Mirantis co-founder Boris Renski endured my clumsiness with the camera tripod and microphone setup to deliver a compelling conversation on his company’s OpenStack evangelizing and partnership with Dell.
Mirantis is an OpenStack engineering service company, but what sets it apart from some other professional services organizations is that they don’t believe in value added offerings.
Renski made it a point to note that Mirantis isn’t interested in making a product out of its OpenStack expertise. He plans on sticking to the “vanilla” distribution of OpenStack and focusing instead on conquering the biggest barrier he sees to OpenStack adoption – it’s moving too fast.
He says that some enterprises he works with are running in production on OpenStack Cactus, while OpenStack is now several releases ahead with Essex and another new release, Folsom, is not too far down the road.
To deal with the speed of this, Renski believes that Mirantis is best suited in guiding enterprises through the updating and upgrading process in a non-disruptive way by doing things incrementally. The approach is called infrastructure as code, which he likened to devops for infrastructure.
Mirantis partnered with Dell on developing Crowbar, a management tool that helps users deploy OpenStack.
“This is a vision we very much share with Dell,” Renski said.
It would be remiss not to mention Renski’s sense of humor. Moscow-born, Renski has been wearing a t-shirt that says “In Soviet Russia, cloud deploy you!” at the conference.
Stay tuned and follow me on Twitter @AdamRiglian.]]>
Day one of the OpenStack Conference got off to a flyer of a start with a pair of keynotes both provocative and enlightening.
First to the mic was Chris Kemp, OpenStack co-founder and co-founder and CEO of Nebula. His points were simple – OpenStack is a stack, not a product. He pounded on that theme throughout his keynote.
To that end, he explained that the idea of OpenStack is that of a cloud ecosystem designed to be an open space for partners to collaborate.
Kemp argued against a recent report from Gartner analyst Lydia Leong, stating that he did not think that OpenStack competed with VMware or Amazon Web Services. After his speech, he repeated the point in a tweet, saying “Today’s #OpenStack, VMWare, & AWS ecosystems are (and should be) complimentary – each are optimized for different applications”
In his speech, he said that VMware was solving a very different problem than OpenStack. Kemp said that VMware has done a good job taking 25 years of legacy software and making it run in a static environment.
“Enterprise applications don’t like agile and dynamic. They are designed to be static,” Kemp said.
He added that while Amazon’s implementation was innovative, that the steps it took into cloud computing were “evolutionary, not revolutionary.”
Following Kemp was Zorawar “Biri” Singh, senior vice president and general manager of HP Cloud Services. Singh gave an overview of HP’s cloud strategy, discussed its partners and announced that public beta would begin on May 10.
Singh said that HP was active in OpenStack’s project policy board and that the company was open and ready to learn from its consumers.
He spoke on the “paramount” importance of APIs in a world where communicating between clouds will become critical and said that HP was coming from a point of view that, “standing up VMs” is a “2009 phenomenon.”
I was able to sit down with Singh for a one-on-one after his keynote and will have more on HP later.
Stay tuned and be sure to follow me on Twitter @AdamRiglian.]]>
Private beta users gave cloud infrastructure management tool OpDemand plenty to do before its general availability launch on Monday. Integrate with social coding repository GitHub and give us more to look at on the user interface dashboard, they demanded.
OpDemand complied. Chief Technology officer Gabriel Monroy says that OpDemand’s platform is now “tightly integrated” with GitHub, offering single-click signup for GitHub users and other improvements that make it “as easy as possible to go from GitHub into the cloud.” He adds that the UI has been upgraded to a real-time interface that gives users a detailed look at what is going in in the guts of the system with little latency.
“We call OpDemand platforms platforms for a reason,” Monroy said. “They are application-centric and offer users the benefits of a PaaS but with control of managing your own infrastructure. Really it’s about masking complexity and making things simple for users without taking away control.”
Last year, SearchSOA.com profiled an online art gallery that used OpDemand to reduce IT costs by 40%. The galleries vice president of engineering cited OpDemand’s simple interface, easy configuration and infrastructure templates as the reason he picked the startup over more established competitors.
Monroy said that OpDemand, which currently supports Amazon but is planning on expanding to other clouds, has grown its template library to the point where it now incorporates things beyond just managing servers.
He cited elastic load balancing, virtual networking infrastructure, relational database as a service and autoscaling as Amazon offerings that don’t fit into an often server-centric view of cloud computing.
“None of those things are servers but they are essential to working in the cloud,” Monroy said.
He added that they have also beefed up configuration management, what Monroy calls the “future of system administration.” Integrating with Puppet Labs, an IT service automation software designed for system administrators, users are now able to apply policies across all systems rather than logging into them individually to make changes.
“It’s really a necessity when you’re managing complex environments in the cloud,” he said.
As far as the future, Monroy expects the next step for OpDemand will be expanding to other public clouds, citing OpenStack as a likely next step, as well as mentioning the emergence of HP into the market.
“We chose Amazon at this point because they offer the best technology, the most stable and mature IaaS offering, but that’s beginning to change,” he said.]]>
Hewlett-Packard is repositioning itself in the cloud market today with the announcement of a series of improvements, upgrades and new products under its Converged Cloud banner.
If the move is anything, it’s comprehensive. HP makes it clear that it’s trying to accommodate all comers into the cloud market and is willing to guide them through any cloud implementation — public, private or hybrid. Initial reactions from some analysts suggest HP is late to the party when it comes to cloud and that this move represents another attempt to close the gap with competitors.
“HP is playing catch-up regarding its overall cloud strategies and solutions, including its new Service Virtualization 2.0 and private cloud management capabilities, and how it is working with partners to build private clouds for its customers,” said Jeff Kaplan, managing director of Wellesley, Mass., consultancy THINKstrategies.
Service Virtualization 2.0 is the most crucial component of the new package for developers. With it, HP has created a testing environment for developers that allows them to test from the get-go, a system upgrade that accounts for the real need for agility in most enterprises.
“It fundamentally provides the glue necessary for development teams to create their own clouds,” said Matt Morgan, senior director of product marketing for applications at HP. “You can re-establish business as usual for a software development shop. They can build a plan that lets them test on day one.”
Morgan touted 25 new features in Service Virtualization 2.0, with some of the highlights being a full RST stack, XML protocol capability, protocol stacks with multiple end points, Ajax, the ability to classify response times to change response rates, server management capability and a new user interface.
He also cited new application lifecycle intelligence technology as a key selling point for developers. Through one platform, developers can perform ALM tasks while engaging others using new social collaboration tools, which include new dashboards and mobile and tablet apps.
“At the end of the day, everything is about agility, and the social collaboration is just a facilitated agility,” Morgan said.
– Adam Riglian]]>