OpenStack Vendor Mirantis Scores Big Win With VW

VW will use Mirantis OpenStack cloud technology across its brands to enable a more agile DevOps model for building apps that support customers and partners.

OpenStack cloud

OpenStack vendor Mirantis has scored a big win, landing automobile giant Volkswagen Group as a new cloud customer. The auto giant will use Mirantis OpenStack cloud technology across all of its brands, including Audi, VW, Porsche, Bentley and Skoda, to enable a more agile DevOps model for building applications that support customers and partners around the world.

Multiple vendors, including Red Hat, vied for the business. Additionally, VW's rigorous vendor selection process involved testing cloud operations across 67 different use cases.

"VW is looking to differentiate their products through technology, and to be able to do that, they need to enable their development teams to experiment," Boris Renski, Mirantis co-founder, told eWEEK.

Full financial terms are not publicly disclosed, though Renski noted it's a three-year deal with a value well into the "seven-figure" range. The news of the big Mirantis OpenStack win comes a day before the OpenStack Mitaka debut is set to occur.

Mirantis is a privately held OpenStack vendor that has raised approximately $200 million to help grow its technology and marketing efforts.

VW started investigating the cloud more than a year ago, and Mirantis became involved in the process approximately nine months ago, Renski said. The plan is to build a private cloud that spans across all VW brands.

VW has a large Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) footprint across its operations today that powers many of the automaker's applications. Mirantis will build the VW cloud, running on top of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, with the RHEL KVM hypervisor, Renski said.

Mirantis will not be a reseller for the Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscription. "As much as we'd like to work with Red Hat and sell their subscriptions, they view us as a competitor," Renski said. "They don't want to come near us, so they will work with VW on RHEL and the hypervisor side independently and we'll work on the cloud, Mirantis OpenStack, piece."

The selection process that VW used for its OpenStack cloud was very thorough. Among the use-cases that VW evaluated was the ability to bootstrap an environment of a particular configuration in an automated manner, which is where the Mirantis Fuel installer was a big help, Renski said. Mirantis released its Fuel installation tools for OpenStack in March 2013 and has been evolving the technology ever since. "We needed to be able to demonstrate that we could deploy Mirantis OpenStack onto various hardware configurations," Renski said. "More importantly, we had to demonstrate that the deployment was repeatable because if they want to scale, they don't want us to have to come into every single data center that they have."

Another set of use cases that VW employed to evaluate OpenStack vendors was what Renski referred to as determining the "cloud to value"—the speed with which developers could benefit from an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) deployment. A key part for enabling the cloud-to-value piece is the OpenStack Murano project, which provides a self-service catalog of applications that can be deployed in a cloud.

"So, instead of just IaaS, we had to demonstrate the ability to bring up a full development environment with a set of mock Web services and applications that VW developers might need," Renski said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and 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.