There are a lot more big-name vendors, including IBM, HP, Dell, Cisco and Intel, that are involved in the open-source OpenStack cloud effort than there are smaller vendors like Mirantis.
Mirantis is an OpenStack training and services vendor that has raised $20 million in funding to date as it ramps up its services and its products to meet the growing needs of OpenStack. Mirantis is a company that has played a leading role in some very prominent OpenStack deployments, including ones at PayPal and at Cisco.
In a video interview with eWEEK, Mirantis President and CEO Adrian Ionel and co-founder Boris Renski explain how the company got started with OpenStack and what they are doing to set themselves apart from the competition.
Before becoming involved in OpenStack in 2010, Mirantis was primarily a software engineering firm focused on infrastructure. Mirantis now has some 440 people working with the the company, all focused on OpenStack. The company also has an open-source library called FUEL that provides tools needed for large-scale cloud deployments.
"We have made a proactive effort to make ourselves known as the services company for OpenStack deployments," Renski said. "We strongly believe that as the OpenStack community matures, there is going to be an enormous demand for services."
In many sectors of IT, there is a constant challenge to find quality professionals. It's an area where Renski sees his firm with a distinct geographic advantage.
"We have offices offshore and that gives us access to a protected pool of talent that very few organizations can tap into," Renski said.
He added that money has been pouring into U.S-based firms to build OpenStack technologies, and the market in the U.S in general is very hot. In contrast, in places like Poland, the Ukraine and Russia, where Mirantis has a presence, demand for OpenStack is not as hot. As such, Renski figures the firm has a dominant position for being able to find and recruit OpenStack people across Eastern Europe.
OpenStack got its start in 2010 and is still a rapidly evolving technology platform.
Renski argued that the right question to ask at this time is not about what OpenStack may or may not be missing in terms of capabilities or features.
"You can think of OpenStack as a vehicle on the road that has just started moving," Renski said.
Renski added that in his view, OpenStack is traversing the same road that the Amazon cloud has been on.
"First, you cover in a robust, resilient way all the basic infrastructure elements and expose them," Renski said. "Then you start moving toward the platform direction and begin introducing higher-level services."
Watch the full interview with Mirantis below:
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.