A Step-by-Step Guide to Mirantis Flow: What You’ll Experience with Data Center as a Service
In September, we launched Mirantis Flow, an exciting new data center as a service offering based on open source cloud native technologies. For enterprises, it provides a completely hands-off approach to infrastructure operations, so you can focus staff and resources on building applications and creating customer value. In terms of compute, it provides both virtualization and containerization in one platform that can be fully managed by Mirantis, or jointly managed with Mirantis as a “co-pilot” at your side. And from a business perspective, Mirantis Flow can help you save a whopping 50% or more on data center software and support costs. What’s not to love?
Some of you may be wondering, what exactly do you get with a data center as a service? How is the day-to-day customer experience? This blog will give you a walkthrough of what new customers can expect from Mirantis Flow.
Prepping for deployment for Mirantis Flow is all about establishing a working relationship with your CSM and getting your hardware ready.
Meet your Customer Success Manager
After you commit to a subscription of Mirantis Flow, we assign a Customer Success Manager (CSM), who serves as your primary point of contact and trusted advisor, who works to ensure that the whole program runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Your CSM meets with you to outline the process, set expectations, prepare the required Mirantis resources, and learn about any security clearance requirements, special requests or concerns. Your CSM also works with you to scope which workloads to onboard once the clusters are ready.
Select and prepare hardware
With Mirantis Flow, we build and deploy your cluster on your infrastructure of choice. Your CSM shares the Mirantis Flow hardware requirements and reference architecture with you and makes sure you understand and are comfortable with what is required. You then select and prepare hardware for Mirantis Flow. If needed, Mirantis deployment engineers can help configure and prepare the machines for you.
When your hardware is ready to go, share access with Mirantis deployment and operations teams. If needed, we can submit documentation for security clearance needed for data sovereignty or other regulations.
Installation and deployment — under 48 hours
Mirantis Flow is designed for quick deployment, with no integration time required.
Mirantis Flow installation
Once Mirantis deployment engineers can access your hardware, we commit that you’ll be able to spin up your first VM or create your first container with Mirantis Flow in 48 hours or less. The first step of course is installing Mirantis Flow itself. The main components that our deployment engineers will install include:
- Mirantis Container Cloud - multi-cloud / multi-cluster management
- Mirantis Kubernetes Engine - container management
- Mirantis OpenStack for Kubernetes - infrastructure-as-a-service
- Mirantis Secure Registry - image registry
- Lens Spaces - collaboration tool for cloud native developers
Mirantis Flow includes 1,000 core/vCPU licenses for access to all products in the Mirantis software suite, with no additional charge for control plane and management software licenses.
Connecting to public cloud and bare metal as a service
If you use public clouds such as AWS or Azure or hosted bare metal services like Equinix Metal, they can be bridged to Mirantis Flow.
Cluster deployment and validation
After Mirantis Flow is installed, our deployment engineers provision and validate your first Kubernetes and OpenStack clusters. To ensure effective operations and a stable production environment, we run a comprehensive set of tests for functionality, high availability, load and performance.
By default, Mirantis Flow includes the onboarding of 20 workloads. We can also help you migrate additional applications.
Customers often start with a greenfield application (such as from a new business unit) to test and evaluate the process before migrating legacy workloads and/or onboarding friendly tenants. Alternatively, you can start with a legacy workload if that makes better sense for your business.
Mirantis deployment engineers begin onboarding the first workloads to the Kubernetes and/or OpenStack clusters and show you how to quickly and safely onboard additional applications. Mirantis Flow includes support for initial 20 virtual machine (VM) migrations or application onboardings. For customers deploying workloads on OpenStack, Mirantis Flow also includes a training bootcamp.
Infrastructure monitoring and management
The heart of Mirantis Flow are our OpsCare and OpsCare Plus services and support offerings with a 99.99% availability SLA.
Fully managed or “co-piloted” remote operations
As soon as Mirantis Flow is installed, our front-line technical support and operations engineers begin continuously monitoring and managing your cloud infrastructure 24 hours a day via either our OpsCare proactive support or OpsCare Plus fully managed services offering. With both options, Mirantis takes on responsibility for the full cycle, including design, operations, and lifecycle management.
