Infrastructure software startup Platform9’s goal is to make OpenStack-based private clouds easy for enterprises to adopt, which is no mean feat for a technology with something of a reputation for being difficult to get going.
Platform9 provides a Software-as-a-Service hosted and managed OpenStack control plane. It automates all the back-end nitty gritty of getting OpenStack up and running in your environment, and deals with all the messy details of upgrades.
CEO Sirish Raghuram says that it is a “SaaS-based managed service, for any enterprise to use, with any server infrastructure that they may have, wherever those servers may be.”
I’ve personally tried the solution, and I’m happy to report that it really is as easy as it purports to be to get it installed and running. I spun up a vSphere 6.0 based test-lab (using Autolab 2.6 on RavelloSystems, for those interested in trying it for yourself) and Platform9 does indeed install itself nicely.
It also plays well with others. An important feature of enterprise environments is that they are very rarely greenfields environments. They are usually heterogeneous places, full of the remnants of mergers and acquisitions, some of them only partially completed. Getting a dedicated environment, set up from scratch, with a whole host of new operational procedures involved, is not a simple undertaking.
Platform9 can peacefully co-exist with existing environments. It’s possible to share a vSphere cluster between existing workloads and an OpenStack environment, for example. You could test it out in an existing dev/test environment; you don’t have to build an entirely separate cluster just to run a Proof-of-Concept (though you might want to for other reasons).
Chief Architect and Co-founder Bich Le also foreshadowed a future that isn’t purely OpenStack. Containers, particularly Docker, are quite attractive for a variety of reasons, and many organisations are at least experimenting with them. “We know that software evolves very rapidly, and there are always new, emerging ways, and innovative ways, of running workloads on private infrastructure,” says Le.