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Q&A: Interview with Mirantis Talking CoreOS Partnership and Kubernetes

Mirantis is emerging as a powerful cloud infrastructure vendor, focused solely on OpenStack. Last year they raised the largest Series B investment round in open source history ($100 million) and closed the largest deal yet public (Ericsson, for $30 million). This year they're partnering up with major cloud players like Google. Now Mirantis is announcing a partnership with CoreOS, a key player in the cloud infrastructure market with its increasingly popular Linux distribution. I asked Kamesh Pemmaraju, director of Partner Marketing at Mirantis, what the CoreOS partnership means for cloud customers.

VMblog:  Tell us about your announcement being made today.

Kamesh Pemmaraju:  We are announcing a partnership with CoreOS which will give OpenStack users Tectonic, a commercial distribution of Kubernetes 1.0. With this powerful enterprise-grade integration and support from Mirantis OpenStack and CoreOS, companies can confidently deploy their applications while enjoying the agility, web-scalability, and flexibility of containers.

VMblog:  What's new here? Google and Mirantis announced Kubernetes on Openstack earlier this year. Kubernetes has been running on OpenStack since 2014.

Pemmaraju:  Mirantis and Google demonstrated earlier this year the exciting possibilities of uniting OpenStack with Kubernetes. Users got a glimpse of how web-scale containers can be easily managed and orchestrated with Kubernetes while using OpenStack as the foundational cloud infrastructure. However, Kubernetes was still in beta until the official launch of the 1.0 version at OSCON in July. Additionally, Kubernetes is an open source project, not a commercial product that customers can rely on for production and enterprise support. With the launch of Tectonic and the integration of Mirantis OpenStack, companies not only get easy access to Kubernetes running on a container-optimized Linux operating system - CoreOS- but also enterprise-ready support, documentation, and training for both Kubernetes and OpenStack.

VMblog:  What drives the customer demand for clouds and container-managed workloads at scale? What are the most common use cases?

Pemmaraju:  The business world is increasingly software-driven, software-managed, and software-defined. The term "software is eating the world" isn't a clich√©, it's the reality that companies have to contend with to prosper in this new software-defined economy. Today, business acceleration is only possible in an agile, flexible, open, and highly innovative technology and software landscape. Open source technologies such as OpenStack and Kubernetes are at the forefront of this landscape enabling a disruptive environment for developers to create innovative new social, mobile, and open software solutions that can scale and address 24/7 demands of today's always-on, inter-connected global marketplace. Increasingly, users demand open, flexible solutions that provide choice so they can avoid proprietary lock-in technologies. This is exactly what the combination of OpenStack + Kubernetes brings to the table.

Here is we how view the top three production use cases for Kubernetes on OpenStack: 
  • Enabling multi-cloud and hybrid cloud: Aside from the key benefits of light-weight, low-footprint, and highly efficient execution, containers' inherent value proposition is their mobility and portability, which means that applications that run in containers can be migrated from one cloud/infrastructure to another one with ease. Why is this important? For one thing it avoids lock-in and enables users to take advantage of better, faster, and cheaper cloud platforms. Secondly, it allows users to use the platform(s) that best fit their application requirements in a multi-cloud environment. Finally, it enables them to grab extra capacity if and when they need it rapidly and seamlessly via a single pane of glass for management. With Kubernetes, for example, it is just as easy to run applications on a private or public OpenStack environment at the same time orchestrating scalability, connectivity, and other application demands in real-time across a Google Compute Engine cloud or Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure.
  • Enabling Continuous Integration and Deployment (CI/CD):One of the most interesting use case of containers is in development, testing, and deployment on a single standardized light-weight environment that is extremely quick to stand-up and tear down - essential in testing and performance testing scenarios. As companies move towards a stateless micro-services model of architecture, containers and their orchestration via Kubernetes form foundational building blocks for that architecture.
  • OpenStack as an integration engine:The inherent flexibility of OpenStack means that users can use it as a single underlying and foundational cloud infrastructure abstraction layer for running containers in whatever way they want to run them. Whether users want to run containers inside of Nova virtual machines on a wide variety of supported hypervisors or they want torun containers on bare metal, OpenStack can manage those scenarios via a single open API, enabling users to build out a robust infrastructure that is still manageable while allowing for experimentation with new and emerging technologies.In fact, using the Murano application catalog, users will have a choice of container orchestration and PaaS technologies that they can deploy with a single click today as well as manage the life cycle of these applications on OpenStack.

Mirantis' mission is to continue to focus on making OpenStack the best choice for enterprise cloud infrastructure while enabling a rich ecosystem of partners to provide a private cloud OpenStack solutios that enables developers to take advantage of the latest innovation such as Kubernetes. Integrating Mirantis OpenStack and Tectonic is a major step in that direction.


Once again, thanks to Kamesh Pemmaraju, director, partner marketing at Mirantis, for taking time out to speak with VMblog.

Published Thursday, August 06, 2015 10:01 AM by David Marshall
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