The funding includes an equity round — that is, normal startup fundraising — led by Intel. The round includes new investor Goldman Sachs and previous investors: August Capital, Insight Venture Partners, Ericsson, Sapphire Ventures (formerly SAP Ventures), and WestSummit Capital.
Intel is also contributing some spending money, a budget intended to fund Intel/Mirantis co-development of OpenStack features.
Today’s announcement doesn’t specify how the $100 million is split. But an SEC filing last week tells us the equity portion was $75 million, implying that Intel’s pool of auxiliary spending is $25 million.
You’ll recall Mirantis raised a separate $100 million less than a year ago. That round included Intel’s name as well, but that was Intel Capital, the venture capital arm that invests in things for laughs (and because they further the demand for processors, improve the state of humanity, yadda yadda). Today’s investment means Intel proper is putting some weight behind Mirantis.
The money and the heft of Intel certainly make Mirantis a serious opponent for Red Hat, which offers an OpenStack distribution as well. Red Hat was an early investor in Mirantis, but it didn’t participate in either of the $100 million rounds, and during the past year, it’s become clear the companies have gone their separate ways.
OpenStack for the Masses
OpenStack is being used by enterprises, and at scale. Wal-Mart and Symantec were among the speakers at June’s OpenStack Summit in Vancouver, explaining their use of OpenStack.
“What was evident at the Vancouver summit was that if you have good engineers who know how to work with open source infrastructure, you can make OpenStack work at scale,” says Alex Freedland, president and a founder of Mirantis.
But OpenStack is also an archipelago of projects that can be difficult for the everyday enterprise to navigate. Scaling OpenStack, fitting it into existing network or storage fabrics, testing, lifecycle management — these can all be elusive, Freedland says.
This is not exactly a secret, so there’s work underway to make OpenStack easier to adopt. That includes the recent concept of an OpenStack appliance — a ready-made assemblage of equipment and software forming a “My First OpenStack” kit. Mirantis has its own example with Mirantis Unlocked Appliances, and startup Breqwatr offers its Breqwatr Cloud Appliance.
But OpenStack itself needs features to aid enterprises. That’s the area Intel and Mirantis intend to pursue.
“Intel is seeing a lot of desire to consume OpenStack at scale,” says Alex Freedland, president and a founder of Mirantis. “When we looked at where their roadmap is, we’re 90 percent aligned.”
Mirantis will be talking a lot about the enterprise today, but the company will continue its efforts to woo service providers as well. It’s got relationships with Telstra and Orange, among others, and there’s opportunity in making OpenStack comply with the five-nines reliability (99.999 percent uptime) that telcos demand, Freedland says.