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The Truth and Myths about Mirantis and VMware

Boris Renski - September 05, 2014

VMware’s recent announcement of VMware Integrated OpenStack (VIO) was followed by a flurry of articles, many of which failed to accurately reflect the relationship between Mirantis and VMware, as well as Mirantis’ current viewpoints on VMware’s contributions and commitments to the OpenStack community. 

Yes, VMware and Mirantis had a shaky past… with largely myself as the culprit for that past. But much has transpired since then. I’ve been very involved with our relationship with VMware since we officially partnered in October of last year and have been hands on with all of our joint integration and go-market efforts.

As the firsthand holder of information on the subject matter, I’ve sat down with David Marshall from VMBlog to clarify some of the misconceptions that may have been formed around VMware / Mirantis relationship and our stance on VMware’s launch of VIO.     

VMblog:  What is Mirantis' relationship with VMware like currently?

Boris Renski:  Our relationship is very positive. Mirantis and VMware have had a partnership in place since the OpenStack Summit in Hong Kong to support the integration of Mirantis OpenStack with VMware vCenter Server and VMware NSX technologies. We have a very sizable team of engineers exclusively dedicated to maintaining interoperability between Mirantis OpenStack distribution and VMware's suite of products.

VMblog:  VMware mentioned that their products are integrated with Mirantis OpenStack (among other distros), how does that work?

Renski:  The Mirantis OpenStack distribution integrates natively with VMware's vCenter Server and NSX technologies, which can be deployed automatically via the Mirantis Fuel control plane. The integration is officially supported by both Mirantis and VMware.

VMblog:  Do you view VMware as a credible player in OpenStack?

Renski:  VMware has been a player in OpenStack for some time; their latest announcement just cements that. VMware is a Gold Member of the OpenStack Foundation, the same level of sponsorship as Mirantis. They have interoperability partnerships in place not just with Mirantis, but also with other prominent members of the community like Canonical, HP, Piston, Red Hat and SUSE. We look forward to cementing our partnership with VMware even more deeply in the future.

VMblog:  Does OpenStack compete with VMware products?

Renski:  Neither VMware nor OpenStack are a single product, but a suite of solutions. There are definitely areas where the two intersect and compete. However, there are also many areas where the two complement each other. VMware views OpenStack as a tenant-side cloud fabric, capable of gluing together various datacenter infrastructure components. At the same time, VMware itself is one of the vendors providing such best of breed components across compute, storage and networking. This is also exactly the way Mirantis views OpenStack and with this view in mind, there is definitely a great deal of benefit to the end user in leveraging OpenStack to orchestrate VMware environments.

VMblog:  Has OpenStack gained traction among VMware customers?

Renski:  VMware owns enterprise virtualization and private cloud. OpenStack today has matured to the point where we see many large enterprises starting to adopt it. Naturally, as this trend accelerates further, we'll see more and more enterprise customers looking for ways to use OpenStack to orchestrate their VMware environments. I think that VMware going all in with OpenStack can benefit both a pure-play company like Mirantis and a company with a wider software portfolio like VMware.

VMblog:  What does VMware contribute to OpenStack?

Renski:  VMware has long been a major code contributor to OpenStack and currently has 30+ engineers working full-time to improve the upstream OpenStack codebase. Their work on the OpenStack networking module (Neutron), where they dominate code contributions, has been particularly notable.

VMblog:  How do VMware's OpenStack contributions compare to those of other ecosystem vendors, including Mirantis?

Renski:  VMware's contributions to OpenStack Neutron have outpaced those of any other vendor. In terms of overall code contributions VMware is either in the top five of code contributors or the top ten, depending on how one is calculating contributions. Mirantis is the third largest code contributor, behind only HP and Red Hat.

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