UK-based Vodafone has picked Mirantis as an OpenStack partner for its virtualization program, Ocean.
Outgoing network virtualization boss David Amzallag noted that Mirantis Inc. had displayed "leadership in the OpenStack community" and an ability to work in a multivendor environment.
"An open and multi-vendor cloud infrastructure is key for delivering better, faster and smarter services to our customers," said Amzallag in an official media statement.
Light Reading got wind of the latest Ocean plans during an exclusive interview with Amzallag in March, when the virtualization expert, who is set to leave the operator in June, said Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) would announce new vendor agreements for OpenStack and CPE deployments in the coming weeks. (See Vodafone: The Pricing Isn't Right and Amzallag, Vodafone's SDN & NFV Man, Leaving in June.)
The choice of vendors was proving difficult, said Amzallag at the time, because of pricing concerns.
Vodafone wants to move away from traditional vendor pricing and toward a cloud-based approach, but discussions with eight different vendors turned up eight different ideas about new pricing models, said Amzallag.
Through its Managed OpenStack product, Mirantis claims to have pioneered a more flexible approach to software delivery than has traditionally been used.
Instead of performing updates once every few months, it aims to make small changes on a weekly basis and avoid the need for any costly downtime.
Mirantis is already working with AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) on OpenStack rollout and was eager to champion the open source technology -- which is seen as a key pillar of new virtualized networks across much of the industry -- in its statement on the Vodafone deal.
"AT&T alone is already supporting customers with OpenStack in nearly 100 data centers, alongside carriers like Verizon, China Mobile and Deutsche Telekom," said Jonathan Bryce, an executive director at the OpenStack Foundation, in the Mirantis release. "In terms of sheer footprint, OpenStack is the most widely distributed cloud infrastructure for virtualized networks, and the Vodafone deal is the most recent example."
OpenStack continues to attract critics, however, and has had a difficult start to 2017, as Light Reading sister site Enterprise Cloud News has written about in some detail.
Just last month, chipmaker Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) withdrew financial support for the OpenStack Innovation Center project, and even Mirantis appeared to "pivot" away from its dedicated OpenStack focus in recent weeks. (See Mirantis Pivots as OpenStack Loses 'Wow Factor'.)
Having previously billed itself as "the pure-play OpenStack company," Mirantis announced plans in April to begin supporting a container technology called Kubernetes, which could potentially be a threat to OpenStack.
On the service provider side, the UK's BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has publicly drawn attention to OpenStack's perceived shortcomings, threatening in late 2015 to use a different technology unless these were addressed. (See BT Threatens to Ditch OpenStack.)
In March this year, during a conference in Paris, Peter Willis, BT's chief researcher for converged networks, flagged interest in using containers rather than virtual machines in future. (See BT: Telco Mindset Could Negate Container Benefits.)
Such a move could help to lower costs and open up new service opportunities but it might also raise questions about the role for OpenStack in the years ahead.
Besides being named as Vodafone's OpenStack vendor, Mirantis revealed that it has signed a "global procurement agreement" with the operator, making its cloud service accessible through Vodafone's Cloudstore marketplace.
The Ocean project has made progress in other areas, too. During his discussion with Light Reading in March, Amzallag indicated that Vodafone had developed an end-to-end architecture establishing orchestration at both the domain and services layers.
Earlier this year, the operator announced Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) (through Contrail) and Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) (through Nuage) as the its two SDN controller vendors for its domain orchestration.
— Iain Morris, , News Editor, Light Reading