Among the carnage of OpenStack startups that have failed or been acquired, one vendor seems to be bucking the trend and achieving real scale. Mirantis, the self-styled "pure-play OpenStack company," has gained funding, mind share and, most importantly, customers on a continual basis.
Mirantis has already helped build and deploy clouds for companies such as Cisco, Comcast, Ericsson, NASA and Samsung and they've now added to the list with the news of another customer - this time furthering their geographic footprint.
The Middle East and Africa (MEA) isn't an area that first comes to mind when one thinks about technology adoption, but it has some interesting traits that make it worth watching - a huge (and growing population) and some companies (and countries) with significant oil revenues that can be put to use for big-ticket projects.
That is the case with Saudi Telecom, MEA's largest telco and one which extends far beyond Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Telecom Company (STC) has a presence in nine countries and serves over 100 million customers. Its fiber-optic network spans some 137,000 kilometers.
STC has built a public cloud offering to deliver to its customers but, interestingly, is also leveraging Network Function Virtualization (NFV) to eek out the greatest efficiency and increase agility from that aforementioned network resource. Additionally, STC is working with Mirantis to deliver future private cloud services.
While much has been made of high-profile telcos pulling out of the public cloud market (a case in point being Verizon, which recently shuttered its own cloud offering), the fact remains that for specific telcos, delivering a public cloud offering is a smart move. Telcos with a customer base with particular requirements, telcos servicing a market not supported by the incumbent public cloud vendors, and telcos in remote locations can all benefit from delivering public (not to mention private) cloud services. The MEA opportunity, in particular, seems rosy. According to Cisco, MEA will generate the highest cloud data traffic growth in the world, with cloud data forecast to increase to 260 Exabytes (260 billion Gigabytes) by 2018.
“Mirantis has invested heavily in next-generation services delivery on OpenStack and we’re pleased to partner with an innovation leader like Saudi Telecom,” said Boris Renski, co-founder, and CMO of Mirantis. “More and more of the world’s fast-growing telecommunications providers are turning to OpenStack as the preferred platform for their new cloud services.”
An additional point of interest in all of this is the fact that CloudStack, OpenStack's rival platform, saw good success from telco customers. It is interesting to see OpenStack secure a number of these opportunities.
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