Mirantis joins the Cloud Foundry; Nebula shuts down operations

Major shakeup in the OpenStack ranks

Credit: Flickr/Sonny Abesamis

One of the major OpenStack distro vendors, Mirantis is joining the Cloud Foundry Foundation, further cementing its commitment to OpenStack.

"As the pure-play OpenStack company, Mirantis is focused on making OpenStack the best way to build a private cloud and enable software development," said Alex Freedland, Mirantis co-founder and chairman in a press release announcing the move.

What makes Mirantis unique is the fact that it is the only major OpenStack distro vendor that only does OpenStack. It is a pure play company, which means that it has a very tight, single, focus and that's OpenStack.

The company worked in OpenStack since its early days when Rackspace released the code some five years ago as an internal project. 'Today Mirantis is the third biggest code contributor to OpenStack. It leads several key OpenStack projects, like Murano. And it has two executives on the board of the OpenStack Foundation," Renski told ITworld in an email interview.

While OpenStack is becoming a force in the platform-as-a-service (PaaS) space, Cloud Foundry is emerging as an equal force in the infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) space, as more and more players are joining the foundation.

It's a significant move that an OpenStack pure play player is joining the foundry. What does it mean for OpenStack? What does it mean for the 'focus' of Mirantis?

In a blog post, Renski addressed these questions, "We strongly believe it is the best strategic move for Mirantis to remain the pure play OpenStack company, and to actively integrate best-in-class outside technologies into OpenStack."

As long as it runs on OpenStack he doesn't care, "We do this because it is the best way to give our customers choice in how they architect their cloud, and this philosophy applies to the PaaS layer. Whether it’s Cloud Foundry, Docker, OpenShift, Kubernetes, or some other PaaS - we don’t care as long as it runs on OpenStack."

At the moment the lines between OpenStack and Cloud Foundry are clearly drawn, but the lines could be crossed in the future. Things may change; the market for OpenStack may explode or implode.

We just witnessed a massive casualty in the OpenStack space. While Mirantis announced joining the Foundry, a promising OpenStack start-up called Nebula just announced a shutdown. The company was started by one of the co-founders of OpenStack and had some giants among its clientele, including Lockheed Martin, Dreamworks Studios and Sony Entertainment Network.

The shutdown will certainly send shockwaves in the cloud. Does that bring bad news for OpenStack? In explaining the reasons for its demise, Nebula said, "We are incredibly proud of the role we had in establishing Nebula as the leading enterprise cloud computing platform. At the same time, we are deeply disappointed that the market will likely take another several years to mature. As a venture backed start up, we did not have the resources to wait."

And that's why Renski believes that joining the Foundry is the right move for Mirantis: "With so much going on in the PaaS market, at Mirantis we would rather stick to OpenStack, which is what we do best. Again, our customers should be able to choose Cloud Foundry, Docker, OpenShift, Kubernetes, or some other PaaS player -- our mission is to make sure it works best on OpenStack. Joining the Cloud Foundry Foundation is an important step in that direction."

These two developments in the OpenStack space may point towards the consolidation and maturity of the industry. This could be bad news for smaller players like Nebula, which will find it harder to compete against biggies like Red Hat.

And with its move, Mirantis just put itself in a position of strategic importance.

As they say: best of both worlds!

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