Mirantis made a name for itself by providing a curated distribution of the open-source OpenStack cloud management framework that organizations could deploy themselves or have Mirantis manage on their behalf. The company then extended those offerings to include instances of the open-source Kubernetes container orchestration engine. Now it has announced that an instance of the Mirantis Cloud Platform (MCP) now can be deployed on Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Boris Renski, chief marketing officer for Mirantis, says his company is trying to foster the development of a hybrid cloud computing environment based on instances of Kubernetes that would be employed as a container-as-a-service (CaaS) environment to be known as MCP CaaS. To simplify the management of the CaaS environment, Mirantis now also is providing access to a web-based interface for managing Kubernetes clusters that makes it easier to create and control Kubernetes-based containers.
In much the same way Mirantis simplified deployment and management of OpenStack, Renski says the company now will develop additional software and processes to simplify the management of both Kubernetes and other related open-source container management technologies. That software includes the DriveTrain Lifecycle Management toolchain that Mirantis developed for OpenStack as well as StackLight, a suite of operations support system (OSS) tools to simplify DevOps.
Kubernetes has come a long way in terms of making it easier to stand up a cluster. But Renski says ongoing management of the open-source platform remains a challenge. Mirantis is committed to providing both tools and managed services to streamline the management of Kubernetes clusters deployed on-premises using virtual machines or bare-metal servers or any public cloud.
The decision to support AWS was driven by customer demand rather than a decision to pivot away from OpenStack, says Renski. In the future, Renski says Mirantis also will be looking at deploying MCP CaaS on Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) public clouds. What the company has moved away from is packaging and distributing software to focus more of its efforts in providing managed services, he says.
In general, Renski says Mirantis expects to see platform-as-a-service (PaaS) environments such as Cloud Foundry to meld with Kubernetes. The Cloud Foundry Foundation is already working on application programming interfaces (APIs) for brokering services and provisioning tools such as Kubo that can be shared across Kubernetes and a Cloud Foundry PaaS. The uncertainty many IT organizations face currently is that it’s not clear to what degree a CaaS based on Kubernetes will obviate the need for certain PaaS functions.
It’s equally unclear what impact Kubernetes may have on reliance of virtual machines that are at the heart of both OpenStack and VMware, its main commercial rival. If more containers are deployed on bare-metal servers, the only management framework required might be Kubernetes. Regardless of the approach employed, Mirantis is betting there will be a vacuum of Kubernetes expertise in the enterprise for it to fill for many years to come.