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Pioneering OpenStack Developer Mirantis Is Ready To Work With AWS

As part of its transformation from OpenStack to open cloud, Mirantis is leveraging container-tech investments to adopt a hybrid posture.

Mirantis, once a pure-play OpenStack vendor, took its first step out of the data center Tuesday, leveraging recent investments in container-tech to find a hybrid cloud posture.

The latest version of Mirantis Cloud Platform, which offers an integrated container service, will allow users to provision Kubernetes clusters both on their private infrastructure and in Amazon Web Services.

"It's kind of a big deal for us because it marks the first thing ever we're doing as a company not just focused on-premises but extending also into the public cloud," Boris Renski, the company's co-founder and chief marketing officer, told CRN.

[Related: What Happens Next As OpenStack's Hype Bubble Bursts]

The embrace of container-tech, and now the public cloud, is part of the Mountain View, Calif.-headquartered startup's transformation from being an OpenStack company to an open cloud company, Renski said.

Mirantis in recent years has collaborated with CoreOS and Google, two companies with unique Kubernetes know-how, to bring Containers-as-a-Service functionality into its portfolio.

The goal is to differentiate itself through operational efficiency, Renski said, not with its distribution of OpenStack or any other open source technology.

With the latest Cloud Platform release, Mirantis enables customers to use consistent tooling for managing the lifecycle of OpenStack, Kubernetes on-premises and on AWS, Renski said.

"As a company, we want to optimize the return on investment on the most expensive resource in the data center, which is effectively the operations people," Renski said.

Mirantis isn't moving away from OpenStack. The company's pivot is to leverage multiple technologies, especially OpenStack, to deliver efficient infrastructure operations with automation and minimum vendor lock-in, he said.

Specific technologies, including OpenStack, Kubernetes, and the coming wave of serverless computing, change with time.

"In our mind, this follows the philosophy of the cloud leaders in the infrastructure space today," Renski said, which is "you don’t want to build a competitive advantage around things that change."

Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure have both embraced Kubernetes as the orchestration engine to power their native container services. Amazon's EC2 Container Services (ECS) doesn't run on Kubernetes, a technology first developed by Google.

The advantage of using Mirantis to implement containers, as opposed to any of those other services, is avoiding "opinionated implementations of containers provided by a particular cloud vendor," Renski said.

Mirantis has been working closely with DirecTV, AT&T's satellite TV division, and Volkswagen, to extend container workloads into the public cloud, he said.

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