logo-long2Last week, thanks to Tech Field Day, I got to meet up with Platform 9 again. I’ve already talked about them in the past but I can’t refrain from doing so again. Platform 9 is doing a brilliant job and it makes Openstack easier to adopt.

Openstack is pure complexity

Logo-openstackThere are few ways to adopt Openstack and they are all a pain in the neck.
Depending on your size and needs, it ranges from downloading the source and giving it to a team of engineers and developers to buying it fully baked as a managed cloud.
Either way, it’s time consuming, costly and complex all around!

This slows down OpenStack adoption, especially for all those companies that would like to build a proper private cloud, but don’t have a vast amount of resources nor the money to invest in the infrastructure itself…

The alternative

Platform 9, a startup founded by former Vmware engineers, has a solution that I really love for its simplicity and manageability.

It’s quite simple. You donwload an OVA/OVF from their website and register it with your vCenter. This Virtual Appliance scans your vSphere cluster(s) and allows you to build a full OpenStack installation in minutes. Once it has completed its tasks you are ready to go. You don’t believe me? Check this video with the presentation!

And it’s not just the installation. Day-to-day management as well as upgrades are managed in the most seamless way possible. Also licensing is thought up for humans, with a subscription model that dosen’t kill you… you could start with a micro-installation (even if you have a large Vmware cluster) and grow/shrink from that. We are talking about starting with a $999/year per a <6CPU/<100VM cluster! Platform 9 has a nice integration with Solidfire but I hope they will gain enough attention to obtain similar integration with others.

Simplicity always pays back

These guys are growing very quickly (they launched the product at the end of last year and they already have 20+ of paying customers, with quite an impressive NASCAR slide).

Even though the product is also available for KVM, it is the vSphere integration that makes the difference. In fact, You probably already have a Vmware cluster in your enterprise and if you want to deploy/try OpenStack this is the easiest possibile way: your Vmware sysadmin can do that in minutes and it doesn’t add up to all the other work it has to do!

Closing the circle

The first time I met Platform 9 I was curious, now they have my attention (and I hope yours too!), and I’ll keep an eye on them to see how it goes.
The idea is brilliant, the product is really easy to use and it puts OpenStack in a totally different light, making it viable for infrastructures of any size.
In practice… All fuss and no muss!