Mirantis launched a beta program for a new application platform to help enterprises migrate operations to the cloud. More importantly, it also provides Mirantis with a way to diversify operations away from its current reliance in the increasingly competitive cloud infrastructure space based around OpenStack and Kubernetes.
The beta program is for the Mirantis Application Platform. The platform is based on the Spinnaker open source project initially launched by Netflix, and it is designed to help enterprises run applications in the public cloud.
Boris Renski, co-founder and chief marketing officer at Mirantis, said the new platform was a “moonshot” for the company as it looks to solidify its operational future.
Renski said Mirantis has been looking for ways to get into the application space, and “away from the pure cloud infrastructure space for some time.” He noted that the cloud infrastructure market has gained a lot of maturity and competition, which has resulted in a “race to the bottom” in terms of pricing and margins.
“Any infrastructure player is competing against the public cloud giants; that’s just the nature of the market,” Renski said. “For the stability of the company it’s important to have more than one platform. We are today like a stool with one leg. If that gets cut off, we will be dead. We need to start growing that second leg.”
The move comes on the heels of Mirantis welcoming back its original CEO and co-founder Adrian Ionel earlier this year. Ionel served as CEO from the company’s launch in 2011 until 2015, when he left to start up Dorsal, an open source software support firm. During his initial tenure at Mirantis he led the company’s investment in OpenStack, growing its customer base to more than 200 enterprises.
Ionel’s rejoining was connected to company plans for moving beyond the private cloud and helping its customers adopt multi-cloud strategies.
“This is really a continuation of Adrian coming back and a refocus for the company,” Renski said.
The new platform is set up to run as an independent operation within Mirantis. Customers signing up for the beta don’t need to be current Mirantis customers and a combination of the company’s two platforms will not result in any performance boost.
What is Spinnaker?
Netflix initially developed Spinnaker as a multi-cloud CI/CD platform to help with its migration of content to the public cloud. Spinnaker gained momentum last year when Google announced official plans to invest resources into the platform tied to native Kubernetes support and integration with its cloud platform (GCP).
In the continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) market, Spinnaker competes against proprietary platforms from companies like CA through its Automic acquisition, Electric Cloud, Harness.io, and Codefresh. Some startups are also developing similar CI/CD platforms using Spinnaker like Armory.io and OpsMx.
“Netflix wanted to find a way to not just do away with existing data centers, but to use the elastic properties of the cloud to add value and to be able to deliver software faster,” Renski explained. “It was really looking to build a system that enabled its developers to directly deploy updates to applications in production without having to mess around with bringing in decision making from other teams.”
Google and Netflix earlier this month launched an open source automated canary analysis service dubbed Kayenta. The service integrates within a Spinnaker CI/CD pipeline to automate the canary analysis stage. A canary analysis system provides an early warning about issues that may be occurring or about to occur connected with updates to software or infrastructure.
Mirantis Application Platform
The new Mirantis Application Platform will run alongside Mirantis’ currently available Cloud Platform. That cloud infrastructure management-based platform is based on OpenStack and Kubernetes, and it accounts for nearly all of the company’s current revenues.
The new platform eases the migration of existing workloads to public cloud environments like Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Google Compute Engine (GCE). It also maintains existing security standards, integrates with existing CI tools, and uses a native Kubernetes integration to avoid cloud lock-in.
The beta program includes installation, configuration, and a 4-9s service level agreement. It integrates with a customer’s existing identity provider, CI systems, compliance scanners, IT services management platform, and internal operations communications. And it includes one year of support.
There are some limitations to the application platform due to its reliance on Spinnaker. This includes a lack of support for all cloud drivers, though the most mature like AWS EC2, GCE, and Kubernetes are supported.