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Unlocking the OpenStack Partner Ecosystem

Kamesh Pemmaraju - May 18, 2015

Mirantis Unlocked unveiled to fast-track cohesive OpenStack-powered datacenters

Many people have compared OpenStack’s rise to that of Linux 20 years ago. From humble beginnings and to the surprise of some, Linux became a juggernaut. It struggled mightily at first -- widespread large-scale adoptions of Linux didn’t happen for nearly 7 years -- but it deeply changed the tech industry. OpenStack is going through the same journey, but far faster. In less than five years, OpenStack has become a transformation engine, with its own foundation, thousands of developers and hundreds of companies deploying on it.

With the debut of Mirantis Unlocked, we see yet another parallel between the two open source technologies: Linux tied individual server components - disks, storage, NICs, etc - into a cohesive platform through drivers, maintained by many vendors. OpenStack is doing the same, but at datacenter scale. 114 various OpenStack drivers are currently being maintained by infrastructure vendors for data center components ranging from network switches to storage arrays. And just like the value of a Linux distribution is heavily defined by the number and quality of validated server component drivers, the value of an OpenStack distribution is defined by the ecosystem quality of validated Openstack integrations with infrastructure components and associated drivers and plugins.

From customers, it often sounds like this: “We want our own AWS-style cloud, in our own data center, tuned to our own use cases. Oh, and we also want Open API’s and the freedom to use the datacenter technologies we are already familiar with and have invested in.” Mirantis Unlocked aims to deliver on this promise by providing infrastructure vendors with a straightforward path [See our simple process] to validate their components against Mirantis’ pure play OpenStack distribution. As a result, customers get an AWS like in-house cloud, yet have a choice of a wide selection of Mirantis Unlocked partner components that go into their datacenter.

The upside of the flexible, pluggable architecture of OpenStack is that customers have unprecedented choice in how they architect their on-premise clouds by integrating the technologies that make sense for their use-cases. The downside of choice and flexibility is complexity and integration overhead. Combine that complexity with the market’s current lack of OpenStack expertise and operational know-how, and customers are suddenly faced with the challenge of how to pull OpenStack off successfully. How do you go from OpenStack to a fully operational, cohesive cloud environment with your choice of developer platforms and infrastructure technologies? How do you make it work it with existing VMware or public cloud environments?

Mirantis Unlocked empowers an ecosystem of best-of-breed infrastructure and development platform partners whose products (hardware and software) are rigorously certified to interoperate with Mirantis OpenStack -- unlocking a host of fully-supported solutions customers can implement quickly, including an increasing range of solutions that work ‘out of the box’ -- deploying with Mirantis OpenStack by means of Fuel Plugins.

Mirantis Unlocked opens up choice and flexibility while minimizing risk and time-to-value

  • Choice of Infrastructure technologies for operators: If you are an operator, you get to pick from among a wide range of best-of-breed Mirantis Unlocked infrastructure partner products and manage them all through standard OpenStack APIs:

    • SDN fabrics: Juniper Contrail, VMware NSX, Nuage VSP, Cisco ACI, Midokura MidoNet, BigSwitch Nig Cloud Fabric, PlumGrid Open Networking Suite, Brocade

    • Storage fabrics: EMC ScaleIO, VNX, XtremIO, SolidFire, Nexenta, NetApp, Ceph, SwiftStack, Maxta

    • Compute platforms and Hypervisors: KVM, VMware vSphere, Citrix XenServer

  • Choice of platforms and tools for developers: If you are a developer, you get to pick from the hottest container and orchestration formats, development frameworks and languages, CI tools, big data solutions, databases, cloud management, and PaaS technologies. Best of all, you can easily wrap your own products for easy, one-button deployment via  the Murano application catalog:

    • Containers: Google Kubernetes, Docker

    • PaaS: Pivotal Cloud Foundry, Stackato Active State, Apcera Continuum

    • Big Data: Cloudera and HortonWorks Hadoop distributions

  • Seamless, out-of-the-box deployment experience: Customers also get automated deployment of partner infrastructure products with Mirantis OpenStack through the Fuel Plugin architecture. Partner solutions can also be deployed with a single click via the Murano application catalog.

  • Mirantis Unlocked appliances further enhance the out-of-box experience with full rack-level systems certified and ready to be powered up and put to use right out of the gate. The OpenStack community can preview the first rack-based appliance, built in collaboration with Dell, Intel, Juniper Networks, and Redapt, at Mirantis Booth P7 at the OpenStack Summit in Vancouver.

The growing Mirantis Unlocked ecosystem

unlockedToday at OpenStack Summit in Vancouver, the following ecosystem partners have made announcements about their participation in Mirantis Unlocked: Nuage Networks, Citrix, Avi Networks, Maxta,  MetaSwitch, Mellanox, and SolidFire.

See the full list of Mirantis Unlocked partners at

Search for and get pointers to community and partner drivers repositories, manual integration guides, reference architectures, Fuel plugins and associated deployment guides all from one single location:

Additional Resources

  • Press Release about the Unlocked program: 
  • VMBlog interviewed Mirantis director of partner marketing, Kamesh Pemmaraju. Read the Q&A: Interview for why this is a different and unique program
  • Intel interview Kamesh Pemmaraju at the OpenStack Summit in Vancouver. Checkout the final video

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