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Private Cloud as a Service With Mirantis and OpenStack

James Brown tries out OpenStack Express (MOX), and is impressed.

Since 2010, OpenStack has gained ground among many in the cloud community, and has a very healthy ecosystem. One of those partners, open source cloud operating system provider Mirantis, was showcasing its solution at VMworld 2014. I stopped by Mirantis' booth and was able to get a demo of its OpenStack Express (MOX) cloud solution and how well it's incorporated with VMware.

MOX is an on-demand, Private-Cloud-as-a-Service that allows you to fire up your own cloud and deploy workloads immediately. I was impressed with how simple it was for Mirantis to incorporate MOX as a VMware vApp.

The vApp includes the Mirantis Fuel deployment engine, management tool and three unconfigured virtual machines (VMs) for customization with your vSphere environment. The vApp allows for prototyping an OpenStack deployment in vCenter, utilizing VMware's hypervisor. Mirantis was giving the MOX vApp configuration out via an 8GB USB drive during VMworld 2014, but it can also be downloaded from its Web site. I currently use the vApp in the testing of vSphere 6.0 beta. Unfortunately, I won't be able to reveal anything about the beta until vSphere 6.0 version is officially released.

Using MOX with vSphere5, however, was a pleasure. As a VMware engineer, I can use the Mirantis OpenStack MOX solution to create vSwitch networking, subnet, DHCP services, default gateways and other virtual networking services with an OpenStack plug-in. The plug-in isolates the vSphere network portion and provides it as a service.

Mirantis' OpenStack MOX cloud solution compliments VMware's Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) to allow further flexibility with vSphere's features. Though not available now, I'd look for these features to be released by Mirantis in the near future.

You can download MOX from Mirantis' Web site and try it out in your vSphere test environment. Once you're comfortable, you can move the MOX to your vSphere environment of choice and enjoy the robust and useful features.

Since VMware is moving forward with OpenStack incorporation into its SDDC, the Mirantis OpenStack project will most likely incorporate MOX and vSphere solutions as well.

The flexibility and ease of Mirantis' smooth integration in this OpenStack environment makes it worthy of a look.  MOX makes it easy to create a own solution within your vSphere SMB, enterprise or private cloud infrastructure.

About the Author

James Brown, vExpert, VCP, MCSE, is a senior virtualization engineer and CEO of Virtuxperts and VMware Users Group Leader in Las Vegas, NV. James' area of expertise includes virtualization, infrastructure and Windows systems.

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