Dan's Take

Mirantis Unveils OpenStack Cloud Appliance

The company hopes to differentiate its offering by highlighting its expertise with the open source cloud platform.

OpenStack is a collection of open source projects, which include tools to manage compute, networking and storage functions for cloud workloads. Mirantis has long been known for its deep expertise in OpenStack and its constituent parts.

Mirantis just announced that it's gotten together a number of friends, including OpenStack, Redapt and suppliers Dell, Intel and Juniper, to offer a family of "converged infrastructure" server appliances called "Mirantis Unlocked Appliances."

What's in the box?
All of the appliances include the following software:

  • OpenStack (OpenStack's MOS 6.1, which is built upon the Juno release of OpenStack), pre-configured and pre-installed
  • Fuel-based management software
  • Murano application catalog
  • OvS networking
  • Ceph distributed storage

Mirantis and its partners are offering several different configurations. The key points to note:

  • Between 6-24 compute nodes
  • Between 12TB - 24TB storage
  • Systems that can support anywhere from 192 to 768 virtual machines (VMs)
  • Based upon Dell R630 servers deployed as compute and foundation server
  • Storage nodes based on Dell PowerEdge R730xd with dual Intel Xeon E5-2600 CPUs and Intel SSD-based cache optimized for high-performance storage
  • Each rack is configured with two Juniper QFX5100s as the data path, and one Juniper EX3300 for management

It can be challenging for cloud newcomers to select and configure the proper hardware and software to create an OpenStack-based cloud computing environment. Quite a number of suppliers, including Dell, HP, IBM, Oracle, Red Hat and SUSE, offer consulting services and packaged software solutions in the hopes of making this process easier.

Dan's Take: Careful Evaluation Is the Key
Mirantis is hoping to distinguish itself from the others by its in-depth understanding of all the open source projects that make up OpenStack, how they're used and how to optimize them. Its partners bring along their expertise in systems, networking and storage. The goal appears to be making the selection and deployment of on-premise cloud computing environments easy.

While I applaud the effort to make the complex simple and easy to use, it still would be wise for enterprises not get so caught up in Mirantis' enthusiasm for its Unlocked packages that a careful evaluation of competitive offerings from the other competitors isn't done. It's always wise to determine which would be most cost-effective, scalable and reliable.

About the Author

Daniel Kusnetzky, a reformed software engineer and product manager, founded Kusnetzky Group LLC in 2006. He's literally written the book on virtualization and often comments on cloud computing, mobility and systems software. He has been a business unit manager at a hardware company and head of corporate marketing and strategy at a software company.


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