Mirantis looks to open up OpenStack vendor certifications

But its new open-source certification compatibility initiative challenges a certification process put forward by Red Hat

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A key aspect of the inherent value proposition that Red Hat brings to the table is our co-investment with partners in making sure that our products work together as expected, and are supported in a collaborative and well understood manner to reduce customer complexity.  This technology certification is an important element that has helped build Red Hat into one of the world's most trusted brands.

So Mirantis and Red Hat are pushing two very different OpenStack certification processes. 

How many certification programs does one open source cloud infrastructure project really need?  And shouldn't OpenStack already have a community certification process in place?

In fact, last November at the OpenStack Summit event in Hong Kong, the OpenStack Foundation formed a new committee called DefCore to better define OpenStack Core.  One of the outcomes from that committee was to create RefStack, a way of collecting and comparing test results that support the core definition process.  The RefStack effort would help define API-level tests for specific OpenStack implementations that when passed would allow the OpenStack label to be used.

Of course, that seems different from what Mirantis is proposing.  Mirantis is instead focusing on drivers and plug-ins from third-party vendors to ensure compatibility with different distributions of OpenStack.

According to Rob Hirschfeld, OpenStack board member and co-chair of the DefCore committee, the work that Mirantis is doing is being coordinated with the DefCore activity, and it does align with the direction of the board. Although these efforts are filling a gap, Hirschfeld did confirm that Mirantis may be jumping ahead a little -- and that is the spirit of the community.

"There are a lot of places where we need to implement test coverage to support DefCore," Hirschfeld said. "This effort is just the beginning, and there is a need for community activity to expand coverage and run tests, and also share interoperability information."

To help kick start this effort, Mirantis said that it is offering free support to vendors setting up their internal testing labs.  The company's support experts will be on hand to provide a combination of developer and administrator skills and experience in data center environments to help vendors identify, troubleshoot, resolve, and restore any testing issues in a timely fashion. 

Will an open certification program like the one being driven by Mirantis work?  Or will consumers of OpenStack instead be drawn to a vendor-specific certification program from someone like Red Hat, who as of late has been the clear leader in code contribution to the OpenStack project?

If you're an OpenStack shop, does this open-vendor certification process interest you?  And will you take advantage of it to certify your environment? 

If nothing else, a certification test like this from Mirantis shows what solutions work with what versions of OpenStack, which should make things a lot easier with new deployments or future software upgrades.

This article, "Mirantis looks to open up OpenStack vendor certifications," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in virtualization and cloud computing at InfoWorld.com.

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