Oracle, Mirantis team up to grab Red Hat's OpenStack crown

Mirantis will sell OpenStack with Oracle's Linux and VM offerings, as a strike back at Red Hat's OpenStack

The OpenStack world has been watching Red Hat with unease as the Linux vendor has transformed itself into a Linux-and-OpenStack vendor with tight stipulations on support for its stack.

Now Mirantis, a competing OpenStack vendor that recently partnered with IBM for a hosted OpenStack service, is announcing its own collusion with a major Linux vendor: Oracle. Customers of both Mirantis and Oracle can now purchase support for Mirantis OpenStack, with full support for Oracle Linux and Oracle VM as part of the package. Mirantis provides the product; the two companies jointly provide support.

Why do this when Oracle already has its own OpenStack distribution by way of Solaris? Possibly because Solaris isn't anywhere near the draw Linux is. But bigger and plainer, it keeps Red Hat from taking more of both Oracle's and Mirantis' present and future customer bases. Also likely, it preserves Oracle's existing customer base and gives those customers less incentive to leave the Oracle world. (A further measure of irony: Oracle Linux is, to a high degree, RHEL itself -- as taken from from CentOS.)

When Ben Kepes of Forbes looked at the situation, he was struck by how Oracle -- "the quintessential exemplar of proprietary aggressiveness," as he put it -- was partnering with a company (Mirantis) that has touted its openness and nonproprietary approach as one of its big selling points. He too saw Oracle's words -- "We are providing the same high quality Linux support to every customer, no matter which OpenStack distribution they choose" -- as a direct slap at Red Hat.

Plus, the deal as it currently stands might be only the first of several steps. As Sean Michael Kerner of eWeek noted, "The partnership does not currently extend to certify Mirantis OpenStack to run on Oracle hardware." That doesn't rule out the possibility of it being so in the future, though; the article mentions how the two companies are "planning additional joint go-to-market activities."

The biggest difference is that Mirantis is not claiming exclusive certification for Oracle Linux (and Oracle VM). Mirantis is proud to make the point that no single version of Linux is exclusive to its stack, since unlike Red Hat, Mirantis isn't a Linux vendor. Here's hoping that Mirantis' partnership with Oracle doesn't mirror Red Hat's restrictive model.

This story, "Oracle, Mirantis team up to grab Red Hat's OpenStack crown," was originally published at Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow on Twitter.