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Q&A: Mirantis Fuels Collaboration with Intel and Google via OpenStack and Kubernetes

VMblog Interview 

Mirantis has been very busy in the past year pushing OpenStack innovation.  Having raised nearly a quarter billion dollars in financial backing from VCs and some of the world's largest technology companies, Mirantis has announced a collaboration with Intel and Google to modernize OpenStack by running the cloud software in Docker containers managed by Kubernetes. 

I spoke to Mirantis' Chris Clason, CTO, Cloud Platform Engineering Group, to learn more.

VMblog:  Why did you decide to work together?

Chris Clason:  First let me talk about Intel. Last year they led a $100M financing round in Mirantis as part of their Cloud For All initiative. In the past 12 months, Docker has emerged as the standard for containers and Kubernetes for container orchestration. Intel and Mirantis identified Kubernetes as a natural cultural and technological fit to OpenStack. Its community is reminiscent of OpenStack in the earlier days. It also has technological strengths that, with the retooling we're doing in Fuel, will enable a new IaaS delivery model that will help customers achieve their business goals faster. A poorly-kept secret in the industry is that OpenStack is not itself cloud-native, so users cannot roll out real-time updates and patches. The changes we plan to make in Fuel will turn OpenStack into a true microservices application, bridging the gap between legacy infrastructure software and the next generation of application development.

VMblog:  What is Google's interest here?

Clason:  Google is a leader in open sourcing key cloud technologies. Kubernetes, now run as an open source community project under the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, was Google's generous sharing of IP from their own technology running the world's largest cloud infrastructures. In this collaboration, we're using Kubernetes as the container orchestration fabric to manage containerized OpenStack services. We see this as the first step in being able to run OpenStack on GCE. This gives customers another option in running hybrid cloud environments. They can run OpenStack on premises and stripe new workloads or burst additional workloads to GCE.

VMblog:  Why take the open source route?

Clason:  First it's helpful to define what open source is not: Open source is in itself not a business model. It is a way of developing software. In the case of OpenStack, open source benefits vendors by letting them tap into community innovation. OpenStack has 30k members and 550 supporting companies across 177 countries. This translates to a massive return on R&D investment. For example, Mirantis is the top contributor to the OpenStack codebase, contributing a quarter of the reviews in the latest release cycle. Even with its top spot, 75 percent of upstream contributions were made by the other OpenStack engineers. That is an exceptional wealth of engineering talent. For users, open source offers an opportunity to control the product roadmap, and frees them from proprietary hooks that lock them into a single vendor.

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Thanks to Chris Clason, Mirantis CTO, Cloud Platform Engineering Group, for taking time out to speak with VMblog.com.

Published Wednesday, July 27, 2016 7:05 AM by David Marshall
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