Mirantis Taps Partner Expertise for OpenStack Hardware Appliances

The Mirantis Unlocked Appliances initiative launches to provide cloud-in-a-box appliances. The company draws on its partner ecosystem for the hardware.

OpenStack cloud appliance

Mirantis, which has emerged in recent years as a leading vendor in OpenStack software and services, is helping enable cloud hardware though the launch of its new Mirantis Unlocked Appliances program.

"We were already engaging customers with custom OpenStack engineering services and with support for our Mirantis OpenStack distribution," Jim Sangster, senior director of solutions marketing at Mirantis, told eWEEK. "Unlocked Appliances builds on this by offering Mirantis OpenStack inside turnkey unlocked appliances."

Everything is pre-tested and certified to work out-of-the-box with the Mirantis Unlocked Appliance program, but the company is not selling hardware, he said. Mirantis still just focuses on OpenStack itself, which is the software, and for other components, the company draws on its extensive unlocked partner ecosystem.

The OpenStack infrastructure platform historically has not had a focus on hardware management. Mirantis is providing automated build software for use by Certified Rack Partners, which enables rapid and repeatable integration and delivery, Sangster said.

"Detailed hardware management would be more of something that is added into the appliance as an additional software product from either the hardware provider or another third party," Sangster said. "It is not part of this first version of this appliance."

Other vendors in the OpenStack marketplace have, in fact, put a strong emphasis on the hardware management piece. Startup Breqwater provides hardware management as part of its OpenStack appliance. Blue Box, which IBM recently acquired, also focuses on hardware management as part of its managed OpenStack hardware offering.

Systems integrator Redapt is the first certified rack partner for Mirantis Unlocked appliances. Redapt has a worldwide footprint and integration capabilities to serve its customers with OpenStack knowledge, Sangster said.

The first Redapt Mirantis Unlocked Appliances include components from Intel, Dell and Juniper Networks.

"Mirantis started with an OpenStack use case [that] we see over and over again in customer engagements and worked with partners to build a turnkey appliance that meets this need," Sangster said.

With the first appliance, all the management services have been virtualized into three physical nodes for high availability, and there is one storage option that combines block, object and ephemeral storage together. From a sizing perspective, there are options ranging from six to 24 compute nodes in the same rack.

"This is the start of a portfolio; we are already working with other companies to build our roadmap toward a larger portfolio," Sangster said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.