This is one of a series of brief posts discussing the presenters at Tech Field Day 10, occurring 3rd – 5th February 2016 in Austin, Texas, at which I am an attending delegate. See links at the end of this post to other presenting vendors. Details of the event can be found on the Tech Field Day 10 page at techfieldday.com.
Although I’ve been a fan of the idea of scalable computing, I’ve not been impressed by the way in which the OpenStack project has developed. There are countless blog posts and comment that talk about the OpenStack project expanding too quickly, requiring PhD type folks to deploy an only being suitable for organisations with size and scale. Add in the fact that initially instances weren’t even persistent and it is easy to see why the way OpenStack works could be confusing for the typical enterprise IT organisation.
However, step back a bit to my opening sentence and you’ll see that I’m a fan of creating simplified and automated infrastructure deployment. In recent posts I’ve talked about HPE’s Composable Infrastructure called Synergy; I had a few ideas on how things should work; I also talked about ZeroStack, an interesting lightweight way to get started on OpenStack. So I like the idea of OpenStack, just not the bravado displayed on how fast and dirty some of the early programming was done.
Fortunately a number of companies have looked at taking OpenStack and packaging it into a form that can be more readily consumed by the enterprise. Platform9 is one such company. The interesting thing about Platform9 is that the founders came from VMware, obviously a company with a great focus on enterprise-level infrastructure, so they should be aware of the journey that most enterprise IT departments will need to be taken on, in order to benefit from OpenStack deployments.
A quick look at the company website shows interesting features like contractually binding SLAs, ability to use existing technology (like VMware vSphere), but still support open source solutions like KVM and external monitoring.
Of course here the devil will be in the detail. Platform9 is based on OpenStack so carries with it the issues of that ecosystem. Has Platform9 forked OpenStack and added their own features? How is compatibility maintained with new releases? Lots of interesting questions arise here.
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Disclaimer: I was personally invited to attend Tech Field Day 10, with the event team covering my travel and accommodation costs. However I was not compensated for my time. I am not required to blog on any content; blog posts are not edited or reviewed by the presenters or Tech Field Day team before publication.
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