Oracle saddles up with OpenStack distributor Mirantis

Oracle is getting involved in the world of competitive OpenStack vendors

Joining a plethora of other vendors to support the open source cloud computing platform, software giant Oracle this week announced a partnership with pure-play OpenStack distributor Mirantis, blessing this company’s open source software to support Oracle Linux and Oracle VMs.

This is not Oracle’s first foray into the OpenStack community - in fact the company is a corporate sponsor of OpenStack and has its own distribution of the open source cloud management platform. But, it is one of the company’s first alliances in this competitive, yet still nascent community.

Oracle's Larry Ellison

Larry Ellison and Oracle are looking to play in the OpenStack world

So why partner with a pure-play OpenStack vendor? Oracle says it’s to give customers more choice. Now not only will Oracle support OpenStack in its products, but a third-party, OpenStack distributor will now support Oracle in its OpenStack software.

That’s choice for customers, but it’s also a win-win for both of these companies. It can’t hurt for Oracle workloads to be supported by Mirantis, one of the popular and influential developers of OpenStack software. (Read Oracle’s take on this news here). Plus, Mirantis is looking to make partnerships with as many software vendors as possible to extend the reach of its OpenStack distro.

Who’s it not good news for? Well, arguably Red Hat. Blogger The VAR Guy sums it up well:

“The collaboration between Oracle and Mirantis also stiffens competition between Mirantis and Red Hat, which currently does not offer enterprise support for use of a third-party OpenStack distribution in conjunction with Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Previous agreements between Mirantis and Canonical and VMware (VMW)—which, like Oracle, are major Red Hat competitors—further underscore the significance of this news within the open source world.”

In announcing that it would officially support OpenStack last December, Oracle committed to “delivering products that can be managed and provisioned via OpenStack interfaces,” and certifying many of its existing product lines - including Oracle Solaris, Oracle Linux, Oracle VM, Oracle IaaS and Oracle Virtual Compute Alliance - to support OpenStack. It promised more integrations down the line. So expect more moves from Oracle in the OpenStack community.

There’s a battle in the OpenStack world and it’s still early yet. But with startups like Mirantis, Piston Cloud Computing, Cloudscaling and Metacloud going up against established players with much deeper pockets, like Red Hat, Rackspace, HP and Cisco, alliances will be key to growing market share.

Still though, some question just how big the market is for OpenStack in general. While the project has garnered a considerable about of hype from the vendor community, some are wondering when the users will really start showing up in earnest.

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