Review: Mirantis takes the sting out of OpenStack deployments

Mirantis' wizardly deployment tool takes you from zero to OpenStack in a matter of hours

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At a Glance
  • Mirantis OpenStack 5.1

Those who know OpenStack know it’s an exceptionally powerful cloud infrastructure platform. They also know it’s far from simple to build and deploy. A large number of moving parts make up a production OpenStack environment, and coordinating them can be tricky at best.

This is where Mirantis comes in. Mirantis’ OpenStack distribution includes Fuel, a deployment and management tool that takes the pain out of building an OpenStack environment. Combining a very fluid and attractive GUI with powerful behind-the-scenes orchestration, Fuel makes standing up an OpenStack infrastructure the work of a few hours, not days.

Building OpenStack

The Mirantis solution is built around a CentOS-based ISO image that installs the Fuel management framework and Web-based UI. The install is as simple as booting the ISO and walking through a few prompts. Once installed, the system boots and presents a text-based configuration interface to enter network settings for the management system. Here you will need to configure at least two interfaces: one for access to the Fuel UI and another that resides on a physical network or VLAN that connects to your physical OpenStack servers to enable PXE booting. This management system, which is built with extensive use of Docker containers and takes quite a while to build from scratch, forms the center of the Mirantis solution.

Once the Fuel deployment and management framework is built and configured, its Web UI can be accessed via a browser, and you can begin building the OpenStack environment itself.

Mirantis OpenStack create

To create a new OpenStack environment, you step through a brief wizard that prompts you to select the options for storage, compute, networking, and services. 

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