Going cloud-native the easy way with Mirantis Flow

With its containers and Kubernetes foundation, Cloud-native computing is very powerful and very hard to set up. Now Mirantis wants to make it easy for you with Mirantis Flow.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

Cloud-native computing is the future of IT. That's not hype. That's the truth. We've been moving our programs to containers on clouds governed by Kubernetes for years now, backed by numerous other programs, most of which live in the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) and the Open Infrastructure Foundation. There's only one tiny problem: It's really, really hard. That's where Mirantis, with its just-announced Mirantis Flow, comes in.

Mirantis Flow is a cloud-native datacenter-as-a-service. It's meant for two audiences. First, there are the businesses already using public cloud infrastructure technology, which discovered just how hard it is actually to put together a working system from cloud-native components. Mirantis Flow is also designed to make it easy for businesses just beginning their cloud journey to get onboard.

This isn't just to get you started on a cloud. Endless products and services promise that. Mirantis has bigger things in mind.

Mirantis promises that Flow will make it easy to quickly -- in as little as five days -- deploy and run a centrally managed, scalable cloud infrastructure providing virtualization and containerization in the data center, on the public cloud, and out to the edge. The name of Flow's game is to reduce your cost and time of development to launching your new services.

As Shaun O'Meara, Mirantis field CTO, explained in a TFIR interview, this is a data center as a service offering. Mirantis has spent many years working on data centers. They've seen a lot of customers having real trouble moving from the data center to the public cloud. They waste a lot of money going from their traditional applications and going cloud-native and containerizing their applications. The goal is to make it easier and cheaper for them to move from on-prem to hybrid or multi-cloud.

In a statement, Adrian Ionel, Mirantis CEO and co-founder added, "Until now, cloud-native was sold and marketed as piece parts for enterprises to assemble. Mirantis has already helped hundreds of today's tech-savvy companies, including Booking.com, Reliance Jio, Netskope, and Societe Generale, implement an open-source, cloud-native approach to infrastructure.

Ionel continued, "For the first time, Flow takes that software, knowledge, and support expertise and packages it up for easy deployment, enabling enterprises to replace their legacy infrastructure, or even begin their cloud journey, with an open-source, cloud-native datacenter that supports their most valuable use cases and brings a stream of innovations to developers and application owners -- at significantly less cost."

That all sounds good, but how does Mirantis propose to do this? The specific targets are:

  • Replaces legacy infrastructure software with modern open-source software built with cloud-native architecture;
  • Reduces required hardware costs by 50% or more;
  • Use open-source software-defined storage and networking;
  • Increases automation and frees up staff from routine administration work.

Mirantis Flow manages this by integrating container and cloud-native open-source technologies for you in a subscription service. It does this by using Mirantis's own large cloud-native software offerings. Flow can utilize existing computing hardware with the Mirantis Container Cloud, Mirantis's Kubernetes offering, for providing deployment and lifecycle management of your Kubernetes cluster across multiple infrastructure platforms. It also uses the Mirantis Kubernetes Engine and Mirantis OpenStack for Kubernetes Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud. On top of this, you can run Lens Spaces, for collaborative cloud-native development and Mirantis StackLight for cloud monitoring and alerting. It also comes with Mirantis OpsCare 24x7 proactive support or OpsCare managed services, which includes deployment.

In short, you pay the money; Mirantis provides everything you need to run enterprise-level cloud services. Or, as the company puts it, "Mirantis takes over operation of the infrastructure, enabling your DevOps team to save time so they can focus on application delivery." 

This, as you might guess, isn't cheap. It's priced at $15,000 per month or $180,000 annually. This includes:

  • 1,000 core/vCPU licenses for access to all products in the Mirantis software suite;
  • No additional charge for control plane and management software licenses;
  • Support for initial 20 virtual machines (VM) migrations or application onboarding;
  • Unlimited 24x7 OpsCare support.

On the other hand, if you've added up the costs to do all this yourself... well, I've done this kind of analysis for companies. Mirantis Flow may well prove cheaper for you.

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