We also continuously optimize and scale your environment as you grow. For one of our e-commerce customers, we were able to help them scale from zero to more than 8,000 VMs in only six months!
Our global support team spans 10 countries, and we adhere to a “follow the sun” model, so as the work day ends in one region of the world, a team in the next region will continue monitoring and managing your infrastructure.
Our ITIL based service management approach provides full transparency and includes:
- Incident management
- Problem management
- Change management
- Capacity reporting
- Access management
- Configuration management
Mirantis Container Cloud features the built-in StackLight logging, monitoring and alerting toolchain, so that operators can efficiently observe everything in your multi-cloud estate with a single pane of glass. Informed by metrics from StackLight, Mirantis operations engineers continuously enhance your environments for security, stability and ease of use.
To check how things are going, you can also log into a Grafana dashboard any time to view telemetry for cluster health, job status, node count and availability, and other key indicators. The dashboard can be customized based on a customer’s interests. With Mirantis Flow, we provide complete transparency of infrastructure operations; nothing is hidden from the customer.
Review weekly KPIs and request any changes
Your CSM meets with you weekly (or more often if preferred), to go over cluster health, performance reports, and usage and consumption trends. Additionally, we discuss availability to ensure that we are operating according to the 99.99% availability SLA, review any incidents or events that may have occurred, and address any questions or concerns. The weekly reports can be customized to your needs, whether you prefer a high-level report with just a summary of KPIs or want to dive into finer detail, such as workload success rates or latency trends in specific areas.
Additionally, your CSM will discuss with you foreseeable changes to be implemented. For example, if your cluster is growing too fast, you may need to expand on hardware. If you want to switch use cases, your cluster configuration may need adjusting to accommodate the new workload.
With a data center as a service, most customers will never report any problems happening with their cloud infrastructure. Instead, if an incident occurs, it is the MIrantis technical support and operations team who will report to you about the situation including the expected impact, the actions already started to resolve it and a timeline for any additional steps needed. We perform a root cause analysis for every incident. When relevant, we’ll also send your hourly updates and open up a dedicated bridge for you to call in anytime. Throughout the incident, KPIs are constantly measured to ensure that we adhere to the Mirantis Flow 99.99% availability SLA.
Third-party vendor coordination
Mirantis Flow truly provides customers a hands-off approach to infrastructure operations. Cloud native infrastructure typically involves a whole slew of different vendors and service providers, which means a lot of annoying administrative work just managing all the vendors! With Mirantis Flow, you don’t need to hassle with this any more, as we’ll take responsibility for all third-party vendor engagements related to the deployment.
For example, if a failure occurs due to faulty hardware, our operations team receives the automated alert, immediately files a support case with your hardware vendor, and arranges for delivery of the replacement part, coordinating the maintenance window with the vendor. After receiving the replacement part, we install it and bring the node back into production.
Quarterly Business Reviews
Whereas weekly meetings with your CSM are tactical, Quarterly Business Reviews are strategic in nature. Some customers prefer them more frequently, so we can do them monthly as well. During these strategic business reviews, we go over both your organization’s and Mirantis’ roadmap to ensure that we are aligned and prepared for success in the coming quarters.
Additionally, we analyze trends and learnings from the past quarter, such as how workloads are actually using the infrastructure, and if any tweaks are needed as we better understand the tenant behavior. We review capacity, including how demands to the environments may have changed over the quarter, and whether we expect to need more hardware or VMs in the coming months. We also provide detailed reports on incident trends and change management.
Going the extra mile
Here at Mirantis, we are passionate about our customers’ success and willing to go the extra mile to earn your business and win your loyalty as a customer. We have an excellent track record for our managed services offerings, having delivered over 99.99% availability across all our customer environments for the past 18 months, with an average customer NPS score of 70 and CSAT customer satisfaction ratings above 90%.
We are experienced managed service providers, and are ISO 27001, ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified for information security management, quality management systems, and environmental management, respectively.
What all this boils down to is that Mirantis is a partner you can trust for your infrastructure operations, and we’ll provide all the cloud native expertise and personalized support and services to help you achieve the outcomes you’re looking for.