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Q&A: Interview with Mirantis Talking OpenStack Adoption

Mirantis, the number-one pure-play OpenStack vendor, recently entered into an initial agreement with Ericsson to use Mirantis OpenStack software in their telecommunications network, their internal data centers and as the foundation for their cloud computing offering, a deal estimated to be valued at $30 million. To find out more, I spoke with the company's VP of Marketing, David Fishman.

VMblog: What should readers take away from your announcement with Ericsson?

David Fishman: The key thing to remember is that, while it's impossible to know for sure, this is probably the biggest OpenStack deal ever. I'd also add that Ericsson is using Mirantis OpenStack in the cloud platform for their telecommunications services, the cornerstone of their business. Ericsson can't afford anything less than 100% uptime in their telecommunications services, because "five nines" of uptime is at least the minimum norm in the telecom marketplace. The fact that a 42 billion dollar company like Ericsson would be willing to trust Mirantis and OpenStack with supporting the most important aspect of their business shows just how far the technology has come.

VMblog: What are the implications, if any, of this deal for the wider OpenStack ecosystem?

Fishman: What the Ericsson partnership shows is that, with proper support, organizations of all sizes can use OpenStack for their most mission-critical applications. It's not like we just started working with Ericsson and out-of-blue they decided to run their telecommunications services on Mirantis OpenStack. This is a partnership that has developed over time where we were able to consistently demonstrate that OpenStack was robust enough to handle any workflows thrown at it. I think that other organizations are paying attention, and are beginning to understand the implications of what OpenStack can do for them.

VMblog: So does that mean OpenStack is officially "enterprise-ready?"

Fishman: Well, what OpenStack has shown is that it can be trusted with enterprises' most mission-critical applications. That being said, no one is claiming that OpenStack is as much mature as AWS or VMware. We still have a ways to go. There certainly has been too much hype too early on with OpenStack. However, we're convinced that OpenStack has a bright future ahead of it, and, as a pure-play vendor, our success or failure as a company is completely tied to OpenStack.

VMblog: So what does the OpenStack ecosystem need to improve?

Fishman: Right now the OpenStack development cycle is too developer-centric. That's understandable given that OpenStack is open source software that developers can choose to work on in their spare time. But the result is that OpenStack projects tend to reflect the interests of the developers working on them, rather than the end-user customer. What we at Mirantis would like to see is a shift in focus from the interests of individual developers to a wider vision of what users actually need. The interests of the end-user should be the primary focus of everything that we in the OpenStack community work towards. The Ericsson deal represents a key milestone in that shift to OpenStack based on customer and marketplace needs, instead of a project that's all about developing open source code.

VMblog: What is Mirantis doing to help OpenStack continue to become more "enterprise-friendly?"

Fishman: When Adrian spoke to you last, we were the only pure-play OpenStack company in the top 5 contributors to OpenStack and that's still true today - have a look at www.stackalytics.com. Our code contributions are the work of a dedicated team of over 100 Mirantis engineers whose sole responsibility is to continue improving the upstream OpenStack codebase with the goal of meeting future customer needs. In the future, we plan on employing even more engineers who work on improving the upstream OpenStack codebase. Our goal is to continue driving OpenStack forward to make it the default infrastructure choice for any organization.

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Thanks again to David Fishman, VP of Marketing at Mirantis for taking time out to speak with VMblog and answer a few questions.
Published Friday, April 25, 2014 6:49 AM by David Marshall
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