpler to deploy the OpenStack cloud framework inside the enterprise, Mirantis unveiled an appliance that comes pre-loaded with its distribution of the open source cloud infrastructure system.

The Mirantis Unlocked Appliances are built using Dell PowerEdge R730xd servers running dual Intel e5-2600 Xeon processors and Juniper QFX5100s and EX3300 top-of-rack switches, Jim Sangster, senior director of solutions marketing for Mirantis, said.

The OpenStack appliances can be configured with six compute nodes and 12 TB of usable storage to a full rack comprised of 24 compute nodes and 24 TB of usable storage. There is a maximum of two racks sustaining over 1,500 virtual machines and 48 TB of usable storage.

“The appliances fit in 1u to 2u racks,” said Sangster. “In all, there are six different sizes.”

In the future, Mirantis plans to work with other IT infrastructure vendors to create version of their OpenStack appliances that would appeal to IT organizations that have standardized on equipment other than what is provided by Dell and Juniper, he said. The goal is to create a family of turnkey OpenStack appliances that can be dropped into almost any data center environment.

While enterprise IT organizations are not replacing investments in VMware and Microsoft management frameworks wholesale just yet, interest in building private clouds based on OpenStack is running high. The challenge that most organizations face is that the initial learning curve associated with deploying OpenStack can be quite high.

Distributions of OpenStack that are managed by vendors such as Mirantis reduce that complexity. By bundling that distribution with hardware, Sangster said, Mirantis is now making it possible for the vast majority of enterprise IT organizations to easily get started with OpenStack.

As part of that effort, Mirantis is also certifying Mirantis Unlocked Appliance partners. The first of those partners is Redapt, a systems integrator based in Redmond, Washington.

As OpenStack continues to mature, the biggest issue that IT organizations may have to contend with next is actually finding IT professionals with enough expertise to run it. While the potential savings on commercial IT management software can be substantial, it may take a while before enterprise IT organizations have the internal expertise need to deploy OpenStack in production As a result, most OpenStack adoption to date has been led by cloud service providers and enterprise IT organizations that have a lot of access to internal engineering talent.

But as OpenStack continues to become a more turnkey deployment experience, there should also be a corresponding increase with the number of IT administrators that have sought after hands-on OpenStack expertise.

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