Mirantis joins Cloud Foundry Foundation to bridge OpenStack Paas gap

By joining the CloudFoundry Foundation, Mirantis has promised to offer distributions of the software to its customer base, partnering with vendors in the eco-system rather than creating its own distribution.

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Pure-play OpenStack provider Mirantis has thrown its weight behind Cloud Foundry, enabling its customers to build applications using the open source platform as a service (Paas) software created by VMware spin-out Pivotal.

Joining the Cloud Foundry Foundation means Mirantis - which focuses on infrastructure as a service (Iaas) - will partner with vendors to supply their distributions, but won't be buliding its own a version of the software platform - as HP and IBM have done.

According to Mirantis CEO Adrian Ionel, the decision is part of the firm's plans to support a range of Paas platforms currently competing in the market. This includes Google’s Kubernetes - with Mirantis announcing last month that it was bringing the container management technology to OpenStack.

“The fundamental reason why we are [offering Cloud Foundry] is that we believe in freedom of choice; not only at the plumbing level, which is underneath OpenStack, but also at the developer tool level, and Cloud Foundry is one important choice that we want to offer people,” Ionel told ComputerworldUK. 

He added: “We believe that is it very important for OpenStack to succeed to build an ecosystem of developer tool chains that enterprises can choose from, depending on their use cases. Cloud Foundry very much fits into this category.”

Ionel added that the Mirantis has already created an integration layer for Cloud Foundry using the Heat orchestration module - dubbed Murano -  that has been accepted into the OpenStack upstream community. “It will make the connection between OpenStack and Cloud Foundry very easy,” Ionel said.

It had been suggested in the past that OpenStack could mature into a Paas system in its own right. However, Ionel said that, with a vibrant ecosystem of Paas providers already winning customers, it is not necessary for OpenStack to “move up the stack”.

“It is not viable and also it does not offer the optimal benefit for the users. To offer something that works really well you have to be focused on it. So how likely is it that the OpenStack community can replicate something like Kubernetes that Google has created over the past few years and put an enormous amount of effort in to it, or something like Docker or CloudFoundry? 

“These are big communities of their own that are pretty savvy, and are very focused and specialised. We need to partner with them and make it very easy for them to take advantage of OS capabilities, instead of trying to compete with them.”