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General Purpose Private Cloud Is Dead, says Mirantis

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The private cloud is becoming the specialize cloud.

The private cloud vs public cloud war is heating up again. It’s no longer about private cloud replacing the public cloud, though outside of the trinity of US public cloud (AWS, Azure and Google Compute Engine), companies around the world are building the public cloud using OpenStack.

The real fight is between public cloud as a general purpose infrastructure, whereas the private cloud is evolving as a specialized cloud to offer a fine grained infrastructure optimized for a user’s specific workload. While everyone wants to operate much like a public cloud, they do want the flexibility to optimize it.

Mirantis started off as a pure-play OpenStack vendor, but it evolved with the dynamically-changing private cloud market. Today, the company is helping its customers on their journey to embrace and adopt a hybrid-cloud strategy.

It seems to me, that Mirantis views the future evolution of OpenStack as Linux of the cloud. While one can use Linux as a general purpose computer, it’s core strength is in helping the user in specialized workloads. Thanks to this power of Linux, today the world runs on Linux.

If Mirantis gets what it wants, the case will be the same with OpenStack. The company believes that while public cloud like AWS will reduce to general purpose infrastructure, private cloud will become more valuable for specialized workloads.

The core advantage of the public cloud is convenience and pricing. Show a credit card, get a pie piece of the cloud, run it as much or less as you want. But you can’t customize or optimize it. Public cloud is like public transportation – a bus or a train, it’s cheap and convenient, but it doesn’t and can’t go everywhere. Oftentimes customers are crazy for a truck, a pick-up truck, a Ferrari, a private plane, a sailboat or even a bike. Only private cloud can do that.

Today, even setting up a private cloud is not a feat reserved for giants like AT&T and Verizon or mega-organizations like CERN that need the massive cloud. Today enterprises are building private cloud not only for cost-effectiveness, but also running customized workloads, performance and total ownership of their IP. No surprises that even Dropbox chose to distance itself from AWS and built its own private cloud. Netflix, while a heavy consumer of AWS cloud, has also built its own private cloud for optimized workloads.

The trend is not trickling down. Companies like Volkswagen would probably never use public cloud like AWS to run the infrastructure. The German car company is in fact building its 5th datacenter to run private cloud.

“I think they will never put their production control systems on AWS. It’s the critical system that runs their factory and has access to the most sensitive production data, supplier data, and R&D data,” said Adrian Ionel, the CEO of Mirantis.

At the same time, there are many AWS competitors who don’t want to put all of their eggs in AWS baskets. Amazon is not known for playing nice with competitors and companies like Target, Walmart and the likes who do not want to be at the mercy of AWS. These companies have started building their own private cloud powered by OpenStack. Not only does it free them from relying on their competitor, it also gives them an immense amount of edge against their competitors.

So when Mirantis is betting on private cloud as specialized cloud, they are not wrong. The wind is already blowing in that direction. Mirantis just happens to be the one that is adjusting its sail in time.

“Whether it’s 5G, Artificial Intelligence, Hyperconvergence, Edge or HPC they all need specialized fine tuned stack for optimized workloads. That’s exactly what we are doing with Mirantis Cloud Platform,” said Ionel.

In addition to the flexibility of optimizing the cloud for specific workloads, companies also want to be able to use the latest and greatest buzzwords that pop up in the enterprise space on a monthly basis. Only open source private cloud gives them that freedom.

“Companies want to be able to embrace new technologies and adapt quickly to stay competitive. Their reliance on infrastructure means that the infrastructure itself must be flexible and can adapt to change quickly, without compromising on ease of use,” said Ionel. “The new MCP release is the first cloud platform which can easily adapt to changing use cases. Our customers can now respond quickly and efficiently to new business opportunities while tuning the service quality to the exact user requirements.”

One of the strengths of MCP is deployment and lifecycle management of all open source components that make their cloud in a fully automated way. MCP empowers users to continuously ingest new, relevant open source technologies and deploy them across their infrastructure at will and operate them very efficiently. It future proofs them; they are not more at the mercy of one vendor. MCP also enables them to embrace the purest form or hybrid cloud strategy, with Kubernetes at the core of it.

Mirantis is not stopping there. It has introduced a new tool called model designer that makes it easier to create ‘tuned stacks’ – a lineup of workload-centric infrastructure configurations. There is a library of pre-configured templates, ‘tuned stacks’ for specific workloads.

Screenshot of MCP Templates

These templates define every single element of the stack in pure code. It gives complete control over the infrastructure. One of the most significant advantages of MCP is that it’s designed to accommodate emerging use-cases and workloads. It’s future proof. Some of the ‘tuned stacks’ include MCP multi-cloud fabric, MCP HPC, MCP bare metal, and HCP hyper convergence. They are also coming out with MCP Edge. A user doesn’t have to use the stock templates; they can very easily edit and refine them for their new use-case.

“These templates allow customers to not only have an AWS equivalent generic cloud, but it also enables them to fine tune it to their workloads,” said Iolen.

It’s the best of both worlds – convenience of AWS and customization of a fully optimized private cloud.