VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Mirantis has made a name for itself as a provider of OpenStack cloud infrastructure. But the company has evolved with the changing needs of its customers. Currently, Mirantis is looking “up the stack” toward the application layer. And it sees an opportunity in providing continuous delivery (CD) for app developers.
“I call it our moonshot into the application space,” said Boris Renski, co-founder and chief marketing officer of Mirantis. “We are, at the core, an infrastructure OpenStack company with a desire to try and solve problems in the application space.”
Historically, the way for infrastructure teams to help developers create applications faster was to provide a platform-as-a-service (PaaS). “When you’re talking PaaS, you’re saying ‘give me a database, or a load balancer,’” said Renski. “It’s basically creating this catalog of higher level services that the development teams can make an API call and get. This is the trend of going up the stack.”
But Mirantis has determined that the best way to help developers is to address how they release software. Renski said developers spend most of their time getting their software into an actual product.
“The natural extension for us to move up the stack is not PaaS but the CD space,” he said. The company has been doing beta tests of its new Mirantis Application Platform with some of its customers for about a year.
The Mirantis Application Platform is based on Spinnaker, an open source project that was started by Netflix. The goal is for developers to be able to stage their software and then push it directly to production. “It automates the last mile of delivery,” said Renski.
Spinnaker lets developers deliver software faster and also deploy updates to applications that are in production.
CI vs. CD
In a session at this week’s OpenStack Summit in Vancouver, Renski said that continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) are often lumped together, but in his opinion, they shouldn’t be. “We realized this CI/CD space is two different disciplines,” he said. Speaking with SDxCentral later, he explained that CI takes the code and builds some kind of deployable artifact. While CD takes that artifact and deploys it to an infrastructure target. Mirantis is focused on CD with its Mirantis Application Platform.
Earlier this week, the OpenStack Foundation made Zuul into an independent project. And while Zuul is referred to as a CI/CD project, Renski said Zuul is more about CI. “Everything in OpenStack is tested in Zuul,” he said.
Renski showed a funny slide at his presentation this week. “Where app people and infrastructure people intersect: if we could get that right, this will unlock an order of magnitude of returns,” he said. “Infrastructure people are typically reporting to the CIO. If you look at apps people, they report to the enterprise line of business.”