Mirantis brings enterprise-ready OpenStack distribution to the cloud

Company claims edge over rivals Red Hat, Canonical, and Suse due to its services background and 'zero lock-in' flexibility

The OpenStack cloud platform marketplace has become more crowded with the introduction of yet another distribution of OpenStack. The new Mirantis OpenStack is an open source distribution being billed as enterprise-ready and as more flexible than alternative distros already on the market.

Mirantis is no stranger to the OpenStack community. Until now the company has been primarily focused on services and training. The company has built custom OpenStack clouds and performed services for customers such as AT&T, Cisco, eBay, Gap, NASA, PayPal, and Verizon, among others. It also integrated OpenStack with Softlayer for bare-metal provisioning at IBM and trained Red Hat's global field staff on the OpenStack technology.

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But now the company is moving beyond providing the services that allow companies to stand up their own cloud infrastructure, and is making available a new OpenStack distribution designed for the enterprise market and based on its years of hands-on experience and implementations.

There are a number of other commercially supported distributions already on the market from companies like Canonical, Hewlett-Packard, Piston Cloud, Rackspace, Red Hat, and Suse. But Mirantis' claim to fame is centered on being what the company calls the first "zero lock-in" OpenStack distribution.

When asked to elaborate on how Mirantis OpenStack differs from other distributions on the market, the company's president and CEO Adrian Ionel said that unlike other distributions, Mirantis OpenStack has no vendor lock-in. Other distributions being offered by operating system vendors are pretty much bound to those companies' respective operating systems.

"We don't try to cram our customers into a box or up-sell them with hard bundles," Ionel said. "Customers get flexibility and choice in key areas of the cloud stack to suit their own requirements. They get their choice of hypervisor [KVM, XenServer, ESXi, etc.], operating systems and network topologies."

The company's OpenStack software comes with a management tool that allows customers to install, deploy, and manage multiple OpenStack environments from different vendors, not just Mirantis. Even though Mirantis OpenStack works across multiple platform types, it all happens within a single control window.

The goal, according to Ionel, is to provide customers with the flexibility to use what they want and to do it in an efficient manner.

The Mirantis OpenStack distribution includes all the core compute, networking, and storage modules included in the main OpenStack project, the Havana platform, which was only just recently released and includes new orchestration and monitoring capabilities that Mirantis also supports.

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