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Mirantis Adds Fuel to OpenStack

In a move that promises to make it easier for organizations to deploy standardized public and private clouds based on OpenStack, systems integrator Mirantis yesterday released its configuration and deployment libraries called Fuel to the open source community under the Apache 2 license.

The open sourcing of Fuel is noteworthy because Mirantis has used it for 40 customers that have stood up OpenStack-based clouds, among them eBay's PayPal subsidiary, Cisco's WebEx division, The Gap and NASA, which wrote and stood up the first OpenStack cloud based on its Nebula platform. Mirantis has also supplied Fuel to Internap, which launched the first public Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud based on OpenStack in 2011 and Dell, according to Mirantis Co-Founder and Executive VP Boris Renski.

Through its consulting engagements with these customers, Renski explained Mirantis has accumulated all of the recurring patterns into a single deployment library. The "verified" deployment scripts let organizations and service providers implement various OpenStack configuration scenarios ranging from basic dev and test to highly available infrastructure for mission-critical apps.

"If you're deploying an OpenStack cloud that is 1,000 physical nodes, it's not possible to bootstrap every single node by hand. You have to have some sort of automation layer," Renski said. "This does it for you."

Using Fuel, Renski added those looking to deploy OpenStack clouds can avoid having to build everything from scratch, from finding different components, reconciling disparate versions and wiring them together. Mirantis formed a group responsible for maintaining cohesion of all the OpenStack components. "The one big important thing about this library is it's really been battle-tested in many projects for deploying production-grade, hyper-scale OpenStack environments," he said.

Like many who open source their intellectual property, the business model behind Mirantis contribution is to offer fee-based service-level agreement and support, though Renski said the company will continue to focus primarily on its OpenStack systems integration and consulting practice. While he wouldn't reveal pricing, Renski said the model is somewhat different in that it's based on the number of nodes -- 22, 100 or unlimited. The company is offering Fuel on both Ubuntu and Red Hat Linux.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 03/26/2013 at 12:48 PM


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