​Mirantis aims for OpenStack out of the box with pre-built appliances

Following its recent moves with Oracle, Pivotal and EMC, the OpenStack specialist is stepping up integration efforts with ecosystem partners with turnkey appliances in mind.
Written by Toby Wolpe, Contributor
In the second half of the year, Mirantis will start work with integration partners to ship pre-built versions of Mirantis OpenStack.
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Software and services firm Mirantis today set out a testing and certification initiative for its partner companies, which it hopes will lead ultimately to pre-configured OpenStack appliances.

The company says its Mirantis Unlocked programme, comprising about 50 OpenStack software and service providers, will help ensure technologies based on the open-source cloud initiative work together with minimal effort.

"This goes beyond simply API compatibility testing, which is typically what people do in the OpenStack ecosystem," Mirantis co-founder Boris Renski said.

"Unlike many technology certification and partner programmes out there, what we're trying to do is focus on fewer partners - exclusively those that are in high demand in the OpenStack ecosystem and do a fair amount of very rigorous testing between their technology and Mirantis OpenStack."

The company already has technology partners but the relationships were handled in a more ad-hoc manner, Renski said. All existing partnerships from now on are to be rolled into the new initiative.

"We're also able, for many of those partners, to do an integrated deployment. We have a pluggable installer called Fuel. Unlocked partners are able to integrate directly into our installer, making their solutions available out of the box with Mirantis OpenStack," he said.

"To give you a good example, one of the unlocked partners is Juniper and for Juniper Contrail we have plugin whereby if you want to want to run Mirantis OpenStack with Juniper Contrail networking, you can literally go through our Fuel installer and pick that as a networking option and have everything configured for you behind the scenes."

Renski said that flexibility also extends to technologies that run on top of OpenStack, thanks to the Murano application catalog. Murano allows Mirantis partners such as hybrid cloud operating-system firm Apcera or Pivotal, with the Cloud Foundry app-development framework, to deploy their platform-as-a-service applications at the click of a button.

Renski said the ultimate aim is to start shipping pre-integrated appliances consisting of technologies from its partner ecosystem.

"Longer term, probably the second half of this year, we'll start working with integration partners who will ship pre-built versions of Mirantis OpenStack with Mirantis Unlocked certified infrastructure partners."

Last week, Mirantis unveiled its collaboration with Oracle to put Database 12c on OpenStack, and a joint-project with EMC and VMware spinoff Pivotal, with the goal of making the Cloud Foundry app-development framework available on OpenStack infrastructure.

The company has also just unveiled an OpenStack reference architecture in conjunction with storage firm EMC.

OpenStack is an open-source project started in 2010 by Rackspace and NASA to create components for building public and private clouds on standard hardware.

It is now backed by more than 200 vendors, including Cisco, Dell, HP, IBM, Intel, Oracle, Red Hat, and VMware, with a large developer community working on a range of loosely-coupled projects. Mirantis is one of OpenStack's founding members.

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