The leadership team at Mirantis, an OpenStack solutions vendor, see a lot of simultaneous adoption of the open source cloud infrastructure software and Cloud Foundry, the open source Platform-as-a-Service technology with roots at VMware and later Pivotal.
As part of a first step toward establishing closer relationships with different providers of Cloud Foundry distributions, Mirantis today announced that it has joined the Cloud Foundry Foundation, which now oversees the open source PaaS project.
Boris Renski, chief marketing officer for Mirantis, says that Mirantis has taken note of the fact that companies such as IBM and HP are bundling OpenStack and Cloud Foundry together. As a provider of an OpenStack distribution, Renski says Mirantis wants to be in a position to better partner with Cloud Foundry vendors whose solutions will need to be integrated with OpenStack.
Differentiation is more crucial than ever today for companies like Mirantis, which has based its entire businesses on providing OpenStack solutions. As yesterday’s sudden announcement of the demise of Mirantis rival Nebula illustrated, it’s not easy to survive in the active but still nascent market around OpenStack.
For Mirantis, getting better aligned with Cloud Foundry is one way to have more ammunition than OpenStack alone without making a big investment in development or pivoting.
“We don’t want to build a distribution of Cloud Foundry,” says Renski. “Our focus is going to be on OpenStack only.”
As part of that effort, Renski says, Mirantis plans to work toward unifying, for example, the internal authentication schemes used in both OpenStack and Cloud Foundry.
Going forward Renski says that convergence is going to be even more pronounced as IT organizations begin to embrace application containers. While there is some debate over where containers should most optimally run, Renski says it’s probable that most containers in the cloud are going to be deployed in a PaaS environment.
In general, Renski notes that while many organizations that have deployed OpenStack using raw bits have run into issues running OpenStack at scale, Mirantis has hardened its distribution of OpenStack in the form of over two dozen configurations that have been proven to be able to scale.
Just like any other distribution of open source code, Renski says that many organizations fail to appreciate the work that goes into creating a commercial-grade implementation of open source software.
The degree to which IT organizations opt to join OpenStack and PaaS environments at the hip remains to be seen. In fact, Renski notes there are OpenStack projects underway that aim to create a PaaS environment that runs directly on top of OpenStack.
There’s no doubt that both OpenStack and PaaS environments are foundational components of a modern data center environment. But as larger players continue to combine both technologies under a single branding initiative it’s clear that organizations that embrace one technology are likely to be rapidly exposed to the other.
From the perspective of Mirantis, however, that doesn’t necessarily mean that OpenStack and PaaS platforms need to come from the same vendor.