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Intel-Mirantis collaboration could ease OpenStack integration with networking

The Intel-led $100 million investment in Mirantis is expected to help ease the pain of OpenStack integration with corporate networks.

The Intel-led $100 million investment in OpenStack distributor Mirantis Inc. is expected to make the open source cloud platform accessible to more companies and to ease its integration with corporate networks.

OpenStack integration with networking infrastructure remains too complex for most corporations, said Brad Casemore, analyst at IDC, based in Framingham, Mass. As a result, companies have turned to custom integrations.

"Intel is going to work with Mirantis to make OpenStack more robust, more scalable and more deployable from a networking perspective," Casemore said.

I do think you'll see considerable effort and resources allocated toward making OpenStack easier to stand up in enterprise environments.
Brad Casemoreanalyst at IDC

Mirantis said this week that the latest round of investment would go towards both OpenStack distribution and enterprise adoption.

"This is a significant shot in the arm for both OpenStack as an enterprise and private cloud technology, and for Mirantis as a company," Casemore said. "I do think you'll see considerable effort and resources allocated toward making OpenStack easier to stand up in enterprise environments."

OpenStack is difficult for many enterprises to adopt due to various technical challenges and a lack of experts to deploy it. Startup Mirantis distributes its version of OpenStack and provides support and services.

Companies working with OpenStack on their own have found that cobbling together its many parts is difficult, said Daniel Conde, analyst at The Enterprise Strategy Group Inc., based in Milford, Mass.

"That's one reason why it has some problems with adoption," he said.

Chipmaker Intel leads the investment in Mirantis. Partners include Goldman Sachs, August Capital, Insight Venture Partners, Ericsson, Sapphire Ventures and WestSummit Capital.

Intel support for networking

Intel has a history of supporting open source networking technologies, such as Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK), a new, programmable set of libraries and drivers for fast packet processing, Conde said. The vendor's involvement with OpenStack could speed up development of DPDK as a component of the cloud operating system.

For companies, cloud computing has become increasingly popular as a cost-reducing alternative to the traditional on-site data centers that require hardware maintenance and often result in vendor lock-in. Largely known for offering data center technology, Intel and its investment in OpenStack could be viewed as another attempt to stay ahead in the changing tech landscape.

The nonprofit OpenStack Foundation manages development of the cloud platform. More than 500 companies have joined in building OpenStack computing, storage and networking components through a number of interrelated projects. OpenStack began five years ago as a joint project of NASA and cloud provider Rackspace.

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